I love fat. Before you raise your eyebrows, hear me out.
I love healthy fats because they are good for the body; and make for a damn fine meal, if I do say so myself. For years, I subsisted on diet foods in an effort to lose weight; I stayed very far away from anything that had any fat in it. Nuts, fatty fish, Coconut oil and the like were a huge no-no in my kitchen; and would you believe that I struggled to control my weight? It’s crazy how diet foods are the worst thing for dieters; but I digress.
Cut to today and I cannot extol the virtues of healthy fat enough. Contrary to what low calorie food pushers would have you believe, we NEED fat in our lives in order to achieve effortless health and vitality. Our brains are over 90% fat and when we eliminate it from our diets we suffer from brain fogginess; and scientists believe that by depriving our brains of fat long term, we may increase our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
As a chef I love fat; it gives a dish that satiety factor that nothing else can provide. And one of the best foods to eat for health omega-3 fatty acids is Salmon!
When I was in culinary school fish was my nemesis; I would either burn the living hell out of it or under cook to avoid the former. But time has been good to my fish cooking skills and I have become rather enamored with cooking these lovely sea dwellers.
Salmon is an excellent source of the aforementioned omega-3 fatty acids; it also contains cancer fighting selenium and vitamin B12 which helps protect against heart disease and anemia- which is a huge concern for women of menstrual age.
Salmon and many fish have come under fire in the Factory Farmed vs. Wild debate; and although there can be a marked difference in price; the two are broadly comparable nutritionally. Factory farmed fish tends to contain more fat and slightly less nutrients than their wild caught counterparts; and the debate rages on. But I believe that health should be attainable for all, and every household budget is different; as long as people are eating fish and reaping their health benefits, factory vs. farmed means nothing to me- I’m a no judgments kind of gal!
To retain the omega-3 content in most fish, the best option is to poach, rather than pan fry; overcooking oxidizes the fats and makes them less beneficial. With that said, I pan fry, poach, steam and grill without prejudice, confident that my daily fish oil supplement makes up for my cooking preference; again, the choice is yours- no judgments here.
Soy and Cilantro Baked Salmon Fillet
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp cilantro leaves
7 oz. salmon fillet, pin bones and skin removed
Preheat oven to 315oF.
In a bowl whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, rice vinegar and chili in a small bowl. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper and add the salmon fillets and sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Pour the dressing over the fish and bake for 20 minutes.