Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon. (GF/DF)

Put an Asian flare on your regular salmon dinner with this easy but flavorful Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon! 

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My husband and I both love salmon, and it is definitely my go-to for a quick weeknight meal. It bakes in just 20 minutes, and it’s so good for you!
Unfortunately, even as a cooking blogger, I’m totally guilty of living in a salmon rut.
It goes something like this: salmon + a sprinkle of creole seasoning. Baked in the oven.
BOOM.
Done.
Dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat.

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And honestly? It’s really good.
We love it.
And if you haven’t tried salmon like that, you should plan on it.
But, when I get a chance to catch my breath from our whirlwind daily schedules (summer please hurry!), I get inspired to experiment!

This honey sesame ginger salmon, though?
Amazing.
I’ve mentioned before how I usually steer clear from Asian-style dishes because I’ve had a few complete failures in the past, so I was a little bit hesitant to try this recipe.
One bite and my husband and I both looked at each other in disbelief. It’s that good.

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You do need to plan ahead and let the salmon marinade for about 30 minutes, but you can work on prepping your side dishes during that time. (Or throw in a load of laundry…watch a re-run of Friends…waste time on Pinterest. You know, whatever.)

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The rest of the recipe is pretty self-explanatory. A lot of the ingredients in the marinade also appear in the honey ginger glaze. You’ll add the glaze on top of the salmon after it finishes baking. You can see how the marinade caramelizes on the salmon, and the glaze just takes it up a notch!

One last note–there’s a teeeeeny bit of sriracha in the glaze, but overall this dish is not spicy! If you’re worried about it, feel free to omit that ingredient completely.

Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons GF tamari, or coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

For the honey ginger glaze:

  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons GF tamari, or coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1). In a large bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Add the salmon and allow it to marinade for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Turn the salmon occasionally.

2). Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Add the salmon, along with the marinade, to the dish and bake for about 20 minutes.

3). While the salmon is baking, in a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Serve salmon immediately with the honey glaze.

Servings: 4. Approximate nutritional information per serving: Calories: 395 Carbs: 20g Fat: 24g Protein: 14g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 16g Points+: 10 Recipe adapted from here

Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

This crisp, cool cucumber salad is sure to help you cool off during the hot summer months! Topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas and peanuts, this dish can be a meal in itself.

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Summer heat is in full-swing here in Georgia! I love everything about summer: the long days, the time we spend outside, the fresh veggies from our garden, and even the heat! Having said that, it’s soooo important to stay hydrated when it’s this hot outside. Drinking lots of water is key, but did you know the food you eat can help keep you hydrated as well? That’s where this cucumber salad comes in! It’s refreshing, crisp, cool, and hydrating. The flavors are (you guessed it!) thai-inspired, but you’ll like this even if you don’t like thai food. Remember–it’s not thai food, it just has some common ingredient combinations you would find in that type of cuisine. Cilantro, red bell peppers, peanuts, etc. Quick confession: thai food is not my absolute favorite, but I loved this salad!IMG_1106

If you’ve got cucumbers growing in your garden, this is a great way to use a couple of them. In my opinion, they’re the focal point of the salad. To get the salad going, the cucumbers, red onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro all take a nice swim in a rice wine vinegar marinade. They need about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together, which is the perfect amount of time to finish making the roasted chickpeas, if you want them. The chickpeas are totally optional here. They add a big crunch factor and an extra 7g of protein per serving, but my husband actually preferred it without them. It’s up to you!

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If you want to make the chickpeas, you’ll need 1 can of them. Rinse, drain, and dry them before tossing them with olive oil and spices. Lay them on parchment paper and roast for about 30 minutes, depending on your oven. These actually make a great little snack on their own!

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Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:
For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1.5-2 tbsp sugar (this is a must to offset the strong tang from the vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the salad:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
  • Roasted spiced chickpeas (optional)

For the roasted chickpeas:

  • 1 can (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric (I omitted)

1). Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Roll them in-between two paper towels to make sure they are completely dry before proceeding, otherwise they will not get crispy.

2). In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and spices. Toss well to ensure even distribution of the spices. Roast for 20 minutes before stirring them around. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until the they’re golden brown and lightly charred on the bottom.

3). While the chickpeas roast, whisk together the seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

4). Peel the cucumbers, chop off the ends, and slice them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds from each half of the cucumbers and discard the seeds. Slice the cucumbers thinly into half-moon shapes.

5). Toss the cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper, and cilantro in the dressing. Let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinade while the chickpeas finish cooking. Let the chickpeas rest about 5 minutes before adding to the salad. Top with roasted peanuts. Enjoy!

Servings: about 3 as a main dish, or 6 as a side dish. Approximate nutritional information for 1 main dish serving: Calories: 275 Carbs: 40.5g Fat: 6.9g Protein: 12.7 g Fiber: 9.5g Points+: 7

Recipe adapted from: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/06/05/thai-inspired-hydrating-cucumber-salad-with-roasted-spiced-chickpeas/

 

 

 

Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Spicy Sweet Slaw

This recipe was passed on to me by a friend at work and I am so glad I decided to try it!

