How to Cook Salmon and Asparagus

This post is from the newest member of the Team Nerd Fitness, Taylor.  Taylor is the new Chief Wordsmith at Nerd Fitness, keeping everything organized, scheduled, and edited!  Want to learn more about Taylor (and the rest of Team Nerd Fitness)?  Click here.

This stormtrooper desperately needs your help. He needs you to eat this salmon.

You see, I used to eat Panda Express and crappy cafeteria food on a regular basis.

Then I learned how to grow up and cook a real meal.

…and then I ate that one healthy meal. Every. Single. Day. Chicken and veggies for lunch. Chicken and veggies for dinner.

But I slowly discovered that if you are able to cook something different every once in a while, your core healthy meal becomes a lot more enjoyable.  They say variety is the spice of life.  Welp, let’s go ahead and add some variety like a boss to the basic “chicken and veggies” meal!

Today we are going to cook some salmon!

Honey Soy Salmon

Whether you are at the “Panda Express” phase, or the “chicken-every-night” phase, introducing just a single simple and healthy meal can help break the cycle. You’ll be on your way to a cleaner diet, and you’ll prevent your favorite core meal from getting old too quickly.

If you’re looking for a nutrient dense, paleo friendly alternative, you can’t do much better than Salmon. Salmon is loaded with all sorts of good stuff: tons of protein, fish oil and Omega-3s, good fat, vitamin D, and more. The best thing about this recipe? If you don’t like very fishy fish, I’ll explain how the honey soy sauce can mask any unwanted fishy flavor.

For extra credit, learn some pro tips from nature’s experts on everything salmon, as they wrangle a meal without breakin’ a sweat (I apologize for the countless hours now lost to watching live bears, pandas, and puppy dogs). 

What You’ll Need

Ingredients:

  • Salmon – The recipe below is for about l lb (~450g) of salmon, which works as a moderate portion for two. Feel free to scale up as needed!  If possible, go for WILD salmon, not farmed salmon.
  • 1 package of organic asparagus 
  • Honey 
  • Soy Sauce (not Paleo, I know…if you’re looking for a paleo/gluten free alternative, try coconut aminos or fish sauce. Also, if you’re worried about the sodium content, go with the low-sodium sauce.
  • Garlic
  • Cloves, Ground Red Pepper, Paprika, and Cinnamon – If you have access to five spice, be sure to use that instead of these spices! If you don’t have access to five spice and are finding this list intimidating, just make sure you have cloves, it’s the most important spice.
  • Paprika and Olive Oil – For the asparagus, but entirely optional.  There are a million different ways to season asparagus.

Supplies:

  • Cookie Sheet
  • Tin Foil
  • One small bowl
  • One good knife
  • Oven
Unlike Paleo Spaghetti, 95% of the work is in the set up, before any cooking begins. Once you get the ingredients together and the sauce mixed, you’re  in the home stretch.

Prepare the Sauce

Honey Soy Sauce Salmon Recipe Ingredients Mixed

In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup (~59 ml) honey and 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of soy sauce.

Add the spices, about five strong dashes of each. If you are using Five spice, be sure to use no more than 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g).

Mince and add two garlic cloves, and stir the concoction.

Marinate and Snack

Pour the honey soy sauce over the salmon.

Honey Soy Sauce Salmon Face up

After a moment, flip the salmon so it lies face down (skin up) in the sauce. 

Honey Soy Sauce Salon Flip

Honey Soy Sauce Salmon Marinade

Let the salmon and sauce marinate for 20 minutesRest and enjoy an adult beverage – this cooking stuff is hard work.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 celsius).

Cook

With tin foil in hand, make two sections in your cookie sheet:  One for the asparagus, and one for the salmon. The salmon goes on the cookie sheet with the skin side down.

Chop off the ends of the asparagus, coat with olive oil, salt, paprika, or your preferred asparagus seasoning. 

Honey Soy Sauce Salmon Asparagus Prepped

Once both items are on the tray, toss it in the oven. If you’ve been following the recipe so far, you’ll want to cook your 1 lb of salmon and asparagus at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Pro Tip: For a nice brown exterior, switch the oven off around 8 minutes and turn on the broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on your broiling salmon!

If you are new to making salmon, cooked salmon should flake fairly easily when you poke it with a fork. Check to make sure that the salmon is no longer translucent.

Honey Soy Sauce Salmon Finished

Enjoy! If you don’t enjoy fishy fish, be sure to save the sauce from the baking sheet, and re-drizzle on your salmon.

Salmon for the win!

Bear Catching Salmon

Yes, cooking and eating the same thing is easy.  It’s comfortable.  But it’s also boring!  Don’t be afraid to try new sources of protein, new methods of cooking, and new foods that you’ve never tried before.  Sure, you might not like it…but you might LOVE it.

Only one way to find out, right?  

What other simple salmon recipes do you enjoy?  How would you adjust the above recipe?  

For the Rebellion!

-Taylor

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photo –  Bear Catching Salmon, Stormtrooper Fish

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