April 24, 2017 Observations

“Dreamin’ of Summer” Grilled Salmon Salad with Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa

By Jade Robins, ND

As the long, cold winter draws to a close in Alaska, one cannot help but dream of summer days. While there is still measureable snow on the ground, we are now gaining 7 minutes of daylight per day and the forecast shows highs in the +40’s this week, rapidly inching our way to “shorts weather”.

And what better way to send out the summer vibe than with one of my favorite summer fruits, strawberries! This is one of my favorite “go to” dinners thanks to its abundant flavor and simplicity. There isn’t much to this dish, but the ingredients combined together are bold ones that don’t need a lot done to them to make the meal shine!

Not to mention all of the health benefits packed into this taste of heaven. However, we need to take a moment here to emphasize the importance of choosing quality ingredients. While Wild Alaskan salmon is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, its counterpart, farmed salmon is actually quite toxic, with measureable levels of neurotoxic pesticides, mercury, bacteria and drugs. Additionally, due to the crowded conditions of the salmon farms and the high levels of stress in the animals, disease tends to spread quickly. In Dr. Mercola’s article “An Inside Look Into the Fishing Industry Reveals Disturbing Facts That Could Threaten Your Health”, he states that “farmed salmon is five times more toxic than any other food product tested”. Check out the following link for a more detailed look: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/30/salmon-fish-farming.aspx

One big clue into the health of the salmon is the color. Farmed salmon are fed a reddish-pink dye in their food to give them the red color that we associate with this omega rich food…. And even then, it does not come close to the deep, rich red of a healthy Wild Alaskan salmon. If you buy your salmon at the meat counter, you may notice that the farmed salmon often says “beta-carotene” added for color. That should be a big warning sign! I have gotten some pretty funny looks from the butcher, when they tried to sell me farmed salmon and I told them politely, “Thank you, but I don’t really want to eat an anemic fish”. Instead, this is what you should be looking for (see picture below). While I do have a strong advantage currently due to my Alaska address, quality salmon is still accessible in the lower 48 with a little bit of diligence.

In regards to strawberries, it should be noted that they top the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list, with dozens of known carcinogens in conventional strawberries. Additionally, it has been reported that farmers use large amounts of poisonous gases to clear out the weeds and sterilize the fields before planting. Yikes!!  So, if your strawberries are not purchased organically or grown in your own backyard, they should be a strong pass, as the anti-oxidants that they contain are likely not enough to counter the effects of the abundant chemicals.  Here is a link to the “Strawberry Update” put out by the EWG.  https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/strawberries.php

Be sure to check out ewg.org for a complete list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 fruits and veggies as well as their “Consumer Guide to Seafood”:

http://action.ewg.org/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=5988&_ga=1.244061061.1857853748.1492444489

http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-good-seafood-guide

 Ingredients:

 Grilled Salmon

  • 4 Wild Alaskan Salmon fillets
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • Juice of a lime
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa

  • In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the salsa and stir together until combined.

Grilled Salmon

  • Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  • Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  • Oil the grill grates or spray them with cooking spray then place the salmon fillets on and grill each side for approximately 3-4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness is reached.
  • Top the salmon with the strawberry salsa.

I serve mine over a bed of fresh organic greens or baby spinach with a drizzle of olive oil and an extra squeeze of lime.

Another Gemma approved meal from the kitchen of Dr. Jade. You can’t cook salmon in this house without a captivated audience, eagerly awaiting a fallen nugget of goodness! These are the stages of Gemma’s begging….. Things started out well, but her level of patience and politeness dwindled in the end, so I put her on dish duty to make up for her bad manners.

 

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