I’m way behind on posting this recipe seasonally wise but I’ve been meaning to and meaning to and finally got a chance.
I’ll admit when I was younger I was a carnivore. I used to proudly state that I hated vegetables like that leafy green lettuce or mushy slice of tomato mucking up my burgers. Nope, I wanted them straight, just cheese and ketchup. Meat was my go-to, the thing I always wanted to eat, disregarding the fact that I always loved Filipino style potatoes and carrots along with my mom’s green beans. I definitely leaned toward meat, meat and more meat (since at the time I refused to eat fish).
Fast forward ten years later and suddenly I’m making vegetarian meals along with fish once a week (dragging my husband kicking and screaming with me). When we used to go to restaurants I always knew I should probably get a salad but also felt a slight amount of pity for those people who were ordering salads for dinner instead of delicious pot roast or pasta.
I don’t know, I guess it always felt like bit of a waste. Going out to eat is supposed to be a treat and you’re treating yourself to salad? (We’re not considering the fact that many restaurant salads have more calories than a regular entrée). Either way, I hope I’ve evolved a bit when I can actually look forward to lunches or dinners and say, “Yum, salad!” and willingly pick salad for lunch over a sandwich because I enjoy it more.
Here’s one of the favorite ones that I make at home, inspired by some of those salads lurking on restaurant menus everywhere. If you don’t like fish, feel free to sub in a bit of grilled chicken or skip it all together to make it completely vegetarian. If you are going the vegetarian route I’d up the amount of black beans and corn to make it more satisfying.
And don’t worry, this is a big salad. You’re definitely not going to be hungry after eating it (I want you to look forward to your dinner, not feel like you’re being punished). If you really needed to serve it with something, I’d suggest a small whole wheat roll with it but otherwise it’ll be more than plenty.
A side note – the ingredient list looks long but the whole thing goes together in a snap. Not including marinating the whole dish takes maybe 20 minutes.
If you were in a crazy hurry you could cut the marinating time down to 15 minutes. I wouldn't completely skip it thought, it gives the salmon a nice juiciness.
- ½ lb salmon, cut into 2 fillets
- 2 Tbsp pineapple juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp hot Mexican style chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- Dash allspice
- 2 Tbsp bbq sauce
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- ½ tsp hot sauce
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 2 hearts of romaine, small chop
- ½ cup frozen corn, defrosted and patted dry
- ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small red pepper, small dice
- ¼ cup red onion, small dice
- ¼ cup shredded cheese (pick your favorite, I like to use pepperjack for more heat)
- Crispy Onions , optional (you can either buy the bagged kind in the produce aisle or make your own or skip them all together. They do add a delicious crunch if you decide to use them)
- Combine salmon with pineapple juice and lemon juice. Marinate in fridge for an hour, turning occasionally.
- Make bbq vinaigrette – combine bbq sauce through salt and pepper, mix well (I put it in a small container and shake it). Set aside in fridge until ready to use it.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Remove fish from marinade, pat dry. Combine brown sugar through allspice and pat onto every part of fish – don’t be afraid to load the rub on, it turns into a delicious glaze.
- Spray small baking pan with nonstick spray and place salmon in it. Bake for 12 minutes or until done.
- Build your salad: toss the romaine lettuce with dressing and divide between two bowls. Act like Tinkerbell sprinkling fairy dust – layer on the corn, black beans, bell pepper, red onion and cheese. If you decide to use the crispy onions, layer some of those on too.
- When salmon is done remove from pan and place on top of salad. Serve immediately.
And how pretty is that? Stand back and admire your salad creation, knowing that you’re looking forward to eating it for dinner.
My husband hates salmon, but this is one of the few ways that he’ll eat it (probably because he mixes it all in and hides the salmon part). Either way, it’s honestly one of my favorite main course salads out there and I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing out when I eat it.