This healthy salmon with lentils dinner can be made in less than 30 minutes and is super tasty! It’s loaded with protein and vital nutrients, and leaves you feeling light and energized. Ohh, and the best part? This cheap healthy meal for two costs under $15 to make!
The Health Benefits of Salmon With Lentils:
This cheap healthy fish recipe is absolutely loaded with nutritional benefits! Here, let’s break it down:
|These legumes are packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. 1 cup cooked lentils has about 17.9 grams of protein and 90% f your daily value of folate.
|Among many benefits, this cruciferous vegetable is a source of glucosinolates, which are sulfur containing substances that have potential cancer fighting power.
|Salmon is one of the best sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease risk factors for disease. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of salmon contains 22–25 grams of protein. Salmon is also an excellent source of B vitamins, which are needed for energy production, controlling inflammation, and protecting brain health.
|Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium and folate. They promote the production of digestive enzymes in the liver, helping eliminate waste from your body
|Yellow squash has little to no cholesterol, fat, or sodium. Yellow squash boast vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. It contains beta-carotene, a carotenoid that acts as an antioxidant which protects the body from free radicals
|Onions are dense in vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium. Onions contain antioxidants that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol — all of which may lower the risk of heart disease.
Who said healthy eating has to break the bank?! Whether you are looking for budget meals for two, or healthy meals for a family, this recipe has you covered!
Frozen Salmon VS. Fresh Salmon:
First of all, 70% of ‘fresh‘ fish that you see at the grocery store was frozen at some point. Since 85% of the seafood we eat is imported, it needs to be frozen to prevent spoilage on its trip to you. Freezing fish essentially freezes the nutritional value that it had at the time that it is frozen.
Fresh salmon will typically run you 15-20% more money than frozen salmon of the same nutritional value.
How To Thaw Frozen Salmon:
The Overnight Way:
Frozen salmon can be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight. The night before you are going to make the meal, place the frozen salmon in the refrigerator in a bowl or a rimmed dish so the water from the salmon doesn’t spill onto the other food in your fridge.
The Quick Way:
If you are looking to speed up the process, you can take the fish out of your freezer and submerge it in a bowl of cold water on the counter (if it is pre-wrapped. If it is not covered in plastic, place the salmon in a ziplock bag before submerging it in water).
Change the cold water every thirty minutes to prevent the salmon from coming to room temperature. You can also defrost salmon in hot water, but using cold water will preserve the texture of the fish and keep the salmon from entering the danger zone for microbial growth (40 to 140 degrees F).
It is important to cook the fish right after it has thawed to prevent bacteria growth.
Whats The White Stuff?
Have you ever thought that you had the perfect piece of salmon, only to find it excreting a weird white substance after cooking for a few minutes? Well, try not to be too grossed out.
That white substance is a protein called ‘albumin‘. When the salmon is heated up, the protein coagulates and becomes semi-solid. I find that I always have a little bit of albumin when cooking with frozen salmon.
Don’t worry, you can absolutely eat it, and it will not harm you! But if you find it gross, just scrape it off once the salmon is cooked through.
Did you make this frozen salmon recipe? It would mean so much to me if you would rate it below the recipe card and tag me in your creation on Instagram! @RecipeHippie
Frozen Salmon With Lentils
- 8 oz frozen salmon (two 4 ounce pieces) $7.99
- 1 onion, peeled $.76
- 1 yellow squash, stem removed $.89
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 of a lemon) $.39
- 2.5 oz arugula (about 2 fist fulls), divided $1.74
- 1 cup brown lentils $1.14
- 2 tbsp olive oil $.44
- 1/4 tsp table salt $.01
- 1/4 tsp dried dill $.05
Total Price For Two: $13.41
- Safely thaw frozen salmon filets. See blog post for safe thawing instructions.
- Fill a large pot half way with water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour in the lentils. Cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. When done, drain.
- While the lentils are cooking: Make the lentil dressing – Take a handful of arugula (about 1.25 oz) and mince it. In a small bowl or ramekin, combine 1 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt, and minced arugula. Mix well and set aside.
- Chop up one onion and one yellow squash. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet, and add the onion and squash. Push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet.
- Sprinkle dried dill evenly over the flesh of the salmon.
- Place the salmon filets skin side down in the middle of the pan. Cook until golden, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. Make sure you are stirring the vegetables on the outside of the pan while the salmon is cooking to prevent burning.
- Place the drained lentils in a large mixing bowl, and mix in the lentil dressing, a handful of arugula and the cooked onion and squash. Spoon onto a plate, and top with a piece of salmon. Enjoy!
This is the All-Clad non-stick frying pan I used in this recipe!