If you’re looking for something healthy and tasty to cook this week – how about some succulent salmon fillets, with a spicy kick, served with a super-healthy green bean and tomato salad that will be on the table in less than 20 minutes…? Then you’re in the right place as there’s a recipe for that right here.
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No thanks to me!
I can’t really cook. I mean, I don’t starve, I can produce food to consume that doesn’t taste bad, I can even whip up a mean risotto if I’m in the mood, but that’s not up to food blogger standards where I’m supposed to come up with a relatively original recipe idea – and, then make it in a form that looks good enough to photograph.
And that’s not quite as easy as you might think.
Plus I’m greedy and like my food at volcano temperature, so even if I do produce something that looks worthy of presenting to Gordon Ramsey, I never take enough good pictures of it as I want to scarf it down before it gets cold!
Still, I’d like to start running a few more healthy recipes on this blog – particularly ones that can go from fridge to table faster than it takes to order a takeaway – and so, the other day I asked for some help from some other bloggers.
My first volunteer was the lovely Joanna from the Oko Logic blog who came up with a delicious, simple – but oh so healthy – recipe for salmon fillets served with a green bean and tomato salad that you can make in 20 minutes (max).
Who is Joanna?
Joanna is based in Los Angeles and is a college professor, chef, baker and keen gardener.
Five years ago she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and that started her on a journey of wellness using all her research skills to work out how best to improve her health to support her recovery. Now, she runs her own blog helping others improve their lifestyles too.
Sounds like the perfect person to take advice from right? So, for the rest of this post, I’m going to hand you over to Joanna to tell you all about her recipe, why it’s healthy – and, of course, how to make it…
Why This Recipe?
‘I chose a fish recipe as since I started to eat Mediterranean style to ward off a cancer reoccurrence, I try to eat fish at least twice a week.
Wild-caught salmon is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12).
I get my fish delivered from Alaska from a fishermen co-op. It is super fresh, frozen solid right on the boat, and delivered to my door only a few days later. The fish is sushi-grade, it tastes amazing, and it is packed with awesome nutrients and pure deliciousness.
Most importantly, wild Alaskan salmon has a ton of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to our health (hence essential fatty acids).
I prepare my salmon in various ways: barely seared, grilled, roasted, poached in wine, steamed in paper, or baked.
Here, the fillets are marinated for 10 minutes in homemade pineapple jalapeno jam (you can also buy this if making it isn’t for you – see below) and then poached in white wine.
Green beans are one of the other main ingredients in this dish. I’m relying on my urban garden to supply me fresh veggies throughout the summer and I grow a variety of bush and pole beans.
These tender, easy-to-grow, green veggies are not only a crunchy, yummy, and low-calorie food staple. They also provide some crucial nutrients such as vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin K, and silicon.
My preferred way to eat them is to steam them until al dente, then sprinkle them with olive oil, fresh thyme, sliced garlic, and a generous amount of pink Himalayan salt.
A diet rich in vegetables may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Tomatoes are super veggies in my view. They are low in sodium and an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of vitamin K, lycopene, and potassium. I find them to be the best when eaten raw, especially straight from the bush outside my kitchen window.
Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet plan which I follow. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, along with red wine and berries, contains polyphenols, which have been shown to suppress inflammation, angiogenesis, and tumour growth.
You can use any type in this recipe, but I particularly recommend Koroneiki Olive Oil.
These are all the ingredients. It takes only a few minutes to prepare and then a few more to cook.
The dish could be served over wild rice or a bed of creamy polenta. I find it best with a small glass of a buttery Chardonnay.
How to Make It
The recipe serves four, but it’s very easy to decrease the quantities if you’re just cooking for one or two.
For the Salmon
4 wild-caught salmon fillets
½ cup (175g) of pineapple jalapeno jelly (pepper jelly or maple syrup can be used a substitute)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup (125ml) of dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad
1 lb (450g) of green beans
½ lb (225g) of cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Spread a thin layer of jelly and sprinkle some salt and pepper over the fillets. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile boil a pot of water and salt it when it starts boiling.
3. Wash and trim green beans while the water is boiling.
4. Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes.
5. Slice the garlic very thinly.
6. Cook the beans in the boiling water until al dente (around 5 minutes).
7. Heat a cast-iron skillet with a little bit of olive oil in it. When hot, add the salmon fillets and cook for three minutes. Add white wine and cook covered for another five minutes or so (depending on how you like your fish).
8. Meanwhile assemble the salad from drained beans, tomatoes, and garlic slices. Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
Serve the salmon hot on top of the salad – and it’s done.’
What’s Pineapple Jalapeno Jelly?
Right, time for me (Helen) to take control again now – how yummy does that look – and sound. Although, I do admit when I first read it I thought – what the heck is pineapple jalapeno jelly?
You see, I’m British and the word jelly conjures up sweet wobbly desserts you have with ice cream – thankfully, I’ve spent enough time in the US to realise that probably wasn’t what Joanna was talking about – and google tells me I’m right
Instead, Pineapple Jalapeno jelly is more like what the UK and Australia would call jam, or, probably a better way to think of it in this usage is a chutney – so kind of sweet, kind of spicy, sticky spread.
And then I saw the word homemade and thought – ah, that’s a bit tricky to rattle off in a speedy fashion, but then I discovered you can buy it ready-made.
If you’re in the US, you can buy Pineapple Jalapeno jelly in Walmart, or, order it to be delivered from amazon.
If you’re in the UK, Cherry Tree Preserves sell a Chilli and Pineapple Chutney that fits the bill (click here to check it out).
Or there’s a Baxters one on Sainsbury’s online (and I would guess in store too) that would work well. It has a few more ingredients including some coconut but it still sounds delicious.
If you have neither of those things though, as Joanna says pepper jelly or maple syrup works too. I’d also try it with mango chutney or even sweet chilli sauce at a push.
So there you have it, a delicious, healthy recipe ready in about 20 minutes. Hope you like it – let me know if you try it.
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.