Cook With Confidence: Quinoa Panzanella with Wild Salmon
Summer's in full swing, and lately I'm craving light, healthy and fresh weeknight meals. One glance at the above image, and it's a no-brainer why I chose Quinoa Panzanella with Wild Salmon from Cooking Light to try out for this week's #CookWithConfidence post.
Let's start with the groceries. The ingredient list is fairly short and calls for several pantry staples— obviously a bonus in anyone's book! Salmon and quinoa are the key ingredients in this recipe, and who's not a sucker for a good piece of salmon? The recipe calls for skin-on, but they only had skinless fillets at my local seafood counter, so I had to make a couple of adjustments. I also picked up a bag of organic white quinoa. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein, so it's an obvious choice for the health conscious.
After chopping up the veggies (well, I guess tomatoes are technically a fruit, but that's a discussion for another day), I got started on the salmon. Since I had bought skinless, my fillet cooked much faster than the recipe indicated. After cooking 4 or 5 minutes on each side, the fillet was perfectly pink and shredded easily.
Once the quinoa was done, I simply tossed it in the vegetable/oil mixture with the shredded salmon, and I was ready to serve! In the original recipe photo, the bulkiness of the dish comes from the salmon and veggies, but, as you can see below, my final dish is heavy on the quinoa side. Fortunately, you can't really mess up this dish, and the meal tasted great. Each bite is really flavorful, and the strong taste is tempered by the mild-flavored quinoa. If you're sensitive to acidic tastes, you may want to decrease the red wine vinegar. I used the full amount, and my final dish was pretty strong (and a little on the moist side).
There are a couple of things I really like about this dish. Packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, the meal is really nutritious. Second, I don't ever really stop during the week, so one-dish dinners are essential for me, and this dinner came together in just 30 minutes. I also love that you can eat it hot or cold. The flavor was actually better the next day after it congealed overnight in the refrigerator, and I found that I liked it just as much when I ate it cold for lunch inside a whole-wheat tortilla.