In the summer months, especially in high heat and humidity, sometimes you just want to eat a light, healthy meal. Fried or heavy food can be unappealing, and can work against any fitness plans you hoped to maintain for beach and pool time.
Salmon is my go-to for a nutritious meal because it packs such a punch. Alaskan wild-caught salmon, specifically, is considered sustainable, and it has the lowest risk of high mercury levels. Beyond this, though, salmon has incredible health benefits. The fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve cardiovascular health. For pregnant women, ingesting omega-3 can benefit the brain development of the fetus. (I’m currently pregnant and happily skip my fish oil pill on salmon night!)
Salmon is also very high in protein, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and selenium.
Some people find cooking fish to be daunting. It can be delicate, and since it is sometimes expensive, the stakes are higher when preparing it.
I have found that the easiest way to cook salmon also happens to be one of the healthiest. After a light preparation, I wrap it very loosely in a foil pouch, which allows the fish to steam in the oven. The recipe I list below calls for 2 salmon fillets. If you intend to make more, use more foil pouches. Don’t put more than two fillets in any packet. Doing so will hinder the cooking process.
In less than 30 minutes (most of which is inactive), you will have a beautiful, healthy meal. Enjoy!
Recipe and ingredient list continued on page 2.
- 2 salmon fillets (around 7-8 ounces each)
- Olive oil
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 cup of tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup of cucumbers, diced
- ¼ cup of red onion, finely chopped
- ½ avocado, cubed
- Salt and pepper
For the Salmon:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place both pieces of salmon in the center of a large piece of tin foil.
- Lightly drizzle some oil over the fish and rub on both sides until it has an even, light coating.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over both fillets.
- Sprinkle salt (about ½ teaspoon) onto the fish.
- Cut the other lemon half into thin slices and place them on the fillets.
- Wrap up the foil, sealing the edges and creating a very roomy pocket. The idea is that the salmon will steam in the foil “pouch” you’re creating.
- Place the wrapped fish on a baking sheet and bake for 27-30 minutes, depending on how well you like your fish cooked.
For the Salsa:
- Combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and avocado in a bowl.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper.
- Mix well and place, covered, in the refrigerator until the salmon is cooked.
- When the salmon is cooked, remove from foil (be careful—that steam is hot!). Remove the thin lemon slices and place fish on a plate.
- Spoon salsa all over filets.
- If nothing else is being served on the side, the amounts in this recipe are sufficient for two people. In this case, you have a wonderfully healthy, low-carb, high-protein meal.
- Sometimes I serve rice pilaf and asparagus on the side, in which case the filets can be cut in half and serve 4 people.