Mediterranean salmon and vegetable quinoa recipe is a healthy protein packed meal! Earthy spices roasted lemons and fresh vegetables in each bite.
With the change of the seasons, I feel like I’m not only shedding off the warm layers of clothes, but I’m ready for some fresh new produce and lighter meals. Are you ready too?
One ingredient that I always use to brighten up dishes is lemons. I never leave an inch of zest behind because it adds so much more flavor and aroma than just the zippy juice alone.
Mediterranean meals are the best way to showcase springtime because the cuisine is naturally simple and packed with vegetables. I’m so excited to share this spiced salmon and vegetable quinoa recipe with you! It has been my go-to weekday meal because it takes under an hour and requires minimal effort.
Chop, simmer, broil and you’ve got a protein and vegetable packed dinner all in one bowl. Don’t blink otherwise you’ll miss how I make this wonderful meal, just for you!
I have a salmon obsession. It’s mild in flavor with a buttery textured flesh from the healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids naturally in the seafood. This flaky fish infuses flavors quite well and contains healthy vitamins. There are also minerals in the protein that makes for a nutritional meal.
There are many varieties of salmon which vary in color from red to orange, and some fattier than others. I typically choose Atlantic salmon if I want a creamier texture and wild Alaskan when it’s available for a leaner choice. I’ve been making miso glazed salmon in rotation with this spiced salmon dish to switch things up.
I enjoy broiling or baking the salmon because it doesn’t need much oil if any at all, reducing those extra unwanted calories or soggy bites. The best part of this method is you can add robustly, earthy spices to give a punch of flavor! I used a blend of cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper for a spiced crispy crust on the surface of the salmon, it’s insanely good!
Do you cook quinoa? If not, how come? It’s an amazing gluten-free super grain that can be done as fast as rice or pasta but with added benefits.
Quinoa is packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins. I love how it cooks into light and fluffy grains with a slightly nutty flavor and doesn’t make you feel bloated after eating. It’s easy to make quinoa a little more tasty and exciting. I added ripe cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and lemon zest.
I am so ready to dig in, how about you? Don’t forget about those oven roasted lemons to squeeze all over the salmon. The broiling causes the acids to mellow out a bit, so the juice has wonderful citrus flavors without the pucker. Each forkful of flaky spiced salmon and vegetable quinoa will make you yearn for a Mediterranean vacation. What’s your favorite way to cook salmon?
What are the benefits of cooking with Quinoa?
Quinoa is a small seed from South America and is a nutrient-dense super grain. You can find them in various colors from yellow, red and black. The more color, the more antioxidants! I have concluded that the flavor doesn’t change much by color. This little seed is unique because it’s a source of complete protein. 1 cup provides 8 grams of protein which is phenomenal! Quinoa also offers an excellent source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, lysine plus some vitamin E and B. I’ve added cooked quinoa to meatballs and black bean burgers for a healthy and yummy, nutrient boost! (Source: Superfood Snacks by Julie Morris)
Mediterranean Spiced Salmon and Vegetable Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked, truRoots Organic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup english cucumbers, diced, seeded
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- zest of one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 20 ounces salmon fillets, (four 5-ounce pieces)
- 8 lemon wedges
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped fresh
- In a medium-sized saucepan with a lid, bring 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups of water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil.
- Cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking about 20 minutes or according to package directions until quinoa is light and fluffy.
- Turn off heat and let sit for at least 5 minutes covered before serving.
- Right before serving mix in the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, basil and lemon zest. Meanwhile, make the salmon.
- In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika.
- Line a sheet pan or glass dish with foil and lightly grease with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
- Transfer salmon fillets to the pan then evenly coat the surface of each fillet with about ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture.
- Place the lemon wedges on the edge of the pan with salmon.
- Broil on high with the rack placed in the lower third of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until salmon is cooked and flakes apart easily with a fork.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve with roasted lemon wedges and vegetable quinoa.