I’m back at my desk after a long weekend in Park City, Utah, where my hot toddy to quinoa bowl ratio got a little lopsided. And by quinoa bowl, I really mean mountain side chili con carne…
This excursion was certainly more balanced in the healthy hedonism department than friend weekends of years’ past. Instead of going out at night, we played Cards Against Humanity and watched classic movies like I Love You Man. Slappadabase!
Our lunches at the lodge were complete with over-priced (yet delicious) side salads from the buffet. I only managed to consume approximately 1 plate of French fries and 0 helpings of fondue. And even managed to track down some fabulous golden milk lattes and gluten-free cookie dough in town.
But one area (aside from après ski) where I always feel a little overserved is in the meat department. Which is why, I’m very excited to resurrect a new and improved version of this old Feed Me Phoebe favorite from the archives: Salmon and Quinoa Bowls with Kale.
I talked about sustainable seafood in this post a few summers ago, but beyond choosing the right fish, I will say that one thing I’ve tried to do over the last few years (thanks to The Wellness Project) is put less of it on my plate. This New Yorker article has one of my favorite statistics: back in the 1920’s, the average American ate 4 ounces of meat every 4 days. Now we eat between 4 and 6 ounces everyday.
If you want to eat better quality meat and seafood, and you want to do so without spending a small fortune, your only choice is to cut down on your consumption. I’ve done this in two ways: 1) eat vegetarian for half of my meals and 2) stretch the animal protein I do invest in by filling up my plate with whole grains and veggies. Either way, (salmon) steaks once again become a luxury like back in the 50’s, rather than the centerpiece of your plate.
Making quinoa bowls is one way I like to make a little fish go a long way. In this case, I invested in some beautiful wild Sockeye salmon fillets. Instead of the usual 6-ounce portion, I had the fish monger cut these down into thinner fillets so I only had to buy a pound for 4 people. If you see wild salmon on sale, stock up! You can freeze extra portions and have them on hand for quick added protein for your quinoa bowls.
Below the salmon, my quinoa bowl is a riff on one of my favorite kale salads with chickpeas, currants and carrots. For even more healthy protein and omega-3’s you can add a tablespoon of hemp seeds to the quinoa, which blend right in. The salad keeps really well as a make-ahead side for the week, as does the tahini yogurt sauce you’ll want to generously douse it in.
If you’re hopping on the apres ski detox band wagon this week, as I am, this salmon and quinoa bowl is exactly what you need to feed your cravings and eat a balanced meal in the process. Read on for the recipe and to watch me make it in this brand spankin’ new video!
With health and hedonism,
Salmon and Quinoa Bowls with Kale and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce
If you're looking for a quick, healthy weeknight dinner, these salmon and quinoa bowls hit all your marks. Heart-healthy salmon, leafy greens, whole grains, legumes, probiotic-rich yogurt, creamy tahini: it's healthy hedonism in a bowl, in less than 30 minutes.
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 1 bunch Lacinato, Tuscan or dinosaur kale, thick stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
- 1/4 cup dried currants, cranberries or cherries
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
- Four 4-ounce sockeye salmon fillets (skin on)
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, then let stand covered for 10 minutes off the heat. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, carrots, lemon juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. With clean hands, toss the kale until very well coated in the lemon and oil. Add the cooked quinoa to the kale along with the chickpeas, dried fruit and hemp seeds (if using). Mix until well-incorporated and taste for seasoning.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet. Pat the salmon dry and season with salt. Cook the salmon skin-side down over high heat until nicely browned, 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and cook for another 2 minutes, until opaque up the sides.
- Divide the quinoa between 4 bowls and top with the seared salmon.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce until smooth. Add more water as necessary to make the sauce drizzle-friendly. (The sauce can be made up to a week in advance). Spoon over the fish and serve immediately.
The quinoa and tahini sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance.
To keep this low FODMAP, simply omit the chickpeas and substitute a simple pesto or romesco sauce for the tahini sauce.
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