A Little About The Recipe: Whole30 Salted Sea Bream with Grape Salad and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
For those who lack enthusiasm in the kitchen, read here first! You are about to see a long list of ingredients for Whole30 Salted Sea Bream with Grape Salad and Apple Cider Vinaigrette that fit the ultra-long name and think, “Urgh! This is just far too much effort for me.” Let me tell you straight off to try to keep you here – it really isn’t!
There are a few veggies to chop, you need to put a couple of fish in the oven, and that’s it. Prepare the fish and put them in the oven; while they cook, start the salad and ready the vinaigrette. By the time the fish are cooked just 30 minutes later, you’re all ready. This is minimal effort and time, but boy, does it impress! Friends, loved ones, and family members, the adult ones anyway, because the kids aren’t fooled when you tell them it’s like fish fingers and fruit. “It looks at me!” and “There’s green in it!” they say, utterly convinced you are attempting to poison them with those healthy, natural ingredients.
This recipe has been ready for posting for some time now, but I posted a sea bream recipe only last week, and so this one has been ‘on hold’ until a suitable amount of time has passed. Now that that time is done let’s talk about sea bream.
The sea bream is a fearsome-looking fish with a row of spikes running down its back and an impressive artillery of sharp teeth inside its mouth. Cook it up, however, and it has a very delicate-looking white flesh inside. This flesh is, arguably, the tastiest in the water world.
As one of the most abundant and cheapest fish farmed from Maltese waters, sea bream is ideal for me to experiment with. In all honesty, it’s hard to go wrong with this particular fish; even the most failed recipe experiment tastes good.
Sea bream appear in Maltese shops, either wild-caught or farmed. Just off-shore, there are a good number of fish farms all around the island. These farms are hotly contested. Many Maltese claim they pollute the waters of the Mediterranean. That licenses to keep them go to ‘friends of friends’, and no one is ever held accountable for the pollution, nor is it corrected.
Early in 2019, there was the ‘biblical flying fish’ incident when a big storm swept across Malta and its surrounding waters. Fish from one of the farms in the Southern part of the island were swept out of the nets. These poor fish were then thrown through the air by the storm’s force and deposited on land. Despite warnings, many residents went on fish collecting expeditions. Fish became the dish of the day in many a household for some time afterwards. In case you are wondering, that is not where I got mine!
Luckily for me, here in the EU, all labels must declare where the fish was sourced. This makes the paleo lifestyle preference for wild-caught fish a lot easier to accomplish – at least in this particular area. Grass-fed beef, I might point out, is almost an impossibility! One of the reasons for a paleo-ish section on this site is because, very soon upon embarking on the paleo diet, I found that not everything can be as we wish in the quest for ultimate health. Sometimes, we just have to do the best we can.
If you want to have plain salted sea bream, just follow that part of the recipe and omit the salad and vinaigrette. However, I recommend you try the whole recipe as is at least once. It really is a delicious salad, and all the ingredients are easy to acquire and easy to prep.
I Recommend This For: Whole30 Salted Sea Bream with Grape Salad and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
With the inclusion of grapes in this recipe, the total carb count and net carb count go beyond the reach of keto or Atkins’ dieters. It’s possible those in the maintenance phase with a high daily carb allowance, could include it. But, I hesitate to recommend it in the case of those that don’t.
Made as is, this is a full meal, good for lunch or dinner, for anyone eating paleo. This only leaves me to make recommendations for the rest of the day, for which I would focus on protein and fat to balance everything out. My very short recommendations are the paleo version of Paleo Keto Comforting Shepherd’s Pie or Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup with some Keto Skillet Flatbread.
And Here It Is: Whole30 Salted Sea Bream with Grape Salad and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Whole30 Salted sea bream with grape salad and apple cider vinaigrette.
Cooking the Sea bream
- 2 450g sea breams (2 average sized sea breams)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the Salad
- 200 g lettuce, iceberg or romaine (about 4 cups, chopped)
- 100 g cucumber (about 1 cup, chopped)
- 150 g tomato (about 2 medium roma tomatoes)
- 150 g green grapes, I used seedless but it's not necessary (1 1/2 cups)
- 40 g shallots (2 small)
- 80 g celery (2 medium size sticks)
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinaigrette
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Roasting the Sea Bream
- Preheat a fan-assisted oven to 200 deg C or 400 deg C.
- Mix the ingredients to cook the sea bream: salt, black pepper, garlic powder and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Lay both sea bream out on a roasting tray, place baking paper underneath if you think the fish might stick to the tray. Use a pastry brush to cover both fish on both sides with the seasoned oil. Make sure all the skin of both fish are covered.
- Put the baking tray in the centre of the oven for 30 mins.
- Check the fish is cooked before removing from the oven. (A meat thermometer should read 63 deg C or 145 deg F.)
For the Grape Salad
- Dice the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, grapes, shallots and celery into similar size pieces and mix together.
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- In a small bowl mix the vinaigrette ingredients: olive oil, apple cider vinaigrette, salt, black pepper, garlic powder.
- On two plates equally divide the salad.
- Place one sea bream on top of each plate.
- Pour equal amounts of the vinaigrette over each sea bream, cover the edible flesh from head to tail.
A Little About Us: Alex, Carl, Isla, and Taran
Last week we started in on our second lockdown and the first week of online lessons; it wasn’t going well. I wish I could say it was all going fabulously now, but, in all honesty, it’s pretty much the same.
Taran’s lessons are non-existent. I try to log him in at least at the beginning of the day. He fights it and tries to duck out of the way, and, at the earliest opportunity, he runs off altogether. He is only three years old, and so his online lessons are not compulsory. After a week of struggles, I have concluded that I will show him all his friends and then stop there. I hope this one small social act at the beginning of the day will help him keep his friendliness and sociability. I saw Isla lose hers in the last lockdown and have been extremely upset about it. Being so introverted myself, I was always glad to see her interact so freely with others. However, months of an enforced lockdown last year resulted in a devastating change. Now, she is shy around anyone she doesn’t know well. She struggles to even play in the same area if any other kids are about. Despite continuous efforts from me, this alteration in my eldest daughter remains.
Currently, the educational focus is on keeping Isla at her online lessons. At the ripe old age of five, her attendance is a must. We still have multiple daily episodes of tears and very little interest in any kind of online interaction with either her teacher or her peers. Afterwards, we often go to the local playground to blow the cobwebs away – and, hopefully, tire the two of them out.