Posted on | January 9, 2008 | 40 Comments |
One of our New Year resolutions is to start eating a little healthier. We have been pigging out the entire holiday season; too many dinner parties, restaurant visits, vacations etc caused both of us to gain a few extra inches around the waist. No regrets, because we sure had a lot of fun doing all those, and that is what the holiday season is all about, isn’t it?
Anyway, now that life is back on track, we’ve decided to be a little more careful about what we eat, and try to get back into those old jeans. Some of the decisions we have made are to reduce the frequency of eating out, incorporate a lot of greens into our diet, avoid deep fried stuff and cut the rice intake way down. As part of this plan, we have been eating a lot of quick fix meals on weekdays, with baked/roasted fish or chicken with a fresh greens salad or sauteed vegetables on the side. I have been experimenting with a lot of different marinades and sides to keep these meals interesting. It is surprisingly easy to eat healthy, and you don’t have to compromise on taste either. I am starting a new series here called Quick-fix healthy meal ideas. Most of these meals are going to be some variety of seafood or chicken. I will share my successful experiments here.
The first meal in the series is this flavorful salmon roast which just took less than 1/2 tsp oil to cook. The salmon was steam-roasted on a bed of potatoes, fresh fennel and leeks, so that the fish absorbed all the flavors from the veggies and vice versa.
- 2 salmon steaks (~6oz each)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp paprika
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 medium sized potato
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 large leek
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
Crush the garlic and black peppercorns in a mortar or a spice grinder till smooth. Add the paprika and salt and the lemon juice to make a paste. Apply this on the salmon steaks, marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
Cut the potato into thin slices. Core and thinly slice the fennel bulb. Cut the white part of the leek into thin long strips. Arrange the leek, fennel and potato slices as shown in the picture in an oven safe non-stick pan with a tight oven-safe lid, season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the salmon steaks on top of the vegetable bed. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven. The salmon gets cooked in the steam and absorbs all the flavors from the vegetables. There will still be some liquid remaining in the pan from the vegetables and the fish.
Place a lightly greased non-stick griddle or a frying pan on the stove. Once the pan is really hot, place the salmon steaks, cook for two minutes per side, flipping once. This will nicely finish-up the salmon, and give it a crispy texture outside, but will keep it moist inside.
In the mean time, place the pan with the vegetables on the stove, and cook till the liquid is completely absorbed by the veggies.
Serve the salmon along with the veggies and lime wedges. We had a simple mixed greens salad on the side, to complete the meal.
You can experiment with different veggies for the bed. Use onions if you don’t have leeks in stock, but leeks are definitely more flavorful.
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