Gorgeous glowing skin starts on the inside with this powerhouse of wonderful nutritious ingredients. If you’ve been following me you know I love to jam in as much goodness as I can and always aim for ‘nutrient density’. This efficient approach allows us to optimise our meal and time spent in the kitchen. Get more bang for buck as they say!
The power of nutrition to transform how you feel and how you look is pretty magical and salmon is in a class of it’s own as an incredibly nutritious source of omega 3’s, vitamin D and protein. Every nutritionist agrees. But what we often don’t talk about, particularly here in Australia where there is no such thing as actual wild salmon, is the ugly side of farmed fish, and what we are really getting. It’s not what the nutrition panels in the text books say I guarantee you that.
In the wild, salmon have a very active life. They mature and are meant to migrate on a very long journey from river, to the ocean to fill up on krill (a type of small crustacean that also happens to give salmon that gorgeous reddish pink color), then back to the river to spawn.
Wild caught salmon are caught somewhere in the ocean migration when they are at their peak health.
Farmed salmon on the other hand, do not ever reach peak health. They are raised in crammed ocean pens, fed cheap diets of fillers and red pigment (no krill no pink) plus because they are in such an unhealthy environment, they are always sick and need antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitics, you name it. It’s a life of cost cutting and lack of care for the detail that mother nature intended.
All of this human intervention leaves us with a farmed salmon that is fatty, yet deficient in omega 3’s, and overall low quality in it’s nutrition, not to mention all the added crap. So we are not getting what we think.
What you need to do as a consumer is make sure you source proper wild salmon from somewhere that naturally has salmon. Makes sense right? Here in Australia I’ve been able to get Canadian tinned Wild Red Salmon, and frozen Norwegian Wild Organic Salmon. These options are more expensive, but worth every cent. I always keep both on hand, and the frozen fillets are what I used for this recipe the first night. With the leftover pesto, the next day I made a similar dish with tinned salmon plus added some cherry tomatoes. Both versions were delish and pesto is definitely part of my routine, in particular while it’s summer and the basil is fresh and seasonal. My daughter is keeping me well stocked from her garden!
I have taken my original Superfood Pesto recipe, and just got a little creative with what I had on hand:)
Step 1. Make Pesto:
- 2 cups loose basil
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raw hemp seeds
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Murray river salt to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional), or feel free to use a vegan cashew cheese version
- Toast the nuts and pumpkin seeds in a dry pan on low for 5-10 minutes just until it smells a little nutty. Careful not to overcook, watch close and toss often.
- Place the nuts on a plate in the freezer to cool quickly while you prep all the rest of the ingredients.
- By the time you’re done, the nuts should be cool enough to add.
- Place all ingredients except cheese in blender until smooth.
- Add cheese and blend a little more.
Step 2. Peas.
- This is a nice addition, simply cook some frozen peas in hot water and set aside til ready to serve.
Step 3. Zoodles
- Using a spiralizer make your zuchini ribbons
- Place in the same dry pan you used for the nuts, and heat gently for about 5 mins.
- You only want these lightly cooked, they should still be fully intact ribbons.
- Set aside.
Step 4. Pan sear the salmon
- Heat the pan well and add a good glug of olive oil.
- Place salmon skin down in the pan.
- Cook for approx 4 mins each side. (even just 3 second side) Do not overcook.
- Once I flip it over, I pull off the skin and continue to cook this in the oil until crispy. It’s called sea bacon when you do it this way (cute huh?) and you can cool it slightly and chop it into smaller crunchy bits for a nice textured garnish (not pictured in this one)
That’s it! Drizzle with olive oil, a wedge of lemon, extra Parmesan. So simple and clean. And loaded with all those good fats plus the nuts and seeds are packed with zinc which is brilliant for skin healing and hormonal acne.