Smokey and sweet, blackened salmon pairs beautifully with protein-charged quinoa and earthy kale in this week’s Cooking with Heinen’s post. Topped with fruit, seeds and avocados, these nutrient-packed bowls are a regular part of our meal line up. The colors alone make this dish fun but when you taste the combo of sweet, smokey (not too spicy) salmon with the fresh, sweet blueberries, chewy golden raisins, crunchy, sweet pomegranate arils, and creamy, cool yogurt and avocado – all elevated by the tangy and sweet dressing and tender kale – you’ll wish you made twice as much.
It may seem like the quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wa’) is just along for the ride, but its delicate and subtly nutty flavor make it versatile for breakfast (as a cereal), lunch (as a salad) or dinner (as a side). Cooked quinoa seeds become fluffy and creamy, yet maintains a slight crunch. Plus, it’s among the least allergenic of all the grains, making it a fantastic wheat-free choice.
What’s all the quinoa hype about? It’s high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which make it potentially beneficial for health in the prevention and treatment of disease. Quinoa contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and all nine essential amino acids. And, bonus, it’s EASY to make!
Smokey and Sweet Blackened Salmon Power Salad
- ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped, veins removed.
- 2 Tbsp. pepitas seeds
- 2 Tbs golden raisins
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 lb. wild-caught salmon, sliced into 3 filets
- 1 Tbs Olive oil
- 2½ Tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions in vegetable broth or water. Set aside.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together.
Place kale in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dressing over the Kale. Massage the
dressing into the kale leaves. This helps to tenderize the kale and infuses the
flavor. Toss in pepitas, raisins, blueberries and pomegranate arils. Set aside.
- Combine sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and
lime zest in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Rub spice mixture evenly on salmon.
- Heat oil in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add salmon,
skin side-down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip salmon over and cook 2 to
3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Divide kale salad and quinoa among 3 plates or shallow bowls. Top with sliced
avocado. Add 1 salmon filet to each bowl. Add a spoonful of greek yogurt and a
small drizzle on olive oil to the top of each filet. The yogurt adds a cool creamy
element to the smokey blackened salmon.
This superfood salad is filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Salmon: packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins.
- Kale: high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a good source of fiber.
- Berries: packed with antioxidants (s/o to anthocyanin!), fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate.
- Pomegranate: great source of fiber and potassium, and more antioxidant capacity than red wine and green tea.
- Greek yogurt: packed with protein, probiotics and calcium.
This recipe comes together in only 30 minutes and holds up beautifully for next day leftovers.
They’re also very customizable. If you don’t like a particular ingredient, either leave it out or replace it with a different nutrient-dense fruit, vegetable, nut or seed. Consider adding beets, brussel sprout slaw, sunflower seeds and/or goat cheese.