This week has been a great week, full of fun, friends and professional development at work, which is a nice break from the school day routine for both teachers and students. With this week came lots of eating out (teachers are all about food!), which usually means a lot of fatty, not so great food. When I know that I’ll have an un-healthy streak like that, I make sure to hit the gym with lots of cardio to burn the extra calories, and plan out my other meals to be very healthy and supplementing the nutritional value I’m sure not to get.
I love eating, so this week was a nice break not only from work routine, but from a healthy diet. Chicken wings, fried foods, beer cheese and pretzels, brats, pizza, cookies and cakes… I enjoyed all of it! But here, at the end of the week, I am craving my usual foods, veggies and lean, light protein. After all the food struggles I went though in my 20s, I am so thrilled that healthy eating is not long a chore or a restriction, but a cravings and a a necessity. Is it always this way, but we just ignore it?
Lately I’ve been paying much closer attention to my cravings. First and foremost, I am a very thirsty girl. I am one of those girls who drinks a lot of water. I’m recovering from some dehydration (apparently 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated?), so maybe even more so at the moment. If I’m dehydrated, no amount of food can satiate how “hungry” I feel. Lately I’ve also been craving a lot of chocolate, which could indicate a magnesium deficiency, Fascinating stuff, right?
If you’re interested, you can check out this article with more info about what your cravings might mean. I also LOVE this chart that links cravings to possible causes, then to other healthier foods that could supply that nutritional need!
Anyhow, back to this dish! There’s not much else to say, other than that it is absolutely awesome. I adore the fresh flavors, and a well cooked piece of salmon is to die for. Really, if you know how to cook something well, even the simplest dish, like this one, becomes delightful. Take care to follow the directions below to get that salmon skin nice and crispy!
Chili Salmon & Asian Veggie Noodle SaladPrint Recipe
- 2 salmon filets, skin on
- 2 tbsp chili garlic paste, like this one
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 tbsp cilantro
- 1/2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 lime
First, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Prepare the vegetables. Using a spiralizer tool, spiralize the peeled carrots and the zucchini. Do not combine. Dice the ginger. Once the skillet is hot, add a little olive oil, the carrot "noodles" and ginger. Sauce for about 3-5 minutes until soft but still crunchy. Add the zucchini noddles to the pan and saute for 1 minute. Remove noodles from the pan into a large bowl. Allow to cool.
Raise the heat to medium high until the pan is very hot. Combine 2 tbsp (1/2 tbsp will be used later) olive oil and chili paste. Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon, then brush with half of the chili paste. Put a little oil in the hot pan, and then place the salmon skin down. Allow to cook for about 7 minutes, keeping an eye on the skin to make sure it doesn't burn.
Then, making sure there is enough oil in the pan (to prevent the tops of your salmon from sticking) and flip the salmon. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
While the salmon is cooking, prepare the salad. Whisk together 1/2 tbsp olive oil, the vinegar, sesame oil, and honey. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over noodles and toss to combine. Add fresh cilantro and toss again. Cut the lime in half.
Brush again both side with the leftover chili paste mixture and place on a bed of the noodle salad. Squeeze half a lime over each plate.