Easy balanced lunch is what we want
I just love a recipe where only a few ingredients make a meal with balanced macros and a ton of micronutrients too. These days it's really important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet (being stuck in isolation makes it a little too easy to eat badly!), but keeping prep time to a minimum is always a plus.
And anything I can stick in the oven is perfect when you have a toddler to entertain. All that makes salmon a perfect ingredient for me.
With just 10 mins more prep time, pasta makes an easy side.
Salmon Spinach Pasta Nutritional Stuff
Salmon is one of the best kinds of fish you can get. It's a great omega-3 source and should be a part of every diet if you eat fish. It's packed with healthy fats, protein, and lots of fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin E which is also an antioxidant).
Spinach is a great veggie that can be used both fresh/raw and frozen in numerous dishes because of its neutral taste. It's filled with minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium but also vitamins A, C, and folate.
We often use goat's cheese in our recipes because it's a little more easily digested than cow's cheese but also provides a fair amount of protein, fat, and calcium.
Olive oil is our favorite choice of extra healthy fats.
Salmon Spinach Pasta Preparation Tips
If you're worried about iron intake, I would suggest omitting the goat's cheese from this recipe. Dairy can interfere in iron absorption from the spinach.
Otherwise, keep the cheese, but feel free to substitute it with another cheese of your choice if preferred.
If you don't have salmon, you can use another fish, but look for an oily one for the omega-3 content. However, try to choose the ones with a lower amount of mercury (click here if you're not sure which ones those are).
What's your favorite fish?
Salmon Pesto Pasta
- 1 lb salmon fillets
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz spaghetti uncooked
- pinch salt
Homemade spinach pesto
- 6 oz spinach for salmon
- 16 larger basil leaves for salmon
- 2 oz cashews
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt omit for babies
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup pasta water
- 2 oz parmesan cheese
Salmon and pasta
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F
- Mix all the seasonings for salmon in a cup.
- Place the salmon fillets on a baking tray and use a silicone brush to brush the seasonings over the salmon.
- Place in the oven for about 12 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta in boiling water with a pinch of salt on the stove (save 1 cup of pasta water if you are making homemade pesto).
- Place the nuts, spinach and garlic in the food processor and blend until you have smaller chunks.
- Add the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth pesto.
- In a large pan place the pesto, 1 cup of pasta water and bring it to a medium heat. Once heated remove from the stove and mix in the cooked pasta. Taste and adjust in case it needs more salt or lemon juice.
Finish the dish
- Place the pesto pasta in a bowl, top with the baked salmon and grated parmesan cheese.
- if you are making this recipe to serve to the whole family, including babies then remove salt from the cooking process and add as necessary for the adult portions
- the pesto yields about 4 portions. If using store-bought pesto you will be using about 2-3 tablespoons depending on the brand.