This tropical salmon & spinach salad with a coconut dressing was like sunshine in my belly. Juicy mango, creamy avocado, sweet dried cranberries,crunchy almondsare all pretty much all-star foods in my world. Putting them together in one dish? Genius. Why didn’t I think of doing that before today? Smh at myself. I have to pat myself on the back for this one. It probably sounds like I’m exaggerating and the thing is, you won’t know if I am or not ’till you try this for yourself!
When I was thinking about this recipe, I honestly wasn’t sure it would all come together. This was my first time basing a recipe solely off flavor profiles and I kept thinking to myself “Mangoes and avocadoes taste good together, mangoes and coconut taste good together. This salad is almost certainly going to taste good also.” Even with my pep talk, I still wasn’t confident in the outcome right up until I tasted it. I’m happy to say I wasn’t wrong. However, good is an understatement, it was great. I ate both servings in one night and I’m not ashamed to admit that. There’s a really glowy feeling I get when I make something healthy that tastes pretty good also. It’s like positive reinforcement for myself; adopting a healthy lifestyle isn’t a jail sentence for my palate, but rather a get out of jail free card!
Hahahahahaha. That made sense in my head, and then I typed it and I’m not sure it makes as much sense written down.
Even the dressing was an experiment. I usually make my salad dressing with olive oil. I have the recipe down pat; I’m even at a point where I don’t measure things when I’m making it anymore. I just pour stuff in my bowl and I keep adding till it tastes right. I was initially going to use coconut shavings in this salad, but I felt like that would just be too many ingredients. So, I decided to introduce my coconut via the dressing.
Once again, I wasn’t sure how coconut oil would do with all the other ingredients for the salad, but I was sure it would complement the mango, so I went for it! Why did I want coconut so badly you might be wondering? Well I can’t call it a tropical salmon & spinach salad just cause there’s mango in it! Then it would just be a mango salmon and spinach salad. Coconut + mango = tropical. Duh!
1.5 cups Spinach
1 Mango, diced
½ Avocado, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp coconut oil, soft solid*
1/2 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsps honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Combine ingredients for the salmon marinade and mix until combined. Place salmon and marinade in a Ziploc back, rub marinade into the salmon and let it sit in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Preheat your oven to 350oF, place salmon on a foil pan lined with foil paper and bake, skin side down, for 15 minutes or until flaky. While your salmon is baking, prepare and layer your salad ingredients minus the cranberries and almonds. Once your salad is all laid out, place coconut oil in a small bowl and liquefy. You can liquefy your coconut oil using a microwave (10 seconds) or a double broiler method. After your coconut has become liquid in texture, mix in the rest of the ingredients and whisk with a fork until properly combined. Your salmon should be cooked by the time you’re done with the salad and dressing. Using a fork, flake your salmon and layer over the salad. Sprinkle as much cranberries and almonds as you like over the salmon. Pour your dressing into the salad, stir and enjoy.
*1.5 tbsp of soft solid coconut oil becomes slightly more when liquefied.
What are your favorite ingredients to put in your salad? Do you think you’ll try this one? If you do, be sure to let me know how you like it!