Ben and I have been trying hard to eat more mindfully lately, and take better care of ourselves. As we grow older we don’t bounce back as fast from indulging in heavy foods that we shouldn’t be eating anyway (and I don’t mean a fun and indulgent occasional dinner out, but like, ordering ribs from the neighborhood BBQ joint on a Tuesday!)
Anyway our new life motto is, honoring our bodies. How namaste of us, bahaha. Honestly it started as a total joke but we’re actually taking it seriously! Are we honoring our bodies when we eat ribs and pizza? No. When we choose to make a cheese-filled dish for dinner instead of a vegetable-rich one? No. When we lazily order take out when we can easily make a meal at home? No!
Since adopting the motto several weeks ago we’ve been eating out less, planning dinners like salads more, and drinking tons of water. I won’t say we’re done indulging because one thing Ben and I connect on is trying ALL THE FOODS, and everything in moderation will always be a part of my vocabulary, but we’re trying to make better day-to-day choices and are feeling great so far – both physically and mentally.
Part of those better choices include eating lots of fresh and colorful meals like my BBQ Salmon BLT Salad!
Fresh greens are dotted with halved cherry tomatoes and crispy bacon (that’s the BLT part and like I said, everything in moderation, including bacon!) then sprinkled with creamy avocado and a homemade BBQ spice rubbed salmon filet. This salad is entree, all the way!
What do I mean by that? Well, when I say we’ve been eating a lot of salads, I don’t mean iceberg lettuce topped with shredded carrots and diced celery. I’m talking big ol’ salads with staying power and healthy ingredients that have a purpose. I chose a baby kale blend base for max nutrients, and included luscious avocado because it’s full of healthy, filling fats. In my opinion, healthy does not always mean low calorie or low fat – just the right kinds of each.
The salmon is the real star though. Rubbed in a homemade BBQ spice blend of smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt, and pepper, the filets are seared in a skillet then sent to the oven to bake for a short time so they’re crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Ben proclaimed it to be the best salmon he’s ever had and I don’t disagree (psst, Lincoln loved it too!)
Drizzled with your favorite dressing, this filling, feel good recipe will be ready in under 30 minutes.
Start by placing 3 slices bacon in a large, cold cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet then turn the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is nice and crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain then chop when cool, and remove all but 1 Tablespoon grease from the skillet.
I love bacon in this salad because, well, do I really need to explain? HA! Honestly, I think a big part of successfully eating healthfully is being satiated when you put down your fork, and a little bit of bacon definitely does that for me.
Next take out 2, 6oz wild-caught salmon filets. We’ve certainly been getting our fill of salmon lately, and I absolutely love it. Wild caught salmon has a ton of health benefits including being high in Omega 3 fatty acids and lots of vitamins.
Next mix up the easy, 4-ingredient homemade BBQ rub that includes 1 teaspoon each smoked paprika and salt, and 1/2 teaspoon each brown sugar and pepper. Smokey, sweet, and spicy – it’s killer!
Squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon over the filets then generously sprinkle with the spice rub and gently, well, rub into the salmon. :)
Turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high then add the filets, skin-side up and sear for 2 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized. Flip then sear for 3 minutes on the other side, and then place the entire skillet (make sure it’s oven-safe) into a 400 degree oven for 6 minutes. If your salmon filets are bigger or smaller than 6oz just adjust the baking time accordingly.
While the salmon is cooking through, top two plates with lettuce (I used a baby kale, arugula and radicchio blend,) 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 1 chopped avocado, the chopped bacon, and then place the salmon on top. Drizzle with your favorite salad dressing, I recommend Italian (locals I use Bisignanos Italian dressing,) balsamic vinaigrette, or fresh basil vinaigrette, and enjoy!
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BBQ Salmon BLT Salad
Gluten-free BBQ Salmon BLT Salad has a homemade smoky-sweet salmon rub and is ready in 30 minutes!
- 2, 6oz salmon filets
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Mixed greens (I used a baby kale, arugula, and radicchio blend)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add smoked paprika, salt, brown sugar, and pepper to a small dish then mix to combine and set aside.
- Place bacon in a large, cold cast iron or other oven safe skillet then turn heat to medium and cook until bacon is crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then chop when cool. Remove all but 1 Tablespoon bacon grease from the skillet then turn heat up to medium-high.
- Squeeze lemon juice over salmon then sprinkle seasoning mix generously on top and rub in lightly. Add salmon to skillet skin side up then saute for 2 minutes. Flip then saute for 3 minutes, and then place the entire skillet into the preheated oven and bake for 6 minutes.
- Divide lettuce between two plates then top with chopped bacon, tomatoes, avocado, and BBQ salmon. Serve with your favorite salad dressing - I recommend Italian, balsamic vinaigrette, or Basil Vinaigrette.
Spice rub from The Kitchn.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.