A heart-friendly Christmas feast

Keep it healthier  this Christmas with these delicious recipes  that are not only tasty, but are also heart friendly. 

Eating “heart-smart” is something we should consider all year round, but during the festive season it’s easy to get carried away with all of the festive eating.
Cardiovascular disease is a major health issue that kills tens of thousands every year in Australia. In fact, according to the Heart Foundation, someone dies of cardiovascular disease every 12 minutes and it’s the single biggest cause of death in Australia.
While one Christmas season is unlikely to be the downfall of a healthy heart, the cumulative effect of poor diet, combined with other risk factors (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol and smoking) can add up over time leaving you or your loved one in danger of heart disease.
This Asian-style BBQ fish is a Christmas feast that is quick and easy to throw together. It is good for you, and your heart, and is light enough not to weigh you down when you take on backyard cricket in the afternoon!

Asian-style BBQ fish with green mango salad

BBQ fish heart friendly meal
Difficulty:  easy
Serves 4
For the fish 
  • 2 medium sized whole baby snapper (ask fishmonger to gut and scale)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of ½ orange
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Sri Racha  chili sauce (available in the Asian aisle of supermarket or Asian specialty shop)
  • 1 birdseye   chili, optional
  • lime and lemon for serving, and two slices for stuffing fish
For the salad 
  • 1 bunch chopped coriander, 
  • ¼ purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large green mango, peeled and julienned
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • sprinkling toasted shaved coconut (optional )
  • juice of ½ an orange
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
1.  Place all of fish ingredients except the fish into a food processor, or wiz with a stick blender it becomes  a paste.
2.  Slice both the sides of the fish with four or so diagonal slices. This not only allows the marinade to get into the flesh but also helps it to cook evenly.
3.  Smear two tablespoons of the marinade on either side of the fish ensuring you get it into the grooves. Put remaining marinade to the side.
4.  Stick the coriander roots you don’t need from the salad into the belly cavity of the fish. Add a slice of lemon and lime, or orange. Place fish into a BBQ cage  if you have one. If you don’t, place the fish between two wire cake cooling racks to keep the fish off the direct heat of the BBQ. You can get away with one rack, but if you have two it’s easier to flip it over to cook the other side using oven mitts or tea towels to protect your hands.
5.  Heat the BBQ well before putting the fish on. Cook the fish for 8-10 minutes each side until cooked through and falling off the bone.
6.  To make the salad, toss the mango, spring onions, coriander and cabbage together. 
7.  Take your remaining fish marinade and add the juice and oils. Stir well before tossing over the salad. Garnish with toasted coconut.
8.  Garnish fish with lemon and lime, and serve together with either rice or smashed roasted potatoes…it is Christmas after all. 
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