In terms of nutrition, this dish is a great balance of foods. It provides starchy carbohydrates which are the body’s main source of energy, 2 of your 5-a-day, protein, omega-3 and an array of vitamins and minerals such as iron (spinach) and iodine (salmon).
Omega-3’s are essential for health and are often overlooked. They are a type of unsaturated fat that can be found mostly in oily fish, and in a slightly different form in plant-based products such as algae and linseed.
Omega-3 plays a huge role in protecting your cardiovascular health. It is recognised for its anti-inflammatory properties, which is the mechanism behind its cardio-protective effects . It’s also needed for cell membrane support, foetal development and healthy ageing!
It is recommended that you eat 2 portions (140g ish) of oily fish per week to get sufficient omega-3. Oily fish includes salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines. If you don’t like fish or don’t consume animal products don’t fret, there are cod liver oil and omega-3 supplements available. There are also vegan omega-3 supplements, however, they are a little more expensive.
Fun fact – omega-3 can actually penetrate your heart tissue and prevent arrhythmias I.e. irregular beating of the heart which may lead to a cardiac event .
Pan-fried Gnocchi with Salmon
For the gnocchi
- 500g floury potatoes such as Maris Piper/King Edward
- 125g plain flour (plus extra for shaping)
- Splash of oil
- Salt and pepper
For the salmon
- 2 salmon fillets
- 1 tbsp red/green pesto
- Spinach leaves
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Toasted pinenuts
- Chilli Flakes
For the salmon:
- Place the salmon fillets onto a large piece of foil and brush lightly with the red pesto.
- Wrap the foil over to make a parcel (leave some room for air to circulate inside).
- After the potatoes are boiled (see below) place in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 18-20 minutes.
For the gnocchi:
- Peel and chop the potatoes into even-sized pieces. Steam (or boil) for 15-20 minutes until tender.
- Mash well, or use a potato ricer to make the potato completely smooth.
- Add the salt and pepper, mix well. Then add the flour and bring together to make a dough.
- It should feel dry, but not crumbly. Try to handle lightly to avoid overworking the dough, which may result in a tougher texture.
- Cut the dough into quarters and roll out into ropes the size of a finger. Dust with a little flour and cut into pieces 1 inch long.
- Heat a large frying pan with a splash of oil on a medium heat.
- Place the gnocchi into a separate saucepan of boiling water for about 1 minute, until they rise to the surface. You may have to do this in batches.
- Remove the gnocchi from the water using a slotted spoon and place into the hot oil in the frying pan.
- Fry the gnocchi until crisp and golden.
- Serve on a bed of spinach and flake the salmon over the gnocchi. I like to add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil to top it off! As well as some toasted pinenuts, basil and chilli flakes.
 Bloomer RJ, Larson DE, Fisher-Wellman KH, Galpin AJ, Schilling BK. Effect of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid on resting and exercise-induced inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers: a randomized, placebo controlled, cross-over study. Lipids Health Dis. 2009;8:36.
 Ebrahimi M, Ghayour-Mobarhan M, Rezaiean S, Hoseini M, Parizade SM, Farhoudi F, Hosseininezhad SJ, Tavallaei S, Vejdani A, Azimi-Nezhad M, et al. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements improve the cardiovascular risk profile of subjects with metabolic syndrome, including markers of inflammation and auto-immunity. Acta Cardiol. 2009;64:321–7.