Clean Eating

If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you’ve probably picked up on my love of all foods comforting and delicious.  Over the colder months, I tend to gravitate towards those warming, rich and filling kinds of foods that just make my mouth happy.  But now, with Memorial Day weekend at the shore (in a bathing suit!) staring me down from four weeks away, I’ve shifted my focus a bit, towards meals that are high in lean protein and fiber, and lower in saturated fat and carbs.

This one has been in my lunch rotation for the past few weeks, but it would be great as a healthy dinner too!

Salmon Romesco with Kale Espagnola
(serves two)

2 6-ounce salmon filets
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons sauce romesco, recipe follows

1 large bunch of kale
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup golden raisins

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the salmon on a parchment lined baking sheet, skin side down, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  When the oven reaches temperature, bake the salmon for 10-20 minutes, or to desired doneness.

Meanwhile, tear the kale into bite sized pieces, discarding the long, tough stem running down the middle of each leaf.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the kale over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until softened.  Season with salt and pepper, and add in the raisins and a few shakes of vinegar.  Finally, add in the garlic and saute until fragrant.

Remove the kale to a serving plate and garnish with the toasted almonds.  Place the cooked salmon filet on top and spoon on some of the romesco sauce.

Romesco Sauce is a great condiment to keep on hand.  It’s bursting with fresh flavor yet very low in fat and sugars.  Click here for my recipe:  Romesco Sauce Recipe Card

How do I love thee, Salmon Romesco with Kale Espagnola?  Let me count the ways:

Salmon: high in omega-3’s and Vitamin D, a heart-healthy, brain-building, anti-inflammatory, cancer fighting source of muscle-building protein.
Garlic: high in polysulfides, a cholesterol and triglyceride lowerer, blood vessel dilator, also thought to help lower the number of fat cells formed in the body.
Kale: a low-cal, high-fiber nutritional powerhouse, loaded with calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus, and lutein and zeaxanthin compounds, as well as carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants.
Almonds: another heart-healthy source of mono-unsaturated fats and protein, vitamin E and flavonoids, almonds are proven to protect from diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Almonds lower the glycemic index of any food they are eaten with, lessening blood sugar spikes!
Grapes (in raisins and vinegar): contain an overwhelming number of phytonutrients and antioxidants, including resveratrol, flavonols, phenolic acids, and carotenoids, grapes have been proven to benefit nearly every system of the body.  They offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits, among many others.
Peppers (in romesco): besides bursting with cancer- and inflammation-busting vitamins A, C, and K, high fiber peppers of all types kill bad bacteria and increase the body’s heat production and oxygen consumption, which helps your body burn extra calories.

Besides not containing a single ingredient that doesn’t benefit your body in a zillion ways, this meal is delicious and satisfying.  The smoky-sweet romesco sauce contrasts with the rich, savory salmon, and the meaty kale is punctuated by the nutty crunch and bursts of raisiny sweetness, all with the palate-pleasing twang of oaky sherry vinegar…

With healthy and nutritious meals like this fueling my body through a few extra pilates moves, I hope to be sitting pretty on the beach come summertime!

Click here for a printable 4×6″ recipe card: Salmon Romesco with Kale Espagnola Recipe Card

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2 thoughts on “Clean Eating

  1. This is my kind is dish!

    I always say this, but I think kale is quite possibly the healthiest thing you can put into your body! I eat it 3 times a week.

    Did you know that 1/2 cup of RED pepper has more vitamin C than a whole orange? Yay! 🙂

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