Quick and Easy Meals: Salmon

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Salmon is a very versatile fish and one I cook often for my family. While I love tasty food, I don’t like to spend a ton of time in the kitchen on weeknights. After a long day at work, I want something quick, easy, and nutritious. Enter: Salmon!

Choosing a Salmon Type

Salmon is a ‘good-for-you’ fish and can easily be found at most grocery stores. You can buy individual portion sizes (usually 4 or 5 ounces) or a large piece that you can then slice up yourself. There are many different types of salmon available for purchase and it’s really all a matter of individual taste preference.

Fresh Salmon steaks

All are either Atlantic or Pacific salmon. The Atlantic salmon you will typically find in grocery stores is farmed salmon. It’s usually the one sold in portion sizes and most readily available. Most Pacific salmon is wild caught, although there is some that is farmed. There are five different types of Pacific salmon:

  • Coho/Silver
  • King/Chinook
  • Sockeye
  • Pink
  • Chum/Keta

While they all differ slightly in taste and coloring, all are a good nutritional choice. If you want to learn more about the different types of Pacific salmon, you can find a great breakdown here: Top Six Types of Salmon.

Fresh salmon filets

Marinades and Sauces

The best way I’ve found to cook salmon is to either broil it or cook it at very high temperatures ~450 degrees Fahrenheit. In preparing the salmon to cook, I do two things:

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to make clean-up a breeze, and
  2. Pick a tasty marinade to give the fish even more flavor

spoon with marinade

I spend a lot of time scouring the grocery store for marinades and glazes. Yes, I could make my own from scratch but again, tired after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is gather fourteen different ingredients to whisk together in a bowl (that I will then have to wash) only to measure out a Tablespoon’s worth to top each piece of fish and then have to figure out how to store the remainder (and remember it’s there before it spoils). Store-bought, while maybe not as fresh, is sometimes the easiest and most efficient choice.

(climbing down from my soapbox now)

So, what types of sauces should you use? Whatever you like! I have used a wide variety of flavors and types. Here is a sampling of some of the marinades, sauces, and glazes I’ve used:

If you follow the WW program, this makes for a very “cheap” dinner. The fish is Zero Points and the marinades are all 1 to 2 Points each per Tablespoon. All you need is 1 Tablespoon per 4 to 5-ounce piece of fish. Under the broiler or high heat, it crisps up nicely and creates a bit of a crust. Overall this is a quick, tasty, and nutritious meal!

Cooking Specifics:

Temperature:

~450 degrees Fahrenheit up to Broil (depending on your oven)

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 ounces per person
  • 1 Tbsp sauce of your choice per serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  3. Space salmon pieces on prepared baking sheet
  4. Spread 1 Tbsp of desired marinade or sauce on top of each piece of fish
  5. Cook per instructions below

Cooking Time:

10-12 minutes depending on your oven. I usually set it for 9 to 10 minutes initially and check it to see if it’s done (it usually isn’t). Another 3 minutes usually does the trick. You will need to play with the heat and time to see what works best for your oven and taste.

Cooked salmon filets

That’s it, that’s all you need. I like to serve the salmon with either steamed broccoli or corn on the cob in summer. Alternatively, you could serve it on a bed of greens or salad.

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Quick & Easy Meals: Salmon