So now and then I get health conscious. Not that often but now and then. You know the feeling.... right after you've had a big juicy burger, large fries and a vanilla shake. Being health conscious, also known as having a guilt trip, is good now and then and when I decide it's time to get healthy (for a day) I reach for the Quinoa (Keen-wah) and a nice filet of salmon. You just can't get much more healthy than this my friends. And the bonus? It is absolutely the most delicious and healthy meal I know how to make. This pan seared Salmon is so tender and flaky and the nutty flavored steamed quinoa.... oh my goodness. I might eat healthy more often!
Delicious Quinoa (Keen-Wah)
2 cups water or chicken stock
A pinch of sea salt
Pour your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water. Add the rinsed quinoa and sea salt to boiling water and stir to combine. Lower the heat to maintain a steady, gentle simmer.
Simmer uncovered, for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the tiny spirals separate and curl around the seeds. The water should be completely absorbed, but just to make sure, use a wooden spoon to dig down to the bottom of the pot and check to see if the water has evaporated. If not, cook for a few more minutes.
When it’s tender, remove from heat and drain the quinoa completely through a fine mesh strainer. Here’s my secret: transfer the quinoa back to the saucepan, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover with a clean dish towel (or use a lid) and let the quinoa rest for 5-10 minutes so that it can steam. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season with salt, pepper and other seasonings.
NOTE: The general rule of thumb for quinoa to water ratio is 1:2. So, for 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, you need 2 cups of water. For 2 cups of quinoa, you need 4 cups of water. This is the perfect quinoa to water ratio.
NOTE: How much quinoa per person?
1 cup of uncooked quinoa will make 3 cups of cooked quinoa, which will serve between 3 and 4 people.
Pan Seared Salmon with Quinoa
2 skinless Atlantic salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
your salmon out of the refrigerator at least 10 minutes before
cooking. Adding cold food directly from the refrigerator into a hot
skillet will cause
it to stick more. Let the salmon sit at
room temperature for at least 10-minutes.
Pat down your fillets with a paper towel to remove moisture. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. I do this right before searing because the salt draws moisture to the surface. If needed, dry it one more time.
Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet, and then swirl the pan so there’s a thin coating of oil over the entire surface. Turn the heat to medium-high. Heat the pan for 3 minutes or just until the oil starts to shimmer and pale wisps of smoke rise. Add about 2 tablespoons butter and let it melt. Get the surface very hot.
Sear the skinless fillet flesh-side down to create a golden, crisp surface. You can actually see the fish turning from translucent to opaque on the sides so pay attention. This allows you to get this side crisp without over cooking.
When about half of fillet turns a light pink, use a spatula or tongs to flip it over. Let this side cook until a nice golden color, about 3 minutes. Timing depends on how thick the fillet. You’ll know it’s ready when the flesh flakes with a fork but is still translucent in the center. An instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the fillet should give you a temperature of 125 degrees when done.
off the heat and add your Quinoa to the skillet surrounding your
salmon. Stir to gather the flavorings from the salmon drippings and the
butter in the pan. Cover and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes
Absolutely delicious and healthy too! Want a bite?
NOTE: Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it includes all 9 of the essential amino acids. It’s also incredibly rich in fiber and has vitamins B and E, and other minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It is naturally gluten-free and has a low glycemic index. And the added bonus: it’s easy to whip up in just minutes!
NOTE: For your salmon fillet you can use Atlantic, Sockeye, or Coho
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