So my first post for the What’s For Dinner series of posts is a bit delayed, sorry about that. Here is Tuesday night’s dinner though in all its glory. After stuffing myself to the gills for Valentine’s Day & umm… President’s Day, I was ready to have a well rounded meal Tuesday night.
One of my favorite preparations of salmon is simply baked with a spicy & sweet glaze on top. The combination of mustard & agave nectar here really turns this dish into a winner. Best part was that I was feeling so darn healthy after eating this that I enjoyed a little bit more of my favorite Valentine’s Day treat, Malted Milk Ball Geltao!
Mustard Glazed Salmon with Swiss Chard & Whole Wheat Couscous
Salmon: These days almost everyone knows that eating fish is good for you but many people are still intimidated to cook it at home. And what a shame because not only does salmon cook quickly, but it is a also a nutritional superstar providing you with ample doses of selenium , omega-3 fatty acids and protein. It also provides a large amount of phosphorous which helps keep bones, teeth and tissues strong.
Whole Wheat Couscous: Couscous (especially whole wheat) is a great weeknight staple because it is so gosh darn quick & easy (talking about the instant stuff here). It is also a good source for protein & fiber. Most importantly its just a damn funny word to say.
Swiss Chard: Oh where to start with the culinary & nutritional wonder that is Swiss Chard. Its flavor is slightly bitter but only in the best way possible. If you still think these leafy green stalks would be better off in a fancy vase than on your plate though, please give them a chance. If the flavor doesn’t entice you, the health benefits will. Swiss Chard is loaded with vitamins, minerals and even fiber! Swiss chard is especially good for those who don’t seem to drink enough milk, the combination of Vitamin K, magnesium & calcium will help keep your bones strong.
Specifics:4oz. Salmon filet
1 small clove of garlic, minced 1 1/2 tsp. brown mustard 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. agave nectar (or equal amount honey or maple syrup or brown sugar) 1/8 tsp. salt (a.k.a. a pinch) 1/8 tsp pepper (a.k.a. another pinch) 1/3 cup Whole Wheat Couscous 2/3 cup water (or chicken stock)
5 large stalks of Swiss Chard Additional/Optional Drop of olive oil (optional)
Dried cranberries Agave syrup (or honey or maple syrup) Toasted coconut
Total Time: 30 minutes
Cleanup: 15 minutes (with no dishwasher & including dishes from breakfast)
How it’s done:
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, mix together garlic, brown mustard, olive oil, agave nectar, salt & pepper.
3. Place salmon in a roasting pan or baking sheet & pour mustard mixture on top. Spread evenly to cover.
4. Remove middle stems from Swiss Chard leaves and tear into medium sized pieces. Clean under cold water & dry.
5. Place salmon in the oven on the top rack or broiler if you have one (on most stoves it’s the drawer like thing on the bottom)
6. Place 2/3 cup water (or stock) in small or medium saucepan. Add drop of olive oil & pinch of salt (if using). Load steamer basket with Swiss Chard. Cover and place over saucepan. Cook on low heat until water comes to a boil.
7. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir couscous into the water. Season Swiss Chard with agave & salt if you like. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
8. Set the table – this is a meal worthy of nice napkins & candles!
9. Remove salmon from the oven and place on your plate along with the Swiss Chard. Fluff couscous with a fork & serve. Garnish with cranberries/toasted coconut if desired.
Tip & Tricks:
On buying & using Salmon
It’s no surprise that salmon isn’t cheap yet I urge you to buy the good quality stuff ( wild caught if you can). In order to stay on budget and still treat yourself, be on the lookout for when salmon goes on sale & stock up your freezer. It also helps to make friends with your local fish monger or fish shop in order to get the best quality at a reasonable price. My opinion is also that the filets are superior to the steaks, which tend to have more tiny bones in them.
This past week I purchased about a half pound of salmon which is about 8 ounces and can easily be divided into two perfect 4 ounce portions. If you don’t feel like keeping the remaining piece in the freezer or just don’t have the room, double this recipe & cook both pieces. The leftover can be used for another meal in the week, added to a lunch salad or combined with diced peppers, onions & breadcrumbs for quick salmon cakes.
No problem. Because it has a good amount of protein, couscous works well in many vegetarian dishes. Add some to your salad or serve with a quick veggie stir-fry later in the week.