When you read about the nutritional benefits of salmon, the focus has mainly been on its amazing omega-3 content. Omega-3 fatty acids are the brain-boosting, cholesterol-clearing good fats. The name of the three acids have been shortened to ALA, DHA and EPA. ALA can be found in walnuts, flaxseed, egg yolks, avocados and organic butter. DHA and EPA are found in fish and there are vegetable sources. Omega-3 is an anti-ager and an anti-inflammatory.
Walnuts, flaxseed, avocado, butter and fish also have omega-6 which you need to be eating in the right ratio with omega-3. Too much omega-6 interferes with the health benefits of omega-3. The ratio needs to range from 1:1 to 5:1 (currently 20:1 to 50:1 for most Americans) to get the benefits of omega-3. Instead we need to eat healthy nuts, seeds, grains, olive oil and other healthy oils that contain both omega-3 and omega-6, and eat more foods high in omega-3, like eggs, fish, and flax seed, and take fish supplements. Salmon and krill oils are especially high in omega-3. Coconut oil has neither omega-3 nor omega-6. It has MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) and is an extremely beneficial fat.
Rice bran oil is high in omega-6 but has vitamin E and, along with avocado oil, it has a high smoking point and won’t burn as easily and become carcinogenic when you are using higher heat.
While grape seed oil does not have the essential omegas, it has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties among a number of health benefits which has made it a home ready for centuries.
Processed fast foods are generally made with oils that are not good for the body.
Several recent studies have found that salmon contains bioactive peptides which may supply special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, the stabilization of collagen and minerals in bone and the surrounding tissue and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.
Herb Crusted Salmon
- 3 2″ wide center cut salmon filets
- 2 tablespoons avocado or light olive oil*
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons coarse or whole seed dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup regular or gluten-free fresh bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, basil or dill
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- lemon wedges (optional)
Rinse salmon filets and dry with paper towels. Remove skin. Lay in a pyrex casserole. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Mix mustard and mayonnaise and spread on the top of the salmon filets. Mix the bread crumbs with the butter and put them in a food processor with the tarragon and parsley. Process until the herbs are mixed with the crumbs and there are no big pieces. Sprinkle the crumbs on the salmon filets. Bake in a 350 degree oven 18 to 25 minutes depending on thickness of the fish. The fish will be tender and cut like butter if you cook it just right. A few minutes too long and it gets tough. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Serve with a lemon wedge if desired.
*Trader Joe’s Trader Grotto’s Sicilian (cold pressed) Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a blend of three olives from Sicily, packaged in Italy in a beautiful bottle. It’s light and delicious. Store it in the dark and use up within a month.
Green Beans or Brown Rice Almondine
Serve the Almonds and Shallots on steamed green beans or mixed with the brown rice.
Almonds and Shallots
- 1/3 cup shallots, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons olive or rice bran oil
- 1/3 cup almond slivers, lightly toasted in a skillet
Sauté shallots in the butter and oil until they are starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the toasted almond slivers.
Easy Brown Rice
To cook rice, fill a pot three quarters full with water and bring to a boil. Rinse the desired amount of rice with water using a sieve. Once the water is boiling, add the rice. Let the rice boil uncovered for 35 minutes, then remove from heat and drain all the water out. Put a lid on the pot and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove lid, sprinkle the rice with a half teaspoon of salt and fluff the rice with a fork.