By Dave Schreck:
On New Year’s Day, did your family consume special foods to summon good luck for the coming year? Being German from Scranton, Pa., my parents ushered in the New Year with pork roast and cabbage, a traditional combination. Lore had it that with their snouts pigs root and move forward, signifying progress. Sounds reasonable to me. Maybe we should avoid the New Year’s Day chicken and turkey because they scratch backward.
I could smell the aroma emanating from the kitchen. It was awful, the taste so bad I’d quietly feed it to our dog, a German Shepard. She loved sitting by my side under the table waiting for handouts. Unfortunately, her sloppy eating habits alerted my parents so I had to devise other methods of disposing of foods I didn’t like.
Fortunately, the pork roast and cabbage are a memory. Now the New Year is celebrated with something more appealing, a salmon entree. After all, they symbolize abundance since they swim in schools. Brilliant! Beyond abundance and swimming forward, salmon offer high-quality protein and the beneficial omega-3s EPA and DHA. On average a 6-ounce portion of wild salmon will provide 2.0g. of EPA/DHA. Dr. Sears suggests 2.5g per day of purified EPA/DHA. That’s four OmegaRx capsules.
He also recommends wild-caught Alaskan salmon, fresh, frozen or canned, not farm-raised. Marketing terms defining salmon are ambiguous: Sustainable source must be clarified (wild-fish stocks can be managed and renewed and sustainable seafood can also be farmed), organic farmed, wild-farm-raised salmon, Atlantic salmon are all farmed and should be avoided when possible. Even if the salmon are farm-raised naturally in net pens in the ocean, most are fed cheap vegetable oils high in omega-6s, synthetic coloring agents, genetically modified corn and soy pellets, antibiotics and more. Farmed-raised salmon have higher levels of toxic fat (arachidonic acid), higher contamination, and lower levels of omega-3s. This is why Dr. Sears recommends wild salmon. As with most foods today it’s buyer beware. Even though contamination has become widespread in fish habitats, the Alaskan salmon offers a lower risk in terms of pesticides, PCBs, and mercury. Overall the benefits of consuming salmon 2-3 times per week do more good than harm. The benefits will outweigh the risks.
Salmon Burgers – delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner
1 can (14 ¾ oz) Wild Alaskan Salmon
1 egg white (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon peel – grated
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Drain and flake salmon finely. (Remove skin and bones if necessary.*)
- Combine all ingredients. Gently mix and form into 3-4 patties.
- Pan fry over medium heat, ideally using high-heat (high-oleic) safflower oil.
Each patty is approximately 21g-28g of protein or 3-4 blocks + 3-4 blocks of fat.
To create a balanced Zone meal, combine with your favorable carbs: Consider lentil salad, chickpea salad, or white bean salad with Arugula and capers.
Most canned Alaskan salmon include skin and bones. Since the fish have been heat processed (cooked in the can), the skin and bones are easily incorporated into the recipe adding nutritional value, such as more omega-3s and calcium.
Smoked Salmon Salad
1 can (14 ¾ oz) Wild Alaskan Salmon
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ cup green onion – small dice
¼ cup red onion – small dice
¼ cup celery – small dice
1 tablespoon parsley – minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary – crushed
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Drain and flake salmon. (Remove skin and bones if necessary.)
- Combine all ingredients; gently mix. Serve on slices of cucumber, zucchini or low-carb crackers, such as Flackers, Wasa Crisp and Light.
½ cup provides about 21g. of protein; 3 blocks of protein + 3 blocks of fat. To create a balanced Zone meal, combine with your favorite carbs: Consider a Waldorf salad, broccoli with sun-dried tomatoes or spicy coleslaw.
Almond Crusted Grilled Salmon
2 4.5 to 5 ounces salmon fillets (center cut)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
¼ cup blanched almonds
1 tablespoon cumin powder
- Preheat gas grill or start charcoal briquettes.
- Rub salmon fillets with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Place fish on a medium-hot fire (hold your hand about 5 inches above the cooking surface. If you can hold it there for 2 seconds (one one-thousand, two one-thousand), you have a medium-hot fire. One second means you have a very hot fire, three to four seconds would be a medium fire and five to six seconds a low fire.
- While salmon are grilling, toast almonds in a sauté pan until golden brown. Remove from heat. Toss with cumin spice.
- When salmon is done (should be firm to the touch and opaque all the way through), remove to serving plate and top with almond mixture.
Each fillet is approximately 21g of protein or 3 blocks + 3 blocks of fat.
To create a balanced Zone meal, combine with your favorable carbs: Perhaps a large tossed salad, cherry tomatoes with chickpeas, or Zucchini and bean sauté. Complement the dinner with a small bowl of mixed berries or a small piece of fruit: Apple, orange, pear or peach.
For more Zone Recipes please visit www.ZoneDiet.com/recipes.