September 24, 2014

Baked Salmon & Balsamic Quinoa Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts


The days are growing colder, and the nights are creeping earlier.  What do I love about fall?  So many things!  Baking pies and breads, picking pumpkins and apples, crunching leaves under my feet, sipping hot cocoa, breathing in the crisp air, and wearing chunky sweaters with fuzzy socks and boots!  Yesterday was the first official day of autumn, though it's felt like autumn for quite some time now.  It was chilly outside, and I was in the mood to fire up my oven for dinner.  I had some lovely organic salmon that I needed to use up, so I made a simple & delicious baked salmon.  As a side, I made a warm quinoa salad with zucchini and pine nuts, and brightened up the flavor by adding balsamic vinegar.  Divine!  



Ingredients:

  • 3 (4 oz) salmon fillets
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder 

Balsamic Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and drained 
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c onion, diced
  • 1/4 c carrots, diced
  • 1/4 c pine nuts
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced 
  • 1 small zucchini, cubed 
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly brush the salmon fillets with the avocado oil.  Season the fillets evenly with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, parsley, and garlic powder.  Place the fillets skin-side down on a nonstick baking sheet.  Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.  

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa.  Combine the uncooked quinoa and chicken broth in a medium sauce pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Turn the heat down to low.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until ready to use.  

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the butter.  Once the butter is melted, add the onion and carrots.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the pine nuts, garlic, and zucchini.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is cooked to your desired doneness.  Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over all.  Stir well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  

Serve the baked salmon with the quinoa salad.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Enjoy!




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