Brain Food


Its been a crazy month and I’m apprehensively waiting for my bubble to burst and to come to terms with the fact that I’m no longer a student.  It hasn’t happened yet but I did only finish my exams last week and still have to get my results and graduate. Now I’m on the job hunt and not spending 10 hours a day in the library, I’ve a bit more free time to cook myself proper dinners and spend my evenings blogging about them.

However, this little recipe is an exam diet favourite of mine that I cooked a few weeks ago but thought it was so yummy that people needed to know about it. When I’m studying I pay careful attention to what I’m eating, so I was eating a lot of green vegetables, salads, eggs and oily fish. Although you can get a fillet of salmon fairly cheap these days, most of the budget salmon is pretty fatty looking and unappetizing. To buy a decent cut of fish can take a chunk out of the weekly food budget and because I’m not a massive fan of mackerel I’ve resorted to tinned sardines. At roughly 47p a tin, there’s really no excuse not to have fish in your diet. 

You can make a lot of dishes with a simple tin of sardines but this pasta dish is easily made in bulk and delicious hot or cold. 

(In other exciting news, I FINALLY started getting my prescriptions  after being diagnosed nearly a year ago, so the pasta used in this recipe is a prescription short cut ‘tagliatelle’) 

To make this simple dish you will need:

1 red chilli, remove the seeds and chop finely

2 cloves of garlic, grated

6 cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes will do)

handful of chopped parsley

juice of half a lemon

2 tins of sardines in tomato sauce

2 tbsp of red pesto

2 handfuls of frozen peas

your desired amount of gluten free pasta (I would recommend Fusilli for this as the sauce would coat it thoroughly)  

Heat a pot of water and add your pasta once it begins to boil. Once your pasta is in (it should take around 15 minutes to cook, some gluten free pasta differs though so check before you cook), cook your chilli and garlic in a pan with a tbsp of olive oil. Once the garlic and chilli are cooked, add the tomatoes and cook them until they reduce. Add the sardines, peas, pesto and the lemon and stir well as you want the lemon to bring out the flavour of the sardines, rather than be the most dominant. 

You’ll only need to cook this for about 2 minutes, just until the sardines are heating. Once your pasta is cooked, drain and put back in the pot. Add the sardine mixture to your pasta, sprinkle in the parsley and mix. At this point you can decide if you want to add more lemon juice or pesto but with the measurements provided, you should have enough to coat pasta to serve four people.

I had this warm the first night I cooked it, with a touch of parmesan sprinkled over (even though some say its a food faux pas to add parmesan to fish dishes) . I took it to uni with me the next day and it was lovely cold as well. Its such a healthy dish and perfect for getting the right nutrients you need when studying. 


P.S, You can now find me on Instagram so you can get yummy pictures of recipes (and my failed attempts) before I’ve blogged.

Don’t forget to like my Facebook page too.



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