Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Cooking with Salmon

November 17, 2009
Posted by Lucy

Hey All

Hope you enjoyed the new snappy newsletter last week and I hope the leeks went down well. I started thinking about the mackerel dish and just how beneficial oily fish are for you, the research is overwhelming, so this week I thought I'd cover another one of our favourite oily fish...

StarHealthy Eating with Salmon

The fascinating thing about salmon is that they are born in fresh water, travel to saltwater oceans to live and return to the very place they were born to spawn- now if they are clever enough to do this they they must be good for healthy eating and our brains!

Salmon are a great source of both EPA and DHA, which are the Omega 3 fatty acids that have been shown again and again to have an anti inflammatory effect on the body, they are great for feeding the brain, and boosting your heart health, Salmon are also a great source of protein (especially tryptophan which is the amino acid involved in feeling good!), selenium (great anti cancer) and Vitamins B3 and B12.

If you can find it (and its almost impossible) wild pacific salmon is delicious and much richer in Omega 3 that their Salmonfarmed counterparts. However, you are more likely to find organic farmed salmon in the shops, the Scottish and West of Ireland have great reputations. There are a number of concerns with ordinary farmed salmon (they have low levels of protein. Omega  3s and higher in saturated fats) so try to avoid. You can also buy canned wild salmon so check the label and try to buy soaked in spring water.

When buying, try to buy from a display rather than pre packaged and buy salmon that smells more of seawater than fish. A good way to tell if it’s fresh is to press it with you finger, the flesh should spring back, not leave your fingerprint in it. When you get home, use straight away or take the salmon out of the plastic wrapping and place in an airtight plastic bag and keep for one more day - that's it!

When cooking salmon, baking (wrapping it in baking paper with anything from lemon juice to garlic and herb mix) and grilling are best but it rarely takes more than 10 minutes to cook.

Recipes

Salmon en papillotte

En papillottes are a great idea for healthy eating. You can just put everything into the little paper parcel and stick it all in the oven at the one time. All the flavours fuse together and the fish comes out so moist and tasty. You can always put a bed of sliced cooked potatoes as a base, but I find cooked rice or buckwheat noodles really nice. This would be lovely with my Asian steam broccoli.

2 medium salmon fillets
1 mild red chili
1/2 inch grated ginger
4 spring onions
Zest of 1 lime and juice of half
2 tbsp tamari (or other soy sauce)1 tbsp chopped coriander
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 200oc
Cut out baking paper, big enough to envelope the fish, and place on baking tray. Place salmon fillets down in the centre.
Mix the chili, ginger, spring onions and lime zest together with the tamari and a dash of water. If you are going to use noodles, place a handful of cooked noodles on the baking paper and then add fillets on top. Spoon over the mixture on top of the fillets and fold up parcel.
Pop into oven for around 10 mins and check if cooked by pressing flesh and it should flake easily.
Place on plate and pour over the lime juice and coriander

Grilled salmon with Mexican salsa

Adding beans to a salsa is a great way of boosting the fibre, carbohydrate and protein content the salad - the perfect healthy eating dish. This uses similar ingredients to the dish before but the result is quite different.

2 medium salmon fillets
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 avocado
Juice of 1 limes
4 ripe tomatos
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp chopped coriander
1 can of red kidney beans (400g)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat grill to hot
Mix a little oil and ground coriander and season with salt and pepper. Brush onto salmon fillets
Mix the chilli, garlic, finely chopped avocados, lime juice, finely chopped tomatores, red onion, fresh coriander and red kidney beans in a bowl and mix.
Place on salmon under hot grill for 5 minutes each side. They are done when you press the flesh and it comes away easily.
Place salsa on plate and  top with grilled salmon. Serve a lovely fresh green salad on the side.

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