Meal inspiration: Try this nutritious salmon dinner


January 20, 2017

Nutritious foods combine to make a simple, yet flavorful, fish dinner.  Bonus – it comes together in no time!


This easy fish dish dinner is delicious and nutritious:

  • Salmon is a flavorful fish with lots of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Incorporate fish into your menu at least twice a week for optimal health.
  • Brown rice is a delicious and filling whole-grain that provides fiber, protein and many B vitamins. Aim for at least half of your grains to be “whole.” Read more about whole grains here.
  • Spinach is a nutritious accompaniment to this dinner, and is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, E, K, iron, calcium and folate. A good rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with vegetables.


Brown Rice

1 1/4 cup water
1 cup medium or long-grain brown rice

1. Bring rice and water to a boil. Cover and reduce to a slow, steady simmer for 30 minutes. A wide, shallow pot with a tight-fitting lid ensures evenly cooked grains. Do not remove lid during cooking!
2. When time is up, turn off the heat and let the cooked rice sit for 10 minutes, covered, to absorb maximum moisture.
3. Remove the lid, and fluff the grains with a fork.

Serves 4. Per serving: 180 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated, 0 grams trans, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 36 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein.


Sesame Sautéed Spinach

Olive oil cooking spray
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 10-ounce bags baby spinach
Pinch of salt and pepper
4 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)

1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and stir until a pleasant aroma develops.
3. Begin adding the spinach a handful at a time, allowing each to wilt some before adding more so that you don’t overcrowd the pan.
4. Continue stirring, season with salt and pepper.
5. Drizzle with the sesame oil, stir in well, hold warm until ready to serve.

Serves 4. Per serving (with sesame oil): 75 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 grams saturated, 0 grams trans, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 105 milligrams sodium, 5 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 0 grams sugars, 5 grams protein.


Seared Salmon

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 4-ounce pieces of fresh salmon, boneless and skinless
Pinch of salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet (cast iron works great) over medium-high heat.
2. Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Place the salmon in the skillet and cook until slightly browned. Turn and repeat on the other side until cooked through.

Serves 4. Per serving: 260 calories, 19 grams fat, 4 grams saturated, 0 grams trans, 65 milligrams  cholesterol, 65 milligrams sodium, 0 grams carbohydrate, 22 grams protein.


Also try this nutritious Salmon Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette!

Jordan Higgins is a dietetic intern at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Originally from Albany, New York, Jordan received her bachelor’s from Fordham University and completed graduate courses in nutrition from The Sage Colleges. After completing the internship in 2017, Jordan hopes to combine her love for cooking and nutrition education into a unique and inspiring business. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading food blogs, spending time with her 3 cats, exploring local shops and restaurants, hiking and traveling.