By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber
On everyone’s list of nutrient-dense superfoods, wild salmon is packed with high quality protein, beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals and vitamins including B6, B12, D, iron, phosphorous and selenium.
Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids provide protective benefits through their ability to regulate and lower inflammation in the body. Increasing the dietary intake of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, can decrease the incidence of many chronic diseases that involve inflammatory processes, such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. Salmon consumption supports heart health by keeping the blood from clotting excessively, and relaxing and dilating the arteries. When eaten two to three times per week, salmon offers protection from heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, high blood pressure and high triglycerides.
With its impressive nutritional profile, wild salmon gets bonus points for its delicate flavor, versatility, and easy preparation. For a super-quick meal, I simply spread a thin layer of mustard and sliced lemon on top of a salmon filet and bake at 375° for about 15 minutes, depending upon the filet’s thickness. If I’m planning ahead, I might instead marinate my salmon filet in a mixture of sesame oil and wheat-free tamari sauce in the fridge for a couple hours and then sauté it in a skillet with broccoli florets or snowpeas and fresh, grated ginger. For the ultimate superfood duo that looks beautifully colorful on the plate, I make this roasted salmon with pan-fried blueberry sauce:
Roasted Salmon with Blueberries (Serves 4)
- 1½ to 2 pounds filet of wild salmon, such as Sockeye Salmon
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pint of fresh blueberries (you can use approx. 2 cups of frozen blueberries instead)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Lightly oil a baking sheet or oven-safe dish with one tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Lay the salmon on the baking sheet or dish and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Roast the salmon for 6 – 8 minutes, until tender and flaky.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small pan and sauté the garlic lightly, for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Squeeze the juice of half of the lemon into the pan and add the blueberries.
- Smash the blueberries with a fork or potato masher and stir gently.
- After 3 – 4 minutes, add the finely chopped rosemary and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
- Continue to let the sauce simmer until salmon is ready. (Sauce can be made ahead and reserved.)
- Serve the salmon topped with blueberry sauce, with the remainder of the lemon sliced into wedges, on the side.