Wild salmon & dill pie with a celeriac & cauliflower crust

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salmon and dill Paleo pie with a cauliflower and celeriac crust

Testing out some meat free crust options with today’s wild salmon and dill pie with a celeriac and cauliflower crust. All my Paleo pie bases are grain and dairy free and whilst I love using lean, organic meats for  crusts, I absolutely adore vegetables and the versatility they bring. I’m a big fan of nut and coconut flours too but sometimes my digestion needs a break and that’s when vegetables help, making the most amazing, nutritious bases.

So today I’m using two of my favourite vegetables – cauliflower and celeriac – to make a light fluffy crust. They give the base a mild, nutty taste. I also used a little coconut oil to add a touch of sweetness. If you’re not a coconut oil fan, you can replace with extra virgin olive oil. I think this base would work well in a pudding too, watch this space for that soon!

I chose salmon as the star of this pie because of its health benefits, but sadly not all salmon is created equally. Today, a lot of salmon is caught in the wild, but then bred in fish farms. Wild salmon feeds off organisms found in its natural environment – oceans, lakes and rivers, where as farmed salmon are fed an artificial diet consisting of high-fat feed and  grain products like corn and soy (most of which is genetically modified), in order to produce big, plump fish for resale. This in turn affects the nutritional benefits we absorb from the salmon. As you can see from the table below the differences are fairly significant. (Wild salmon v farmed salmon.)

 

Nutrients

Wild salmon fillet (Average UK portion 198g)

Farmed salmon fillet (Average UK portion 198g)

Calories

280

412

Protein

39g

40g

Fats

12.5g

26.6g

Saturated fat

1.9g

6g

Monounsaturated fatty acid (Omega 9)

4.5g

7.4g

Polyunsaturated fatty acid (omega 3 + 6)

5g

7.6g

Cholesterol

109mg

109mg

Sodium

86mg

117mg

Calcium

23mg

18mg

Iron

1.6mg

0.67mg

Magnesium

57mg

53mg

In a nutshell, farmed salmon is higher in saturated fat, calories and sodium. Wild salmon contains more nutrients, less calories and less contaminants. 

Difference in Omega 3 and Omega 6 in wild v farmed Salmon

You may be looking at the table and thinking but the farmed salmon contains more Omega-3 and 6 which is a good thing, right? Well yes and no! We do indeed need both these Essential Fatty Acids in out diets, but it’s getting the balance right that’s important. Many of us today are eating more Omega 6’s which are pro-inflammatory. It’s the Omega 3s that are anti-inflammatory. Yes, farmed salmon has a higher polyunsaturated fatty acid content but proportionally more Omega 6 than 3.

 

Even though farmed salmon contains more Omega-6, the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is still ok (1:3), just not quite as good as wild salmon, which is around 1:10.

So how can you tell whether a salmon is wild or farmed? The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red. It’s also very lean, so the fat marks i.e. the white stripes you see in a salmon fillet, are very thin. Avoid Atlantic salmon, as that mainly comes from fish farms. Alaskan salmon and Sockeye salmon are your best bet as they’re not allowed to be farmed.

Eating salmon whether it be farmed or wild should really help improve your Omega-3 intake, but if you have a choice and can afford it, always go wild… Crazy wild!

Serves 4 (using a 20 inch sandwich tin)

Ingredients

Base
  • 1/2 celeriac
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • Pink himalayan or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
Filling
  • 2 wild salmon steaks
  • 1/2 small leek
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Pink himalayan or sea salt and coarse black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Place the salmon on an oiled baking tray, season with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Par roast in the oven skin side up for 7 minutes. Allow to cool and remove the skin.

Remove the stalk from the cauliflower and cut the florets into chunks. Peel the celeriac and cut into chunks. Using the ‘S’ blade of a food processor, blitz both together until you have a rice texture. Transfer to a microwaveable dish and cook on full power for 4-5 minutes until the vegetable soften. Pour into a muslin cloth, allow to cool and squeeze to remove any excess water. Place back in your bowl and mix with the eggs, oil and season.

Add the celeriac and cauliflower crust ingredients to a lightly oiled sandwich tin. Spread the vegetable mixture across the base and up the sides to make 1-2 cm deep crust. Par bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, sweat off the leeks in a pan with a little olive and slice the cherry tomatoes in half ready for the filling.

When the celeriac and cauliflower crust time is up, flake the salmon and arrange on top of the crust, along with the tomatoes, leeks, dill and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk 2 eggs and pour on top of the filling. Roast in the oven for a further 30 minutes or until the eggs have set.

Sprinkle with fresh dill to serve with a side salad like this carrot and courgette salad with macadamia dressing.

 

 

 

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About the Author
Jo Harding

Jo Harding

My food philosophy is all about awakening a carefree, happier, healthier you whilst reducing inflammation and toxins in the body. I believe the secret to radiant health starts and ends with a super strong gut so my recipes are all grain, gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. I want my blog to show how simple and tasty healthy food really is and by using a little imagination, you can still enjoy all your ‘crust’ food favourites without feeling bored or deprived. I’m here to show you that eating low starch paleo is so much more than just bland meat and overboiled veg!

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