Seared Ginger Balsamic Salmon with Hot and Sour Slaw

4 servings

4 six-ounce pieces center-cut salmon fillets with skin, patted dry
1 teaspoon
salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 ½ cups or one 9-ounce bag pre-shredded broccoli slaw
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into dice
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake

Hot and Sour Dressing, (combine all in a small bowl)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil for frying fish
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tablespoons light brown sugar

1. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a wok or a heavy skillet and the olive or canola and sesame oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the red pepper flakes and ginger, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the diced red pepper and toss lightly over high heat. Add the broccoli slaw, toss lightly, and pour in the rice wine. Stir and cover. Cook over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Uncover and add the pre-mixed Dressing. Toss lightly for a minute and remove to a serving bowl.

3. Heat the 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch, non-stick skillet over moderately

high heat until very hot, about 10 seconds. Arrange the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side up, partially cover and sear over medium-high heat until well browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the fish over and continue cooking, for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the fish flakes in the middles when prodded with a knife.
4. Using a slotted spoon or a spatula, portion some of the slaw on individual serving plates or serve in a serving bowl. Place the cooked salmon fillets on top.

5. Drain off any oil and reheat the frying pan with the balsamic vinegar, water, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ginger, stirring to combine. Simmer over medium heat-high heat for about 1½ to 2 minutes until thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup. Carefully pour the glaze over the salmon and serve with the hot and sour slaw. Serve with rice or another whole grain.

Warm Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
6 Servings

Roasting vegetables is so easy, and you can vary the recipe depending on what’s in season. I especially like to serve roasted veggies with a nutty grain like quinoa as a meal by itself, or as a side to grilled, roasted, or pan-seared meat or seafood.

2 medium fennel bulbs (about 1½ pounds) rinsed, drained, stocks cut off and discarded*

2 medium red onions, peeled

1 pound pre-peeled baby carrots, rinsed and drained

1 eight-ounce package teriyaki, Thai, or lemon pepper-flavored baked tofu (optional)

Flavorings, (combine all in a small bowl):

½ cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/3 cup virgin olive oil

1 cup quinoa

1½ teaspoons virgin olive oil for toasting quinoa

Dressing (combine all in a small glass bowl until the sugar dissolves):

3 tablespoons soy sauce

6 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons sugar

5 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the stem end of the fennel bulbs, leaving 1/8 inch of the root base, and cut each fennel bulb in half. With the cut edge down, cut each half into thin slices about ¼-inch thick. Place the fennel slices in a large mixing bowl.

2. Cut the red onions in half, then cut each half into ¼-inch thick slices. Put in the bowl and add the carrots. Cut the baked tofu into ¼-inch thick slices and 1½ inches long. Add to the vegetables.

3. Pour in the flavorings and toss lightly to coat. Place the vegetables in a large roasting pan or on a cookie sheet and bake about 40 minutes. Flip the vegetables over and continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and golden brown at the edges.

4. Rinse the quinoa in a bowl, using your hands as a rake, and drain in a colander. Heat the oil for toasting the quinoa until hot, about 20 seconds, in a saucepan with lid. Add the quinoa and toast, stirring with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1¼ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork. Spoon the quinoa into the bottom of a large serving bowl.

5. Spoon the roasted vegetables over the quinoa and pour the prepared dressing over all. Toss lightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2011

Five-Spice Quinoa with Toasted Almonds
4 to 6 servings

Five- spice powder is a seasoning which usually includes star anise, cinnamon, licorice root, fennel, and black or Sichuan pepper. It plays well against the slight nuttiness of quinoa, a grain that is rich in protein. Toasting the quinoa in a little oil adds a pleasing nuance of flavor.

2 cups quinoa

1 ½ tablespoon olive or canola oil

3 tablespoons minced scallions

1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger

½ teaspoon five-spice powder

Sauce, mixed together:

2 ¾ cups vegetarian broth

1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

½ cup toasted sliced almonds

1. Rinse the quinoa, if necessary, in a bowl, using your hand as a rake and drain in a colander.

2. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan with a lid until very hot, about 20 seconds. Add the scallions and ginger and stir-fry over medium high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the quinoa and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. The quinoa should be tender to the bite. Remove from the heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork

3. If the almonds aren’t toasted, fry then until golden brown in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let the quinoa cool slightly and then stir in the toasted almonds. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or soy sauce if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature as a staple dish instead of rice or couscous.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2011

Juicy Candied Ginger Orange Slices
4 to 6 servings

This is one of the fastest and easiest recipes in my dessert repertory so it has become one of my orange-season favorites. If you are feeling decadent, serve it with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

5 Navel oranges, peeled

4 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger (optional)

1. Cut the oranges into ½-inch slices and place in a bowl. Add the honey, cinnamon, and candied ginger, and very carefully mix together to coat the slices.

2. Arrange the slices in a large overlapping circle on a dessert platter and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Serve.

Oranges are packed with flavonoids and Vitamin C. When eaten whole, the pith provides anti-cancer agents and important bioflavonoids. Oranges are also rich in fiber.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2011

Winning Formula for Great Health

Let’s face it: We all hope to live a long, healthy life and while there are no surefire guarantees, there are a few ways we can improve our chances. Accordingly, we consulted with one of the most quoted and highly- respected experts in the field: Dr. Walter Willett, Chairman of Nutrition of the Harvard School of Public Health and author of the best-selling “Eat Drink and Be Healthy” .

Walter not only gave us some great tips, he introduced us to the newly-released “ HSPH Healthy Eating Plate”, a VAST improvement over the USDA Plate, which according to Walter, has some SERIOUS flaws. The HSPH Eating Plate is not only more explicit, it defines the best foods that correspond to each portion of the plate and corrects a number of “errors” of the USDA Plate. (Once again, as with the USDA Pyramid, concessions were made to the dairy industry as well as other mega, agri-business conglomerates.)

To make it even more accessible, I selected a few easy and delicious recipes from my new book, Simple Asian Meals that correspond to each section of the HSPH plate so you can recreate the meal in your home. (Feel free to use the recipes as a base for inspiration, substituting seasonal vegetables and other whole grains. Walter not only approved, but he gave the dishes a big “thumb’s up”. So here’s wishing you a healthy, happy, and pleasurable meal or two.

Enjoy!

Nina

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Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.

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