Friday, January 9, 2009

Healthy Recipes for the New Year

If you're like most people this time of year, I bet you're looking for new healthy recipes. I tried two new recipes tonight from and they were great!

Salmon with Spicy Cucumber Salad and Peanuts

  • 4 cups sliced seeded peeled English/Hothouse cucumber (about 2 large)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 4 teaspoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts


1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper over fish. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 fillet in each of 4 shallow bowls, and top each serving with 1/2 cup cucumber salad and 1 teaspoon peanuts.

(The cucumber salad would also be good on top of shrimp or chicken breasts, if you don't like salmon.)

and this was so yummy too...

Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pistachios

A tiny grain with a texture lighter than rice, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is often dubbed "supergrain" because it's rich in many nutrients, particularly protein. If apricots are in season where you live, by all means substitute fresh--about 6, coarsely chopped--in place of the dried.


4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots (about 10), quartered
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1/4 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine) or slightly sweet white wine (such as Riesling) or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced jalapeƱo pepper (I don't like jalapenos, so I just used a sprinkle of cayenne pepper instead)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


To prepare the salad, combine water, quinoa, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa mixture through a sieve. Combine quinoa mixture and next 8 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl; set aside.

To prepare the vinaigrette, combine reserved 3 tablespoons water, lime rind, and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour vinaigrette over quinoa mixture, and toss well to coat. (Mix pistachios in at the last minute to keep them crunchy.)

I'd never tried the grain quinoa before, but I'd heard about how healthy it is for you, so I wanted to try it. It was so delicious! Even Keith liked it! It has a very light texture, even lighter than couscous, and is very mild on its own so you can really give it whatever flavor you want. I've even seen recipes that use quinoa to make a hot cereal, like you would with oatmeal. I know that Trader Joe's carries it (love that place!), but I've also seen it in bulk in the health food section at Fred Meyer.

Here's to making healthier choices this year! :-)

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