CNS-boosting food of the month: Salmon
Last month we briefly touched upon the benefits of supporting our central nervous systems via nutrition. This month, let's talk a bit more about a wonderful, CNS-boosting vitamin called Vitamin D3 (we like it so much we made it last month's "Product of the Month")! Vitamin D3 is essential for calcium absorption and helps develop healthy, strong bones. Insufficient Vitamin D3 can lead to brittle or even misshapen bones, and can affect spinal health in the long term. That being said, Vitamin D3 deficiency is surprisingly common, since this vitamin only occurs (naturally) within a limited range of foods. Not to despair, however- one food that's delicious and happens to be rich in Vitamin D3 is salmon! If taking Vitamin D3 supplements isn't your thing, check out the recipe below!
Salmon Greek Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings
- 16 ounces of salmon fillets, (four 4-ounce pieces)
- olive oil, as needed
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 8 cups of romaine lettuce or spring greens of your choice
- 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup of cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of red bell pepper, diced
- 4 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice, plus the zest of one lemon
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, or 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
- Lightly season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on both sides of the fillets, to coat.
- Heat a frying pan or grill to medium-high. Add a small amount of vegetable oil (on a folded piece of paper towel) then grease the frying pan or grill grates with the oil.
- Once the pan/grill is hot, add the seasoned salmon fillets. Cook the salmon uncovered, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until flaky (about 130-140°F).
- Remove the salmon from the pan/grill and transfer to a plate, remove any skin that is still attached, then cover the plate to keep the salmon warm.
- In a large bowl, add the salad ingredients (greens, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, cheese, and walnuts). Set aside.
Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:
- Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, mustard, honey, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a blender.
- Blend until well-mixed and a slightly thick and opaque dressing is achieved, or about 30 seconds.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste (optional).
- Evenly divide the mixed salad ingredients, top each plate with a salmon fillet and drizzle with dressing to taste (this recipe makes extra dressing, so there might be some left over).
Popular ingredient additions/variations: toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, candied toasted walnuts, candied or plain toasted pecans, shelled toasted pumpkin seeds.