Sweet & Spicy Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Turkey Bacon and Garlic

Today is dedicated to fish! My grandmother LOVED fish and was the first person that ever made it for me, and she made it for me often! July 20th will always be my Granny Goose, Wanda Jo's, birthday! And if she were here to celebrate it, I bet she would want to go out for fish!

Salmon was actually one of her favorite fishes. And when I got to spend a whole week with her, 2 weeks before her passing, I cooked her salmon at home and brought it to her at the BeeHive. (Sounds like a hair salon, doesn't it?! It was her assisted living home.)

Now that I eat for a purpose, salmon is one of my favorite meals. It's low in calories and saturated fat, yet high in protein, and a unique type of health-promoting fat, the omega-3 essential fatty acids. And with just a little love in the kitchen, it's easy to prepare and delicious!

If you didn't know, I am working toward my Nutritional Counselor Certification!!! So here's a little something I've learned about salmon and it's incredible nutritional value. As their name implies, essential fatty acids are essential for human health but because they cannot be made by the body, they must be obtained from foods. Wild-caught cold water fish, like salmon, are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm water fish. In fact, the fat composition of salmon has recently been evaluated as superior not only because of its rich omega-3 content, but also because of its great ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s and its health-supportive balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

You'll find nearly 100 studies in PubMed (the health research database at the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C.) that are focused on Brussels sprouts, and over half of those studies involve the health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable in relationship to cancer. This connection between Brussels sprouts and cancer prevention should not be surprising since Brussels sprouts provide special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body's detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. Among all types of cancer, prevention of the following cancer types is most closely associated with intake of Brussels sprouts: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Food for thought:

Cold-water fatty fish like salmon have often been thought of as a "brain food," not only because of their ability to navigate hundreds of miles to return to their birthplace to spawn, but because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats. The human brain is more than 60% structural fat. For brain cells to function properly, this structural fat needs to be primarily omega-3 fats such as the EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) found in salmon. This is because the membranes of all our cells, including our brain cells or neurons, are primarily composed of fats.

Sweet & Spicy Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Turkey Bacon and Garlic

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet, 1/2 cup Brussels)

Ingredients Brussels Sprouts:

*2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
*4 slices turkey bacon
*juice of one fresh squeezed lemon
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*dash of salt
*3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
*Cooking Spray
*2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Salmon Ingredients:

* 3 tablespoons organic dark brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
* 4 teaspoons hot or dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
* 4 (6-8 ounce) wild caught salmon fillets (have your fish monger slice into filets for you)
* Cooking spray
* dash of salt
* dash of freshly ground black pepper (we use half-cracked peppercorns)

Brussels Sprouts Preparation:

*Preheat oven to 375.
*While washing and trimming Brussels, heat a skillet on medium-high heat and cook turkey back for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of crispiness. Layer bacon between several paper towels to remove excess fat. Finely chop into pieces.
*Combine sprouts and next 5 ingredients (sprouts through garlic, using only half of lemon juice) in a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray, tossing to coat. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until sprouts are tender and lightly browned on edges, stirring twice.
*Squeeze other half of lemon juice over roasted brussels. Sprinkle parmesan over sprouts.

Salmon Preparation:

*Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
*When the brussels have cooked for 10 minutes, go ahead and put salmon in the oven, too. Place fish on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn up oven to 400° and bake fish 12 minutes. Remove both salmon and Brussels from oven.
*Preheat broiler.
*Brush sugar mixture evenly over salmon; broil for 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Slide a knife along the bottom of the salmon to remove the skin and serve!

Bon Appetite!

Written by Lindsey Crouch