Can we just talk about the weather we’ve been having lately? It’s been…well, not miserable! Finally. Okay, so it hasn’t actually been all that bad (yet) compared to other years, but when it’s cold, it’s cold. But the weather the past few days have made going outside almost enjoyable. It was so nice on Sunday (a balmy 40 degrees) — and knowing it wasn’t going to last long — I took the opportunity to drop what I was doing and go for an impromptu run around our new neighborhood. Just what I needed! Cabin fever is a legit thing, I tell ya.
great much improved weather and the idea of “fresh starts” still on my mind with the new year, I was craving something other than soups for once. Citrus Salmon with Kale & Whole-Wheat Couscous was the result.
Citrus is at its finest right now and I feel like grocery stores have a way of making even the dead of winter beautiful with all the bright colors of citrus from yellow and green to a variety of orange colors. To take full advantage of the healing power of citrus in the winter (and its beautiful colors), this quick, delicious and healthy recipe is just the ticket. It uses lemon and lime zest to bring a bit of freshness to the salmon and couscous. There’s so much flavor and brightness in both the couscous and salmon, you almost forget that it’s the dead of winter in the Midwest.
Let’s talk about kale, shall we? It recently used to be the “it” food, but I love that it’s still hanging around with more and more people using it on a regular basis. If you haven’t jumped on the kale bandwagon yet, it’s not too late to give it a try (I won’t tell). Kale is a great green to have in the winter because it’s so hearty and readily available during this season. It wilts down perfectly in the couscous without getting mushy like spinach gets when cooked.
If you can, search for whole-wheat couscous at your grocery store. Couscous is often thought of as naturally being “healthy.” But in fact, couscous is just another type of pasta — it’s not a grain like many people think. Choosing whole-wheat couscous gives you extra fiber and nutrients not otherwise found in regular couscous.
And the best thing about this meal? It looks way more complicated than it actually is. Make this and you will instantly impress your friends, spouse, or family members. It’s fancy enough for a date night meal, but easy and fast enough to make on just a normal Monday night. Enjoy!
Citrus Salmon with Kale & Whole-Wheat Couscous
Slightly adapted from Clean Eating
- 4 4-oz boneless, skinless wild salmon fillets
- 1/8 tsp each salt and fresh ground black pepper, divided
- 2 Tablespoons whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tablespoon fresh, chopped parsley (or 1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
- 2 teaspoons lime zest, divided
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup whole-wheat couscous
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups de-ribbed and chopped kale
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Lemon slices, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place salmon on baking sheet and season with half of salt and pepper, dividing evenly. In a small bowl, combine panko, parsley, and 1 teaspoon each lemon zest and lime zest. Sprinkle over salmon, pressing into tops and sides of fish to adhere; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add shallots and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add couscous and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth and kale. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer gently until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer salmon to oven and bake until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
- To couscous, add lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon each lemon zest and lime zest and Parmesan; stir to combine. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Divide couscous mixture and salmon among serving plates. If desired, serve with lemon slices.