Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Simple & Light Summer Dinner

I teach a group fitness class on Tuesday evenings and need something quick and easy to make after I get home.  Grilled meat or fish with couscous and vegetable is my go-to-super-fast meal.  Tonight it was grilled salmon with mango salsa (its mango season in South Florida right now and a good friend of mine has a few mango trees - yummy!), pine nut couscous (with a little help from Near East - yes, it was out of a box and done in about 7min), and a spinach salad w/ goat cheese, walnuts and raspberries (local raspberries are in the supermarkets now too).   I made the mango salsa earlier in the day, (it can even be made the night before), and the entire meal took less than 20 min to prep and cook.  This recipe would taste good with any grilled fish, I just prefer salmon for the extra Omega 3s.  A nice cold glass of Pinot Grigio, or lemonade for a non-alcoholic option, would compliment the fruity flavors of this meal.  It was a total hit and described by our dinner guests as "gourmet".  Enjoy!

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa
4 pre-portioned salmon fillets (I get mine wild-caught and frozen, individually sealed from BJs wholesale.  I like to keep a bag in my freezer for a quick, healthy, and easy meal) or other fish such as tilapia if you prefer
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp granulated onion
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Mango Salsa (recipe below)

Defrost the fish according to package directions.  Preheat your grill on medium-high heat.  Rinse fillets in the sink with cold running water.  Place on a plate, skin side down.  Sprinkle seasonings evenly over the fish.  Place fillets, skin side down, on the grill on medium heat and close it.  Do not open or move fillets.  There is no need to turn fish or do anything.  Just let it cook for 10 minutes and it will be ready.  Remove salmon from grill and serve salsa along the side or right on top.  We don't like to eat the skin, so you can cut the skin off after its done cooking or just eat around it.  Others eat the skin, so which ever you prefer.

Mango Salsa:
1 1/2 c of ripe mango, cut into medium dice (I had 4 small mangoes, but 2 medium to large should work)
1/3 c finely diced red pepper
1/4 c sliced green onions (scallions), white and green parts
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 T finely minced jalepeno pepper , seeds removed

Mix together in a medium bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to be their best.  Can be eaten right away if you don't have time to prepare in advance.  As I mentioned earlier, I made the salsa in the afternoon while my son was napping.

Serve the Salmon with couscous, (homemade or from a box as I have chosen tonight), and Fruity Summer Spinach Salad (recipe below).

Fruity Summer Spinach Salad
1- 6 oz pkg of baby spinach
1/2 pint fresh raspberries, washed and dried
1/3 c crumbled goat cheese
1/4 c chopped walnuts
3 T of Bolthouse Farms Raspberry Merlot Vinaigrette (I'm a HUGE fan of this brand - found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and very low in calories, fat and sugar.  They make a line of creamy yogurt dressings too - the ranch is fantastic, especially for a low calorie version that tastes similar to the real deal).
Toss the spinach, nuts, cheese, and dressing to lightly coat then sprinkle the berries on top (add more dressing if necessary) and serve.

Another variation I have tried is strawberries, Vidalia onion and feta cheese with mixed greens and the same raspberry vinaigrette. 

Since I created this menu in my head, the total nutritional value is unavailable, as I did not consult a recipe or have access to the tools that would provide such information.  I can confidently state that this is a light, refreshing, and healthy meal with very little "bad" fat.  If you are looking to cut calories even further, I would use a light or reduced fat cheese, but expect to lose the flavor and richness.  I hope you give this meal a go.

Until next time, I wish you and yours a Deliciously Domestic Dining experience. 

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