Oven Baked Salmon with Mint Salsa

Oven Baked Salmon with  Mint Salsa

At it’s base, this is a simple method for cooking up salmon. The things that make this recipe really shine though is it’s super-quick prep, minimal clean-up, balanced nutrients, and functional foods. If you’re sold, scroll right down to the recipe below but if you’re curious about the “why” behind some of these ingredients, here’s the breakdown:

Wild-caught salmon: There’s a lot of nuance when it comes to choosing fish1 . Some of the biggest concerns are contaminants such as heavy metals, PCB’s and dioxins, and sustainability. Both are affected by where and when the fish was caught, the type of fish, and whether or not it was farm-raised (and what the fish were fed) or wild-caught. So, it would be inaccurate to simply say that wild-caught fish is always the better option (though it usually is)2 . My absolute favorite fish is Arctic Char, which is an example of a farm-raised fish that is typically produced using sustainable methods and is low in contaminants -and Arctic Char is an excellent sub for salmon; it’s similar but a little lighter in flavor than most salmon varieties.

Potatoes: Potatoes are a delicious, real-food carbohydrate option that are brimming with potassium, a nutrient that most Americans (and almost all of my clients) are not getting enough of. And, they roast up beautifully!

Lemon Zest: cirtus zest is a potent source of citrus bioflavanoids, which are compounds that aid in proper liver detoxification. Our liver is a WORKHORSE! And it relies heavily on nutrients from the diet. You can read more about the wonders of citrus zest in the blog post I wrote awhile back here, including easy ways to store it and use it in all sorts of ways.

Fresh Herbs: I highly encourage all of my clients to grow at least a small pot of fresh herbs. Not only do you have loads of budget-friendly flavor right at your fingertips but you also add a big dose of antioxidants to your meal when you choose fresh herbs. Plus, most are pretty forgiving if you haven’t had a good track record with gardening or houseplants! Growing your own will save you a lot of money and also ensure that you always have some fresh flavor when the recipe calls for it. Many herbs also store well when frozen in ice cube trays either in water or olive oil.

Arugula: spinach and romaine are great and all but arugula is a “bitter” green and bitter foods/flavors “talk” to our digestive system and help stimulate digestive juices that aid in digestion and keeping a good microbial balance in your gut. In more traditional diets, you see bitter foods, tonics and beverages included daily, if not at every meal. These days many of us avoid bitter flavors almost completely leaving us at a digestive disadvantage! Note: you don’t have to actually “taste” the bitterness to get the benefits of bitter foods. Our GI tract has bitter receptors throughout that will pickup on that bitter compounds so combine these foods with sweeter, lighter flavors if they’re too much for you or your family.

Oven Baked Salmon with  Mint Salsa

Prep time: 5 min / Cook Time: 45 min/  Total time: 50 minutes

Tips: swap out any of the veggies for what you have on hand/what’s in season. Generally speaking, sturdier veggies cut to similar sizes will do well when roasted. This recipe will also work well with most types of fish and even chicken!

2 cups Potatoes – washed, cubed

1 Bell Pepper-  sliced thickly

2 cups Zucchini or Summer Squash – sliced

2 Cups Cherry tomatoes – whole

½ cup Black or Green Olives (in brine or olive oil)

2 lemons, quartered

Additional 1 Lemon –  juice and zest

1 bunch Fresh Mint

1 bunch Fresh Flat leaf parsley

1 clove garlic

½  cup extra virgin olive oil

2 x 4oz  Wild Alaskan Salmon fillets  (for hungrier mouths, 6-8 oz fillets)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

4 cups Fresh Arugula

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 360F (180C).
  2. Arrange potatoes, bell pepper, squash, cherry tomatoes, olives  and ¾ of the lemon quarters on a large baking tray. Drizzle with 1 TB olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for ~45-50 minutes or until golden.
  3. Add the juice and zest from additional lemon, parsley, mint, garlic clove, ½ cup olive oil salt and pepper to a blender. Blitz until combined. Transfer to a glass jar and seal with lid.
  4. When the veggies have ~25 min to cook, brush the salmon fillets with olive oil, squeeze over remaining lemon quarters, season with salt and pepper and place on a small baking tray lined with parchment paper or alternatively, on top of the vegetables. Cook until salmon flakes away easily with a fork.
  5. Serve 1 x fillet over 2 cups of Arugula and half of the baked vegetables. Drizzle over 1-2 TB of the lemon mint salsa and store the remaining in a jar in the fridge for up to a week!

Serves 2.

 

References:

  1. Oken, Emily et al. “Which Fish Should I Eat? Perspectives Influencing Fish Consumption Choices.” Environmental Health Perspectives 120.6 (2012): 790–798. PMC. Web. 22 July 2018.
  2. Foran, Jeffery A. et al. “Risk-Based Consumption Advice for Farmed Atlantic and Wild Pacific Salmon Contaminated with Dioxins and Dioxin-like Compounds.” Environmental Health Perspectives 113.5 (2005): 552–556. PMC. Web. 22 July 2018.
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