Salmon gives salad nice pro­tein punch

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN

Some­times, it’s just too hot to turn on the stove. The key is to stock your kitchen with “healthy con­ve­nience food” that doesn’t re­quire any heat, such as fresh pro­duce, canned beans, canned fish and small boxes of pre­cooked legumes found in the pre­pared pro­duce sec­tion.

You can throw to­gether a hearty meal in min­utes with­out break­ing a sweat. Sure, you will pay an ex­tra dol­lar or two for steamed lentils, for in­stance, but if hav­ing a well-stocked fridge keeps you from hit­ting the fast-food place even once, then you’ll come out ahead fi­nan­cially (and nu­tri­tion­ally).

Canned salmon is one of my fa­vorite quick foods. When it goes on sale, you can stock the pantry with a few cans, mak­ing wild salmon down­right in­ex­pen­sive.

Not only is canned salmon full of pro­tein (12 grams per 2 ounces of fish) and omega-3 fatty acids, but it ac­tu­ally has more cal­cium than its fresh coun­ter­part, since the small bones stay in the meat (and go un­no­ticed; re­move any large bones, how­ever).

Pair the salmon with beans or other legumes, plus some chopped fresh veg­eta­bles and vinai­grette, and you’ve got a dish hearty enough for a sum­mer­time sup­per. And it will keep nicely in the re­frig­er­a­tor, so you can graze on this fiberand pro­tein-filled salad for a day or two with no problem.

To­day’s recipe, a Lentil and Salmon Salad with Smoky Mus­tard Dress­ing, was in­spired by my fa­vorite bagel top­pings — red onion, tomato, ca­pers, salmon and a hint of smok­i­ness in the vinai­grette, which el­e­vates the canned salmon into a lit­tle wink at lox. The fla­vors marry into a sur­pris­ingly com­plex dish, never hint­ing at the fact that this recipe is of the 5-minute-dump-stir-and-serve va­ri­ety.

Lentil and Salmon Salad With Smoky Mus­tard Dress­ing

2 ½ cups cooked lentils 2 medium toma­toes, chopped

(about 1 ½ cups)

1 medium cu­cum­ber, seeded

and chopped (about 1 cup) ¼ medium red onion, chopped 3 ta­ble­spoons ca­pers

8 ounces canned wild salmon, large bones and skin re­moved

2 tea­spoons Di­jon mus­tard 1 tea­spoon smoked pa­prika 2 ta­ble­spoons lemon juice 1 ta­ble­spoon red wine vine­gar 1 ta­ble­spoon water 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil

Salt and pep­per

¼ cup lightly chopped dill leaves

Mix (or layer) the lentils, toma­toes, cu­cum­ber, onion, ca­pers and salmon in a large salad bowl or on a platter.

In a small bowl, whisk to­gether the mus­tard, smoked pa­prika, lemon juice, vine­gar and water un­til smooth. Driz­zle in the olive oil while whisk­ing to make an emul­sion. Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per. This makes about ½ cup.

Pour ⅓ cup of the dress­ing over the salad. Top with the fresh dill leaves. Toss and serve on leafy greens tossed with the re­main­ing dress­ing, if de­sired. Will keep for two days in re­frig­er­a­tor, in cov­ered glass con­tainer.

Makes 6 serv­ings. Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion: Each serv­ing con­tains ap­prox­i­mately 211 calo­ries, 18 g pro­tein, 7 g fat, 20 g car­bo­hy­drate (3 g sugar), 25 mg choles­terol, 364 mg sodium and 8 g fiber.

Car­bo­hy­drate choices: 1 ½.

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