It can be frustrating trying to lose weight before summer, but it can easily be done with one delicious dinner recipe

James Martin has shared that despite being a world-famous chef, he was the worst for snacking so had to learn how to cut out takeaway, fizzy drinks and his favourite Mar Bars to lose weight. 

However, after Strictly Come Dancing James revealed that he replaced junk food with making homecooked meals and that one of the best dinners to eat while dieting is oily fish twice a week.

He said: “To say that good food is elitist is just tosh. Good food is simply cooked food – it’s not rocket science.

“What could be simpler than pan-frying a little bit of salmon and serving it with some great new potatoes and seasonal veg?”

According to James, oily fish is great for the heart and he began eating it as one of his main weekday dinners after learning of a history of heart disease in his family.

James said: “One of the sad things is that heart disease is actually preventable, and yet nearly 2.5 million people have it and 120,000 of us die of it every year.”

On his website, James has shared how to make pan-fried salmon with garlic pesto, potatoes and asparagus to have a healthy meal that tastes utterly delicious and fills you up while trying to lose weight.

How to make pan-fried salmon 

Ingredients (serves four) 

  • Four 150g portions of salmon
  • 300g of Jersey Royal potatoes
  • Six spring onions
  • 16 spears of asparagus
  • Four medium Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 50g of unsalted butter
  • 50g of pine nuts
  • 40g of garlic
  • 25g of parmesan cheese
  • Mint leaves
  • Rapeseed oil


Preheat the oven to 150C and toast the pine nuts until golden, then set aside to cool.

Place the Jersey Royal potatoes in a pot of salted water and boil until tender. Then remove from the heat, add mint leaves to the water and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, but reserve some of the starchy water, then crush the potatoes with a fork. Add butter and just enough cooking water to make rich mashed potatoes, then finely chop the spring onions and add them to the mixture.

Trim the asparagus and cook in salted water until tender, and then add the Romaine lettuce leaves for the last 20 seconds of cooking time, then drain the water.

Blend together garlic, parmesan and rapeseed oil in a food processor to make the pesto, then season with salt and pepper.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper and fry gently in butter until just beginning to colour. Turn the fillet over and cook gently for a further minute or two, then take off the heat and allow to rest for two minutes.

Spoon the mashed potatoes onto the centre of a plate and flatter out lightly, then top with the asparagus and then the salmon. Add the pesto to the fish cooking juices and stir to make a sauce, then spoon over the salmon.

Add the pinenuts to the dish and your tasty but healthy dinner is now ready to serve.

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