Wheatless Wednesday – Maple Bourbon Glazed Salmon

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 Happy-New-Year-2015-Images-2

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Some years I don’t bother because, well I don’t want to disappoint myself – again.  This year, however, I am not aiming so high.  I’m not promising to exercise more, lose weight, drink less, eat more fruit, spend less, volunteer more, enjoy life more and get organized; all on lists of Top 10 Resolutions. I’m not saying I won’t pursue any of those very worthy goals (there’s a reason they’re on the top ten) but I have to go where my heart is – goodmotherdiet.  So without further ado, here are my Top Five Food Related (of course) Resolutions for 2015

GOODMOTHERDIET TOP FIVE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2015

5 –  Continue my search for the world’s best (and healthiest) pizza, although the quinoa pizza crust will be hard to beat.

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4 – Pursue my love affair with exotic spices like turmeric and za’atar. That could mean jumping onto the Ottelenghi bandwagon and trying more recipes from ‘Jerusalem’ and his newest cookbook, ‘Plenty More’.

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3 – Increase my support for local growers and producers.  If we support the people doing it the ‘right way’, more will follow.  (i.e. Buy organic local products when possible.  Choose pasture raised not factory farmed.)

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2 -Try something new.  2014 was the year of using new grains like quinoa, barley and farro.  2015’s something new will be experimenting with more meat free options.  I have always been suspect of foods that ‘pretend’ to be other foods but I will just have to get over that.  There are reportedly some really good animal product free options out there now and I’m ready to explore.  Chia seeds and almond milk, here I come!  Readers, please tell me your favorite products!

1 – Promote Meatless Monday as an easy way to make a difference.

 

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So, now that our resolutions are out of the way, what’s for dinner?  This Maple Bourbon Glazed Salmon is an easy but delicious and super quick ten to fifteen minute meal.  The maple bourbon glaze is surprisingly delicate and makes this an elegant meal sure to please your guests.  It’s a perfect combination of sweet and salt.  The citrus and bourbon give it a tangy sweetness and the pepper adds the proper savory balance.  When broiled properly, salmon has a ‘melt in your mouth’ consistency. Delicious!

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According to Seafood Watch, The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s program which helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that protect sea life and habitats, lists wild caught salmon to be a Best Choice option but some Farm Raised salmon is considered a Best Choice or Good Alternative depending on the methods and practices used.  It’s a great site for consumers to use in deciding what types of seafood to buy at the market.  Just click on Seafood Watch and type in the name of the seafood you are interested in for great up to date information. It’s handy dandy!  You can look up those shrimp while waiting in line at the market.

Maple Bourbon Cocktail

Here’s an idea!  While you have the ingredients out, pour yourself a ‘Maple Leaf Cocktail’.  (Just 2 oz Bourbon,  3/4 oz Maple Syrup, 3/4 oz Lemon Juice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass filled with crush ice ). Compliments of Drink Dogma.

 TIPS: I like to buy a nice side of salmon and slice it into individual portions before cooking.  It makes a nicer presentation and is easier to serve.  If I am serving a crowd, I make one inch slices, especially if there are several other dishes available.  For a family dinner, I pre-slice into larger portions, or the sizes I think people will eat. For this method I prefer skinless salmon so the marinade has more contact with the fish, however, the skin does help keep it moist and you can still precut the slices without having to cut through the skin.  The fish will slide right off the skin in perfect slices after being cooked.

Wishing you a happy and delicious new year!-J

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Maple-Bourbon Glazed Salmon

1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 whole side skinless salmon fillet or 4-6 individual 4 oz filets
Ground black pepper
salt to taste
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  • Slice salmon into one or two inch slices and place in an oiled baking dish.

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  • Combine maple syrup, orange juice, bourbon, soy sauce, lemon juice and pepper in a small dish.  Taste and add salt if necessary’

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  • Pour over fish making sure to coat all pieces and the insides of each cut.  Let sit for a few minutes while you preheat the broiler.

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  • Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for about 3-4 minutes. Check salmon, brush with glaze and broil another 3-4 minutes.  It should be golden brown and flake easily with a fork.

Maple Bourbon Glazed Salmon

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Maple Bourbon Salmon6

1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 whole side skinless salmon fillet or 4-6 individual 4 oz filets
Ground black pepper
salt to taste
  • Slice salmon into one or two inch slices and place in an oiled baking dish.
  • Combine maple syrup, orange juice, bourbon, soy sauce, lemon juice and pepper in a small dish.  Taste and add salt if necessary’
  • Pour over fish making sure to coat all pieces and the insides of each cut.  Let sit for a few minutes while you preheat the broiler.
  • Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for about 3-4 minutes. Check salmon, brush with glaze and broil another 3-4 minutes.  It should be golden brown and flake easily with a fork.

Photo Credits

Happy new year 2015:   happyanniversarytext.com

Spices: iappfind.com

Chia Heart: intentblog.com

Wheatless Wednesday – Oat Nut Bars

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Oat Nut Bars

WARNING – HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!  I am often looking around the kitchen for something quick to eat with my morning coffee without making a whole production.  Most  convenience foods are not very good for you, even if the packaging tells you otherwise.  So when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetite (January, 2014) I thought it could be just the thing.  Boy was I right (or wrong)!  These are so delicious that its hard to eat just one.  Luckily, they are loaded with nutrition.  They are made with 100% whole grains, seeds and nuts which means the bran and the germ are left intact which is where most of the nutrients are. I used whole almonds, sesame seeds and added coconut flakes, since I love all things coconut, and really like the result.  I would also recommend having coconut oil in your pantry as one of the ‘good’ oils with many health benefits.  The maple syrup, even though it’s natural, is mostly sugar, but unlike white sugar it is also a very good source of zinc and Manganese and the dates add multiple vitamins and minerals.

When I first tasted them, I thought chewy was the way to go, until I re-baked half of the slices and tried them crunchy.  Wow, they got even better!!  My taste testers also preferred the crunchy over the chewy by a slight margin.  I can easily see these oat nut bars becoming an easy breakfast go-to as well as a great energy boost to get through the afternoon slump.  Try them toasted and topped with yogurt or cream cheese or my favorite way, just on their own.

Oat Nut Bars

  • Servings: 16-18 bars
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Oat Nut Bars 9

Oat Nut Bars with Coconut

Nonstick vegetable cooking spray

6 large Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped

1 cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup raw almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts or cashews

1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

2 Tbsp amaranth or sesame seeds

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat an 8 1/2×4″ loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on long sides. Spray parchment.

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  • Bring dates and maple syrup to a boil in a small saucepan, reduce heat to medium-high, stirring often, until dates are very soft and maple syrup is slightly reduced, 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in butter/coconut oil until it is melted.  You can mash the dates with a fork or blender if desired.

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  • Toss all other ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour date mixture over the top and mix until evenly coated.  Scrape half of the mixture into prepared pan and press very firmly and evenly with a wooden spoon or spatula to compress it as much as possible (Important)
  • Add remaining oat mixture and press until very tightly packed into pan.
  • Oat Nut Bars 2 Bake until loaf is darkened in color and firm around the edges, and center gives just slightly when pressed, 45-50 minutes. Tent with foil if browning too quickly.

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  • Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool in pan before turning out (it can even sit overnight).  Cut into 1/2’thick slices with a serrated knife.

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  • For crisp bars, lay slices on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown 8-10 minutes (turning once), or toast in a toaster oven.
  • Makes about 16 bars.  Bars should keep five days, tightly wrapped at room temperature (if they last that long!)