Seared Salmon with Quinoa and Spinach

Serves 4.

Note: Cooking the quinoa in vegetable stock gives this mild-flavored ingredient an unexpectedly deep savory flavor, which pairs nicely with pan-seared salmon and baby spinach. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

• 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided

• 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided

• 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

• 2 c. vegetable stock

• 1 c. quinoa

• 4 c. baby spinach

4 (4-oz.) center-cut salmon fillets

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions

To make vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon olive oil.

To prepare quinoa: In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add in the quinoa and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the spinach and vinaigrette and toss to combine.

To prepare salmon: Place the salmon fillets in a shallow bowl. Toss well with lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Cook the salmon, skin-side up, in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Carefully turn the salmon over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. The skin should be crisp and the flesh medium rare (cook another minute or two if you prefer your salmon medium or well done). Serve alongside the quinoa and spinach salad.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 395 Fat 15 g Sodium 540mg

Carbohydrates 31 g Saturated fat 3 g Calcium 70 mg

Protein 32 g Cholesterol 64 mg Dietary fiber 4g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 3½ lean meat, 1 fat.