Carol Taylor is taking a break this week due to a laptop breakdown so I had decided to share the first of the Cook from Scratch posts that we collaborated on last year.
Some of you are familiar with my Medicine Woman’s larder and Carol and I have teamed up to provide you with recipes to make the most of these amazing foods.
I am providing the ingredients and sharing their nutritional and medicinal properties and Carol is taking them to a whole new level with her delicious recipes. You can find out more about Carol at the end of the post.
Today we are going to be looking at salmon and because most of these foods are very nutritious the posts with the recipes will be even longer than my usual offerings. I suggest you bookmark for a time you can put your feet up with a libation and enjoy at leisure.
Salmon – Omega 3 on a plate.
Much of the salmon available today comes from fisheries and conditions and feed of these farmed fish have improved through regulation in recent years. However, I am not convinced by the publicity and prefer to eat fish that has been caught in the ocean and to me there is definitely a difference in the taste of this salmon. You can buy ocean caught fish frozen or fresh, but be prepared as Salmon prices have been higher in the last couple of years due to longer winters and shorter fishing seasons in the north.
There is always some concern about the levels of mercury in fish and studies indicate that ocean caught salmon from the northern seas and rivers have levels that are considered to be low and safe for more regular consumption.
There are a number of health issues apart from heart function that eating salmon benefits including weight loss, bone health, a healthy immune system and brain health. The nutrients in this important source of protein are also helpful in preventing cancer and diabetes.
I will begin with Omega 3, which is abundant in fatty fish such as Salmon. Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. It is important that your overall cholesterol is kept to a normal level but it is equally important to ensure that the balance between the LDL (lousy cholesterol) and the HDL (healthy cholesterol) is maintained with a lower LDL to HDL ratio.
Omega 3 appears to maintain that correct balance. LDL (low density lipoprotein) has smaller particles than the higher density lipoprotein and when oxidised becomes dangerous. Because it is smaller it is able to clump and attach to the walls of the arteries and cause a dangerous narrowing. Pieces can also break off and travel in the bloodstream to major organs like the brain and the heart. An added bonus in eating salmon muscle is that it contains peptides that may also lower blood pressure.
Omega 3 is linked to brain health in a number of ways. The brain contains a large amount of fat especially Omega 3 fatty acids in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In studies DHA levels determined levels of brain activity and cognitive function and is thought to be essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in babies. This ability is not limited to young humans as it is vital that this brain activity and function is maintained into old age. Including Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet therefore may well decrease our risk of developing degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Carrying additional weight can certainly contribute to strain on the heart muscle and the salmon has a rather unusual property that whilst yet unproven may help in weight loss.
There is a protein that is released when we begin to eat called amylin. This protein travels to the brain where it is measured and the brain then decides when we have eaten sufficient food and should stop eating. Unfortunately we have got very adept at overriding this message from the brain and consequently we tend to eat more than we actually need leading to weight gain.
The salmon produces a hormone called calcitonin, which has the same effect on animals as amylin does in humans. There is no conclusive proof but it is felt that this hormone when eaten might result in us consuming less food.
As we get older the risk of bone fractures increases with many women particularly suffering from hip joint disease after menopause. Omega 3 may be instrumental in decreasing bone loss and therefore osteoporosis.
Salmon is high in selenium,which is a very important trace mineral that activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer. It is vital for immune system function and may help prevent prostate cancerin particular.
Overall, the salmon contains many nutrients in the flesh and also in parts of the fish such as bone that is often included in canned fish. It is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, phosphorus and zinc, some of which are of particular benefit for the cardiovascular system and the heart.
You can read more on the health benefits of Salmon at this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/medicine-womans-larder-salmon-fresh-from-the-sea-or-wild-is-an-amazing-food/
Now I will hand you over to Carol who is sharing some wonderful salmon recipes to whet your appetite for this versatile and nutritious fish.
Fish one of my favourite foods and cooked with fish sauce, chilli, lime and coriander it’s to die for….. so yum. My favourite is Loch Fyne Salmon Trout which I can get it here but when I do it is a welcome treat.…Salmon is so good for you in many ways and Sally explains that very well so between the two of us Sally will give you the astounding health benefits of Salmon and I will provide some easy to follow healthy recipes all cooked from scratch.
Firstly we have Salmon done the Thai way very tasty, very easy and wherever you are you should be able to easily obtain all the ingredients.
180gm Salmon Trout or Salmon fillet.
For the topping:
- 1 spring Onion finely chopped.
- 2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…i use stem as well.
- 1 red bird’s eye chilli finely chopped.
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce.
- A cheek of lime.
- Put fish on foil and spoon topping on. I reserve some of topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.
- This of course depends on thickness of fish.
- When cooked remove from oven and serve with rice.
Another favourite is Salmon with Linguine.
- 180gm Salmon
- 2tbsp Olive oil
- 1/4-1/1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes. or 1 fresh chilli finely chopped. (you can omit this step)
- 2/3 large cloves of garlic, crushed.
- 2 small shallots finely chopped.
- The zest of 1 lime or you can use lemon.
- 3/4 tomatoes chopped.
- Chopped parsley.
- Fresh parmesan as desired.
- 400gm of Linguine or pasta of your choice.
- I lightly steam my salmon and set aside to cool.
- At the same time cook your pasta in boiling salted water as per the packet instructions.
- Heat your oil in a pan, add the garlic and the shallots and chilli if you are using cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
- I often just add a small piece of butter to this…it stops the olive oil burning.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes then add the flaked salmon, the lime zest and parsley and cook for a further 2/3 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and reserve 70 ml of the cooking water.
- Add pasta to the salmon mix and gently combine.
- Season and add some freshly grated parmesan cheese…this is where I can get a bit over zealous as we love parmesan, also adjust seasoning if required.
- Stir in all or some of the reserved pasta liquid and sprinkle with parsley to serve…with a lovely green salad or some lightly steamed vegetables and of course a glass of your favourite vino.
Sometimes you just want a little snack and this one is quick and easy to do…Most of us have a packet of rice cakes in the cupboard don’t we?…Well lets jazz it up a little and take it from the boring to the sublime.
Just mash an avocado coarsely add some black pepper, lemon juice and a little mint if liked or maybe a little crumbled feta.
Spread on the rice cakes and top with a little smoked salmon…divine.
Having a BBQ?
Then skewer the salmon with some small onions and lemon slices if doing chunks or cut salmon length ways and thread on to the skewer and then brush them with this lovely dip when you turn them on the BBQ or grill.
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2 smashed garlic cloves
- ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- Large pinch of black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil preferably light as extra virgin tends to burn.
- 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
Salmon is very versatile and goes with lots of combinations of sauces with oil, white sauces or burnt butter sauce there are many ways you can dress up that lovely salmon
I hope you enjoyed this selection of recipes and reading about the health benefits of the Salmon.
I will be sharing more Cook from Scratch in coming weeks
About Carol Taylor
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Connect to Carol
My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again next week another Food and Cookery Column….Please feel free to share thanks Sally