As we enjoyed this meal, it occurred to us that it might be the healthiest combination of food ever! Not that it really mattered, because it was quite tasty and we would have eaten every bite even it it was chock full of benzene and trans fats. Well, not really…we do try to avoid foods that will give you cancer and a heart attack.
We found some farm-raised Norwegian King Salmon at the local Whole Foods, which, although not wild-caught, is “raised in carefully monitored, low-density pens without antibiotics, pesticides or added growth hormones” according to Whole Foods Standards. It is a mild-flavored salmon with a good fat content…yum! Since we are in Santa Fe, I wanted to give it a bit of Southwestern flair, so I put together a simple chipotle-lime glaze and added some rosemary from the yard (which is the only herb other than sage that has survived the rabbits.) The glaze has a kick to it, but doesn’t overwhelm the delicate flavor of the salmon. This we roasted and served with Sweet Potatoes and Kale (recipe here).
I did a little research and found out how healthy our meal was. Wow! (Much of this information was from the George Mateljan Foundation at http://www.whfoods.org.)
Health benefits of salmon: Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3’s also help prevent the blood clots which cause many strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function; therefore omega-3 fats have potential to help slow cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Also, people who have sufficient levels of omega-3’s seem to have less depression.
Additional studies have found that salmon also contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.
Health benefits of chipotle peppers: This pepper has many cardiovascular benefits related to helping reduce cholesterol, triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation. Your body increases in its ability to dissolve fibrin, which forms blood clots. Chipotles help to lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. They lower free radical damage, which may lead to development of atherosclerosis. By adding chipotle to your food, you are giving your body valuable vitamins of potassium, and vitamins A and C. These peppers are rich in the minerals iron, niacin, thiamin, magnesium and riboflavin. Two teaspoons provide 6 percent of your daily need for vitamin C and 10 percent of vitamin A, which boost your immunity to defend against invading pathogens. Chipotles also contain antioxidants, which help to maintain insulin levels at a healthy state.
Health benefits of rosemary: Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.
Health benefits of kale: The benefits of kale are really too numerous to list here, but are easily found on the internet. Kale’s nutrient richness stands out in three particular areas-(1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti-inflammatory nutrients, and (3) anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates. It is extremely high in vitamin K, plus has a significant amount of omega-3s and fiber. In addition, kale is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, and manganese; a very good source of copper, tryptophan, calcium, vitamin B6, and potassium; and a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, folate, phosphorous, and vitamin B3.
Health benefits of sweet potatoes: The orange-flesh sweet potatoes are exceedingly rich in beta-carotene. They are rich in unique phytonutrients, including polysaccharide-related molecules called batatins and batatosides. Sweet potatoes also include storage proteins called sporamins that have unique antioxidant properties. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and also a very good source of vitamin C and manganese. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.
Health benefits of a margarita: Uh…there must be something! Unfortunately the possible benefits from the agave plant are most likely lost during the distillation process. However, lime juice is good for you as a source of vitamin C. No scurvy in this household! Also, flavonoids, compounds found in the fragrant oils extracted from lime, break down macro molecules of food, and stimulate the digestive system by increasing secretion of digestive juices, bile and acids, and stimulate the peristaltic motion.
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- Juice of one lime
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (remove seeds if you’d like a milder heat)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salmon fillet
- Kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400F. In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add lime juice, chipotle pepper, rosemary, and honey. Stir well to combine, then remove from heat.
Place salmon fillet in a shallow roasting pan lined with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick spray or oil. Lightly salt the fillet and brush with some of the glaze. Place in oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Brush frequently with glaze and cook to your desired level of doneness. (We like it cooked to the point where it just starts to flake apart in the thickest area.) Serve with a spritz of lime and enjoy!
Linked to the Fresh Bites Friday blog carnival at Real Food Whole Heath!
Maybe the name Charley Patton doesn’t ring a bell yet- he was a bluesman of the very old school, but a spin of Down the Dirt Road will open your ears. Featuring folks like Graham Parker, Steve James and Paul Rishell with a great version of “I Shall Not Be Moved”, Patton’s music, which in its original form is found on scratchy 78s, is rough hewn and raw, and these contemporary takes on his creations is a great introduction to the incredibly influential blues of one of the legends, Charley Patton.