Baked Salmon Salad with Citrus Mint Vinaigrette
This January has been an exercise in finding the balance between eating in a way that would make Jillian Michaels proud and eating in a way that would make Guy Fieri proud. What can I say? This girl loves a good bacon burger.
There is, however, a deadline looming on my calendar that is encouraging me to choose food that is a bit more nourishing and lighter in content.
It’s the sign-up date for my very first race. (I know I’m late to the race party, but better late than never!)
Running a race has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while and have always put off or found some excuse to get out of. Not this year.
In 2018, I’m actually doing all the things I’ve been to scared or too lazy to do. Years of hesitating and hem-hawing was actually getting kind of boring and exhausting. So, I’m just jumping in and going for it – what the heck!
But, with any new commitment comes change and sacrifice. You know, the hard part.
Now, if you follow me on social media or know me IRL, you know I love me some dessert (preferably before dinner, maybe after too…ok, fine, whenever) so cutting back on sweets is definitely a sacrifice, albeit a very minor one in terms of the grand scheme of life.
I also have to get into the routine of regular exercise again, which is always hard in the winter.
It’s so much easier to motivate myself in the summer when I can simply pick my favorite street and go for a run while looking at all the pretty homes and gardens daydreaming about my best life. Does anyone else do that?
Needless to say, light-n-healthy recipes are more and more of a staple in my kitchen these days. Anytime I can enjoy a meal that makes me feel satisfied rather than stuffed and nourished rather than nauseous, I will take it. This salad is just that and inspired by one of my favorite restaurant salads.
The super healthy baked salmon (ridiculously easy to prepare, btw) is flaked over a fresh salad of nutritious spinach, pineapple, red pepper, sprouts, and some crispy fried wontons for a little extra crunch.
You can easily leave them out if you are gluten-free or replace them with sliced, toasted almonds for a really healthy crunch. What I really love is the fresh to death citrus-mint dressing this salad (and the baked salmon) get drizzled with. It’s full of zest and bright mint flavor, and it’s a perfect little ray of sunshine in the winter.
I hope you enjoy this salad and have a fun year chasing after all your goals.
We got this!
Baked Salmon Salad with Citrus Mint Vinaigrette
This spinach salad topped with baked salmon and healthy crunchy toppings is sure to keep you on the right track this January...or whenever for that matter. Drizzled with a fresh citrus vinaigrette, this salad is light, refreshing, and perfectly flavorful.
For the Vinaigrette
- 1 tsp. Orange Zest
- 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
- 3 TBS Orange Juice
- 2 TBS Lemon Juice
- 3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tsp. Fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tsp. Agave (or honey)
- 1 pinch Salt & Pepper
For The Salmon
- 1 4 oz. Salmon Filet
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Pepper
- 3 TBS Citrus-Vinaigrette (reserved)
For The Salad
- 2 Bunches Spinach
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Pineapple
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Alfalfa Sprouts
- 1/2 Cup Fried Wontons
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
2. Combine all the ingredients for the citrus-mint vinaigrette and whisk vigorously until well combined. Set aside.
3. On a sheet pan, lay out a fairly large piece of tin foil. (You'll be wrapping the salmon in it, so just make sure it's large enough to go all around the filet.) Place the salmon filet in the center of the tin foil and season with salt and pepper. Add 3 TBS of the citrus-mint vinaigrette, and wrap the salmon up tightly. Bring the long edges together first and fold them over. Then, fold up the two remaining edges. *Bonus, if you follow me on Instagram, you can watch me make this on my stories. It's saved right on my profile!*
4. Bake the foil-wrapped salmon on the baking sheet for about 11-15 minutes depending on your oven and thickness of the fish. It should be opaque and cooked through.
5. While the fish bakes, prepare your salad!
6. Cover two plates with a layer of spinach (or your favorite salad greens) and divide the rest of the ingredients (chopped pineapple, red pepper, fried wontons, and sprouts) between the two plates.
7. When the salmon has finished baking, allow it to cool for a few minutes, and carefully remove it from the tin foil. Use a fork to break up the salmon into big flakes, and divide it between each plate of salad.
8. Drizzle the remaining dressing evenly over the two plates of salad, and add an extra little pinch of salt and pepper over the top if you so desire.
My sister and I decided to share a small filet of salmon, but if you'd like to have you're own, just apply the instructions for baking the salmon to each individual filet. I might also cut down the amount of dressing in each salmon packet from three to two tablespoons.