with Baby Spinach and Asparagus
March is here and spring is just around the corner! Nothing says “spring” like baby spinach and asparagus. And luckily for our spring and summer figures, spinach and asparagus steam beautifully, taste great on their own or sprinkled with a little vinegar, salt, and pepper, and pair up wonderfully with high-protein, low-fat selections like chicken, pork, and fish. The Five-Spice Salmon with spinach and asparagus, below, is an explosion of flavors, and spring at it’s finest, and it can be on your table 45 minutes after you walk in the door. Five-spice powder is of Chinese origin; it is a combination of fennel, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. It is available in the spice aisle of most supermarkets. If salmon isn’t your thing, substitute halibut, tuna, or sea bass.
Five-Spice Salmon with Baby Spinach and Asparagus
based on a recipe from The South Beach Diet Cookbook
1½ t lime zest, finely grated
3 T lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 t extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 t fresh ginger, grated*
1 t Chinese five-spice powder
½ t sugar substitute
1 lb salmon steaks, cut into 4 equal-size portions
8 c baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 lb asparagus
In a 2-quart dish, combine lime zest, lime juice, 1 teaspoon oil, ginger, five-spice powder, and sugar substitute. Add salmon and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a 3-quart microwaveable dish, combine spinach, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, tossing gently. Place asparagus on top. Cover with plastic wrap, vented at the corner, and microwave for 2 minutes, or until spinach has wilted and asparagus are crisp-tender. Drain spinach, and keep vegetables warm.
Lightly oil grill rack or broiler pan. Preheat grill to medium-high or broiler to high.
Remove salmon from marinade and lace on grill rack or broiler pan. Brush salmon with additional marinade. Close grill cover and cook for 4 minutes (or place in broiler with door slightly ajar). Turn salmon, brush with marinade, close grill cover again, and cook for 4 minutes longer, or until salmon flakes easily. Discard any remaining marinade.
To serve, evenly distribute salmon among 4 plates and center a salmon steak on each spinach bed. Place asparagus alongside.
*Chef’s Tip: I find it easiest to grate ginger when it is frozen. You only need a little for each recipe, so I keep my extra in a zip-top baggie for the next use.
Katie Habit of in home cooking Personal Chef Service (inhomecooking.net) prepares high-protein, low-fat meals for you to enjoy in your own home at the end of a long day.