As many people begin their resolutions to eat healthy foods in 2016, I want to offer recipes that are simple to prepare, require only a few accessible ingredients, and offer a significant amount of vitamins and minerals without sacrificing taste.
Healthy eating does not require hours in the kitchen, experienced cooking skills, or hundreds of dollars per week spend on groceries. Healthy eating just requires whole foods, simple preparation, and a few basic kitchen tools.
I also believe that healthy eating can and should be flavorful and diverse! As you can see from recipes of mine such as this German whole wheat spaetzle, this Indian-inspired coconut pumpkin curry, and this spin on the Hungarian chicken paprikash, I relish cooking ethic foods.
The clear truth is that Ryan and I both have an on-going case of wanderlust. Living in Seattle near the mountains benefits us because we can explore and wander through our own backyard, practically. We can be at the snow-capped mountains or an actual rainforest (the Olympic Peninsula) within a drive two hours or less.
Another way we satiate our wanderlust is through food. Food, travel, and culture complement each other. I gained probably 5-10 pounds during my semester abroad, but that was very worth it to me to try as many cuisines as I could in four months, from moules et frites in Belgium to gelato in Rome. As Tina stated in her post on travel and weight gain, a few pounds are worth it for the experiences.
Naturally, our upcoming trip to London has me excited about all things British, especially the food (and the museums!). British food is one of my favorite cuisines; my family enjoys rib roast and Yorkshire pudding every New Year’s Eve.
This recipe today is inspired by British cuisine, or more specifically, Scottish cuisine. Ryan and I both have Scottish heritage and Scottish drinks make a regular appearance in our household (Scotch for Ryan, Hendrick’s gin for me), so it’s natural that I try a few Scottish recipes in part of my journey around the world from the comfort of my kitchen.
I promise I’m not making haggis for you. At least, not today.
I specifically recall a meal I had in Edinburgh: a large baked potato stuffed with smoked salmon. It was one of those meals so incredibly delicious that I still remember it five years later. So delicious that I had to recreate it and share it with you!
These salmon and mushroom stuffed baked potatoes utilizes only 8 ingredients, including seasonings: russet potatoes, grapeseed oil, shallots, salmon (or the very similar steelhead, which I what I used), ground black pepper, garlic, sea salt, and cremini or portabella mushrooms.
While you can use sweet potatoes for this recipe, I highly recommend using large russet potatoes. White potatoes receive an unfair reputation. As a runner who needs to eat lots of carbohydrates, russet potatoes have become a regular part of my diet. This article on white potatoes from PaleoLeap offers an in-depth argument for why white potatoes are healthy and should be a part of your diet.
I opted for grapeseed oil because it has a higher smoking point than olive oil. Grapeseed oil does not cook off as quickly as olive oil does, which means the potato has a crispier, more butter-y tasting skin. Yes, you should eat the skins—that’s where so many of the fiber and nutrients are found!
Salmon offers a multitude of nutritional benefits, from omega-3 fatty acids to lean muscle-building protein. However, there are many more reasons to love salmon! It offers such a rich and flavorful taste. Don’t let any fear of preparing fish prevent you from enjoying a delicious meal of homemade salmon; out of all of the varieties of fish, I find salmon/steelhead to be the easiest to cook.
- 2 russet potatoes, cleaned and scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or coconut oil, divided
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms
- 1 large shallot
- 8-10 oz. salmon or steelhead filet
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pierce each potato several times with a fork. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, season with salt, and wrap in foil. Bake for one hour, or until the potatoes are soft.
- With about 20 minutes left on the potatoes, thinly slice the shallots and dice the mushrooms. Heat a pan over medium heat, add the remaining grapeseed oil, and cook the shallots and mushrooms until soft (about 15-20 minutes)
- Leave the potatoes in the oven and turn on your broiler to high. (This will give the potatoes an extra crispy skin).
- Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and garlic and place in an parchment paper lined oven-safe pan. Broil the salmon for 8-10 minutes, until the salmon is pink and flaky (some ovens may take up to 15 minutes, so keep an eye on it.)
- Remove the potatoes and salmon from the oven. Carefully unwrap the potatoes (they will be hot! and slice them open. Use a fork to flake the salmon into large chunks (you can leave the skin on or take it off, based on personal preference). Stuff the potatoes with the shallots, mushroom, and salmon and serve immediately!
- While this recipe serves 2, it is easily scaled to serve any size crowd, from 1-10+.
- You can use coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil, as this will also produce a crispy potato skin.
- To make meal prep easier, you can bake the potatoes and salmon up to 3 days in advance. Store them separately and simply reheat and prepare the remainder of the recipe.
This recipe is paleo-friendly, gluten free, and ideal for Lent!
Do you like gin or Scotch?
What cuisine would you like to see a recipe from?
Do you eat russet potatoes?
What are your weekend plans?
We’re hiking, of course!
Receive Weekly Running Tips & Motivation
Subscribe for my weekly newsletter and receive a free download of injury prevention exercises for runners.