Baked Salmon with Spinach and Pesto

Intro - Grocery List - Directions - Macronutrients - Leftovers and Meal Prep

Salmon and green leafy vegetables, could there be a healthier food combination? This meal is so good for you, you might want to consider it making it a weekly staple of your diet. So, what makes this recipe so healthy?

Starting with the salmon, it is loaded with essential, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. When a fat is “essential” in nutrition, that means it must come from the diet.

A 4 ounce serving of farmed salmon has about 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild salmon is slightly higher with about 2.8 grams. If you really want you can spring for the more expensive wild-caught, but a four ounce portion of either type of salmon will meet your recommended daily intake of 2.5-5g per day.

Omega-3 fats have been found to help control inflammation, lowering risk of chronic disease. They also lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer, and improve artery function.

Salmon is a great source of protein, B-vitamins, potassium, and selenium. Also contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, responsible for its orange color, which helps improve cholesterol and supports brain health. How much healthier can a food be?

Well, green leafy vegetables are right on par with salmon. In this recipe we used spinach, but you could substitute any other green leafy such as asparagus or broccoli for the same benefit.

Green vegetables are a great source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, potassium and iron. These powerhouse vegetables promote healthy vision, are loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants, support heart health, help prevent birth defects, protect against osteoporosis, and may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.

In order to absorb all the incredible nutrition in green leafy veggies, you always want to eat them with a source of fat. Guess what? Even without the added ghee, salmon is an excellent source of fat to help you get all of the important nutrients in the greens.

There are a few words of caution about green leafy vegetables. People who take blood thinners should be cautious when eating a large amount of green veggies, it is best to speak to your doctor before you do. Also, there have been many food-borne illness outbreaks associated with leafy vegetables. So, you always want to properly wash and store your veggies to prevent illness.

Servings: 2 - Calories: 485  - Fat: 38  g - Protein: 31 g - Net Carbs - 1 g


Grocery list:

Here are the ingredients for the baked salmon with spinach and pesto.

  • 2 (4 ounce) salmon fillets.
  • 4 Tbsp butter or ghee butter.
  • 2 cups spinach, broccoli, asparagus, or other green veggie of choice.
  • 2 tbsp store-bought Pesto sauce.
  • Seasonings to taste: lemon pepper, salt, garlic, cayenne, Italian seasoning. 

Components:

Your kitchen will require the following:

  • Baking dish or sheet pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 405 degrees F.
  2. Wrap foil around baking dish or sheet pan and place fish on top.
  3. Season fish with 2 tbsp butter, lemon pepper, salt, garlic, cayenne, and italian seasoning to taste.
  4. Bake fish for 12-15 minutes.
  5. If desired, you can cook the vegetables with the fish, but we recommend adding them onto the dish about halfway through. Add a bit of butter and seasoning to the veggies if you are going to cook them with the fish. Or you can eat them seamed on the side.
  6. Once the fish is cooked, top fish and vegetables with pesto sauce.

    Macronutrients

    Here is the rough macronutrient breakdown for baked fish and veggies in foil. Exact numbers may vary depending on ingredient sources.

    Baked salmon with spinach and pesto

    Calories

    Fat

    Protein

    Carbs

    2 (4 oz) salmon fillets

    413

    17

    58

    0

    Seasonings to taste

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    4 Tbsp butter

    424

    48

    0

    0

    2 cups spinach

    14

    0

    2

    2

    2 Tbsp Pesto

    120

    12

    2

    1

    Grand total

    971

    77

    62

    3

    Total per serving

    485

    38

    31

    1.5



    Leftovers and Meal Prep:

    This recipe doesn’t take much preparation, so it doesn’t lend itself to extensive meal prep. If you are going to prepare this later in the week, consider washing and chopping your veggies ahead of time. You can also use frozen vegetables if that is easier on a busy weeknight.

    Salmon is best cooked fresh, but you can keep frozen salmon on hand if you prefer. Consider purchasing the frozen salmon fillets individually wrapped. This way you can defrost only what you need for one meal and there will be less food waste. Frozen salmon is also usually cheaper.

    If you don’t like the strong taste of salmon, you can substitute any other type of fish. You can even make the exact same recipe with chicken, you would just have to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

    This salmon won’t freeze well after it has been cooked, therefore you will have to eat any leftovers within a day or two. Since the salmon is not heavily seasoned, you can always save some to put in a salad for lunch the next day.

    Baked salmon with your choice of green leafy vegetables should be a stable in every diet. It is easy to prepare and loaded with quality nutrition.

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