Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor

I normally don’t like poaching proteins, I find it makes them taste a bit water-logged and bland. So I was pleasantly surprised by this poached salmon recipe I found on Tasteofhome.com.

Mt poached salmon with onions.

The recipe is called Chilled Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce and, as the name says, it’s designed to be served chilled, perfect if you want to make it ahead and serve it the next day. The recipe also calls for light sour cream in the sauce, the only kind I use to cut down on my fat consumption.

The ingredients list is long, but its for the salmon and the sauce:

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine or chicken broth
4 green onions, sliced
10 whole peppercorns
4 salmon fillets (5 ounces each)

Dill sauce:
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped peeled cucumber
4-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill or 1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit the salt)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Continue reading “Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor”

A quick and easy grilled salmon recipe

My grilled salmon with lemon, dill, olive oil and garlic.

We recently had friends over, a rarity during the pandemic but we were all vaccinated, for a Saturday football game at Northwestern and a meal at our house after.

Because they had to leave relatively early, I searched for recipes I could make a day ahead and serve cold. This grilled salmon from wellplated.com was one of the entrees I made and it went over well, so I’d recommend it to you too.

You basically start with slices of lemon and fresh dill on the bottom of a large piece of aluminum foil. Next, baste your salmon with olive oil (the recipe calls for butter, but I substituted the healthier fat in olive oil).

Then top the fish with more lemon, dill and garlic, wrap it all up and grill it for about 14-18 minutes in a 400-degree gas grill (or oven if you’re cooking inside). That’s for a pound and a half or so of salmon.

It is quick, easy and tastes great served cold the next day,

I cooked mine on a cedar plank to add a bit more flavor too. If you try that, be sure to soak the plank in water first or you’ll have burnt wood salmon.

Grilled tuna steak, with a little extra — mango salsa and pineapple

Tuna steak is a great lean alternative to beef steaks. I regularly grill them in the summer months. Here’s a basic recipe for grilling tuna from the Food Network. Leave out the salt, of course.

And here’s how I recently went beyond the basic recipe to add even more flavor to our tuna steaks. I added some low-salt mango salsa I bought at Trader Joe’s. You can see on the TJ nutrition information page the salsa has only 35 mgs of sodium per serving, much less than most pre-made salsas. It also has no fat and only 3 grams of sugar per two tablespoons, enough to coat the tuna.

My mango, pineapple tuna on the grill, and the finished product.

To go even more tropical, I added slices of fresh pineapple. Pineapple sales has been plentiful this summer in the Chicago area. A whole pineapple is going for 88 cents, so I’m using it in more recipes than ever before.

With food prices rising because of the “Pandemic, look for every deal you can find and adjust your no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar recipes accordingly.

A Jamaican take on tilapia — Jamaican-Style Lime-Poached Fish

Tilapia has become a fish you can easily buy in most supermarkets these days, I’ve included several rcipes for it already on my recipe page, such as Greek Roasted Tilapia and Tilapia with Chilis. But I’m always looking for more recipes, so was intrigued by this one for Jamaican-style lime-poached fish. The recipe suggests several types of white fish work in it, including tilapia.

Here are the ingredients, I’d leave out the salt, there’s plenty of flavor here without it.

Ingredients:
½ bunch fresh Italian parsley
4 cloves garlic
2 small, fresh jalapeños
2 cups no-salt-added vegetable stock (or broth), divided
¼ cup lime juice (plus additional for serving, optional)
1 cup diced yellow onion
½ teaspoon pepper, divided
3 oz sliced green onions, divided
2 (6 oz) white fish fillets (such as haddock, snapper or tilapia, about 12 oz.)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

The instructions:

  • Chop parsley (1/2 cup) and garlic finely. Dice 1 jalapeño and slice remaining jalapeño thinly, removing seeds and membranes, if desired.
  • Combine 1 cup stock, lime juice, yellow onions, garlic, diced jalapeños, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and one-half each green onions and parsley. Place fish in shallow dish (wash hands) and pour mixture over fish. Marinate 30 minutes.
  • Remove fish from marinade (wash hands). Pour marinade and remaining 1 cup stock into large sauté pan and bring to a boil on high, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Carefully nestle fish into mixture; cover and simmer (do not boil) 8-10 minutes until fish is opaque and flakes easily. Remove fish and sprinkle with salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with jalapeño slices and remaining half green onions and parsley.
  • Serve fish with poaching liquid, accompanied by rice and additional lime juice, if desired. Always check fish for bones and cook to an internal temperature of 145°F.

If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach — leave out the salt and enjoy

Shrimp recipes are a favorite of mine but I have to keep in mind that shrimp are high in salt, 111mgs per 100 grams of shrimp, or about a fifth of a pound. Few people will sit down and eat a pound of shrimp, but half a pound isn’t all that much and it has about 244 mgs of salt.

One-pot garlicky shrimp

So with that in mind, you don’t need to add salt to a shrimp recipe. Take this one, called One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach. It’s ingredients are fairly straight-forward:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 medium cloves garlic, sliced, divided
1 pound spinach
¼ teaspoon salt plus 1/8 teaspoon, divided
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pound shrimp (21-30 count), peeled and deveined
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

You can easily leave out the salt and still have a very tasty dish. For the entire recipe, click here.

The nutrition info for this, with the salt added is:

Serving Size: 1 Cup Per Serving: 226 calories; protein 26.4g; carbohydrates 6.1g; dietary fiber 2.7g; sugars 0.7g; fat 11.6g; saturated fat 1.7g; cholesterol 182.6mg; vitamin a iu 10760.1IU; vitamin c 37mg; folate 222.5mcg; calcium 195.8mg; iron 3.8mg; magnesium 131.4mg; potassium 962.8mg; sodium 444mg. Exchanges:
3 Lean Protein, 2 Fat, 1 Vegetable

You can never have too many salmon recipes, so here’s 26 more

Your salmon feast awaits.
I love making salmon in a variety of ways.

