Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Salmon with Leeks and Peas

My mom did the work on this one- we adapted this recipe from a Boston Globe article last week. We adapted it to make it healthier, anti-inflammatory, allergen friendly and a little less labor intensive along. This is one of my favorite recipes - it was so delicious, I can’t wait to make it again!

Salmon with Leeks and Peas
(dairy-free, gluten-free)
Serves 4

10 oz frozen or fresh peas
5 large leeks, trimmed of dark green, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 pieces (6 oz each) boneless wild organic salmon
Salt and pepper to taste
5 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 package pasta (optional) –I suggest Quinoa or Brown rice pasta so it is not pro-inflammatory and gluten-free.

1.Rinse peas to defrost if using frozen peas (don’t even need to cook, just start letting them defrost.)
2. Start to boil water if cooking optional pasta.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, peas, salt and pepper to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes and stir often.
4. As leek mixture is cooking, sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to skillet with the skin side down and cook for 4 minutes. Turn and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through.
5. Optional pasta: Depending on type of pasta you chose, cook pasta for indicated time.
6. Add the mushrooms to leek mixture and cook for 5 minutes more continuing to stir. Stir chives and basil into the mixture.
7. Optional- if adding optional pasta, turn off the heat and add cooked pasta to skillet and mix into mixture.
8. Arrange the leeks and peas mixture on the 4 plates and top with salmon.

Nutritional Benefits:

Salmon: Why eat wild salmon over farmed salmon? Farmed salmon contains about 10 times more toxins than wild salmon (such as Polychlorinated biphenyls- PCBs) Farmed Salmon are typically raised in fish pens and fed grain (not their natural diet), and given antibiotics since disease can spread quickly in the farm environment. Wild salmon are not given any antibiotics since they are living and eating in their natural environment. Wild salmon have higher levels of critical omega 3s: DHA and EPA. The omega 3s promote normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improve blood flow, promote health skin, hair, promote optimal brain function and enhance immune function. Salmon is also high in protein, vitamin D and is anti-inflammatory. The majority of salmon is farmed, but it is worth the superior health benefits and extra cost to seek out wild salmon.

Leeks: Leeks are very similar to onions and garlic. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, iron, potassium and manganese. They help with stabilizing blood sugar by ensuring the sugar in the body is properly metabolized. Leeks are also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory- great for fighting infection or inflammation.

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