Here we go.
Time to soak up some holiday healing vibes with a healthy slow roasted salmon recipe!
I promised that we’d be working this month on balance – that is we’ll certainly be enjoying our fair share of sweets, but I’ll be making a point to also share healthy, detoxifying recipes to help us stay on track during this indulgent time of year.
Because let’s be honest, it’s so much easier (and more fun) to eat three cookies than a giant kale salad. But a boatload of cookies without a few greens sprinkled in from time to time, never helped anyone achieve the health they wanted.
So yes, this month is about balance. It’s about not giving up the foods you love, it’s about making room for the foods that will make you feel good from the inside out.
And we’re starting with this roasted garlic salmon and quinoa salad recipe. Hello delicious!
Salmon is such a great choice this time of year because it’s nutrient dense and contains many vitamins and minerals that we are hard to get from other types of food.
Sure, it’s a source of lean protein, but salmon’s main claim to fame is that it’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids (also called essential fatty acids) which our bodies need but that we can only get from our diet. And lucky for us salmon lovers, it tends to be a fattier fish meaning that it has a higher amount of those good-for-you fatty acids than something like flounder or another white fish.
Now I bet you’re thinking that after you read this recipe you’ll just zip over to the store and pick up some salmon, right? That’s awesome, but I do want to share a few things for you to keep in mind when you’re picking out your salmon.
As you can imagine, salmon is a widely popular and accessible fish, and like many foods before it, as it has gained in popularity and become more of a staple in our diets, food producers have tried to find ways to make it more cost effective. So rather than the fish we’re eating being caught in the wild (their natural habitat) nearly 70% of our supply is farm raised.
Why should we care if our salmon is raised on a farm vs. in the ocean? There are quite a few, so many that I won’t list them all, but here are two of the major impacts of consuming farm-raised salmon:
Like conventional produce farms, many salmon farms use strong chemicals to treat the fish. Especially harmful are the antibiotics and pesticides used to keep the salmon “healthy”. Yet what many people don’t realize is that those chemicals are making their way into the surrounding waters, killing other marine organisms who exist as part of this ecosystem. PLUS, think about where those chemicals are going once the fish has been treated. Directly into their flesh and in turn into your body. Ick.
Where does the poop go?
This may sound gross, but one of the side effects of keeping thousands of fish in a small area is dealing with their waste. The waste from these farms – including salmon poop, excess food and even dead fish – is often flushed into the surrounding waters, instantly contaminating them and reeking havoc on the natural environment.
So what are our options? We can either look for wild-caught salmon (which tends to be upwards of $15.00/lb) or we can skip salmon all together and opt for a more sustainable fish. Sounds like a lose-lose to me, especially as someone who LOVES salmon and lives in one of the most expensive cities in the world (hello penny pinching living in NYC).
But…and you knew there’d be a but…luckily for us, there is a solution.
Verlasso is a premium farmed salmon that is raised in harmony with the environment. The company’s practices are sustainable, non-toxic to the surrounding environment, and raised without those icky chemicals.
The salmon is farmed completely on site and they carefully ensure that none of their salmon is in direct contact with local water sources. Waste products are kept out of the water supply and the natural habitat is preserved.
Verlasso also emphasizes their harvesting process which is done as humanely as possible and reduce the trauma for the fish, ensuring each fish has led a completely happy life.
Happy fish = happy life.
I was so excited when I got the opportunity to work with Verlasso. I knew this was the answer to my salmon dilemma, plus I’m passionate about sustainability and appreciate companies who care about the environment. And I of course, was dying to taste their fish.
It arrived in the mail and had it that night for dinner. And the dinner after that. And probably the dinner after that too. We tried it every which way and I have to tell you honestly, it was some of the most delicious salmon I had ever tasted. We still have four servings left in our freezer that I don’t want to eat because I’m savoring every last bit.
From all the recipes we tested, this one was by far the winner. It was so simple in preparation, but explosive with flavor. It was bright, vibrant and just perfect for this gloomy and cold time of year.
Rather than whipping up something elaborate, I figured this time of year the less time we’re spending in the kitchen, the happier we are. So this recipe couldn’t be easier – and it’s pretty adaptable so just use what you have on hand.
To infuse the salmon with as much flavor as possible, I created a simple rub from lots of fresh herbs, olive oil and roasted garlic. I mashed them all together, covered the fish with it and then let the the whole thing sit in the fridge to marinate for a few hours.
From there, I slow roasted it for about an hour. The result was spectacular. Verlasso Salmon certainly did not disappoint. The fish was tender, flakey and incredibly flavorful. We gobbled it up in seconds (literally).
While the fish was just lovely on its own, I also wanted to serve an easy salad with it. Rather than going my traditional, and somewhat boring, route and making a simple green salad, I went for something more interesting (but just as easy to make).
A shredded brussel sprout quinoa salad made with toasted walnuts and a maple-lemon vinaigrette. I was kind of shocked at how well all the flavors married together. The herbaceous rub on the salmon was complemented by the slightly sweet and nutty flavor of the quinoa salad. I was in pure heaven with every single bite.
And now the most exciting part of all!
Verlasso Salmon is giving one lucky reader a $50 gift certificate to the store closest to them that carries Verlasso!! That’s a whole bunch of salmon, so maybe it’s also a good time to bring some friends together and share a healthy, nutritious meal!
I can’t think of a better reason, or time of year, to be surrounded by the people you love and sharing good food.
p.s. I have a bonus for you at the end of the recipe, keep scrolling to see how I repurposed my salmon leftovers!
Herb & Roasted Garlic Salmon with Brussel Sprout Quinoa Salad
for the salmon:
- 3 lbs Verlasso Salmon
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh sage finely chopped
- 1 head of garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
for the quinoa salad:
- 4 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 lb brussel sprouts
- 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Chop top off of garlic, place on a piece of tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap tinfoil around garlic and roast for 15 - 20 minutes, until garlic is soft and fragrant. Remove from oven and turn off heat.
- When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze flesh into a small ramekin. Add herbs and olive oil and mix to form a thick paste.
- Place salmon on a large, greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then top with herb mixture. Marinate salmon in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours (up to overnight if 100% fresh).
- When ready to roast, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slow roast salmon for 45 - 60 minutes until flesh is cooked and flakes easily with a fork. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- While salmon is roasting, prepare the salad by shredding the brussel sprouts (either with a box grater or a food processor grater). Gently steam them in a non-stick pan with a little water, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add quinoa and remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
- Serve salmon over 1 - 2 cups of the quinoa salad.
Yep, I did it.
Since it's only me and Matt at home, we had quite a bit of leftovers of this roasted garlic salmon, so I turned them into quinoa salmon burgers! They're awesome, delicious and crazy easy to make. Just a few extra ingredients (almond flour & an egg to be exact), sear and serve.
It's a great way to repurpose leftovers and make the perfect lunch.
Here's what to do:
Add leftover salmon (I had about a cup) plus some quinoa salad (about 2 cups for us) into a large bowl with 1 eggs and about 1/3 cup almond flour. Your proportions may be different, so start with 1/4 cup of almond flour and add until they mixture comes together and forms a dough.
Shape the dough into patties and chill for 30 minutes.
Heat some oil over medium heat and cook burgers until browned on each side, about 2 – 3 minutes per side. Cool on a wire rack until no patties remain. Enjoy as is or with a little humus on top.