I remember the moment I started seriously paying attention to salmon and adding it to my diet. No…it wasn’t because I heard it was loaded with Omega-3s and super charged proteins that fight off disease and increase brain power. It was because I read that salmon was a serious part of J Lo’s beauty regimen (listen to Jenny From the Block here..oh yeah!) and how she achieved flawless, glowy skin (sigh). Yep…vanity got the best of me! And every time I would eat salmon I thought, “Bam! Take that epidermis! Bam! Take that pesky crow’s feet! Take that plain ol’ yucky wrinkles!” Hmmm…I eat plenty of Salmon but alas, the skin is, shall we say, “doing it’s thang” and father time stops for no one, not even salmon. But I digress…
I now eat Salmon, not for it’s beauty attributes, but because it’s just down right delicious and am thankful that something I love to eat so much is so stinkin’ good for me! Another bonus…my son and hubs love it more than I!…so it’s a simple and tasty “go-to” menu for a weeknight supper. In fact, I created this recipe last week while perusing my frig and cupboards for what I had on hand (this is pretty much the way I roll, cooking wise). The first thing I spied was a lone butternut squash…and what was to follow turned into Glazed Salmon with Brown Rice Salad of Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Pecans. Guys…this Salmon dish is ridiculously good and your family will not realize that they are eating Super Food Champions. Salmon? Kale? Wholesome grains? What’s even better? My twelve year old son gobbled it up!!!! Score!
Winter will soon be over and we’ll be enjoying more grilled meets and salads with juicy, vine-ripe tomatoes, so enjoy the winter vegetables like this Butternut Squash and be glad they’re still readily available. And the next day…when you have some salad leftovers and you want to eat them for lunch…add some edamame to the dish and you’ll be even happier!
You’ll start by making the dressing which also doubles as the salmon marinade. I use this simple dressing for a ton of applications and therefore I keep it around a great deal. It’s a sweet dressing that rocks out this salmon and gives it a beautiful, sweet, brown glaze. Also works well with ribs, pork tenderloin and chicken…
Sweet and Sour Dressing
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients. I personally like to shake it in a bottle. This will yield about 2 cups dressing, so you’ll have some left over for other applications.
Glazed Salmon with Brown Rice Salad of Butternut Squash, Kale and Pecans
2 – 4 Salmon Filets (1 – 2 lbs)
1 cup uncooked Brown Rice (cook according to package)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Butternut Squash; cut into 1″ dice
1/2 cup sweet onion; diced
1 clove garlic; minced
4 – 5 large Kale leaves; remove ribs and coarsely chop
1/2 cup pecans; chopped
1/2 cup cranberries; chopped
2 stalks celery; chopped
2 Tbs Butter
- Marinade Salmon in about 1/2 cup Sweet and Sour Dressing while preparing the salad
- Prepare brown rice according to package and cool
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add Butternut Squash, Onion and Garlic. Mix together with a dousing of EVOO (2 -3 Tbs) and remember…do not overcrowd the veggies or you will steam instead of roast them
- Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, saute’ the chopped kale and olive oil in a hot saute’ pan for about one minute. Salt and pepper Kale to taste. The Kale will break down fast and you want to maintain the beautiful green color. Set aside to cool.
- When the roasted Butternut Squash, Onion and Garlic have cooked for thirty minutes, add the pecans and cranberries to the baking sheet and toss slightly. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes longer, being careful to watch the cranberries as you do not want them to char. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Prepare frying pan with 2 Tbs butter and place on medium high heat. Once the butter is melted and bubbly, place salmon filets in hot pan, pouring marinade into the pan with the salmon. Salt and pepper.
- Watch your salmon for doneness…about two minutes per side for a gorgeous salmon that is not overcooked but velvety soft in the middle and brown on the outside. Continue to baste with marinade from the pan as you cook. Place into a 175 degree oven (if frying pan is oven safe), to keep warm while you combine salad
- In a large bowl, combine rice, roasted vegetables, nuts and fruit and chopped celery.
- Dress with Sweet and Sour Dressing to taste…start with about 1/4 cup…toss…taste…salt and pepper if needed…
My mouth waters just looking at this “killer salad!” The crunch of the pecans and celery, the sweetness of the squash and cranberries and the slight salty bitterness of the kale make this a delectable salad…and the color is SO pretty! Feel free to interchange the rice with quinoa or wild rice…any grain, really. I serve it room temperature, alongside fish, pork and chicken. Would pack well for a picnic or potluck! Serve the Glazed Salmon over a bed of the rice salad.
GLAZED SALMON WITH BROWN RICE SALAD OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH, KALE AND PECANS
And please tell me what you think of this dish! I love your feedback!!! xo