Jamaican Jerk Salmon with Spinach & Orange Salad topped with Sweet n’ Spicy Pecans

I got this recipe from one of my Paleo cookbooks, and I must admit I was hesitant to try it for a very long time.  Not sure why…when it comes to salmon I always think of it lemony, buttery or savory like, but the spices that this one called for came out of left-field for me.  Not that they were odd ball spices, good Lord, you should see what my spice cabinet looks like…it’s just that they weren’t spices I would typically think of when creating a salmon dish.  Well, think outside the box!  This salmon was so incredible and I will definitely make it again.  The list is kind of long but well worth it.

 

It’s all About Spices

 

Speaking of which – spices are everything.  Especially in this lifestyle when there are certain foods that are considered to be off limits.  It took me a long time to figure out that any dish can be spectacular if you have not only a variety of spices, but if you are not afraid to use them!  Long ago I used to think that I could add way too much — I treated every spice as if it were salt.  Completely let yourself experiment; you won’t regret it.  I find myself adding several tablespoons of things and pairing different seasoning blends together that I have never tried before.  It really is key to great cooking…makes a huge mess of my pantry but oh well.  I counted earlier, and I swear I am not exagerating.  I have 53 bottles of spice in my cabinet.  FIFTY-THREE.  No, they are not repeated…and yes, I did count every single one.  Do I use all of them frequently?  Absolutely not.  I would say there are around 15 that I use all the time.  As I have mentioned before — I love to think of how many endless combinations of meat, vegetable and spice there must be!  I just don’t understand when some give the excuse of growing bored with Paleo eating.  It is not possible.  I ask you to come out of your comfort zone — salt, pepper, and garlic powder…yup, those are tried and true.  However, get to know some others!  How about tumeric, fennel seeds, or chinese five spice?  Give saffron threads, file powder, cardamom, or fenugreek powder a try!  With these you can literally bring any part of the world to your kitchen and make dishes that are super sophisticated to the commoner’s palate.

 

Jamaican Jerk Salmon

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. wild-caugh salmon, 4 equal portions
  • 1 tsp. all spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from 2 limes

 

Process

  1. Wisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Rinse salmon under cool water and pat dry.
  3. You can use a gallon sized ziplock bag or a glass dish – but pour marinade over salmon and make sure each piece is evenly coated.
  4. Let marinate for 2-4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Arrange salmon on a sheet pan lined with foil
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

We ate our salmon next to a true winner of a salad.  Pretty simple, but the flavors were great together.  God bless America – salads are my favorite thing.  By the way, spices make them better, too!

 

Spinach & Orange Salad

 

with Sweet n’ Spicy Pecans

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented
  • 2 green onions, sliced on the diagnal
  • 1/2 c. pecans
  • 1 tbsp. pastured butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • juice from 1 orange (I used 2 total – 1 was cut up and the other I cut up half and used the other half’s juice)
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Process

  1. Combine spinach, green onions, and orange segments in a large bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Add pecans to butter and stir well to coat.
  4. Add all spices and combine well.  Let pecans sit over heat for only a minute or so for the spices to become fragrant.
  5. Remove pecans from heat and pour over spinach while still warm.
  6. Wisk remaining ingredients: orange juice, oil, mustard and black pepper for your dressing.
  7. Enjoy!

 

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