Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pan-Fried Salmon with a Balsamic Blueberry Reduction

Hi, I'm Esther--the most neglectful food blogger of 2014 :( *Hangs head in shame* So here's the deal: each semester, the gym changes its group exercise classes, so what worked perfectly last semester is completely different this semester, and I've had to make some accommodations to maintain my exercise routine.
As such, I am now exercising every evening after work instead of two days on my lunch break and three days after work, plus weekends. It's been a bit frustrating, honestly, because I get home late every night, especially if I have something else going on after my workout--and by that time, it's too late and I don't feel like cooking anymore! Because I know how beneficial the exercise is to my health, I don't mind the sacrifice and compromise, but MAN, do I miss cooking.

Getting in the kitchen tonight reminded me of how much I love being in here and how sorely I have missed it--and you guys. Also, a quick peek in my fridge showed me just how seldom I have been here lately...I had to throw out so much produce because it has spoiled in my absence. Ugh. I hate throwing food away.
Weird schedule aside, though, everything else is going very well! Work keeps me busy, but I still love it. Additionally, there has been one very new development: I am going to Hawaii at the end of next month!! Wheeee! My longtime friend and occasional travel buddy, Chris, is participating in the Lavaman Triathlon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The race is happening in Kona, Hawaii, on March 30, and he's asked me to join him! (Talk about an offer I can't refuse!)

We'll be in Waikoloa, Kona, for four days, and then we'll visit my friend Angie who lives on Oahu, in Honolulu, for another four or five days. I am SO excited! Ahhh! On a very serious note, if you or someone you know or love has been affected by a blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma, please consider making a donation (of any size) to help find more effective treatments for these illnesses. You'll make a difference. Promise.
Okay, finally--tonight's recipe, loosely adapted from Guilty Kitchen! I pulled up to my apartment craving something fresh, flavorful, healthy, and QUICK...so this was just the ticket! I tossed some fresh blueberries into a small saucepan with some balsamic vinegar, vegetable broth, a little lemon juice, a sprinkle of brown sugar to cut the tartness, and some cornstarch to act as a thickener. The lightly-seasoned salmon cooked quite quickly in some olive oil. With a quick saute of some fresh baby spinach with lemon, the meal was finished! Fast. Easy. Healthy. Also, it's very elegant for a weeknight meal--don't you agree?

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (for sauteing; use more if you need to)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (a large handful)
Balsamic Blueberry Reduction:
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (this is approximate; I kind of eyeballed the sauce ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (completely optional; my blueberries weren't very sweet)
  • Cracked black pepper to taste

For the sauce: In small bowl, mix lemon juice and cornstarch until well-combined. Pour into small saucepan along with remaining sauce ingredients over medium heat until bubbling, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce by half. Stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn!

For the salmon: heat olive oil over medium heat. Rinse and dry salmon, then lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook in a nonstick skillet until golden brown; about four minutes, then flip it and cook until firm to the touch--maybe another three minutes.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the spinach with a squeeze of lemon juice and some kosher salt for flavor. Saute until just wilted; serve as a bed for the salmon and blueberry sauce.
Nutrition Facts-- Servings: 2 Size: 1 salmon fillet Calories: 325 • Fat: 14.9 g • Carbs: 12.8 g • Fiber: 1.7 g  Protein: 35.5 g • Sugars: 7.5 g


  1. This looks SO delicious!! You are such a champ. You're dedication to push you limitations is so admirable. You rock E.

    1. Thank you, my love. Your support means the world to me. :)