Sunday, February 20, 2011

Healthy Eating - Sunday Salmon Menu

Delicious!!! This evening I made the best salmon ever. This dinner came together in about 45 minutes total. That would be after julienne'ing several bunches of organic carrots from Willy Street so the kids have healthy snacks this week as well. I had mentioned a while ago my plan is to come up with healthy eating menus and that I would share the recipes. Here is our first complete meal. Thumbs up from the family!
The original recipes were found at, but I tweaked them with some healthier choice substitutions. I used agave nectar rather than maple syrup.
To prepare dinner I began with the carrots, prepping them and placing in pan with water to tenderize. I then worked on the quinoa, and the salmon was last since it cooks quickly.

Maple Glazed Salmon (4 servings)1/4 cup pure organic maple syrup or Agave Nectar (agave has lower glycemic index, preferred for diabetics)

  • 1/4 cup PURE organic maple syrup or Agave Nectar (agave has lower glycemic index, preferred for diabetics)
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari sauce (like soy, without the MSG, found in Asian food aisle)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 salmon
Marinate salmon for 20-30 minutes at most in covered dish, or tin foil, turning once if skin is removed. Set a two tablespoons aside. Broil until salmon flakes. Drizzle with set aside glaze before serving.
Suggested Sides: Quinoa, Maple Glazed Carrots

Quinoa Side Dish (4 servings)
  • 1 tablespoon organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (often found in bulk food sections of grocery stores)
  • 2 cups organic chicken or broth
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley*
  •  1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme*
In a saucepan add olive oil and heat, add quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and toast, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil - do not cover. Add minced garlic and salt. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Add chopped green onion and dried cranberries, simmer for 8 minutes more or until quinoa is tender. Toss in fresh, chopped herbs before serving.
*Substitute dried herbs out of season if preferred, and add when salt is added. (When reheating leftovers, use a covered dish and add a tablespoon of organic chicken broth/stock to keep quinoa rice from becoming dry.)

Maple Glazed Carrots (4 servings)
  • 8-10 medium carrots, peeled and julienne
  • 1 fresh orange, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons organic pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel (grate peel from juiced orange)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
In a large saucepan, cover bottom with ½” water and bring carrots to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until just tender.
Juice orange - for best results use orange at room temperature. Roll back and forth on countertop before cutting in half. Filter out seeds. Set aside.
Shortly before serving, dissolve corn starch in cool orange juice in small bowl with whisk. Pour into small saucepan, on medium heat. Continue to whisk until thickened. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain carrots; transfer to a serving bowl. Pour glaze over carrots; gently stir to coat. Serve.
Note: if you add cornstarch to boiling orange juice glaze may be lumpy. Best to dissolve corn starch in cool/cold liquid. Learned that from America's Test Kitchen!

Finishing Tip: Eight minutes or so before serving, place salmon on broiler pan, skin side down. Place in broiler. Turn carrots and quinoa dish to low heat. Make glaze for carrots. Adjust time as needed depending upon thickness of salmon.

Everyone in our family agreed it was the best salmon ever. I bought Sockeye Salmon, which is a leaner fish with more potent flavor. I happen to love strong salmon flavor. Another choice at Willy St. was salmon fished off the coast of Scotland, which was $16.99/lb. as opposed to $13.99 for the sockeye. I asked for four servings. Apparently the gentleman has a big appetite, because we are all having leftover salmon for dinner tomorrow - no complaints here!
Abby preferred plain cooked carrots vs. glazed (which I suspected and had set some aside for her). Kyle has never been fond of green things in his food. Had I used plain yellow/white onion in the quinoa he would have been fine with it, but basically he refused the rice because of "green stuff".
This is a heart healthy meal. Salmon provides essential Omega-3s, and quinoa has more protein in it than any other grain, or so I read at AllRecipes.

The meal was quite filling and no one asked for bread or dessert.
To your health!
Rita S. 

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