Monday, June 25, 2012

Sesame Miso Maple Salmon

Though I don’t often post recipes that contain fish or animal protein – I do consume both in moderation. Eating fewer animal products is better for the environment but I also truly believe in bio-individuality and that every person is different. Some people thrive on a vegan diet while others need animal protein to maintain optimal health, etc. If you choose to eat animal products, seek out organic free-range chicken local organic grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish (not farm raised). To find out why, click here!

When it comes to fish, salmon is one of my favorites! Generally, salmon is easy to find and can be prepared in so many ways! It is delicious as is – plain Jane. The fish is light and fresh when cooked with lemon, garlic, and parsley. And it takes on an Asian flare beautifully when prepared with flavors of ginger, miso, and soy…my personal favorite!

Salmon is an excellent source of protein and one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. What does that mean to you? Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are associated with decreased cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Omega-3s can also lead to improved mood and cognition, decreased signs of depression, improved eye-health, and offers joint protection.

In this recipe I chose to broil the salmon; however, you could also bake, grill or pan-fry. In addition, the combined flavors boast an Asian flare so I served the salmon with an Asian vegetable - Bok Choy.

2 (4oz.) wild-caught salmon fillets
3 tablespoons of tamari (soy sauce or Braggs amino acids)
1 tablespoon of hoisin
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 teaspoons of Miso paste
1 teaspoon of chili paste (skip this if you don’t like spicy foods)
1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
2 cloves of minced garlic

Place the oven rack approximately six inches away from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler.

Brush an oven ready pan or skillet with oil (or EVOO spray). Place the salmon skin-side down.

Whisk together all ingredients (with the exception of the salmon) in a small mixing bowl and use a basting brush to coat the salmon fillets.
Place the salmon under the broiler for approximately 8minutes or until just cooked through. The top should be browned and slightly crunchy.

Remove each fillet from the pan, separating the fish from the skin. Serve with Bok Choy or your favorite veggie. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

 Don’t you love how certain smells and aromas can trigger very specific memories? Sometimes the memories are so vivid it’s almost as though you were reliving that one moment. Since I was a child, I have always had a very strong sense of smell (or so my mother tells me) and a love for all things food related! Sure, I love the smell of flowers, forests, and a rainstorm but most of my memories related to aroma can be linked to food. In fact, when I had my wisdom teeth removed, the first thing I asked about when waking from anesthesia was the smell of someone’s lunch. In addition, because my fiancé lost his sense of smell years ago, my strong sniffer makes up for the both of us J

Growing up my mom didn’t bake too often. However, at the beginning of summer, when the rhubarb was growing out of control – I could always count on homemade crisp. The soft smell of tart rhubarb laced with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar blowing through the house from the gentle cross breeze is simply amazing! So…when I saw fresh rhubarb at my local food coop – I had to make rhubarb crisp (a healthier version of course).  Often times dessert is loaded with refined sugar, flour and butter. This version contains coconut flour, coconut oil, raw maple sugar, oh – and I threw in some fresh strawberries as well. I PROMISE it is awesome!

Rhubarb is actually a vegetable and its stalks are generally used for breads, muffins, and pies. Rhubarb is rich in B-vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, B-6, and thiamin. It also contains small amounts of beta-carotene and lutein, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a natural antioxidant essential for vision, and maintaining integrity in the skin and mucous membranes. Like kale and other green leafy vegetables, rhubarb also contains vitamin-K, which promotes bone health and minerals like iron, calcium and potassium. Next time you look at rhubarb like it’s a giant weed – think again!

3 cups of rhubarb stalks, chopped
2 cups of strawberries, chopped
2 tablespoons of coconut flour (whole wheat or gluten free flour would also work)
2 tablespoons of raw organic honey
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
½ cup of chopped pecans
1/3 cup of raw maple sugar (dates or brown sugar would also work)
4-5 tablespoons of coconut oil (not melted)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add the chopped rhubarb, strawberries, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and honey. Mix gently. Add the coconut flour and toss until the fruit is completely dusted with flour. Transfer to a pre-greased 8x8 pan.

Mix the oats, pecans, maple sugar, remaining cinnamon and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Continue to stir until you have a clumpy, crumbly mixture. Spoon and press the crisp mixture over the fruit until covered.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!