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For me, the star of the show in this recipe was the slaw. The flank steak was very juicy and tender due to the marinade, but I loved the unique flavors in the secondary recipe.  While the flank steak was delicious and had the perfect amount of salt from the soy sauce, the slaw balanced everything out by being both sweet AND spicy. Very spicy, actually. Because it was the first time I made this recipe, I followed the original recipe and used both peppers. My husband and I both agreed it had too much heat. Next time, I will be using just one (and that is how the recipe is written below). Even with the extra kick, it was great!

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And, in case you’re reading this and thinking that you won’t be making this recipe because you do not care for slaw…well, neither do I! Or at least, not the traditional mayonnaise-based slaw. This was light and so flavorful. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this version.

It is peak grilling season, so why not fire up the grill for a delicious and healthy meal? A couple thin strips of flank steak paired with the slaw on the side made for a perfect, light dinner.

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Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Spicy Sweet Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 1 1/2-pound flank steak
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 red jalapeño, thinly sliced into rounds with seeds removed
  • 5 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 9 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions

1) Combine the 1/4 cup soy sauce, oil, ginger, and garlic with the flank steak in a resealable bag. Marinade as long a possible (preferably 8 hours or overnight). Turn the bag occasionally.

2) In a medium sauce pan, heat the sugar with seasoned rice vinegar over medium heat until sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add jalapeño and remaining 2 teaspoons ginger. Place cabbage and green onions in a bowl.

3) Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand while grilling, tossing occasionally.

4) Grill steak until cooked to desired doneness, about 6 minutes for medium-rare or 8 minutes for medium. Transfer to a cutting board. Allow meat to rest about 10 minutes and then cut into slices against the grain. Serve with slaw and enjoy!

Serves: 6 

Nutritional Information for Flank Steak: Calories: 153 Carbs: 1g Fat: 10g Protein: 15g Sugar: 1 g Fiber: 0g

WW PointsPlus: 4 

Nutritional Information for Spicy Sweet Slaw: Calories: 69 Carbs: 12g Fat: 0g Protein: 1g Sugar: 9g Fiber: 0g

WW PointsPlus: 1

Recipe adapted from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Asian-Flank-Steak-with-Sweet-Slaw-242464 

Ginger-Soy Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting cauliflower brings out a delightful, nutty flavor. I’ve mentioned this before in this post on how to roast cauliflower. Today, we are kicking it up a notch with a simple ginger-soy sauce that is added after roasting. This sauce makes for some of the most interesting cauliflower I have ever had! It also pairs very well with the healthy stir fry recipe from earlier this week!

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Adding the sauce after the florets roast allows the Asian flavors to absorb into every bite, truly transforming this cauliflower into something special. The fresh ginger root grated into sauce is what adds the majority of the flavor, so I would not recommend substitute dried ginger. If you do try it, let us know in the comments how it turns out. Quick tip: did you know you can freeze fresh ginger? Wrap the ginger whole (with skin still on) in aluminum foil until later use. It will actually be easier to peel and grate frozen!

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If you are like me and are always looking for interesting (and delicious!) ways to cook cauliflower, try this recipe. It could not be simpler and more unique!

Ginger-Soy Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 green onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Roast for 25 minutes, or until tops are slightly browned and stems are easily pierced with a fork.

2) Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the cauliflower to serve.

Servings: 4. Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 79 Carbs: 9g Fat: 4g Protein: 3g Fiber: 4g

WW Points +: 2 Old points: 1

Recipe adapted from: Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook

Stir Fried Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots

A healthy Asian-inspired dish that comes together fast enough to make on a weeknight!

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Confession: Until this dish, I have never been very pleased with my attempts to make Chinese dishes at home. I suppose that mainly stems from some crock pot Pinterest recipes that did not live up to their reputation, but I digress. This recipe is fool proof and delicious. I do not own a wok, so I improvised using a large skillet. It worked out just fine!

Stir fries are fun as they lend themselves to creativity because can substitute vegetables listed for whatever you have on hand. It is also much healthier to prepare this type of dish at home than it is in a restaurant. Restaurant-style Chinese food is often known for being fried and coated in a sugary glaze. This glaze is sticky but light and flavorful due to the fresh ginger and garlic. You can serve this over the grain of your choice (brown rice, quinoa, whatever!) OR with an interesting soy-sesame cauliflower side dish that I will be posting soon. Check back later on this week!

If you do decide to serve this over a grain and your family really likes having extra sauce to mix together, I recommend doubling the sauce portion of the recipe!

*Note: I have recently had some requests to include the Weight Watchers points with the nutritional information at the bottom. Although I don’t participate in WW, I am now going to add that information whenever possible! If you have any other requests, please let me know!*

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Spring Stir Fried Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos or Tamari for Gluten Free)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

For the stir fry:

  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced diagonallyor chopped

1). In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, water, and cornstarch. Set aside.

2). Season chicken lightly with salt. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. When the wok (or skillet) is very hot, add half the oil, then add the chicken. Stir fry, stirring occasionally until the chicken is brown and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.

3). Add the other half of the oil and the vegetables, ginger, and garlic. Stir over medium-high heat until tender-crisp, about 3-4 minutes.

4). Add the chicken back to the wok along with the sauce. Stir together for 30 seconds to a minute to combine well and heat through. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Servings: 4 (just under 1 cup) Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 179 Fat: 5.6g Carbs: 7g Protein: 27g  Sugar: 1.5g Fiber: 2g Sodium: 238 mg 

WW Points +: 5 Old points: 4

Recipe adapted from skinnytaste.com