A few weeks back I posted a curried quinoa salad recipe. Over the winter I ate that salad as a main dish or lunch but recently I decided to pair it with a protein for a new dinner option. I decided to use salmon because it cooks up in the oven in no time and I don’t have to fuss over it. I love topping fish with roasted tomatoes but didn’t like the idea of the tomatoes with the curried quinoa so I opted for grapes which act similarly to tomatoes in many recipes. The sweet roasted grapes paired with savory thyme was a delicious addition to my already tasty grain salad.
So what’s the deal with miso? Readily known as the base flavor for the popular Japanese soup, miso is a thick paste made with fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt. It’s used heavily in Japanese sauces and soups because the salty, tangy flavor adds depth and complexity to a wide variety of dishes. I add miso to salad dressings, marinades and glazes because it’s a one-stop-shop for tons of flavor. Typically, the type of grain used determines how dark the miso is and, the darker the color, the more intense the flavor. If you’re a bit shy at first, opt for the white or yellow miso. If you’re ready to knock it out of the park, use the brown miso (often made with barley malt). When shopping, look for miso with the other Asian ingredients or in the produce section of the grocery store. Any variety is amazing on the salmon below. I blended tangy miso with sweet honey, mirin, salty soy sauce and refreshing orange juice. The glaze caramelizes on the salmon as it bakes in the oven (I add the glaze in two steps so it truly sticks to the salmon).
Enjoy, and then send me YOUR favorite uses for miso!
Most folks are hip to the fact that they need more omega-3 fats in their diet, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually eating enough. Here’s a refresher on why omega-3s do the body good and some delish recipes to boost your intake.
There are 3 main types of omega-3 fats that are typically referred to by their abbreviated names DHA, EPA and ALA. The DHA and EPA types are plentiful in fish and help fight inflammation. They also contribute to heart health, brain function and immunity. If that’s not enough, they also help with healthy joints, skin, eyes and skin. The ALA type of omega-3 is found mostly in plant-based foods. Once eaten, the body converts ALA to a small amount of DHA and EPA. ALA-rich foods are good for you for a variety of reasons but to really reap the benefits of omega-3, you want to make sure to get most of them from EPA and DHA.
Experts recommend getting about 1,000 milligrams of omega-3s per day, mostly from DHA and EPA.
Salmon is one of the best fish choices for healthy fats. A 4-ounce (raw) portion will serve up more than 1600 milligrams of DHA and EPA.
Recommendations for eating seafood can be confusing. Fish can be a low-calorie and heart-healthy choice and the omega-3 rich fish have additional health-protecting benefits. On the other hand, some seafood contains mercury, which can be harmful in large amounts. There are plenty of seafood options with little or no mercury. Here are some fabulous options.
Tilapia is mild, tender and super budget-friendly. According the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, American farm-raised tilapia is the most sustainable choice.
Fennel is underutilized by many home cooks. I’m not sure why because it’s fresh (ever seen canned fennel?), uniquely flavored and super nutritious. Maybe some Fennel 101 will get you stoked:
Fennel belongs to the carrot and parsley family and is a cousin of cumin, dill, caraway and anise (hence its subtle licorice flavor). The bulb is crisp and can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled or eaten raw. The bulb is a unique and fresh addition to warm or cold salads, vegetable and pasta dishes and risottos and is an excellent palate-cleanser between and after meals. The leaves (fronds) are delicate and taste somewhat like dill, making them the perfect edible garnish. Fennel seeds are often used to flavor Italian sausages and meatballs.
Like many spices, fennel contains a unique combination of phytonutrients, including the flavonoids rutin and quercetin, plus additional compounds that give it powerful antioxidant properties. But the most fascinating phytonutrient in fennel is anethole, repeatedly shown to reduce inflammation and prevent cancer.
I wish I liked salmon more than I actually do, but I have to admit, I often get bored with it. I know it’s good for me so I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. Meet my new salmon obsession …. blackened and topped with a super fresh salsa!
Salmon is a smart pick all around. It’s a low-mercury fish bursting with healthy omega-3 fats. It can also be a sustainable pick. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, wild Alaskan or tank farmed operations within the U.S are best.
Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, oh my! If you’re looking to soothe symptoms caused by those hormones gone wild, add these foods to your diet.
Menopause marks the end of a woman’s child bearing years and typically begins around 50. During menopause, the body produces less of the hormone estrogen, which results in symptoms like difficulty sleeping, thinning hair, hot flashes and weight gain. In addition, women become at higher risk for heart disease and osteoporosis.
Foods that Can Help Ease Symptoms:
Soy contains natural plant estrogens (AKA phytoestrogens) called isoflavones and lignans—both work in the body as weaker forms of estrogen and help alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. Soy is found in tofu, edamame (baby soybeans), tempeh and soy milk. Flaxseed, garlic, chickpeas, black beans and pistachios also contain phytoestrogens.
Feeling a little down in the dumps? While it may not be able to cure all that ails you, what you eat can certainly affect how you feel. Make these 5 feel-good foods part of your regular routine.
Forgot something? Try adding these 10 foods to your diet — all have been shown to help better your memory.