Brown Sugar Honey Marinated Salmon with Caramelized Pineapple Quinoa
- For salmon:
- 1 pound salmon
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce, gluten free if desired
- 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, if desired
- 1/2 of a whole pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks (so you don’t have to cut later)
- For quinoa:
- 3/4 cup uncooked organic quinoa
- 1 cup coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Fresh limes to squeeze, if desired
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds, for topping
In a large bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients: brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, pineapple juice, mustard, sesame and olive oil, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes if desired. Place salmon in large ziploc bag and add marinade. Place in refrigerator for up to 8 hours but at least 1 hour. You can also marinade it in a baking pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Remove salmon from ziploc bag and place skin side down on large baking pan lined with foil. Line pineapple next to salmon and brush leftover marinade on salmon and pineapple. Sprinkle with a little bit of extra brown sugar for extra caramelization. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until salmon easily flakes with fork. I usually broil my salmon for a min or two at the end to get an additional caramelization on top. Just be sure not to dry out your fish! 18 minutes is usually perfect timing for me! **See notes for additional information on cooking times.
While salmon is cooking, prepare quinoa. Bring water and coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; add quinoa and cover; simmering until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside. Add in red onion and cilantro to quinoa. Once salmon is finished cooking, remove pineapple from baking sheet and fold into quinoa. Season with salt and lime juice to taste.
Spoon pineapple quinoa evenly into 4 bowls or plates. Cut salmon into desired serving sizes and serve with quinoa. Garnish with a tablespoon or two of toasted almonds. Drizzle with extra honey if desired.
Salmon is very sensitive and can dry out easily if overcooked, so make sure you watch your fish! For every inch of thickness of the salmon, generally it takes about 10 minutes to cook.
Usually salmon fillets are about 1 1/2 inches thick. Preparing quinoa ahead of time makes this dish even easier. You can serve the quinoa warm or cold.
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