Maple Mustard Salmon

Sometimes students ask me, “what is the single healthiest food I should eat?” A difficult question and one which even experts would disagree on; however, from everything I’ve read I think there are a few foods I can answer with confidently. If your day’s worth of food included blueberries, walnuts, spinach, yogurt, eggs and salmon, I think you’d live to be a thousand.

Why salmon? A serving of salmon has more omega-3 fatty acids than any other seafood, and studies have shown that omega-3s are where. it’s. at. They could reduce your risk of heart disease by 90% as well as stabilize your mood – one study even suggested they could make you more agreeable (says Clean Eating Mag)! If you’ve been a negative nancy lately, it may be time for some salmon.¬†Wild caught is a more sustainable source and the flavor is much better, so look for it if you can. Though salmon can be pricey, I’d say the health benefits make it well worth the cost.

Sometimes people struggle to cook fish, like what’s the best method? How do I know when it’s done? Well if you want to bake your fish, the rule is 10 minutes per inch in a moderately heated oven, turning once. I like to get up close and personal with my fish (as to not risk overcooking), so I usually cook it on a grill pan or skillet, stove top. When the salmon turns from red to a light pink (salmon) color and flakes easily, it’s done!

A maple mustard glaze consists of just 4 ingredients and will still let the fab flavor of the fish shine through. I think you could get away with subbing dijon mustard for the whole grain, but dear Lord do not sub pancake syrup for maple syrup. Want to know what the first ingredient is in pancake syrup? High fructose corn syrup. Don’t ruin your nice, fresh, expensive wild-caught salmon with glaze of high fructose corn syrup! Make sure to check the bottom of the post for a whole meal suggestion.

Maple Mustard Salmon

Serves 4

4 wild caught salmon fillets

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

3 tbsp. whole grain mustard

3 tbsp. maple syrup

pinch salt

splash white wine vinegar (a splash here is like 1 tsp. if you need specifics)

1. Turn oven on broil and raise an oven rack to the top position. Preheat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat for at least five minutes. Mist with nonstick spray.

2. Mix syrup, mustard, pinch salt and vinegar to combine.

2. Dry the fish fillets with a paper towel and then mist or brush with olive oil to coat.

3. Place fish, skin side down, on the grill pan. Let cook until the bottom half of the fish turns light pink, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.

4. Flip fish and discard skin.

5. Spoon glaze over top of each fillet. Let cook until the fish is finished, another 5-8 minutes. Fish should be uniformly light pink and feel firm when you push down the top center.

6. Remove pan from heat and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, just to heat and set the glaze.

7. Serve immediately.

Meal suggestion: I served this salmon with roasted broccoli and the “lightened up oven fries” I posted on Wednesday. It made a pretty plate – definitely company worthy. Following this game plan, you should have the full meal done and on the table in 25 minutes.

Game Plan: To prep broccoli for roasting, just line a baking sheet with foil and spray foil with nonstick spray. Spread florets out across the pan and either spritz or drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat oven to 400 degrees for fries and put them in the oven. After five minutes (timer should say 20 min), put broccoli in on the other oven rack.

Prep fish, mix the glaze, and heat the pan. When the timer says 15 minutes, place fish on grill pan. When the timer goes off your fish should be just about finishing up, so remove broccoli and fries and switch oven to broil (and raise the oven rack). Put fish under broiler and plate the broccoli and fries. Take fish out after several minutes, plate, and serve!

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