The Delicious Health Benefits of Salmon: Omega-3

by: Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN / PHOTOGRAPHY by Jose Morales

 Almond - Crusted Salmon with Balsamic-Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts. - © Guild Magazine - 2018.

Almond - Crusted Salmon with Balsamic-Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts. - © Guild Magazine - 2018.

Here, we have a delicious recipe to incorporate more Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet.  Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that we must get from food. Given that our bodies cannot synthesize them, therefore, they are called “essential. We can obtain Omega-3 from plant-based and animal sources.  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), some plant-based sources include flax seeds (ground), English walnuts, Chia seeds and vegetable oils.  As for animal sources, fatty fish such as salmon contains about 1.5 grams of total Omega-3 in a 3-ounce serving.  

Omega-3 has been shown to provide many health benefits, including decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), reduced inflammation and improvement of brain health.  In an article published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in September 2015, researchers found diets abundant in Omega-3 combined with physical activity are effective interventions in reducing body weight and decrease risk factors for CVD. 

When cooking salmon, it is best to minimize the excessive amount of seasonings. Simple ingredients such as salt, freshly ground pepper and a few aromatics or spices help bring out its unique buttery flavor and flaky, yet moist texture.  

Not only does the recipe below packs healthy protein, fats and Omega-3 in the salmon, but the addition of Brussel sprouts adds yet another layer of nutrients, in this case, cancer-fighting compounds and gut-friendly fiber found in this cruciferous vegetable.  

This delectable recipe—as fancy as it may seem— is very easy to make and will for sure please even the most skeptical palates. 

Almond - Crusted Salmon with Balsamic-Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Type: main course

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Yields: 4

 

Ingredients

4 Salmon fillets, skinless and boneless

½ cup Low-fat plain Greek yogurt

½ cup unsweetened/unsalted almonds, sliced

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 lb. Brussel Sprouts, cleaned and quartered

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Method

Pre-heat oven at 375 Fahrenheit

Step 1: Prep and roast Brussel Sprouts.

o   Place Brussel Sprouts on a baking sheet. 

o   Drizzle olive oil (1 Tbsp.), season with salt and pepper.  Toss it all together and roast until tender and slightly charred edges are visible. About 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

 

Step 2: Make the glaze. 

o   In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and ginger.  

o   Lightly season with salt and pepper. 

o   Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove ginger. 

o   Add glaze to Brussel Sprouts. Mix well. Set aside. (Reserve about a tsp. of glaze for garnishing). 

 

Step 3: Prep and cook Salmon.

o   Pat dry each salmon fillets with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

o   Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

o   Spread an even layer of yogurt over each fillet, presentation side only.  This will help almonds stick to salmon.

o   Spread almonds over salmon pressing gently with your hands. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. 

o   Prepare a baking sheet with a little olive oil.  

o   Place almond-crusted salmon fillets side up, and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until salmon looks opaque, cooking under the broiler in the last minute to give almonds a beautiful caramel color. 

o   Serve salmon over Brussel sprouts. Drizzle any remaining glaze. 

 

 Almond - Crusted Salmon with Balsamic-Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts. - © Guild Magazine - 2018.

Almond - Crusted Salmon with Balsamic-Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts. - © Guild Magazine - 2018.

References:  

Ahuja, S., Shankar, P., & Shah, G. (2015). Use of Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Induce Weight-Loss and Improve Cardio-Metabolic Markers in Obese Patients. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(9). doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.06.103