Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grilled Salmon with Greek Quinoa Salad and Steamed Broccoli

Grilled Salmon with Greek Quinoa Salad and Steamed Broccoli

Tonight we are back on the grill.  Grilling up some wild caught Salmon. 

So lets talk a little about our fish selection. Cold water fish like Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which has a multitude of health benefits ranging from improved mental function to decreasing inflammation in the body.  Since all disease processes involve an inflammatory response, Omega 3s have the potential to help prevent many different things.  People suffering (or wanting to avoid) cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and spinal degenerative diseases can all benefit from the intake of Omega 3 fatty acids.  Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3s and in my opinion, can be one of the healthiest fish you can eat. 

The quality and health impact of fish, all depends on where it comes from.  Any fish is only as healthy as their environment. That can be said for all animals or vegetable for that matter.  Having fish swim in an un-natural, overcrowded environment, that is susceptible to fish lice makes them prone to disease and infection.  This is why the use of antibiotics and pesticides are common practice in fish farms.  Animal feces is also a common ingredient found in many fish feed.  Farm raised fish contain higher levels of the chemical dioxin.  (Dioxin is a persistent environmental pollutant that is classified as a known carcinogenic agent))  Farm raised fish also contain lower levels of healthy nutrients like Omega 3s. There is a reason it needs to be treated with coloring agents.  The meat just looks sickly.    By far wild caught fish is much safer to eat and much more healthy than farm raised. 

We get our wild caught Salmon fresh from Publix.  Alaskan salmon is flown in several times in the year during salmon fishing season.  For example sockeye salmon fishing season occurs for 6 weeks during the months of June-July.  It ships in fresh and we buy it in large amounts. 100-200 lbs. I cut the fillets into appropriate serving sizes and then store them in the freezer.  

 There are 5 species of Wild Pacific Salmon:
  1. King (Chinook) are the largest and least abundant of the species, prized for their color, high oil content, firm texture and succulent flesh.
  2. Sockeye (Red) are the second most abundant of the species and along with their deep red flesh, rich flavor and texture that is retained throughout cooking they are most often served in upscale restaurants and most sought after world wide.
  3. Coho (Silver) are the second largest in size of the species and have an orange-red flesh color. They are most often used in frozen and smoked forms.
  4. Chum (Dog or Keta) are lighter in color and most widely used throughout the foodservice industry and for smoking.
  5. Pink (Humpy) are the most abundant salmon species and can be found in canned products.
Target Super centers also carry frozen filets of Wild Alaskan Keta Salmon if you want to purchase a reasonably price salmon year round.  I am sure there are other supplies of frozen wild Alaskan salmon as well. 

Don't be fooled by Atlantic Salmon.  These salmon are endangered, so all Atlantic salmon coming from either Scotland, Norway or Ireland is farm raised.  

Wild Caught Salmon filets

The beauty of a good piece of salmon, is that it needs little work to taste delicious.  I season mine with a little sea salt and garlic powder, that is it.  I place the salmon in a greased fish basket and lay over a grill of hot coals.  You know it is done, when it  starts to release some of it’s white fat.  It should be firm to the touch with a little give. 

Grilling the Salmon

For today’s sides I also prepared a Quinoa salad and steamed broccoli.  For the broccoli, cut it into spears and place in a covered steamer pot until cooked to the desired texture.  I like my broccoli al dente not mushy. Start steaming the broccoli when you put the salmon on the grill and both will be done within a few minutes of each other. 

Quinoa ( pronounced KEEN WA) is an ancient grain much like couscous or rice. It contains a healthy amount of protein and is easily digested.  It is a great gluten free alternative to pasta. The quinoa salad can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to eat. 

Dressing ingredients

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 ½ cups of quinoa
3 cups boiled water
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ -½ teaspoon sea salt
1-2 finely diced garlic cloves
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup of finely diced red onion
1 cup of peeled and de-seeded cucumber, diced
1/2 cup of quartered grape tomatoes 
½ cup feta, crumbled
Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar together with sea salt, oregano and garlic. 
Toss in cucumber, tomato and red onion in cooled quinoa.  Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your interest in Chiro Kitchen.