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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Lighter Menus for a Healthier You!

Lighter Menus for a Healthier You!

It’s January and you really had a great holiday. There was plenty of food, sweets, and holiday “beverages.” But now you have to pay the piper … You made a New Year’s resolution to get into shape, but you don’t want to deprive yourself too much, or you won’t stick with it.

Just because certain foods are good for you doesn’t mean they have to taste bad. Don’t we always say anything that is really good is probably not good for you? Fried chicken may be out, but grilling a marinated tender piece of chicken can be absolutely delicious, and it’s good for you. Fish is another excellent choice. Salmon, tuna, tilapia, snapper, grouper, halibut … If it’s cooked just right, with the right seasonings, and just a dab of butter, it’s really tasty and nutritious!

Grilling is a very healthy way to cook, even in the dead of winter. You can make salmon, grilled chicken, and more year-round. Salmon is a highly nutritious food that is high in protein and the “good fats.” But did you know that a 4 oz. serving of wild salmon provides a full day’s requirement of vitamin D? Not many foods can make that claim. Salmon also contains over half of the necessary B12, niacin, and selenium, and is an excellent source of B6 and magnesium.

People who eat fish also have better protection from many different conditions. Some of this is due to the omega-3 fats, but there are other benefits apart from this. Omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is turning out to be at the base of many health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancers and arthritis. Omega-3 fats can also help prevent the blood clots that can cause strokes.

Here are a couple of my favorite salmon recipes, along with some side dish ideas to complete your meal.

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa

Ingredients:
1 lb. salmon fillet
Chef Paul Prudhomme Blackened Redfish Magic (found in the seasoning section of your grocery store) or any seasoning of your choice
Fresh Cilantro, handful minced
1/4 cup onions, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 mango, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
Orange Juice
Fresh Lemon

Directions:
Cut salmon filet into two pieces. Pour the olive oil into a glass measuring cup. Add the garlic and place in microwave. Cook for 25 seconds twice (not 50 seconds once – it needs a break). Brush the salmon with the garlic olive oil mixture. Sprinkle a nice helping of the Blackened Redfish Magic over each filet.

Prepare the salsa — in a medium sized bowl add, then mix together: chopped mango (small squares), chopped onion (very tiny squares), chopped cilantro. Pour in enough orange juice to cover the mango mixture. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon into mixture

You can cook the salmon one of two ways:

Grilling — place salmon on oiled grill grates on flesh seasoned side for just 2 minutes to sear, and then place on ungreased aluminum foil on the other side of the grill to complete cooking process. This should take about 10 minutes or so. You should periodically check the fish by touching it with your spatula to test for firmness. If firm, remove foil with fish from the grill and place the spatula between the fish and its skin to remove the fish from its skin leaving the skin stuck to the aluminum.

Baking — place salmon on a piece of ungreased aluminum foil in a baking pan in a pre-heated 400° F oven. Cook for 15 minutes, and then turn on the broiler for just 2 minutes. Follow the same process as above to remove the salmon from its skin.
After you plate the fish, either you can spoon some of the mango over the fish prior to serving, or allow people to help themselves.

Balsamic Glazed Blackened Salmon

Ingredients:
1 lb. salmon fillet
Chef Paul Prudhomme Blackened Redfish Magic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
Balsamic Glaze

Directions:
Cut salmon filet into two pieces. Pour the olive oil into a glass measuring cup. Add the garlic and place in microwave. Cook for 25 seconds twice (not 50 seconds once – it needs a break). Brush the salmon with the garlic olive oil mixture. Sprinkle a nice helping of the Blackened Redfish Magic over each filet.

Cook salmon as in the recipe above. When done, prior removing the fish from the grill or oven, add a small dab of butter to each fillet. The butter just adds a bit of richness to the flavor of the spicy fish and sweet balsamic glaze. After you plate the fish, drizzle the balsamic glaze over the fish in a haphazard fashion.

Side Dish Ideas:
If you are making the Mango Salmon, some wild rice, quinoa, or tiny pasta with garlic and olive oil make a nice starchy side dish. For a vegetable, steamed broccoli or broccolini sautéed in garlic and a little butter or green beans almandine round out the dish perfectly!

If you are making the Balsamic Glazed Blackened Salmon, try mashing up steamed cauliflower, just like you would do with mashed potatoes. Steamed julienne cut carrots finished with a dab of butter and a dash of granulated brown sugar and/or sautéed broccoli and garlic add great flavor to an already flavorful dinner!

5 comments

1 Jaime McLeod { 01.26.12 at 8:29 am }

Ali, Actually salmon has fewer parts per million of mercury than most other varieties of fish, 0.02 ppm for salmon versus .39 for tuna.

2 Ali { 01.25.12 at 10:56 pm }

Those recipes sound awesome. Although, I, for one, skip the consumption of large fish due to the mercury content and instead I take caplets of krill oil daily to get my omega-3 fats. If you are going to eat salmon, I recommend the wild instead of farmed.

3 Jaime McLeod { 01.25.12 at 12:42 pm }

Gayle,
The photo is a stock photo. It’s not of the actual dish. The recipes should be used as written. We do not provide nutrition information, as we do not employ any nutritionists or food scientists. There are some online calculators out there for this if you’re concerned about watching carbs, etc.

4 Gayle MacBride { 01.25.12 at 10:52 am }

Sounds good-both recipes. Do you know what the carbo load is on these recipes– also fiber, protein and sugar counts? The photo of the Salmon with Mango show little round green things in the sause. Are they capers? This ingredient is not mentioned in the recipe and would definitely influence the flavors.

5 Maybelle { 01.25.12 at 9:48 am }

I’m not a fan of any kind of ‘fish’.. but with the mango salsa this salmon recipe sounds tolerable.lol I’ll try it.

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