Every June marks a ritual I've participated in for the past few years... As the weather gets warmer, I stop eating chicken and beef and eat a diet that consists mainly of vegetables, fruit, and grains (I also eat fish and seafood on occasion). I don't set a specific time frame, so I usually go for at least a month and at most three (through the end of the summer). Once I went as far as 10 months (It ended the moment they opened a Popeye's around the corner from me!)LMAO
I find that it's a great way for me to accelerate weight loss and it always makes me feel great!! I would be vegetarian 100% of the time, but I love jerk chicken and a nicely done burger like nobody's business!) LOL
Salmon has to be hands-down my favorite fish. It tastes fantastic, you can cook it various ways and it's very good for you. It is a very good source of easy digestible proteins (amino acids), fatty acids like Omega-3 Fatty acids in form of Triglyceride, vitamins like vitamin-D, vitamin-A and some members of vitamin-B family and minerals like Selenium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Calcium and Iron.
The health benefits of eating salmon include the following:
Muscles, Tissues, Enzymes, Hormones etc.: Proteins or amino acids are essential components of our cells, tissues, enzymes, hormones and every other body part. The proteins from salmon (and most other fishes) are easy digestible and easily absorbed into the body. They do neither have any adverse side effects nor contain carcinogenic compounds, like other meats do. Salmons are also source of good fat (omega-3 fatty acids) which also plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. Salmon is also rich in some of the very essential minerals like iron, calcium, selenium and phosphorus and vitamins like A, B and D. Selenium, which is very necessary for building up of tissues, hair, nails etc., is best obtained from animal proteins and among which, salmon is one of the best.
Cardio-Vascular Health: While the Omega-3 Fatty Acids help reduce cholesterol, maintain flexibility of arteries and veins and strengthen cardiac muscles, the essential amino acids repair damages to the cardio-vascular tissues. They help reduce the blood pressure too, as they lower cholesterol level and prevent hardening of walls of arteries and veins, thereby considerably reducing the chances of heart attack.
Metabolism: The Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin-D and selenium, together help increase influence of insulin, thereby facilitating absorption of sugar and consequent lowering of blood sugar level.
Eye Care: Again, the Omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids help prevent macular degeneration, dryness, loss of vision and fatigue of eyes. It is a proven fact that people who eat fishes regularly or more than others, have better vision than others, longer.
Brain & Nerves: The Omega-3 fatty acids increase efficiency of the brain, improves memory and keep it wide awake during long working hours. In company with the amino acids, vitamin-A & D and selenium, these fatty acids protect nervous system from damages from aging, act as anti depressant, relaxes the brain and are also helpful in treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Perhaps that is why the fish eaters are supposed to be more intelligent than the meat eaters.
Other Benefits: Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation of the arteries and digestive system, reduce chances of cancer of colon, prostrate and kidneys etc., improve skin texture, add shining to eyes, skin, hair and nails and help in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. The fatter the salmon, the more nutritious and healthy it is. It is a good protein supplement of older or sick people too, being easy digestible. In some parts of the world, it is cheaper than other sources of animal proteins such as meat, poultry etc.
I've scoured the web for some recipes I plan on incorporating into my diet this month! Enjoy!!
Moroccan Grilled Salmon
Courtesy Food Network Magazine
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for garnish
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill
2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillets
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish
Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Pour half of the sauce into a large resealable plastic bag; cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce. Add the salmon to the bag and turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the bag over once.
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove the salmon from the marinade and blot off excess yogurt with paper towels. Lightly oil the grill and add the salmon; cook, turning once, until browned on the outside and opaque in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Serve with the reserved yogurt sauce and garnish with the herbs and lemon wedges.
Grilled Rosemary Salmon
Courtesy of Cooks.com
2 salmon fillets (3/4 lb. each)
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. oil
2-3 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. rosemary
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Prepare dried paste, mixing rosemary, garlic and salt. Rub paste on salmon (if you use steaks, rub on both sides). Place salmon in a plastic container. Pour orange juice and oil mixture over salmon. Turn salmon over and be sure both sides are marinated. Refrigerate for 2 hours, basting and turning frequently.
When ready to cook, heat gas or charcoal grill to a very hot temperature. Just prior to putting salmon on, toss 2-3 tablespoons fresh rosemary on the coals or grill irons. (Fresh is best, but you can use dried rosemary.)
Grill salmon 5-10 minutes on first side (important: until meat starts to flake). Grill 5 minutes on second side (until meat flakes). Don't overcook, will dry out or burn.
Fresh salmon is best. To obtain 3/4 pound fillets, ask your fishmonger to prepare them for you.
(Just Like) Applebee's Honey Grilled Salmon
Courtesy of Recipezaar
HONEY PEPPER SAUCE
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 lemon, juice of (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 (8 ounce) salmon fillets (without skin)
1Make the sauce by combining all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.
2Stir occasionally until sauce begins to boil, then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until syrupy.
3Watch the sauce closely to be sure it doesn't bubble over.
4Preheat barbecue grill to medium heat.
5Rub each salmon filet with vegetable oil, then add a light sprinkling of salt and pepper.
6Grill the salmon for 4 to 7 minutes per side or until done.
7Serve salmon with a small cup of the honey pepper sauce on the side.
Asian Grilled Salmon
Courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa
1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on (about 3 pounds)
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good soy sauce
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Light charcoal briquettes in a grill and brush the grilling rack with oil to keep the salmon from sticking.
While the grill is heating, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits.
Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
Go On, Grill-Happy People!!!