I love complete meal salads! This is Blackened Salmon and Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette. Gorgeous, filling and a complete meal: greens, grains, vegetables, omega 3 fats and protein in one fell swoop!
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I use wild caught 6-8 oz salmon filets seasoned with blackened cajun spice. This recipe can be grilled or seared on the cooktop and finished in the oven.
Tips for Buying Fish:
1. It’s best not to buy fish wrapped in plastic. You should be able to smell the fish you are buying. I always buy mine from a fishmonger I trust. If he is handling it, cutting it etc… he will know if it’s not fresh.
2. Try to buy fish the day you plan on making it.
3. When selecting fish always point to the piece you want. In stores the freshest fish is placed in the front of the window, closest to you, and the fish from the day before is placed in the back, closest to the fishmonger. So when you are looking at the fish closest to you and ask for it, he pulls it from the back. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with that fish from the day before, it’s just not the freshest…and you want the freshest!
Quinoa is a grain from South America that is high in protein, fiber and healthy fats, and believe it or not quinoa is related to beetroot, spinach and tumbleweeds! It is similar to rice in that it isn’t very flavorful on it’s own but takes on the flavors of what it is cooked in/with. I usually cook mine in broth for more flavor but water works fine too, especially with this salad because it is loaded with flavor.
Speaking of Flavor…Lime Vinaigrette!
This salad is drizzled with a sweet/tart homemade lime vinaigrette! Homemade dressing is so easy to make and literally takes three minutes. Once you start making your own, you never go back to store bought!
The Caramelized Walnuts:
The Recipe: Blackened Salmon and Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Variations, tips and what you will need: You will need white quinoa, blackened cajun spice, a hand held juicer and a fish spatula. If you do not want to make this recipe on the grill, I offer the cooktop/oven instructions in the recipe below. If you are using the cooktop instead of the grill, you will need an oven safe grill pan, Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12” Deep Ground Grill Pan.
Can be made on the grill or cooktop/oven. For cooktop directions, see bottom of recipe. This recipe is gluten and dairy free.
- 1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups broth or water according to package directions
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- generous pinch sea salt
- a few turns of freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups chopped romaine
- 1 cup cherry tomato medley slice tomatoes in half
- 1/2 cup caramelized walnuts
- 1/2 small cucumber peeled and diced
- 1/4 of small red onion thinly sliced
- 2 ripe avocados diced
- 4 - 6 oz salmon filets
- olive oil
- blackened cajun spice
Cook quinoa with broth or water according to package instructions, strain and allow to cool. While quinoa is cooking, make vinaigrette by placing all ingredients into a mason jar and shaking or whisking until emulsified.
Prepare lettuce, vegetables, avocado and nuts. Place on platter.
Spray grill with organic cooking spray or wipe with coconut oil. Preheat to 400 degrees.
Brush salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with blackened cajun spice.
When grill is ready, place salmon meat side down (skin side up) and cook for five minutes, establishing nice grill marks. Turn and cook for five more minutes. Serve with skin on or if preferred, remove skin by sliding fish spatula between meat and skin and lifting off grill. Discard skin.
Place cooled quinoa on platter with other salad ingredients, toss with salad dressing (you will have some leftover). Dish salad unto four plates, top with salmon and then drizzle salmon with more lime vinaigrette. Sprinkle with pepper and sea salt. Serve.Save extra dressing in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position.
Heat a pan on high heat for 2 minutes. Add olive oil. When oil is hot turn heat down a bit and add prepared salmon meat side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until seared nicely. Turn salmon over with fish spatula. Transfer pan to oven and cook 10-12 more minutes. Leave skin on, or remove by sliding fish spatula between skin and meat of salmon.
If you love a complete meal salad try this one with rice, chicken and arugula! ~Linda Spiker
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Post tags: Gluten free, dairy free