Thursday, August 05, 2010

Avocado Salmon Stack - Perfect for Summer

It has been so hot!! Who wants to cook and heat up the kitchen? So tonight I prepared a recipe that we have always enjoyed and gave some serious thought to how we can make it even better for us.

The basic recipe is for greens (lettuce, or arugula and radicchio) covered with diced avocado and foil wrapped skinless and boneless pink salmon.  The dressing is a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic  and minced capers. We have never made the recipe exactly as it was found, because I never make the recipes exactly as they were intended.  We leave out the red onions, because we don't like them and the minced shallots just seem extraneous.  But now that we are trying to be more heart healthy, I wonder what other improvements are possible.

The original nutritional information listed calories 530, from fat 420; fat 46g, saturated fat 7g, carbohydrates 23g; fiber 11 g; sugars 5g; protein 16g; cholesterol 25 mg; sodium 1030 mg  That's not very good. 

FAT - the first thing to address would be the olive oil.  I cut the olive oil portion of the dressing in half.
The main source of fat is the avocados but most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated -- the "good" kind that actually lowers cholesterol levels.  Only 2 grams from the salmon.

SODIUM - If you should only have 2300 mgs a day, according to the American Heart Assoc., then this recipe would give you 45% of that.  The  packaged salmon has 280 mg, so one thing we could do would be to cook fresh salmon and chill it.  Processed food = sodium.  I had already left the unneeded salt out of the dressing all together.

CARBS - The high fiber content of 11 grams tends to offset the carbs.  We improved this by pairing the meal with fresh cucumbers and tomatoes as well as a toasted slice of whole grain bread.  Really raised the fiber level.

So the next time we make this recipe it will be even better for us, and still a good cool alternative on a hot day.

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