Simple Salmon Dinner

You hear it all the time that you should eat more salmon, it’s low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids.  But even though it is so nutritious, I find many of my clients are nervous to cook fish.  I’m here to tell you not to be.  It’s so simple and really easy to make a delicious restaurant quality meal in your house, and I promise it doesn’t smell!

Salmon Dinner

A three part meal is a great way to ensure a balanced meal and it usually very simple to make.  Two of my favorite side dishes are roasted asparagus & roasted sweet potato fries.  Both are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

First for the Salmon:

  • When you buy your fish, you can ask the person behind the counter to cut you 4-6 ounces pieces, and they will even skin them for you if you would like.  This way you have very little work to do.
  • If you have access to wild salmon, and  can afford the higher price tag then go for it.  The farmed salmon does contain chemicals called PCBs but studies have shown that the benefits far outweigh the risks.  This is why it’s so important to have a varied diet.
  • For my salmon, I made a simple marinade of honey, low sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and a dash each of powdered ginger, garlic & wasabi.  I placed the salmon fillets in a pyrex dish added the salmon and let them sit for approximately 30 minutes (you don’t need to marinate them, but it will increase the flavor).  You can also buy a premade terriyaki mixture, just watch out for sodium & sugar content.
  • Set the oven to 400 degrees, and let cook for ~20 minutes, depending on how well done you like it.  If you like it rare cook for 15 minutes, if you like it more well done you may want to try 25-30 minutes.  What I recommend is taking a knife after about 15 minutes to check the inside and see how it looks.  Cooking is all about experimentation!

For the Asparagus

  • Wash the asparagus spears and chop off the bottom 1-2 inches
  • Place on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and cooking spray
  • Add 1-2 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste (you can add some dry thyme too)
  • Place in 400 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes

For the Sweet Potatoes

  • Wash sweet potatoes well, cut into french fry shape.
  • Place on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and cooking spray
  • Add 1-2 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste (you can also get creative with other herb/spice combinations: I love the addition of rosemary or you can use cinnamon, chili & cayenne pepper for a very interesting taste combination)
  • Place in 400 degree oven for approxitately 15-20 minutes, flip sweet potatoes and cook another 15-20 minutes until crispy.  Oven temperatures do vary, so it’s worth checking on these to prevent burning!

This meal is so quick, because you can place everything in a 400 degree oven at the same time!  Just remember which one takes the longest and you may want to start that first so everything is done at approximately the same time.

Viola – you have a delicious, heart-healthy, and simple dinner.

Nutrition Tidbit:  Choosing Fresh Fish

  • When buying fish, go to a place you trust and is known for fresh fish.  In NYC I typically buy my fish from Whole Foods and Citarella.  I’ve also heard good things about the fish from Fresh Direct.  It’s even better if you have small fish monger in your neighborhood.
  • Here’s a picture of the counter at Whole Foods where I bought my salmon.Whole Foods
  • You can tell how clean everything looks, and how shiny the fish are – these are good signs.
  • Fish should never have an overwhelming “fishy” smell – if it does do not buy there!  It’s typically a sign that the fish is old
  • If you’re buying fillets the flesh should be intact (not separating), firm, and shiny (otherwise it is likely old)
  • The fillets should have have any discoloration (think brown spots) or dryness along the edges.
  • If you’re buying whole fish, look for the eyes – they should be clear and a bit bulging.  Cloudy eyes are a sign that they have been dead for a bit longer than you would like
  • Also for whole fish, look at the gills, they should be bright red.

Did I convince you to try cooking fish at home?

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7 Responses

  1. LOVE wild caught salmon…it’s seriously my absolute favorite dish ever. 😀

  2. This looks good – I guess it must be the smell, but I know so many people who are freaked out by fish . . . aside from the fact that you need to buy it day-of-preparation (usually), I consider it a super easy and healthy dinner option. Costco has some great frozen Trident salmon burgers (made with wild salmon) that have great nutritionals and cook up in 10 min. – great for me b/c the rest of my crew only likes haddock & cod – I have my salmon for lunch. Cheers!

  3. YES! Thanks for the how-tos, too! Sounds like a quick and easy meal.

  4. fabulous meal! and great tips, i am always leary of buying fish… but i need to give it a go more often 🙂

  5. Now I know what I’m cooking tonight! Thanks! 🙂

  6. salmon is my favorite fish! Just got back from camping and a B&B, and ordered salmon at dinner that was to die for! I’ve also tried it on a cedar plank which gives it a great smoky flavor. And I love your sides! sweet potato fries are addicting. Have a great weekend!
    -kristen

  7. […] a school event and a meeting Tuesday: Crispy Turkey Cutlets with Green Bean Salad Wednesday: Simple Salmon Dinner with Sweet Potato Fries and asparagus from Nutrition by Eve Thursday: Ham and Cheese Turnovers […]

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