Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Agave Mustard Salmon

Agave Mustard Salmon.. With a weekend full of eating out behind me and a weekend full of it approaching I am trying my best to make two healthy home cooked meals this week. After venturing out on my usual Sunday TJ's run a day late yesterday, I decided that tonights healthy dinner would revolve around salmon, fresh veggies, and my favorite protein packed grain - quinoa.

On the Menu:
Agave Mustard baked Salmon, sauteed spinach with garlic, TJ's quinoa, and a tomato/mozzarella, basil side salad.

The Salmon:
I had originally planned on doing a simple lemon and pepper marinade on the salmon, but a suggestion of dusting the top with grainy mustard and popping it in the oven sparked an idea. I grabbed a mixing bowl and poured in a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of organic blue agave (sub honey or brown sugar), and a big spoonful of brown grainy mustard. Give it a whisk and pour it over top of the salmon (you should either have put the salmon in a pyrex baking dish or on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil). Then give a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes until it is crispy around the edges and slightly bubbling.

The Spinach:
Simple simple simple. Drizzle olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat, then add a bag of spinach, and one large garlic clove through the garlic press. Let the greens wilt for just a minute or two before serving.

The Quinoa:
Simple again! I get quinoa at TJ's from the freezer section right by that PERFECT brown rice. Anyways the quinoa is Dahlicious, it has little hunks of zucchini and squash, and perhaps some other veggies as well. It has definitely been seasoned which I like because the few times that I've tried making quinoa myself it tastes quite bland (something I am on a mission to figure out so please let me know of any good secrets for cooking tasty quinoa at home!). This version takes just 3 minutes to heat and there you've got a perfect solution to satisfying that desire for a carb but with more protein than you'd get out of a regular side of pasta.

Mini Caprese:
There are tons of ways to create this classic, but for my dinner I simply grabbed a handful of baby heirloom tomatoes I had on hand and gave them a quick chop. Then I opened a container of small fresh mozzarella balls I also picked up yesterday and cut them in similar sized pieces. Pluck a few fresh basil leaves and give them a quick slicing and toss the combo in a bit of olive oil. Done! 

This meal is so well balanced yet flavorful - from the sweet and tangy mustard agave marinade, to the garlicy spinach, the punch of the spice blend in the quinoa, and the fresh aroma from the basil tossed with the tomatoes and mozz. I must say it was Dahlicious down the very last bite!

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