Updated: Apr 18, 2020
As a nutritionist I love to cook using healthy ingredients, and I often enlist the help of my two young sons, Jack (5) and Max (3). During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are practicing social distancing, and want to do some good with our time spent at home. We decided to make some of our favourite recipes, and film ourselves while doing it!
In our second episode of "Cooking with Jack (& Max!) to Give Back" we share with you one of our favourite salmon recipes - a marinade that combines tamari (gluten free soy sauce), maple syrup, ginger and garlic - super simple, but delicious! If you enjoy the video and recipe, please visit Our Fundraising Page, and consider donating to The Parkdale Food Centre in support of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Before I give you the recipe, you first have to learn a little bit about Omega-3.
You’ve probably heard that you should be getting enough Omega-3, but do you really know what it’s benefits are?
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid or EFA – a fat that is essential for many important body functions; however, your body doesn’t make it, which means you have to get it from your diet and supplements.
Here’s why it’s important to get enough:
-It’s vital to the health of your brain. Your brain is made up of cells called neurons, which resemble electrical wires whose function is to send signals to the rest of your body. To ensure that things don’t short circuit, and messages are sent properly; the wires need proper insulation (the myelin sheath). An adequate supply of EFAs contributes to the health of the myelin sheath, and helps your brain function properly.
-Improves circulation, which can help prevent the development of atherosclerosis (a disease that leads to heart attack).
-Helps prevent a build-up of belly fat by reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when you’re stressed out. If you’re constantly under stress, cortisol signals fat to be deposited in your abdominal area.
-Too much cortisol also increases the flow of glucose (sugar) out of your tissues and into your blood. By controlling cortisol levels, Omega-3 also helps maintain blood-sugar levels, which prevents excess sugar from being stored as fat, and helps control cravings for sugar & high carb/high starch foods
-Keeps other hormones under control, which can improve symptoms of PMS (anxiety, mood swings, depression, fatigue, etc)
-Improves the look of your skin & hair
So how do you get more Omega-3 in your diet?
You can take a high-quality Omega-3 supplement, and try to incorporate more omega-3-rich foods.
The best food sources of Omega-3 are from fatty fish. Here is a list of the fish that are highest in Omega-3, and also low in mercury: Salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines & tuna (flake or chunk light tuna is best, and only consume once a week as it is a bigger fish with a tendency towards higher mercury levels).
Best vegetarian sources of Omega-3:
Hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. You can also buy hemp & flax oil, which are also good sources and use them to make salad dressings.
Omega-6 is also an EFA, but it’s easier to get from your diet (most vegetable oils, chicken, eggs, avocado, whole grain bread, nuts), and the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is a delicate balance that you don’t want to disrupt by taking Omega-6 supplements or not getting enough Omega-3.
Ok, now that you’ve read all about Omega-3 I’ll give you the recipe.
Sweet Soy Salmon Ingredients:
1 large salmon fillet (approx. 1 lb)
Marinade: 1 ½ tbsp organic tamari (gluten-free, non-GMO soy sauce) 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp ginger, grated
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
Place salmon in a shallow oven-safe dish, pour marinade on top, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.
Marinade may have pooled around the fish. Using a spoon, baste the fish right before popping it in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish just starts to flake.
Serve with roasted acorn squash or mini red potatoes* and a green like kale chips or roasted cabbage** - enjoy!
*I've never been a huge fan of potatoes...until now. This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Mustard Roasted Potatoes recipe, and it's the only way I eat potatoes now. They also re-heat very nicely, and taste amazing with eggs for brunch.
Dijon Mustard Roasted Potatoes
1. Cut in half about a pound of mini red potatoes, and slice a small yellow onion
2. Toss in 1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard and season with s and p
3. Bake for 20 mins (tossing halfway) at 425F, or until golden and crispy, enjoy!
**Roasting cabbage is my new favourite side dish. It's the BEST way to have cabbage! It tastes buttery, and has the texture of a large pappardelle noodle cooked al dente. The best part? It's super simple to make.
Roasted Cabbage Rounds
Take a large green cabbage, slice it into large rounds, about 2 inches thick. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently flip, drizzle the other side with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 450F for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through (for this dinner, I roasted it at 425F - it took about 5-10 mins longer).