Now that I have eaten #AllTheThings this past month leading up to Christmas, I’m planning a lighter menu for New Year’s Eve. A whole side of salmon is a showy (and amazingly simple) celebratory meal that will make waves with your family and friends ringing in 2017. Wow your crowd with my recipe for Slow-Baked Raspberry Dill Salmon, it’s just as delicious as it is dazzling. Slow is the way to go!
Cast your net beyond nachos, tacos and enchiladas, my Pepita-crusted Salmon with Skillet Squash is a yummy Mexican cuisine inspired meal that is guaranteed to reel in compliments. Even though salmon isn’t found anywhere near the mild oceans and seas of Mexico, this seafood-loving culture enjoys fish from around the world – just like we do here in North America. So, it’s salmon for dinner tonight!
This fish and veggie recipe will be a regular in your weeknight dinner routine, it’s as easy as uno, dos, tres! First, spread with your favorite ranch or creamy dressing (I use Cotija Cilantro Ultra Premium Dressing) atop a salmon filet. Second, top salmon with crushed tortilla chips and roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and then bake for 12 minutes. While fish is cooking in the oven, a quick skillet of squash comes together in minutes for a speedy yet stunning side dish generically called “calabacitas” — I used Mexican-style zucchini but you can easily substitute with your favorite summer squash such as sunburst or crookneck.
This recipe would also work well with a variety of meatier fish types, just swap for your favorite variety. I get my fish from Sizzlefish.com, they only source the best fish and I love how it’s shipped straight to my door, flash-frozen in perfectly portioned, 4-ounce servings. It terms of protein intake for a healthy lifestyle, 4-ounces of most fish and meat proteins gives you 25g (more or less) of protein – which is the optimal amount for your body to process at any one time. So, no guesswork with how much to eat with here, just open the freezer and grab individually-packaged serving from Sizzlefish. I also love the different “collections” of fish I can order (Paleo Prime Plus my favorite with Coho Salmon, Sokeye Salmon, Wild Gulf Shrimp, Atlantic Scallops, Sable Fish, Cod and Haddock).
Through the end of May, take 10% off your order at SizzleFish.com with the discount code FITFORK10 at checkout.
What is your favorite type of fish? What did you do this weekend? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
So, I ran the Spartan Beast Dallas this past Saturday. It was muddy – really, really muddy thanks to record Texas flooding. This is only the second obstacle course I’ve raced and the first as an elite — I knew to expect the unexpected, but damn – it was a crazy from just trying to get into the parking lot . . . . . . . and then trying to get out, let alone the course.
The race was delayed while they rerouted the trail due to raging rivers. I got hungry. Then I got muddy – really, really muddy. I was hoping to dominate the running, but the ankle-deep mud made lifting each footstep up out of the muck difficult for me . . .and everyone. On this course, I think my favorite obstacles were the barbed wire crawl (the mud made for good slithering) and the monkey bars (because swinging around like a chimpanzee is just plain fun).
The bucket carry and sand bag carry were both hard obstacles given the incline of the hills and the slippery footing. I made a ton of mistakes but am excited to run another and see improvements in my strategy – and I’m happy to report that I came in as the 14th Elite and 2nd Master Elite at the Spartan Beast Dallas . . . and I’m not too badly banged up. The worst of it was a thigh rope burn and a goose egg on my head where I slid right into a tree limb!
So, enough about running and hurdling over stuff – onto the food! This easy dinner recipe for Crunchy Baked Ancho Honey Salmon is deliciously flavorful and surprisingly satiating even served atop a salad thanks to protein and heart-healthy fats. I love southwestern and spicy-sweet flavors and this fish recipe was inspired by a savory-sweet Ancho Honey Granola I made a few months ago – I originally served the granola on top of an heirloom tomato salad, but the leftovers are perfect for making a crunch topping. If you want to make the whole batch of granola (keep it in the freezer for long-lasting yumminess and recipe inspiration), check out the recipe post – otherwise, I have pared down the ingredients for just enough to make a topping for 4 salmon fillets.
So, how do you make your salmon? Saute, bake, special seasonings or sauces? And, have you ever run an obstacle course race — love it or leave it? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer
You can’t beat salmon for a quick weeknight dinner — I probably eat it once a week and have fixed it up so many ways. I still can’t stop thinking about that time I skewered up salmon filets, completely wrapped them in bacon and threw on the grill! That’s when I was experimenting with fat-loading for a marathon. That’s a whole ‘nutha story.
