There is no such thing as having too many ideas for quick, weeknight meals. Having meals like this in your back pocket makes the difference between keeping up with your healthy habits and throwing it away for a take-out pizza. Because here’s the thing with recipes like this skinny salmon, kale, & cashew bowl – it’s ready in only 15 minutes! That means it’ll be on the table quicker than you can call for take-out.
I absolutely adore salmon, not only because it’s easy to cook but also because it’s so good for you and it’s also a crowd pleaser. There’s no one in my family that says no to salmon’s firm, flaky texture, and mild-yet-rich flavor.
If You Can, Opt for Wild-Caught Salmon
There are a lot of salmon options out there, so sometimes it’s hard to know which to pick. We all know that fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but does it really matter whether you choose the cheaper farmed salmon or the more expensive wild-caught variety? Actually, yes, it does!
According to USDA data, a wild salmon filet has 131 fewer calories and nearly half the fat content as the equivalent sized farmed salmon fillet. Not only does the farmed salmon have more fat, but it has over 20 percent more saturated fat. Those are the fats you’re looking to avoid.
How is that possible? Well, fish are what they eat. Dr. Bruce Bistrian, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, explains that wild salmon eat small fish high in beneficial, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. In comparison, the farmed fish eat protein pellets. Most farmers don’t use the expensive, fish- or fish-oil-enriched pellets and instead opt for less expensive plant and animal source protein pellets. This choice keeps the costs down, but it also adds saturated fats to the farmed salmon.
At the end of the day, even the farmed salmon has half the amount of saturated fat as a flank steak. So, don’t stress too much if your level of affordability makes it more comfortable to buy the farmed fish.
What’s With Those Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
So what’s the deal with those omega-3 fatty acids? We hear so much about them, how they improve our health and general well-being, but did you know that your body can’t produce them? These fats are known as essential fats, a type that can only be obtained by eating foods rich in the fatty acid.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, nuts, and leafy vegetables. That makes this salmon, kale, & cashew bowl a triple threat for omega-3 fatty acid intake! One serving of this bowl will boost your body’s ability to regulate inflammation, prevent heart disease, and may even play a protective role in cancer, especially prostate cancer.
To benefit from these omega-3 fatty acids, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week. Recipes like this salmon, kale, & cashew bowl make it so easy to reach that serving of fish. It’s ready in only 15 minutes, and it’s packed full of delicious, nutritious flavors.
We love how easy it is to pull this salmon dish together in a hot, 400 degree F oven. Do you prefer to cook your salmon in the oven, or do you prefer the broiler or the grill? Let us know your favorite way to enjoy salmon in the comments!
Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1 bowl | Calories: 429 | Total Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 206mg | Carbohydrates: 42g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 22g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 12
- 12 ounces skinless salmon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package
- 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon fillets on to the sheet. Brush the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the oil (reserve the second tablespoon for later) and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes until firm and flaky.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the garlic, kale, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until the kale is wilted and soft. Add the quinoa and cashews. Cook, stirring, just until hot.
- Spoon the kale and quinoa mixture into a serving bowl. Remove the salmon from the oven and place on top of the kale. Serve and enjoy.
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Drizzle over cooked salmon, and enjoy!