The idea of getting dinner on the table is daunting enough—and it has to be at least somewhat nutritious, too? Sheesh.
This would be where a beautiful pink fish called salmon comes in to save the day just about every week for me. Salmon provides EPA-DHA —along with plant-based oils, nuts, avocado and seeds—which are full of good fats like plant-based omega-3s, which are a source of energy, help support healthy cholesterol levels already within normal range and may help reduce the risk of heart disease when they replace similar amounts of saturated fats.
Salmon is also impossible to screw up. This is a very important detail when you’re busy and trying to find something easy enough that you won’t be tempted to eat cereal for dinner. Yet again.
One of the easiest ways to cook salmon is to add a good fat on top of it and bake it. The fat makes a nice crispy coating on the outside, while keeping it tender and moist on the inside.
You can add any combination of flavors to your fat for the salmon. For this recipe, I went with pistachios, garlic, lemon zest and parsley, but salmon is mellow enough that it can be combined with just about anything. Citrus always works well, as do walnuts, sesame seeds, pecans, cilantro and spices like cumin, paprika, oregano and dill.
You could have this good-fat-laden meal every night and never repeat a flavor combo. And, bonus: dinner would be on the table in less than half an hour every time.
For more flavor, throw in a few lemon or lime slices while it does its thing in the oven. Just keep a close eye on it to make sure the fish (and the nuts) don’t start to burn. You’ll get 1 to 2 servings from a large filet. Simply serve it with a side of quinoa, brown rice or a quick salad (make sure to use a plant-based oil in your vinaigrette for even more good fats!) and dinner is served
Lemon-Pistachio Salmon with Parsley
- 1 large salmon filet thawed (1/2 to 1 lb)
- 2 tbsp olive oil butter or buttery spread like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp lemon zest slice rest of lemon
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or other nuts
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Place salmon (skin side down) on parchment-lined or non-stick baking sheet/uncovered baking dish.
- In small bowl, mix olive oil, butter or buttery spread with parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper and nuts.
- Spoon evenly over salmon filet (discard any extra mixture).
- Bake salmon 8 to 12 minutes, until buttery spread has completely melted and nuts are beginning to toast. Salmon should flake apart easily with a fork. For more flavor, add sliced lemons to baking sheet or dish while cooking.
- Remove from oven and garnish with more parsley if desired.
- Serve hot with salad, quinoa or another healthy side.