The first nine months of 2015 was maybe the most difficult, emotional and yet rewarding time of my life. My Dad had been diagnosed with terminal acute myeloid leukaemia and I moved in to help take care of him, not really believing that the worst would happen. There was a lot of medical stuff to deal with but we also laughed a lot, put together family-tree photo albums and spent a guilty amount of time watching daytime TV. Judge Rinder was a yes, property makeover programs an absolute no (much to my distress).As the illness and chemo took hold, Dad lost weight, his appetite and his energy levels. I earned myself the nickname ‘Naggy Daughter’ for continuously trying get him to eat and hiding extra calories in his meals – or ‘pimping them up’ as he would call it. His one go-to meal, when nothing else worked, was mackerel and rice. Sounded horrible to me, but I made it and he swore it was delicious. Apparently the strong flavour of the mackerel ticked his tastebuds and woke them up. Not wanting to disappoint his expectations, I even managed to pimp that up with horseradish mayo mixed into the mackerel and olive oil stirred through the rice! And then I tasted it, and you know what, he was right! I prefer it with smoked mackerel fillet from the supermarket but he was equally happy with a tin.Dad died on the 1st August that year and I will forever be grateful that I was able to have the luxury of spending that time with him and giving something back. In his memory, I founded Eat Life, a nutritional brand offering high-calorie, high-protein foods and drinks in convenient, small portions with the aim of helping anyone out there who is facing the same struggle to take on enough calories and nutrients. And I always think of him when I eat mackerel.
100g smoked mackerel fillet – that’s a bit less than half a pack in the main supermarkets and use the plain ones not peppered as the pepper gets stuck in teeth or can be a bit sore for a sensitive mouthor a tin of mackerel fillets, preferably in oil (approx 300 kcals).
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise(approx 95 kcals)
1 flat teaspoon of horseradish sauce(approx 15cals)
Half a pack of microwaveable white rice (125g) (approx 200 kcals)
1 tablespoon of olive oil(approx 120kcals)(or can use total of approx 730 cals)
1) In a bowl mix the mayonnaise and horseradish together
2) Chop or mash up the mackerel and stir into the horseradish mayonnaise, mix and season to taste.
3) Heat the rice in the microwave then stir the olive oil through it until throughly mixed
4) Serve the mackerel mix on the rice and let the tastebuds be tickled.
5) If you want it to look pretty, you can pop a cherry tomato on the top but you’ll be fighting a bit of a losing battle…….