Why You Need Salmon—And How to Cook It Like a Pro

Don’t let fish intimidate you. It’s actually easy to make a simple fish dinner at home.

Why You Need Salmon—And How to Cook It Like a Pro

Salmon has long been considered a “superfood,” and for good reason: It’s one of the richest food sources of omega-3 fatty acids, good fats that support healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range.

Salmon’s status as an omega-3 powerhouse—it packs in both DHA and EPA, in varying amounts depending on the type—makes it an ingredient you should serve at home, but the fish’s nutritional value certainly doesn’t end with its good fats. Salmon is packed with high-quality protein and is surprisingly high in vitamin D, a critical nutrient for bone health. The fish also contains several essential amino acids as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and vitamins A, B, B6, and E.

Perhaps the best news of all is this versatile seafood is actually easy to make. It requires little preparation—some salt and pepper is all it needs, plus some plant-based oil or a buttery spread to give you even more good fats and great flavor.

Whether you bake, grill, or sauté the fish, you won’t need a lot of time. When cooking individual portion sizes (about six ounces or so), the fish will likely need just eight to 15 minutes of cook time (depending on the cooking method and thickness of the fish). No matter how you cook the fish, you want to bring it to an opaque and flaky state, which you can test with a fork; the fish should give and pull apart easily, rather than chip off into dry pieces.

Ready to make an expert salmon dish at home? Begin with this incredibly simple recipe for Warm Salmon, Avocado, and Orange Salad that comes together in just 20 minutes. It’s a light, low-cal meal that’s teeming with loads of tangy citrus flavor.

Brought to you by I Can't Believe It's Not Butter®

Step #1

First, place three tablespoons of a buttery spread, like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon fillets for about 10 minutes, turning once, until the sides are lightly browned and the fish begins to flake.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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