I’m not bringing bacon back today, but I am sharing a recipe for Orange Jalapeno Salmon that keeps the flavor kicked up with a punch of pepper. Many similar recipes do an orange marmalade in the sauce, but I’ve opted that out to avoid added sugar. This recipe is sure to become a favorite on fish day – plus it can be finished in 30 minutes, freeing you up to spend your late afternoons in more leisurely pursuits. Of course, “leisurely” is a relative descriptor, because the hour I spent trying to straighten my legs out practicing the yoga “firefly pose” was, errr, a little more challenging that leisurely.
If you’re looking for other ways to eat this heart-healthy fish, check out the 100 Ways to Cook with Salmon from CookingLight.com — you’ll never get bored with salmon again!
What is your favorite fish? Do you have a secret salmon recipe? If you had and extra hour of free time, what would you do? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer
This post is sponsored by Sizzlefish, I received products to review. However, all opinions, editorial comments and recipes are my own.
Sizzlefish recently sent me an impressive assortment of fish and seafood to incorporate into my November menus — sable fish, salmon, trout, scallops and more. Honestly, I couldn’t decide which fish to fry first (speaking metaphorically, of course), so I pulled the Coho salmon out of the pre-portioned, individually-packaged pile. That’s one thing I appreciated right off the bat, the fact that each serving is single-serve (less waste) and measured out to be exactly 4 ounces (no guesswork). As a connoisseur of all proteins, I know that a 4 ounce serving of beef, chicken or fish protein gives me around 25 grams of protein which is the optimal amount for my body to take on at any one feeding.
For quite some time now, I have made a conscious effort to increase the amount of protein I’m eating and pair that with as much fresh seasonal produces as I care for. However, I haven’t eliminated all grain and starchy carbs from my diet, because after experimenting around with Paleo and such, I really feel like I need some quality carb fuel to keep me where I want to be as an athlete. That being said, the powers of protein have done great things for me including speeding up my recovery time, leaning me out and boosting my brain power (okay, jury still out on that one)! Everyone knows I love beef, that’s no secret – but when it comes to getting enough quality Omega-3 fats, even a Texas rancher would say – go eat some fish! My husband and I eat at least two servings of Omega-3 rich fish per week and you should too! I think you’ll love this fall-seasoned recipe I created this weekend – Coho Salmon with Cranberry and Jalapeno Compote.
Coho Salmon with Cranberry and Jalapeno Compote Recipe (serves 2)
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- ¾ cup fresh cranberries
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy)
- 2 tablespoons Jalapeno jelly
- 2 4-ounce portions of Coho Salmon (might I suggest Sizzlefish?)
- ½ lime, juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon pepita (pumpkin) seeds, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- On stovetop, add orange juice, cranberries, jalapenos, and jalapeno jelly to small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer, stirring frequently, for approximately 5 -7 minutes until cranberries have popped and cooked down.
- Meanwhile, place thawed salmon, skin side down, on rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, scoop a generous serving of the cranberry compote atop salmon. Sprinkle with pepita seeds, if desired.
Note – skin may be removed from salmon after cooking, but at least try to eat the darker flesh next to the skin because where A LOT of the good-for-you fats are found.
Try Sizzlefish for yourself — use discount code TRISIZ for $10 off order!
What is your favorite type of fish?
Oh, F word. And by “F word” I mean fat. Seventy two hours into my quest to eat 180 grams of healthy fat a day for 10 days is proving harder than I imagined. I’m doing this as a fat-loading phase of a marathon nutrition plan. I’ve had avocado, almonds and eggs. I put real cream in my tea. I was thinking whole plain Greek yogurt would be yummy, but am finding it actually hard to find at the grocery store. Everything is marketed as fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat or I-can’t-believe-its-not-fat! I did find one large carton of yogurt that had nearly half its calories made from creamy goodness, but the expiration date was looming. Conspiracy!
I was planning a fabulous beef dinner crisped up in rendered fat, but keep forgetting to pull the roast out of the freezer. That will happen this weekend, but I still needed dinner inspiration for tonight. With salmon and bacon on hand, it didn’t take long to realize that these two high-fat proteins would pair up like fine wine and Cheetos (really, try it). With salmon rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids and the bacon sputtering with a hefty dose of (one might argue) less-healthy saturated fats, it only took a mere bamboo skewer to bring together these two opposing forces of dietary fat. You can call the fat combo “naughty and nice” or you can call it “yin and yang,” but why not just make this recipe for Bacon-wrapped Salmon Kebabs with Sriracha-Orange Glaze and call it a damn good thang?!
