Satisfying Salmon and Kale

At this time of year, all I want to do is hibernate and drink copious amounts of creamy coffee. Christmas and New Years are past and the cold has officially set in here in the NW. Instead of embracing the grumpy bear persona – I should be taking brisk walks and eating delicious healthy fats and life-giving leafy greens.

Ha ha! Let’s not get too crazy now. One step at a time. Food first, walk later…maybe.

So the real question is: What’s for dinner? Answer: Baked salmon and wilted kale!                 Stay with me. It tastes better than it sounds.          Bake some salmon. Rip up some greens and add a little flavor. Enjoy! It really is that easy.

Wild salmon and kale are both considered super foods! Together they are full of iron, calcium, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, and vitamins D, B12, B6, B3, K, A, and C. I’m not even mentioning all of the other crazy nutrients salmon and kale contain.

I love salmon because it is just so satisfying and filling. And I love kale because I’m a little weird and I like the strong, deep, green flavor it has. I also like the fact that kale doesn’t disintegrate and get slimy the way spinach does when it’s cooked for longer than a minute.

20151231_175230This dish is so simple it doesn’t really need a recipe, but I’ll give you one anyway. This is a perfect deep S meal if you follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan.

But first, a few notes from my inner food/health nerd. Some vitamins, including A and K, are fat-soluble – meaning our bodies rely on the presence of fat to properly absorb them. Iron can only be properly absorbed when paired with vitamin C (found in vinegar), and calcium requires vitamin D (found in salmon). When you compare the nutrients found in these two super foods – you find a match made in heaven. You can find links to more detailed explanations at the bottom of the post.

Now the recipe!

Baked Salmon with Wilted Kale

  • Servings: 1+
  • Time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients

  • salmon filet
  • fresh kale – 1-2 large leaves per person
  • salted butter
  • vinegar of choice (flavored, rice wine, apple cider, etc.)
  • toasted sesame oil
  • Braggs Aminos or soy sauce

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Place salmon (skin side down) in an oven safe pan and dot generously with butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until the flesh flakes apart easily with a fork. Remove from oven. While salmon is baking, prepare the kale. Begin by washing thoroughly and shaking off excess water. Remove the tough center core from each leaf and cut or rip remaining greens into large bit size pieces. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat and toss in kale pieces. Stir to heat evenly and continue to cook until kale is slightly wilted. A couple of tablespoons of water can be added if necessary to prevent sticking and burning. Pile wilted kale on a plate and drizzle with a few splashes each of vinegar, sesame oil and aminos. Top with a serving of salmon and enjoy!

Reference Links

The Healthiest Way to Eat Kale

Salmon Nutrients

Nutrient Absorption of Spinach (sharing because it’s similar to kale)

Do you have a favorite way to eat salmon or kale? I’d love to find some new ways to enjoy these super foods!

Shirataki Noodle Stir Fry with Over Easy Egg

Dinner last night was easy, fast, cheap and delicious. My favorite kind of meal! This dish is extremely versatile and only requires one key ingredient – Shirataki noodles! Never heard of them? Me either, until I started following the Trim Healthy Mama Plan a few years ago.

Shirataki noodles are pretty much miracle noodles!

  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Grain free
  • Zero carbs
  • Zero fat
  • Zero everything

Sounds to good to be true. Shirataki noodles (also known as Konjac/Yam/Glucomannan noodles) are traditional Japanese noodles made primarily from glucumannan, which is a water soluble fiber. Water soluble fiber =  I know what you’re thinking – zero everything means zero flavor too, right? That is true, but it also means they will take on any flavor you choose to give them!

I see a lot of recipes that recommend using Shirataki noodles in Italian style dishes. I prefer to use them primarily in Asian style dishes, since that’s where they originated. So, dinner last night was an Asian noodle stir fry with an over-easy egg on top! I didn’t have any meat in the fridge and I had very few vegetables – so I improvised! Zucchini, onion, dried seaweed, Shirataki noodles, a few sauces, and an egg. Together – a very cheap and satisfying meal.

The key to enjoying these noodles depends on how you cook them.

  1. Rinse
  2. Boil
  3. Dry roast

These three steps are important. When you open a package of Shirataki noodles, they have a strong fishy smell. This smell will disappear in the rinsing/boiling process.

Nearly any kind of meat or vegetable can be added to this dish. Be creative! Just cut everything small and consider cooking the meat separately and adding it at the end. I think a fried egg is a nice addition (and it was my only protein), but you can choose to use a different protein source instead.

As written – this recipe is an S if you are following the THM plan.

*Shameless advertisement warning* I used my boyfriend’s Chili Garlic Lime Hot Sauce for this recipe!

