When I'm working hard, I typically eat really bad. It makes me feel better - for a few minutes. Then I don't feel so good. Food has a way of doing that. But as I mentioned yesterday, I am doing things differently this year. I am eating healthy pretty much all of the time and I feel good pretty much all the time. Do you know what is keeping me on track?? Meal planning. On most Thursday nights, I set aside a few minutes before bed to plan my meals for the following week. I plan easy meals that have quick-cooking ingredients that store well and can be mixed and matched in several meals for lunch and dinner. Variations of this quinoa salad have been in rotation. But this past weekend, I made this cilantro-lime salmon salad that I'm sure will also be in heavy rotation.
This salad takes about 15 minutes to make. The ingredients are so fresh and go so well together that it barely needs any dressing (in my opinion). Oh and have I mentioned that I'm trying to cut back on my meat consumption? I'm not trying to become a full vegetarian, but I have reduced my meat consumption to about once or twice a week and I feel SO much better. Hence the salmon here in this salad. I have been buying fresh Wild Alaskan Salmon (it's so much better than farm-raised and worth the price) for the last few weeks and seasoning it in different ways for different dishes. It cooks so fast and is so very good and good for you. But if salmon isn't your thing, then shredded rotisserie chicken would be great. To be perfectly honest, this salad is good simply on its own without any meat at all...
Here is what you need and what to do:
2 salmon fillets
Juice 1/2 lime
1/2 lime, sliced
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 heads romaine lettuce, washed and coarsely chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 avocado, diced
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, cubed
Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
Roasted sunflower seeds, to taste
Tortilla chips (these are my favorite!)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the salmon on a sheet of aluminum foil - a sheet that is big enough to fold into a little package. Season the salmon with the lime juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place the slices of lime on top of the salmon. Place the cilantro and butter on top of the lime slices. Fold the aluminum into a little package and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the fish is flaky and slightly pink on the inside.
2. While the salmon is baking, make the vinaigrette. Place all the ingredients into a jar and shake it until everything is well combined. set aside.
3. To make the salad, place the black beans, corn and avocado, cheese and tomatoes in a separate bowl. Pour some of the dressing over the mixture. Gently toss to combine. Place the romaine lettuce in a large serving bowl. Top the lettuce with the black bean and corn mixture.
4. Once the salmon has cooled, shred it with a fork and add it to the top of the salad. Top it with a few sprinkles of chopped cilantro and roasted sunflower seeds. Add more dressing to taste. Serve some tortilla chips on the side.
P.S. I forgot to add the sunflower seeds to the salad before I photographed it, but I added them afterwards and it was so good!
Vinaigrette recipe found here
Images by me