One of the nice things I like about salmon is that it’s so nutritious.
Did you know that a 4-ounce serving of wild salmon provides a full day’s requirement of vitamin D? It also contains more than half of the necessary B12, niacin and selenium and is an excellent source of B6 and magnesium. It’s also low in calories and saturated fat, yet high in protein and the health-promoting fat, the omega-3 essential fatty acids.
The omega-3 fats found in salmon have a broad array of beneficial cardiovascular effects. Omega-3s help prevent erratic heart rhythms, make blood less likely to clot inside arteries (the proximate cause of most heart attacks and strokes), improve the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevent cholesterol from becoming damaged.
And a more recent development: Omega-3 fats have potential to help slow cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Wild-caught, cold-water fish such as salmon are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm-water fish. In fact, the fat composition of salmon recently has been shown to be superior not only because of its rich omega-3 content but also because of its great ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s and its health-supportive balance of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
I recently was lucky enough to come across some wild-caught, cold-water-caught salmon, courtesy of a friend, Pat Healey, who’s an avid angler. Each summer, Pat and some of his fishing buddies go to Lake Michigan for salmon, and he said that their 2009 trip was highly successful.
I’ve already baked a couple of the fillets he gave me, and they were delicious and simple to make. I just placed the fish in a Dutch oven along with about ½ cup of white wine, 3 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and an equal amount of olive oil. I then seasoned it with some freshly ground black pepper, a little salt and 3 to 4 teaspoons of dill. The cooking time was about 1 to 1½ hours at 325 degrees. Along with some sweet potatoes and a salad, it made for a pretty healthy meal.
It’s hard to beat that recipe, but the following is one that I might have to try. It contains a low-fat marinade and cooks is just a few minutes — perfect to make after work for supper. And one serving contains just 161 calories and 4 grams of fat.
1 pound salmon fillet
¼ cup sugar-free orange marmalade
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon lemon pepper or salt-free citrus-herb seasoning
Rinse salmon fillet under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Cut into 4 equal portions and place salmon pieces in a large zip-top bag. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour into zip-top bag. Squeeze air from bag and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for one hour. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and turn on your oven’s broiler. Remove salmon from marinade and place on baking sheet.
Discard marinade. Broil salmon 6 to 8 inches from heat source for 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 161 calories, 4 grams fat grams, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 167 milligrams sodium, 24 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, no fiber.