This week, I learned I am prediabetic, despite the fact that my diet doesn’t fit the profile, and my weight and BMI are both within the normal ranges. It’s frustrating to try to make my diet ‘better’ when it’s not bad in the first place! Still, I’m not a quitter, so I’m working on making small changes as I can. Instead of a fried chicken and waffles dinner that sounded great on this rainy night, I came up with the idea for a fast healthy dinner using a few of my favorite things. I think you’ll like this Blood Orange Salmon Bowl recipe I made!Jump to Recipe
Aren’t these Blood Oranges gorgeous? The inside is as beautiful as the outside.
I use these oranges so many ways, and I get mine from Melissa’s Produce, who I want to thank, by the way, for sending me the ones I used in this recipe, along with a box of other amazing kinds of produce. You’ll see more of that on the blog soon! (Keep an eye out for the next recipe, a bourbon drink made in a popular way but with a twist!)
The bowl itself comes together in minutes, but you’ll want to do a little prepwork a couple of hours in advance. Start by putting your salmon in a marinade; I let mine rest in the mixture about two hours, and it was delicious! The marinade is where the blood orange flavor comes in, so you don’t want to skip it! It couldn’t be easier and takes just a few minutes. That part of the recipe is below!
After you get the salmon in the marinade, create your pickled red onions if you don’t have any on hand already. These babies are so good and after you make them one time, you’ll realize you need to have them on hand daily. You’ll also wonder why you’ve never made them before. They’re a simple way to add some acid and texture to everything from salads to scrambled eggs to tacos. Versatile and flavorful, they also add a pop of color. Food is most definitely a visual experience in addition to the smells and flavors!
You can make this bowl with frozen, thawed salmon, but fresh is always better if it’s available. Don’t let it stop you though if frozen is all you’ve got. I’ve picked up some great small packages at Smart and Final and Trader Joe’s. I make these bowls a lot for lunch, so I don’t want to buy larger packages — but salmon can be used in so many ways, it’s never a problem to have extra on hand.
We cut our salmon into serving-sized portions and placed them into a sealed quart-sized plastic bag to get ready for the marinade. (You could also do it in a bowl, but the bag makes it easier to ensure the marinade gets on all surfaces without making the fish mushy over time.) You can also do this in advance. By the time you want to serve dinner, you really only need about 20 minutes once you get these earlier steps done!
Blood Orange Salmon Recipe
- 2 Blood Oranges
- 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Minced ginger (substitute powder if necessary)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Fresh Salmon
- Quinoa, Cooked (We made it with chicken broth)
- Mini Cucumbers
- Pickled Red Onion (recipe below)
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Salt (We used large flake Sea Salt)
- Fresh lemon (Optional!)
Add the first three ingredients into the baggie with the salmon. Move it around to make sure all the salmon is covered. Refrigerate for at 2-3 hours.
After salmon is done marinading, put olive oil in pan over medium heat.
Add salmon to pan. Cook to your preferences. I fried 2-3 minutes per side.
While salmon is cooking, place quinoa in bowl(s). Add edamame, mini cucumbers and purple onions.
Once salmon is cooked to your preference (I like it almost blue), place on top of quinoa with vegetables. Squeeze fresh lemon on top IF you want. Eat and enjoy!
See how quick it comes together? You can change it up according to whatever vegetables you have on hand. Fresh avocado is amazing on it, as well as corn, a good spicy salsa, chick peas or other small bite produce you’ve got available. Mango is another perfect addition, adding a wonderful tang.
The salmon cooks very quickly, so don’t walk away! I added fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt over it as it fried. Then I took a video of it to share on my Instagram as a story — that sizzling sound! Chef’s kiss.
Be sure to use quality olive oil, even if you use a nonstick pan. I use only Hexclad pans when I cook, which are non-stick and non-scratch, but the olive oil adds a layer of flavor and healthy fats. We prefer Garcia de la Cruz Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, with its fruity flavor that stands up to any other flavors you add. (It’s also delicious as a fresh bread dipper.)
The pickled red onions take only a few minutes to make, but you’ll want them to refrigerate for at least an hour before you eat them. Thinly slice the purple onion and place in a jar. Cover with apple cider vinegar, and for every 1/2 cup of vinegar, add about 1 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. Place a lid on the jar, shake it up and you’re good to go once at least an hour has gone by. These onions go fast, so we reuse the vinegar mixture 2-3 times.
One additional tip: sometimes quinoa can be bland, so don’t be afraid to season it on its own as you cook. I cooked ours in low-salt chicken broth (which I buy in cartons if I don’t have any homemade on hand, which I normally do), seasoned with S&P and I add in a couple of lemon slices after I squeeze them into the quinoa as it cooks. The lemon flavor is mild, but you could also do it with oranges, dried citrus flakes, a tick of cayenne pepper or a tablespoon or two of real butter.
You’d have to change the name, but this Blood Orange Salmon Bowl recipe can also be made with crispy fried tofu to replace the salmon, or pan-fried sausages like a turkey kielbasa or another kind of fish. It’s really about utilizing what you have in your refrigerator to keep it simple and healthy-ish. Nothing’s perfect, and even with the dietary changes I need to work into my daily food plans, I want to enjoy my food and give my family things that maybe will help prevent them from ending up with a similar diagnosis. Once I get a handle on pre-diabetic recipes and food choices, I’ll be adding more of that to the blog as well. I’ll end this post with one more suggestion: stay on top of your health! Get those physicals and follow-up. Life’s short enough as it is, you want to be healthy to enjoy it as much as possible!