Baked Orange Zest Salmon & Side Salad

*Baked_Orange_Zest_SalmonI always hear that Americans don’t get enough fish in their diet. I believe it. I honestly avoided most fish as a child, except for the tuna fish patties my mother made. I refused to try anything else. Whenever my father took us to a seafood restaurant for a special dinner, I ordered chicken. You can imagine he wasn’t thrilled with my fish aversion. But then as an adult, I discovered a love for salmon. One of my favorite ways to prepare it is with orange juice.

Oranges are loaded with vitamins C and A. Studies suggest that vitamin C may reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration, while vitamin A can protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Also, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also important for healthy eyes. Such essential fatty acids are even important in the diet of pregnant women for normal infant vision development.

In this recipe, the salmon shares the plate with a colorful side salad of fruit and leafy greens. The spinach and arugula contain lutein and zeaxanthin. Diets rich in these antioxidants can lower your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration, just like the vitamin C in the fruit on top of the salad. Olive oil and ground flaxseed provide even more omega-3s, so it’s a whole meal that’s all-around perfect for your sight.

So go ahead…see if this recipe will make you crave more orange salmon in your diet.

 

Baked Orange Zest Salmon & Side Salad

Ingredients (serves 2 people):

  • 2 fresh or thawed wild caught salmon fillets
  • 1 cup orange juice (more or less, depending on thickness of filets)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • Dash of sea salt & pepper

Ingredients for side salad and dressing:

  • 1 orange, peeled & sliced
  • Fresh strawberries, sliced
  • A handful of spinach
  • A handful of arugula
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Dash of sea salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ tsp ground flaxseed

Instructions for salmon:

  1. Place 2 fillets into a baking dish so that the skin side is on the bottom. Coat the tops of the fillets with olive oil.
  2. Zest one orange, and sprinkle orange zest on top of the fillets.
  3. Sprinkle a dash of sea salt and pepper on each fillet.
  4. Slowly pour orange juice into the dish until the juice comes up about halfway on the fillets. If the fillets are thin, you may not use all the juice. If they are thick, you may use 1 cup or even a little more.
  5. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until salmon is a lighter color and flakes off easily with a fork. Watch very carefully; thinner fillets may need only 10 minutes.
  6. Take out of oven and place each salmon fillet onto its own plate.

Instructions for salad and dressing:

  1. Gather a handful of spinach and a handful of arugula. Divide them evenly onto the two plates.
  2. Peel the orange you already zested and cut it up into slices. Cut fresh strawberries into slices. Divide fruit evenly and place on top of the greens.
  3. For the dressing, mix lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl. Add a dash of sea salt and a dash of pepper.
  4. In another small bowl, combine parmesan cheese and ground flaxseed.
  5. Drizzle some of the olive oil mixture onto each salad.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese mixture onto each salad (and the salmon if you want) and enjoy!