Monday, March 18, 2013

Pan Seared/Roasted Salmon & Semi Loaded Baked Potatoes

Yes that's a giant baked potato...and no...this is not a cheat meal ;)  Regular potatoes aren't horrible for you, but they tend to be prepared in not so healthy ways.  Are sweet potatoes a better choice?  Probably....but that doesn't mean that plain old spuds are the devil.  Plus they go really nicely with salmon and a salad ;) 

If you've taken a look at Michi's Ladder then you might have noticed that potatoes are on the third tier...which makes them more of a "sometimes food", but not a full on cheat food.  They aren't as nutrient dense as sweet potatoes, but if you are mindful of what you put on them/in them they don't have to be a complete no no. 
Semi Loaded Baked Potatoes
2 Baking Potatoes
1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Slices of Turkey Bacon (cooked according to package directions and crumbled)
2 Scallions (chopped)
Butter or Butter Substitute
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Thoroughly wash and dry the potatoes. Use a fork to pierce each potato three or four times.  Rub olive oil over the potatoes and place them on a microwave safe plate.  Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes.  Carefully remove from the microwave and place potatoes in a baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Carefully remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool until they can be handled.  Cut lengthwise across the top of each potato.  Press on the ends to open up the potato.  The inside should be nice and fluffy.  Add butter or butter substitute (we use Smart Balance Light Butter Spread), crumbled bacon and chopped scallions.
* I microwave my potatoes before baking them because it helps them to bake faster.  If you don't want to use a microwave you can lower the oven temp to 350 degrees and increase the baking time to one hour.
* I really recommend spending a little time in the butter section of your grocery store comparing labels.  Everyone has different dietary considerations, and by taking the time to read the labels you can find the right one for you.  I need something non-dairy, and my hubby needs something cholesterol free, so Smart Balance works well for both of us.
 * If you like cheese and/or sour cream on your baked potatoes try using reduced fat versions.  If you have to have the full fat versions then make sure that you read the nutrition info and choose your serving sizes accordingly ;)
Pan Seared/ Roasted Salmon
2 (4-6 oz.) Salmon Fillets
1 to 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Sea Salt
1 Lemon (sliced into wedges)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking dish with foil and set aside.  Combine the garlic powder, dried oregano, thyme, pepper and salt in a small dish.  Wash and pat the salmon fillets dry.  With the skin side down sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the top of your fillets.  Place one to two tablespoons of oil in a skillet large enough for both of your salmon fillets (you just need enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet).  Heat the oil over medium high heat (until it starts to shimmer/ripple...not to it's smoking point).  Place the salmon fillets skin side up (seasoned side down) in the skillet.  Don't move the salmon around at all!  You want it nice and seared, so let it cook for four to five minutes without being moved.  Use a spatula to lift one corner a it to see if the salmon is golden brown.  If not, let it cook for another minute.  If you are using an oven safe skillet you can flip the fillets over so that they are skin side down/seasoned side up.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon wedge over each fillet.  Transfer the skillet to your pre-heated oven to bake for 5-6 minutes.  If you don't have an oven safe skillet just transfer your fillets to a foil lined baking dish (skin side down/seasoned side up), squeeze the juice of one lemon wedge over each fillet, and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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