Monday, August 03, 2009

Baked Atlantic Salmon with Roasted Onions and Cherry Tomatoes on Wilted Spinach

One Serving Provides Over 2 g of DHA and EPA
On Friday I posted an article on the best fish and vegetarian sources of the omega 3 fatty acids, ALA, DHA and EPA. Since salmon was an excellent source of EPA and DHA, the omega fatty acids most beneficial to your health, I thought I'd start the week by sharing a healthy and delicious salmon recipe.

Besides being rich in omega 3, this dish is high in protein. Salmon also provides a significant amount of niacin, vitamins B6 and B12 and selenium. Being very low in mercury, salmon can be enjoyed often. The spinach in this recipe is also a nutrient powerhouse being a very good source of vitamins A, C, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, B6 and folate as well as the important minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.

This recipe is best when thick slices of salmon are selected. Wild Atlantic salmon was used in calculating the recipe's nutritional information. You can use farmed Atlantic salmon (it actually contains more DHA and EPA) but be sure the fish are farmed responsibly: not given antibiotics, growth hormones or artificial coloring, not genetically modified, not fed animal bi-products or grown in crowded pens. As I wrote on Friday, Whole Foods has very high standards for their farmed fish. Wild King salmon is also a nice thick and juicy fish to use in this recipe but it's been difficult to find lately. Coho is typically pretty thin and drier than the other types of salmon so I don't recommend using it for this dish.


Baked Atlantic Salmon with Roasted Onions and Cherry Tomatoes on Wilted Spinach [serves 2]
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 packed teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt plus a pinch for the spinach
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons lemon zest
12 ounces Atlantic salmon cut into two thick fillets
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
10 ounces fresh spinach
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place onion, tomatoes, olive oil, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, garlic and lemon zest in a shallow roasting pan and mix thoroughly. Rub the salmon fillets in the mixture until coated with oil and seasoning, remove from the pan and set aside (the vegetables will initially roast without the salmon). Spread out the onion mixture in the pan and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the salmon fillets on top of the roasted vegetables. Put 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice over the fillets. Place the pan back in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes or until the salmon flakes. While the salmon is cooking, place the spinach, water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a covered pan and steam for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Drain well and divide the spinach onto two plates. Cover the spinach with the roasted onions and cherry tomatoes and top each plate with a baked salmon fillet. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 384 calories, 15.5 g fat, 3.0 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 40 g protein, 21.6 g carbohydrates, 6.3 g fiber, 3.5 g omega 3, 2.4 g DHA and EPA, and 0.8 g omega 6.

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