Lemon Salmon with Cauliflower Mash and Cucumber-Nectarine Salad

But some great fluke, or simply a gift from Mother Nature, I was surprised by a beautiful Spring-like day yesterday.  I even took a conference call on a sunlit park bench in Virginia to enjoy the 66 degree weather.  While sitting in the sunshine, and admittedly staring up at the sun and trying to get a 5-minute suntan, I thought of all the joys that Spring brings.  It’s the season of rebirth, renewal, growth and joy.  The rains not only flush away the iced soil, but they also foster the budding of flowers and birth of new animal and plant life.

I took this contemplation of Spring with me to my personal yoga practice last night. I rolled my yoga mat out on my hardwood floor, and began my practice with a carefully-chosen meditation — how do I choose to renew? I meditated on this thought, wondering whether my personal growth would come from spirit, emotion, health, or career. This concept led me into a fitting moving mediation, or vinyasa yoga sequence.  I guided myself through a series of sun salutations and twists to spiritually wring out the past and leave my body and mind open to new experiences, thoughts, and feelings. The following were my two climatic poses of the evening:

In celebration of my yogic and seasonal cleansing, I elected to make a clean and bright dinner.  My grocery store just so happened to have fresh, local salmon and perfectly ripe nectarines. These pared perfectly with Zack’s specialty Paleo cauliflower. Kudos to Zack, Kristin, and Mom for perfecting that 2-ingredient recipe!

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Lemon Seared Salmon

Servings: 2 People
2 7-oz Salmon fillets (always ask fish monger for a center cut)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs Lemon Garlic (or use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbs dried parsley

preparation

Place salmon fillets, skin side down, in a large non-reactive bowl. Mix remaining ingredients, and rub on top of salmon fillets. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Heat large non-stick skillet over high heat for 2 minutes, or until scalding hot. Sear salmon skin side up for 4 minutes or until salmon forms brown crust on bottom. Flip once and cook skin side down for 4 minutes, or until salmon is cooked almost all the way through. I prefer my salmon very rare, but cook to your taste. To remove salmon from pan, place flat spatula between skin and salmon. Skin should separate from salmon easily and be left in pan.

Serve salmon hot. I suggest pairing with cauliflower mash and cucumber-nectarine salad.

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Cucumber and Nectarine Salad

Servings: 2 People
1 medium cucumber, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

1 nectarine, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 vine-ripe tomato, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges

1 Tbs jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

preparation

Place all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl with lid.  Mix together until evenly coated (be sure to wash your hands well after chopping the jalapeno!).  Cover and refrigerate ~1 hour or until all ingredients infuse flavors.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Note: If you make extra, this is the perfect work day lunch (I found out today from experience). For lunch, you can top with grilled chicken breast or eat as-is.

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Cauliflower Mash

Servings: 2 People
1 head cauliflower

3 cloves fresh garlic

1-3 Tbs chicken broth

Parsley (1 tsp dried, or 1/4 cup fresh chopped)

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

preparation

Fill a large pot with ~3 inches of water and bring to a bowl. Place steamer over boiling water and cover. (If you don’t have a steamer basket, try fitting a collander into the pot. Only works if you can still cover the pot and collander). Break cauliflower into florets and place in steamer. Cover and steam for ~15 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, saute garlic cloves in small pan over low heat, turning frequently, until lightly browned but not burned. Add steamed cauliflower and garlic to blender and blend until smooth. Add chicken broth as needed to reach desired consistency.  Add parsley, salt, and pepper; stir and serve hot.

….And…..Voila!  

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2 thoughts on “Lemon Salmon with Cauliflower Mash and Cucumber-Nectarine Salad

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