Today's easy entree packs a hefty omega-3 punch, as both walnuts and salmon rank abundant in omega 3 fatty acids, with spinach lending a bit more. And some hearty brown rice rounds out a meal offering nutritional and culinary balance.
Here's a bit about walnuts and health:
- Walnuts rank high among the few non-seafood sources of omega-3 fatty acids, containing more than any common foods except flax seeds and fish. The short-chain omega-3s in walnuts are literally essential to human life and health, and the body uses them to make the even more valuable long-chain “marine” omega-3s needed in our cell membranes and otherwise found only in fish and algae.
- Walnuts protect and increase the elasticity of arteries, reduce blood inflammation, stickiness and “bad” cholesterol levels substantially (Zhao G et al 2004).
- Walnuts are abundant in potent polyphenol antioxidants, including three that researchers described them as “remarkable” (Fukuda T et al 2003).
- Walnuts are a rare, significant food source of melatonin: a powerful antioxidant hormone the body uses to induce and regulate sleep and needed to prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s (Reiter RJ et al 2005).
Walnut Stuffed Salmon
Recipe courtesy the California Walnut Commission (www.walnuts.org)
Prep time about 30 minutes
2 teaspoons organic extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chopped spinach
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon organic black pepper
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup aged Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped organic walnuts
4 (6 oz each) wild salmon fillets
Sliced fillets in half lengthwise, and, as needed, through the middle to achieve a manageable thickness for rolling (see photo, above).
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, spinach, salt and pepper and cook until spinach starts to wilt, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add cooked rice to spinach and stir in lemon zest until well combined.
- Spread spinach mixture evenly over salmon and sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Roll up gently using toothpicks or butcher’s twine to secure.
- Place salmon on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and bake in 375 F oven until fish is cooked through, about 10‒15 minutes. (Check it early and often to avoid overcooking.)
- Transfer to platter and let rest 10 minutes. Serve with steamed seasonal vegetables or green salad
Nutrients per serving: Calories 456, Total Fat 28 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Monounsaturated Fat 8 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 12 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 74 mg, Sodium 533 mg, Total Carbohydrate 22 g, Dietary Fiber 7 g, Protein 33 g.
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