Honey Lime Salmon with Warm Spinach Salad

To me, there is no better seafood than a beautiful, fresh salmon fillet. Part of why I love salmon so much is because it cooks quickly.

This recipe was inspired by a 30-minute meal by Rachael Ray, and usually the problem I have with her meals is that they always take me longer than 30 minutes. Not this one! But I also left out some of the fancier things and added my own jazz to it, so maybe that had something to do with it.

The only key to perfect salmon is not to overcook it. There’s a fine line between well-done salmon and over-done salmon, which is maybe a 1-minute window. Luckily I have some tips to perfectly cooked salmon EVERY time. I know, it’s a big promise, but once you know the secret it’s pretty easy to duplicate.

Honey Lime Salmon

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 6-8oz salmon fillets
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine everything but the salmon in a shallow dish or large freezer bag to make the marinade. When it’s well-combined, add the salmon and turn it a few times in the marinade to coat it evenly. Fish breaks down when it’s in contact with acids (like the lime juice) so you don’t want to marinade the salmon any longer than about an hour. After I started the fish marinating, I started prepping everything else for the spinach and preheating the broiler, so mine marinated in the fridge for about 30 minutes before cooking.

Warm Spinach Salad

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach, or 1 bunch of regular leaf spinach cut into strips
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh ears of corn, kernels removed or 1/2 a box of frozen corn kernels defrosted
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a medium, high-sided skillet on medium heat with the olive oil. Add the red onion and garlic and saute about 2-3 minutes. When the onion is soft, add the bell pepper and corn and saute about another 2 minutes until the corn is cooked and turns deep yellow. Turn the heat to low and add the spinach, toss until the spinach wilts slightly. Turn the heat all the way off and remove the pan from the heat, add the lime juice and taste for salt and pepper.

Here’s the nitty gritty of cooking the salmon…

Normally, I like to grill the salmon on my indoor electric grill because I like it cooked to about medium. However, doctors frown upon raw fish during pregnancy, so these days I’m cooking it all the way through. I’ll just say the best way to cook salmon without baking it is to start skin-side down.

My method for cooking the salmon all the way and still having it crunchy without being OVER cooked is to start with the broiler. I broiled the salmon fillets on high for about 4-5 minutes, and I had the salmon on a baking sheet on the second level from the top of my oven. You want to keep an eye on the salmon because the thin part of the fillet will cook a lot quicker than the thick side and you don’t want it to burn. When you start to see nice color on the salmon, flip the broiler off and turn your oven to 425. Let the salmon keep cooking through on 425 for about 5-7 more minutes. Because of the honey in the marinade the color will develop quickly on the salmon, but that doesn’t mean it’s burning. The trick to knowing your salmon is ready and cooked-through is to press firmly on the thickest part of the fillet. If it bounces back quickly and has firm resistance, it’s ready! Don’t cut into it, just let it sit on the sheet while the spinach comes together because it will keep cooking for about another minute. When it’s cooked, take it off the baking sheet with a flat spatula. Start on the thick side and slide the spatula between the skin and meat so it will easily separate without breaking the fillet. If the skin sticks, that’s fine, no matter what I do my salmon skin always sticks to the pan.

Serve the salmon on top of the warm spinach and enjoy! Top with lime wedges for a little extra citrus flava’.

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