Trying to stay on a heart-healthy diet means giving up almost all of the foods I once enjoyed.

Salmon, thankfully, is not one of those, however. Current nutritional thinking is that salmon has “healthy” fats and so is fine to eat for everyone, regardless of health concerns. In our house, salmon really has come to replace beef several nights a week.

So I have a lot of salmon recipes on my recipe page. But you can never have enough.

So I was happy to read this piece on EatingWell.com 26 High-Protein Salmon Dinners for Weeknights. Some of these don’t appeal to me because they’re highly spiced, but others, like one-skillet salmon with fennel and sun-dried tomato couscous, sound intriguing.

A nice feature about these recipes is they include nutritional information so you can see if they’re truly healthy, i.e. low in salt, fat and sugar, or just claiming to be. Remember, never assume a recipe is healthy just because whoever posts it says so.

A supermarket recipe that might actually be healthy

Supermarkets often supply recipes to encourage people to shop for the items they’ll need to make a given dish. These days, they will call a recipe “healthy” even if it’s still loaded with salt, fat and sugar. But one I received recently from my local Jewel store (owned by Albertson’s) actually might be healthy and tasty as well

Your salmon feast awaits.
I love making salmon in a variety of ways.

It’s called one pan salmon. The ingredients list and my modifications and comments:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
20 cherry tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth [I’d use the lowest sodium broth you can find here to cut salt]
1 lemon (sliced)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt [cut this, not really needed with all the other flavors here]
12 ounces linguine [go for whole wheat to address sugar concerns you may have]
4 (4 oz) Waterfront BISTRO® Salmon Fillets [note the branding here, as I said, they want you to buy this but any salmon will do]

Here’s more on preparation:

Cooking Instructions

Step 1

Preheat a 12-inch sauté pan to medium high heat. Add olive oil and onion, sautéing until onion is translucent.

Step 2

Add tomatoes, stirring occasionally, giving tomatoes time to get slightly charred and then burst.

Step 3

Add garlic and cook one minute.

Step 4

Pour in wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up the brown bits. Add broth, lemon & seasonings.

Step 5

Add pasta and bring to a boil.

Step 6

Place salmon filets in and cover pan.

Step 7

Cook 7-9 minutes, until pasta is al dente, and salmon is pink. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and basil.

If you try this, let me know how it turns out.

Pandemic recipe idea: Garlic Panko Flounder

I’m a big believer in buying what’s on sale each week and creating meals around those items. Recently, frozen flounder fillets were on sale at my local store, so I bought some and went recipe hunting.

The recipe I found to make them, Garlic Parmesan Flounder, was delicious and didn’t use fatty butter as did so many of the other flounder recipes I came across after a quick search. The cheese does have salt, so go light on it.

My garlic, parmesan flounder

Making it was fairly simple too. Let’s start with:

INGREDIENTS
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
4 fillets flounder
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. bread crumbs (I use panko crumbs, they’re lower in salt)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (I used bottled lemon juice to taste)

Then the steops:

Preheat oven to 425°.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil on a large baking sheet. Season flounder with salt and pepper.

Combine Parmesan, bread crumbs, garlic, and lemon zest. Season with pepper.

Dredge fish in bread crumb mixture, pressing to coat. (I first coated the fillets with egg whites to hold the crumbs on)


Place fish on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with remaining two tablespoons oil and lemon juice.

Bake until golden and fish flakes easily with a fork, 20 minutes.

We had them with a side of steamed green beans for a wonderfully tasty fall meal.

A pandemic recipe suggestion — steamed shrimp and watermelon salad

Shrimp is always a nice change-of-pace to build a meal around. I’m always looking for new recipes that include shrimp, such as one with fennel and cucumbers I wrote about. So I was attracted to this recipe I found on CookingLight.com for steamed shrimp and watermelon salad.

A wonderfully simple shrimp, fennel and cucumber salad
A wonderfully simple shrimp, fennel and cucumber salad

It sounds pretty basic to make, if you don’t want to devein shrimp, buy them already cooked, I find that a handy time saver. Doing that eliminates the first step of this recipe, which is cooking the shrimp. Continue reading “A pandemic recipe suggestion — steamed shrimp and watermelon salad”

If you love lemons, this recipe, with changes, is for you — grilled lemonade chicken

I was made a lemon-infused tilapia that tasted so lemony, my wife could not eat it. What can I say, I love lemons.

My grandparents all came from a section of Italy that runs from Naples south to Salerno. It’s a region where they grow lemons as big as your head — and they make limoncello, an alcoholic beverage that has become the region’s major export.

Start by lining a sheet of aluminum foil with lemon slices
I often grill fish on a bed of leons.

So anytime I see a recipe with lemons, I’m interested. That’s why Grilled Lemonade Chicken from the Food Network got my attention.

With a few changes, this can be a heart-healthy recipe as well:

The recipes uses chicken thighs. Those are the fattest part of a chicken. They taste good plain, so it’s no great cooking challenge to make them taste good. Substitute chicken breasts.

The instructions talk about skin, that’s also a fat-carrier. I normally cook all chicken skinless.

The recipe also says use Minute Maid lemonade. That’s high sugar, I only buy MinuteMaid’s reduced-sugar varieties. Availability seems to vary by market, so check where you normally shop. Continue reading “If you love lemons, this recipe, with changes, is for you — grilled lemonade chicken”

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