Bacon-wrapped Salmon Kebabs with Sriracha-Orange Glaze Recipe
- 8 ounces wild-caught sockeye salmon, skin off
- 6 slices of hardwood smoked bacon
- Zest from one orange
- Juice from one orange
- ¼ cup tamari
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- ¼ cup orange marmalade (all-fruit, no added sugar)
- 6 6-inch bamboo skewers
2) Heat grill pan to medium-high heat. Pan grill kebabs for approximately 4 minutes on each side (including sides), for a total of approximately 16 minutes or until bacon is crisped and salmon cooked through.
3) While kebabs are grilling, prepare glaze by adding juice, tamari, Sriracha and marmalade into a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for approximately 1 minute, stirring once, or until heated through.
4) Remove kebabs from heat and brush with glaze. Sprinkle with orange zest. Use any remaining glaze on the greens, noodles, rice or whatever you are serving*
I served these Bacon-wrapped Salmon Kebabs with a version of my Kicked-up Orange Cashew Kale. Heck yeah, the cashews add a little extra crunch and healthy fat. Instead of kale, I used a 10-ounce bag of mixed greens (turnip, collard and mustard). By the time it cooks down, that big bag (which isn’t all yet in the pan above) serves just the two of us. Convenient because I still can’t get my kids to eat cooked greens; pretty sure I wouldn’t as a teenager either.
I love living life on the “wedge.” I’m crazy like that. Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits. Actually, it’s a vegetable related to cucumbers and squash, but don’t tell that to my kids. Everyone in the family agrees that there’s not much that tastes better in the heat of the summer than a big slice of juicy watermelon – the five of us have no problem polishing off a whole melon in one day! A simple and healthy dessert for picnics and pool parties, watermelon can be enjoyed right off the rind or dressed with a little spicy surprise – check out my recipe for Watermelon with Spicy Salsa that was once featured in Better Homes & Gardens.
Last night I decided to add a little sophisticated spin to watermelon and put it on the dinner plate as something other than just a sweet side. My experimenting has been named Spicy Sesame Salmon on Seared Watermelon and it is super delish, especially topped with my favorite fish – salmon. Hey, that’s two superfoods in the same recipe for maximized nutrition! I served it on a bed of organic red quinoa and broccoli, but you can tweak that to suit your tastes.
Spicy Sesame Salmon on Seared Watermelon Recipe
For Watermelon & Fish:
- 1 cross section watermelon (1″ thick)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 wild caught salmon filets, skinned
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Cut watermelon into 2 planks approximately 1” thick, 6” long and 3” wide. Add olive oil to skillet and bring heat to medium high. Add watermelon and sear for approximately 2 minutes on each side, or until watermelon flesh is beginning to caramelize. Remove from skillet, season with sea salt and set aside until fish is ready.
Keep heat on and add fish to skillet used for watermelon; leave residual juices and oil in there. Saute for approximately 5 -6 minutes per side until cooked through and fish is lightly browned on the outside, firm and flaky.
In a small bowl, whisk together chile sauce, Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, oil and sesame seeds. Pour over fish during last 2 minutes of cooking to glaze salmon and warm up.
To serve, place fish atop seared watermelon plank and spoon extra spicy sesame sauce from pan over the top.*
More reasons to love watermelon:
Low Calorie: Watermelon is basically free of fat, cholesterol and sodium and has only 80 calories in a 2 cup serving. Plus, with a high water content, along with some fiber, this melon gives you a feeling a fullness that will help curb unhealthy snacking.
Nutrient Rich: An abundance of vitamins and minerals are found in watermelon including Vitamin A (25% DRV), Vitamin B6 (6% DRV), Vitamin C (30% DRV), Thiamine (6% DRV), Magnesium (6% DRV), and Potassium (8% DRV).
Lycopene Leader: Watermelon actually trumps tomatoes when it comes to lycopene, offering up to 20 milligrams in a two-cup serving. Not only does this amazing antioxidant give watermelon its pink-red pigment, it’s an efficient oxygen scavenger that helps to repair cell damage caused from daily living.
Heart Health: Eating six cups of watermelon (not that hard, trust me) increases free arginine which maintains cardiovascular function. Plus, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as opposed to a diet filled with bad fats and processed foods has been shown to contribute to longer living.
Hydration: Watermelon is a tasty way to replenish body fluids, plus it is naturally infused with electrolytes. Because watermelon flesh is comprised of 92% water, eating 1 cup of diced watermelon is the equivalent of drinking 7.36 ounces of water. Get super hydrated with my recipe for Watermelon Blueberry Nuun Agua Fresca!
Facts come from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.