Sweet and Smoky Salmon


My students would sometimes ask me, in my opinion, what were the foods on the top of the “healthiest foods” list. Because I read a lot about nutrition, it seems there is always something new they are tauting or warning against (my husband always says, “who are ‘they’?”). Right now, if you haven’t already noticed, it’s get more vitamin D and eat less sodium. Anyways, with all this reading there are most definitely certain foods that pop up more than others. If I could name 5, I would say

1. Walnuts

2. Spinach/kale

3. Salmon

4. Blueberries

5. Eggs

This is just MY opinion, I’m not quoting from any research here. However, if your diet is devoid of these foods, think about a change. Salmon is the most expensive item on this list, but your health is worth the splurge. Full of protein, vitamins (D!), minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids, it’s a freaking nutrition powerhouse. While it’s delicious with some oil, salt and pepper, this method also lets the salmon flavor really shine through – which, if you don’t love salmon, you need some flavor distraction. This rub is your answer! It’s like a jumping jack in your mouth, but it makes you want to come back for more. Sometimes heavily seasoned food gets old quickly for my palate, and it’s not as good after the first bite. This wasn’t like that… it’s the perfect amount to make you enjoy every last bit.

I don’t know about you, but I get personal satisfaction from “cleaning out the fridge” lunches. This is weird, and I know it. An apple, some leftover enchilada, a cheese stick, the end of the bread no one will eat, etc. Well, there was just a little bit of salmon left in foil in the fridge, a day or two after we had this dinner. My mom looked at me and said “no one wants this old, cold salmon, right?” – I said, check with Rich (my husband). Just like that, the salmon was gone in a flash and according to him, even better than when we ate it warm. When a slice of cold, old salmon is still tasty, you know you’ve got a keeper recipe!

Sweet and Smoky Salmon

1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. black pepper

4 salmon fillets (or about a 1 1/2 lb piece of salmon)

Cedar plank or foil

*If using plank, soak, completely submerged in water, for at least 1 hour

1. Preheat grill to medium-low heat (about 350 degrees)

2. Mix brown sugar, salt, chili, cumin and black pepper together to combine.

3. Set salmon, skin side down, on foil. Cover top of salmon evenly with rub.

4. If using plank, place in preheated grill, close lid, and heat for 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn plank over and (removing it from foil) place salmon on plank, skin side down.

5. Cook for 12 -15 minutes or until if flakes easily. Serve immediately.

This is a picture of “flakes easily”

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