Food does not need to be complicated to be delicious. Using umami-boosting ingredients such as soy sauce and miso is a way of giving deep flavor to a dish with little fuss. Recipes like this are very doable on a weeknight, which I hope will inspire you to cook more often!
These are two recipes I developed for a workshop on “Eating to Ease Menopause,” presented both in San Francisco and Honolulu. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both sites attracted an all-female audience, despite the fact that I reminded people that even if they might not be going through menopause, they know someone who is! Hormone balancing aside, these are heart-healthy and mood-supportive recipes full of omega-3s and phytoestrogens. Did you know, eating just two servings of fish a week is enough to provide all the omega-3s you need for a healthy heart?
And, most importantly, these recipes are delicious. Both give an Asian (specifically, Japanese) flavor to a perfect meal for #MeatlessMonday or any day.
Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze
This is a simple and quick way to prepare very flavorful salmon. Extra glaze can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator indefinitely. This recipe also works well with pan-fried tofu.
Salmon is an excellent source of mood-balancing and heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids. The soy products in this dish—miso and soy sauce—are a source of both flavor and phytoestrogens, which can reduce hot flashes.
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons white miso paste, reduced sodium if available
2 tablespoons mirin, (Japanese rice wine)
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce, or tamari
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon water, if needed to thin glaze to a pourable consistency
1 pound center-cut salmon fillet (skin-on), cut into 4 portions
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
- Position oven rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
- Line a small baking sheet with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray.
- Toast sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Whisk miso, mirin, soy sauce (or tamari) and ginger in a small bowl until smooth. Thin with water as needed- should be thick but pourable.
- Place salmon fillets, skin-side down, onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the miso mixture.
- Broil salmon, 3 to 4 inches from the heat source, until opaque in the center, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer salmon to serving plates and garnish with the reserved sesame seeds and scallions.
Nutrition Info per serving:
Cal 143, 2 g fat, 26 g protein, 547 mg sodium, 0 g sugar
Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Soy Lemon Vinaigrette
This makes an excellent accompaniment to miso-glazed salmon or another protein, or can be enjoyed on its own. Quinoa is a complete protein; edamame and flaxseed are good sources of phytoestrogens, which can reduce hot flashes. The pepitas are a good source of mood-balancing magnesium and other minerals.
For the dressing (makes ½ c):
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1T sesame oil
1 T reduced sodium soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
For the salad:
3 c cooked quinoa (from one cup dry)
1 T ground flaxseed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 c baby spinach or kale, roughly chopped
1 Persian cucumber, ¼ inch dice
1 cup shelled edamame, cooked and cooled
2 T chopped scallions
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Put cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add dressing, flaxseed and lemon zest and stir to combine.
- Add greens, cucumber, edamame and scallions to the quinoa and toss to combine. Adjust salt to taste.
- Spoon the quinoa mixture onto a platter. Lay the slices of avocado over the salad, and scatter toasted pepitas over the top.
Nutrition Info per serving:
Cal 254, Fat 12 g, Protein 9 g, Sodium 287 mg, Sugar 1 g
What are your other favorite ways to prepare salmon? Feel free to share ideas or recipes in the comments!
Looking for other doctor-recommended recipes for a healthy and delicious life? Join my healthy eating community, The Doctor’s Spicebox. And if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, take one of my monthly cooking classes in the Thrive Kitchen at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco. I’d love to cook with you!
To your health!