Simple Salmon Salad
By Cheryl Forberg, RD
The greatest treasures of the sea are not buried. Some of Mother Nature's unrivaled riches are cloistered in frosty ocean waters; plump and glistening salmon, mackerel, and herring. What distinguishes these pristine creatures from other fishes has everything to do with their polar habitat. The thick layer of fatty insulation they wear harbors potent, healthy essential fats, meaning they are not produced in the body; they are obtained only through diet, and they're called omega-3 fatty acids. Does this mean eating more of this fat has remarkable health benefits? Absolutely.
Certain fats alter the production of chemical messengers called hormones. Programmed to travel to specific parts of the body, a hormone's job is to elicit a particular response. Omega-3s control the production of several beneficial hormones that promote a diverse range of antiaging functions affecting heart health, brain function, cancer risk, and more.
The brain has a high concentration of omega-3s necessary for normal function. When levels are lower than optimal, it is believed that the function of some brain cells is compromised. This can lead to losses of vision, concentration, attention, or memory, many of the problems associated with aging. Lucky for me, I absolutely love seafood, and salmon is at the top of my list. Here is a quick and easy recipe that is delicious, and it just happens to be healthy. Hope you enjoy!
Smoked Salmon Salad with Dill Caper Dressing
Delicious pink salmon nestled into perfectly melded dressing gets a powerful protein boost from nutty quinoa.
Yield: 2 servings
Smoked Salmon Salad
2 cups cooked Melissa's Cooked Quinoa
½ Melissa's English Cucumber, seeded and diced into ¼ inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces smoked salmon (wild or ocean-farmed, such as Norwegian salmon), cut into ¼ inch pieces
Dill Caper Dressing (recipe below)
Fresh dill sprigs
Fresh lemon slices
Place the cooked quinoa and cucumber in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the Dill Caper Dressing
Pour the dressing over the quinoa-cucumber mixture. Stir to combine—season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the salmon.
Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh dill sprigs and lemon slices.
Dill Caper Dressing
This simple tangy sauce would also be delicious on bagels with smoked salmon or drizzled over grilled fish.
Yield: ¾ cup
½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1½ tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped Melissa's shallots
1½ teaspoons chopped Melissa's fresh dill, or ¾ teaspoon dried dill
¾ teaspoon dried mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process or blend until smooth.