Food as Medicine Inspiration, Part 1
Recipe of the week:
Hot Smoked Salmon & Wild Blueberry Salad
This June, I was lucky enough to attend the Food as Medicine conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a wonderful group of passionate natural foodies. Together, we made up the Cooks on Call team and got to educate conference attendees about natural cooking at our booth and by teaching live, in-person classes using real food ingredients to balance flavor and enhance nutrient density in meals. Sharing my passion for health-supportive cooking with a captive audience of like-minded professionals AND learning from amazing speakers like Mark Hyman and Kathie Swift? Pure bliss.
While at the FAM conference, I learned about some of the most cutting edge research on natural nutrition. What the research reveals about the powerful effects natural foods have on human health solidified for me what I have long believed: that by eating a real, whole foods based diet consisting of mostly plants and high quality fats and proteins, humans can reverse and even prevent many of the world’s most pervasive and fatal diseases.
One of the sponsors of the event was Vital Choice, a wonderful seafood company based just north of my old Seattle stomping grounds in Bellingham, Washington. I was thrilled to see this company in attendance because I know from having lived in Washington myself, the seafood (especially salmon) that comes from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska is simply unparalleled. Those who know me at all know that I have a passion bordering on obsession with Pike Place market smoked salmon, so when The Vital Choice booth started handing out a variety of their canned salmons at the conference, you bet I jumped at the opportunity to snag a few.
Salmon, of course, is loaded with good nutrition. In addition to having high rates of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA (essential fatty acids that are vital to everything from brain health to glowing skin). Salmon also supports heart health and has been found to moderate blood pressure, promote healthy artery function and help balance cholesterol levels. With this nutrition profile, I would consider it a superfood. And it is so mouthwateringly delicious. What’s not to love?
After the conference, I took my precious cans of salmon home eager to create something spectacular out of my booty and low and behold, another superfood talked about extensively at the conference happened to be in my fridge: blueberries. Loaded with anthocyanins, also known as the powerhouse anti-cancer fight agents found in foods that have richly colored flesh, blueberries are a wonderful low sugar fruit that offer subtle sweet and tangy notes to salads, parfaits, smoothies, etc. But blueberries with salmon? Not sounding so good. Until . . . I saw a package of hot smoked salmon just begging to be used up tucked in the back corner of the fridge. And? Voila! About 30 minutes later, this salad was born.
Enjoy and be healthy!
Wild Salmon & Blueberry Salad
Yields 4 servings
- 8 oz. hot smoked salmon (the thick cut variety, not gravlax)
- 1 small can wild salmon (Vital Choice if possible)
- 1/4 cup aioli or mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup walnuts, rough chopped
- 1/4 cup scallions, diced
- 3/4 cup wild, organic blueberries
1. Combine smoked salmon, canned salmon and mayonnaise in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir until salmon has flaked apart and is well incorporated with the mayo.
2. Add walnuts and scallions to bowl and stir to combine.
3. Taste and add more mayonnaise if too dry.
4. Add blueberries and gently fold into the mixture so that they are well incorporated but still whole.
5. Suggested ways to serve: with lettuce wraps, on toast, with crackers, with mixed greens, with a spoon.