I love eating food, I love cooking food, I love reading about food and I love looking at food. But can I be the only person who thinks there are far too many photos of chia pudding on Instagram? There – I’ve said it. That statement may make me wildly unpopular but frankly I’m becoming bored of the endless stream of ‘photogenic food’. Yes, food should look appetising, and yes, I applaud those who can take fantastic photographs (a skill I would love to learn one day as my camera is a total mystery to me!) But I don’t think how food looks should be anywhere near as important as how it tastes! I must declare a strong dislike for chia seeds and so they have taken the brunt of my rant – but really I am using chia pudding as an example for a whole range of ‘pretty but tasteless’ food.
This seems to form part of a growing trend for ‘clean’ food and in some ways I think this is excellent – knowing what we are putting in our bodies is hugely important to me and I am very passionate about the provenance of my ingredients. However, replacing all known foods with ‘clean’ alternatives I find concerning, especially when children’s diets are involved. We have no allergies or intolerances in our family so we eat a balance of all food groups including whole grains, dairy and meat. When I replace an ingredient it isn’t to make my food ‘clean’ as if it was somehow ‘dirty’ before – its merely to try something new and provide my family with nutritious and varied meals.
This tart is made with a sweet potato crust instead of pastry. This does make it lower in fat and calories, as well as increasing the vegetable content of the meal, but more than this, its delicious! The sweetness of sweet potatoes works beautifully with the salmon and spinach in this tart and is a lovely alternative to pastry. I have tried sweet potato bases with various quiche and tart recipes but this has been my favourite so far. It is such a summery meal, perfect on warm evenings with a large salad. It also makes a brilliant baby-led weaning meal as it contains oily fish, green vegetables and dairy; in my experience often the hardest foods to get babies to eat! It can be eaten hot or cold, so it also works well for packed lunches.
The recipe method looks a little long but if you are short on time I recommend making the tart case in advance. I normally make this in the morning, blind bake it and then keep it in the fridge until I need it later that day.
This makes enough to serve 4 adults as part of a main meal.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 fillets of salmon
- 1 bag of raw spinach (enough to make 3 cooked handfuls)
- 2 eggs
- 100ml creme fraiche
- Tsp dijon mustard
- Zest of half a lemon
Sweet potato tart case:
- Peel and grate the sweet potatoes using a coarse grater
- Highly grease your tart case and pour the grated potato in
- Using your hands or a spoon push the grated potato into the tart case, covering the base and sides. This can be a little fiddly, I find the best way is to use my hands and knuckles!
- Blind bake this a preheated oven at 180C for about 15 minutes until the edges are starting brown.
- Crack one of the eggs and put the yolk to the side. Using the egg white, brush the tart case to create and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes. This creates a waterproof layer ensuring your salmon filling will not leak through. You cannot see or taste the egg white.
For the filling:
- Place the salmon fillets in a microwaveable dish with a little water and cook them for about 3 minutes, until they are cooked through.
- Flake the salmon into large chunks and put to one side
- Cook your spinach, drain it and squeeze out any excess moisture and chop up.
- Add the salmon, spinach, creme fraiche and mustard to a bowl and stir.
- Add the egg yolk and the remaining egg to the mixture and combine
- Season with salt and pepper (no salt if cooking it for children)
- Spoon the mixture into the tart case and put in the oven for 15 minutes
- Optional: add slices of tomato to the top of the tart
- The filling should be set and golden brown
We enjoyed this warm last night with some new potatoes from our garden and a green salad with a citrus dressing to mirror the lemon in the tart. Will had his at lunch time cold and he ate it all (happy Mummy!) Despite the poorly taken photographs and the slightly
browned black edges of the sweet potato case, this meal was made with love for my family and it tasted fantastic!
I’d love to hear from you if you try any of my recipes, or if there are any people who have a recipe for chia seeds that may change my mind about them!