Salmon with Ginger Veggie Stir-Fry and Millet

So salmon was on sale last week and I just couldn't help myself. When I buy salmon, I always try to make sure it is wild and not farm-raised fish. Why? Well, becaue you are what you eat and this applies just as much to us humans as it does to fish. Salmon that live in the wild get omega-3s that promote heart and brain health from their natural diet of other fish. These omega-3s help reduce inflammation as well as improve circulation, memory and possibly even mood. Farmed-raised salmon, on the other hand, are typically fed grain and this results in signficantly lower levels of omega-3s and higher levels of inflammatory fats that we already consume too much of. So kiss those heart benefits good bye!

As if that isn't reason enough to buy wild that lovely pink color in wild salmon is thanks to a natural pigment called astaxanthin, which they get from eating krill and shrimp. Astaxanthin is part of the carotenoid family and has 10 times the antioxidant activity of beta-carotene. Since the farm-raised salmon don't get to eat this, they lack this beautiful color. Because consumers like us would clearly realize something is up if our salmon isn't a healthy pink color...guess what!? Yup, the food industry adds dye. So with farm-raised salmon you are not only are you getting imflammatory fats and antibiotics, you get dye as well. And this with none of the antioxidant benefits from astaxanthin and less healthy omega-3s. Bottomline: Buy wild!

But this meal give you more than omega-3s. Check out some of the other benefits:
  • Ginger: The active ingredients in ginger, gingerols, shogaols and gingerdions and zingerone, are all powerful antixoidants that help reduce free radicals in your body. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory proporties and inflammation is the root of practically all major diseases. The root also helps improve circulation, soothe digestion and reduce nausea.
  • Carrots: For once people weren't lying to you as a child! They really are good for your eyes. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that help protect the eyes and prevent macular dengeration.
  • Onions: Onions belong to the allium family (think leeks, shallots, garlic, etc.) are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral. The also contain powerful antixoidants and quercetin, which can help relieve asthma and allergies by blocking some of the body's natural inflammatory responses. Studies also show that onions may help build strong bones.
  • Cabbage: It part of the brassica family (think broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.). They are known for their cancer-fighting ability. The phytochemical called indoles found in cabbage influences estrogen metabolism in a manner that reduces the risk of cancer. Those cancer-fighting compounds include: dithiolethiones, isothiocynates and sulforaphane. Besides all of this, cabbage is a great source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamin C &K as well as beta-carotene.

Salmon with Ginger Veggie Stir-Fry and Millet
Serves 4.
Prep time: 10 min. Total Time: 35 minutes.
1 cup millet (or other whole grain)
Coconut oil
4, 5-oz salmon fillets (bring to room temperature)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
3 carrots, sliced in thin rounds
2 cups of green cabbage, sliced in rounds and coarsely chopped
11 oz (300 grams) snow peas, left whole or chopped in half
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T. corn starch
2-3 T. water
1 tsp. sesame oil (optional)
1 tsp. sesame seeds (optional)
2 spring onions, sliced (optional)

1. Prepare millet according to directions on package.
2. While millet is cooking, bring a large non-stick pan to medium heat, add 1 T. coconut oil, ginger, onions and cabbage. Cook for 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
3. Add carrots and snow peas and stir fry for an additional 3 minutes.
4. Add chili flakes, broth and soy sauce and combine.
5. In a glass, combine corn starch with enough water so that is disolves. Add to pan and cook until the sauce thickens. Turn off heat.
6. In another non-stick pan over medium-low heat, add 2 T. coconut oil. Season salmon on each side and place in pan. Cook on first side until fish begins to brown (approx. 4 minutes) and then gently flip and cook on the other side for about 3 minutes. Plate fish.
7. Pour sesame oil over stirfried veggies. Add spring onions and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with fish and millet.

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