Healthy Dinners to Love

By Smith, Emma | Sunset, January 2005 | Go to article overview

Healthy Dinners to Love


Smith, Emma, Sunset


Sticking to a healthy diet is infinitely easier when "good for you" tastes great too. In the West, we don't have to look far for wholesome produce and meat. Much of the nation's finest grows here, giving us first dibs on the ripest fruit and the freshest fish--at the best prices. In these two weeknight recipes, we've combined some of the Western ingredients we're most proud of--Alaska salmon (rich in beneficial fats), lentils from Montana, almonds from California, and chiles from New Mexico--to show how simple and delicious a heart-friendly regimen can be. Streamlined steps are key to a lifestyle you can live with: The first dish takes only one pan and 15 minutes. For the second, the fresh vegetables saute while the legumes cook.

Orange-Seared Salmon with Almonds

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 15 minutes

MAKES: 4 servings

NOTES: Steamed broccoli and whole-wheat couscous complete a delicious and nutritionally balanced dinner. (Never mind butter--a drizzle of orange sauce is all the extra flavor the broccoli needs.) For dessert, try frozen yogurt with berries and honey.

  1/4 cup sliced almonds
    4 pieces (6 oz. each) boned salmon fillet
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  3/4 cup orange juice
  1/2 cup dry white wine
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
    Salt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

1. In a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat, stir almonds until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour from pan.

2. Rinse salmon fillets and pat dry. Set the frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add salmon, skin side up, and cook until well browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn pieces and cook until opaque on the outside but still slightly translucent in center of thickest part (cut to test), 1 to 3 minutes, depending on thickness of fish, or until opaque but still moist-looking in center. Transfer salmon, skin side down, to plates or a serving platter; cover to keep warm.

3. Add orange peel, juice, and wine to pan. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 6 minutes. Stir in thyme.

4. Spoon orange sauce over salmon and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Add salt to taste.

Per serving: 369 cal., 54% (198 cal.) from fat; 35 g protein; 22 g fat (4 g sat.); 6.7 g carbo (0.4 g fiber); 103 mg sodium; 100 mg chol.

Spicy Lentil Stew with Peppers and Onions

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes

MAKES: 6 servings

NOTES: This dish provides a meal's worth of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables (plus a lot of fiber), so all you need on the side is a crisp green salad. Firm brown lentils also pair wonderfully with hearty meat flavors, so you may want to try sauteing crumbled lean turkey sausage with the peppers and onion. End on a light note with slices of fragrant fresh pineapple from Hawaii.

  3 dried ancho chiles (about 1 oz. … 

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