Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Friday, June 14, 2013

Salmon and Quinoa - Help! I'm tired of this healthy lifestyle!

Salmon and quinoa. Salmon and quinoa. How much more of this healthy diet can I take?!

One reason why most diets fail? Because rather than a life-changing transformation, they are instead treated as a temporary, and often times extreme, "diet."


Eating healthy is a lifestyle change. All too often, people complain, "health food is bland, all I eat is salmon and chicken breast, I'm bored of 'plain' food." Quite frankly, I would be too if having to follow a plethora of diets that exist.

Learning how to cook opens the realm of possibilities in terms of flavor combinations. Let's face it, it is easy to make food "taste good" with enough butter, cream, fat and oil. If you are unsuccessful at creating a delicious meal using these ingredients... well, you probably should not give up your day job and delve into the culinary world. Just kidding - before I moved to Paris, France and attended Le Cordon Bleu for culinary school, I literally had never cooked a day before in my life. But I digress...

Learning proper cooking techniques allows you to perfectly cook any type of protein/vegetable. This will allow the meat to remain juicy, flavorful... not overcooked and chewy/dry. Learning about herbs and spices allows you to replace unhealthy ingredients with healthy flavors. For example... a smoked curry quinoa with curry cajun salmon. One could easily purchased a can of curry - chocked full of fat, cream - and simply dump it into the quinoa in order to create a curry-flavor. On the contrary, one may learn about the curry dried spices, smoked sea salts, 0% fat Greek yogurt, lemon juice... and use these ingredients to create a healthy smoked curry version - without sacrificing flavor or taste.

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp curry powder (dried)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 shallot
2 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup 0% Fat Plain Greek Yogurt

To begin, chop the shallot into a fine mince. Sweat (slowly sauté) the shallot in coconut oil on a medium heat (in a sauce pan). After 5 minutes, turn the heat to high and add the quinoa, curry powder, cayenne, cajun seasoning, lemon juice and liquid smoke. Allow all ingredients to toss and mix well, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, while covering the sauce pan. Allow the quinoa to simmer, for about 12-15 minutes, until the quinoa seeds have sprouted (you will actually see the little "germ" emerge from the seeds once fully cooked. Like rice, the quinoa will absorb all of the liquid. Once fully cooked, remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes. Stir in 0% fat plain Greek yogurt and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your palate.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare and cook the salmon. Season both sides of the salmon with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt, cajun seasoning, lemon juice, curry powder and touch of cayenne pepper. Sauté in coconut oil in order to compliment the flavors of the quinoa.

A brilliant compliment to this dish is caramelized onions and any type of left-over vegetable that you have in your refrigerator... mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc. Simply sauté in coconut oil, then deglaze with a bold red wine or subtle white wine, as well as splash of lemon juice. Enhance with spices: curry, cayenne, turmeric, cumin and freshly crushed sea salt.

Healthy, flavorful, mouth-watering and delicious.

"In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired" - Fannie Lou Hamer

Love y'all dearly!

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