Here’s my recipe for Asian noodle stir fry – Enjoy!konjacnoodleswithfriedegg

Shirataki Noodle Stir Fry with Over Easy Egg

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15-20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients

  • 1(70z) package Shirataki Noodles
  • 1 medium zucchini – diced small
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger – minced
  • Braggs Aminos or soy sauce
  • butter or coconut oil for frying
  • toasted sesame oil
  • Asian style hot sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional) 1 Tbsp dried seaweed – soaked

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Rinse Shirataki noodles in a colander under cold water for at least 1 full minute.
  3. Add noodles to boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. While noodles are boiling, preheat a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat (do not add any oil or fat).
  5. Drain noodles well and add to frying pan. Dry roast for several minutes  until noodles are visibly dry and “squeak” when  stirred.
  6. Move noodles aside so there is space in the middle of the pan. Add a few tablespoons of butter or coconut oil to the center of the pan.
  7. Add diced onions and ginger and saute for a few minutes, until the color starts to change.
  8. Add a few more teaspoons of oil if needed and add the diced zucchini. Continue to saute and then stir to combine all ingredients.
  9. Add several splashes of Braggs Aminos and hot sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  10. Drain seaweed and add to pan. Stir to combine and remove pan from heat.

To fry an over easy egg:

  1. Preheat a small frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add a small amount of butter or coconut oil and melt.
  3. Crack an egg gently into the pan and cook until the egg whites are opaque and the egg moves freely in the pan.
  4. Carefully flip the egg over and remove from the heat.

Serve stir fry with a drizzle of sesame oil and a few extra drops of hot sauce. Top with the fried egg. Enjoy!

 

(The best) Piquant Prawn Salad


I love this salad! It’s full of protein, fresh veggies and delicious Asian flavors. This is another recipe from the previously mentioned Thai cook book. I normally leave a few ingredients out but I’ve italicized the adjustments I made so you can see all of the options! (Update: If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, Shirataki noodles would be the perfect replacement for the rice noodles!)

Piquant Prawn Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Ingredients

  • 7 oz rice vermicelli noddles or Shirataki noodles (follow the first 5 instructions in this recipe if using Shirataki noodles)
  • 8 baby corn cobs – halved
  • 5 oz snow peas
  • 1 T coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger – peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fresh red or green chili – seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 lb raw peeled jumbo shrimp
  • 4 green onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 lemon grass stalk – thinly shredded

For the dressing

  • 1 T fresh chives – chopped
  • 1 T Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or Braggs Aminos
  • 3 T peanut oil (or if you love sesame oil as much as I do, use it instead of peanut oil!)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 T rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. Put the rice noodles in a heat proof bowl, cover with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain rice noodles, refresh with cold water, drain again and set aside.
  3. The dressing can be made ahead of time by combining ingredients and either shaking or whisking all of the dressing ingredients together and then setting aside.
  4. Saute, or steam, the snow peas and baby corn and set aside.
  5. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan (or wok). Add the garlic, ginger and chili and cook for one minute.
  6. Add the shrimp and cook until just pink.
  7. Stir in the green onions, snow peas, baby corn and sesame seeds. Toss lightly to mix.
  8. Add the contents of the pan to the rice noodles.
  9. Pour the dressing on top and toss well.
  10. Sprinkle with lemon grass and chill for one hour before serving.

Enjoy this light flavorful salad!

 

Super Easy Hot-and-Sour Soup

In the mood for a delicious way to warm up this winter? Try this spicy warming Hot-and-Sour Soup that can easily be made with just a few special ingredients!

The original recipe for this soup calls for prawns – I made it with chicken… I’m sure either would taste wonderful.

I believe this recipe is a fuel pull if you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan and use lean chicken or shrimp and a reduced fat stock.

Original recipe from “Thai – the essence of Asian cooking” from Hermes House

Easy Hot-and-Sour Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw chicken (or jumbo prawns)
  • 4 c chicken or fish stock
  • 3 stalks lemon grass
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves – torn in half
  • 8 oz can straw mushrooms – drained
  • 3 T fish sauce
  • 4 T lime juice
  • 2 T green onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 T fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 fresh red chilies – seeded and thinly sliced
  • salt – to taste
  • ground black pepper – to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces (or if using prawns – peel and save the shells, then devein and set the prawns aside).
  2. In a large soup pot bring the stock to a boil (if using prawns, rinse the shells and add to the stock).
  3. Slightly crush the lemon grass stalks and add them to the stock along with half of the lime leaves.
  4. Simmer gently for 5-6 minutes, until the stock is fragrant.
  5. Strain the stock, return it to the clean pot and reheat.
  6. Add the drained mushrooms and the chicken (or prawns), then cook until the chicken is cooked through (or the prawns turn pink).
  7. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, green onion, cilantro, chilies, and remaining lime leaves into the soup. Stir to combine.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste. The soup should be sour, savory, spicy and hot.

This is a great soup to make ahead of time and keep hot in a crock pot or on the back of the stove until time to serve.

Enjoy!