Friday, August 5, 2011

Lemon Peppered Salmon with Quinoa Salad

This is one of my favorite meals! I absolutely LOVE lemon pepper and it pairs so beautifully with Salmon. If you have never worked with quinoa, it's super easy and very delicious! It's also very versatile!

Ingredients for baked salmon:

1 frozen salmon fillet, defrosted (we buy frozen salmon fillets at Costco, but a fresh fillet will work too.)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground lemon pepper (Trader Joe's has lemon pepper in a grinder for $1.99!)
1 lemon

But before you start baking your salmon, start cooking the quinoa. We'll chop our add-ins while the salmon is baking, but the quinoa needs some time to cook first.

Ingredients for quiona salad:

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (I use the Organic Quinoa from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup water (or some kind of broth like chicken or vegetable)
a small handful each of dried cranberries, fresh basil, and almonds.

Place the quinoa and the water in a small saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil. Once it's reached a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the salmon:
Start by making a "foil boat" for your salmon, and place in on a baking sheet. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil in the foil and spread in around, place the fillet in the foil and drizzle with he remaining olive oil. make sure your the top and bottom of the fillet is evenly coated with oil. Cover the fillet with lemon pepper; the oil will help it stick. Cut a few slices of the lemon and save the rest for squeezing on the salmon when its cooked. Arrange the lemon slices on the fillet and place it in the oven for about 25 minutes or until its flaky (and not raw looking :)

"Foil Boat" so the oil doesn't go anywhere.

Restaurant quality from your kitchen! 
 Here is my favorite lemon pepper from Trader Joe's!
On the right is what is in the grinder,
on the left is what comes out when you grind it. 
While the salmon is baking, chop all of the add-ins for the quinoa salad. Chop the almonds, dried cranberries and fresh basil into small pieces, ans set aside until the quinoa is cooked. Once the quinoa is ready, take it off the heat and add the almonds, cranberries and basil into the pot. the leftover heat will help infuse the quinoa with the rich flavors of the add-ins.

Let both the salmon and the salad sit for a couple of minutes before serving so both are not too hot. When you are ready to eat, poke holes in the salmon or break it apart with your fork and squeeze the rest of the lemon on top. A little bit of lemon tossed with the salad would be good too. YUM!

NOTE: You can really add anything you want to a quinoa salad! don't feel limited. Other options are: dried apricot, chopped apples, cinnamon, and any other nut or fresh herb. Play around with it and let me know what you create! :)

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