Pistachio Crusted & Tamarind Glazed Salmon with Coconut Rice
I did the InsideTracker Ultimate test the week before resuming training post marathon. I wanted to see where I was and adjust anything as needed. I was excited to see my ferritin levels and my iron group being the best it has ever been and a testosterone to cortisol ratio edging higher and higher indicating that I am balancing training and recovery optimally. The one negative trend I did see was a decreasing vitamin D level. While my number was still in the normal healthy range, I was trending downwards from 76 ng/mL in January to 43 ng/mL in November. To give you a frame of reference, InsideTracker considers my optimal range to be from 40-100 ng/mL so if I kept with this trend I would be below optimal in the coming months. Vitmain D levels tend to drop in the winter months due to lack of sun exposure. Considering my number was trending down and we were entering December I needed to work on getting more Vitamin D into my everyday diet. The easiest and best way, eat more fish! That sparked the creation of this Pistachio Crusted & Tamarind Glazed Salmon featuring the Apex Food Company Zutki Sauce.
Vitamin D is essential in formulating strong bones. Runners are prone to stress fracture so keeping the bone density in check is necessary for injury prevention. Low vitamin D levels can also have an effect on the immune system making anyone more susceptible to illness. Hard workouts and high mileage already weaken the immune system so pumping the vitamin D can help neutralize that effect. What is not as well known is vitamin D's role in muscle health. Researchers are still study this potential benefit but they have linked muscle weakness and soreness to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency has been proposed as a performance limiting factor when in deficiency and performance enhancing in abundance. For more info on Vitamin D and its importance for female endurance athletes I suggest reading ROAR by Stacy Sims!
So now on to the recipe. The recipe was inspired but one of my favorite Raleigh restaurants, Centro. Tamarind is the main ingredient in the Indian inspired sauce made by the Apex Food Company but Tamarind is also used in South American countries. I glazed my salmon with the tamarind sauce combined with a little bit of Sriracha because I like spicy. I then topped the salmon with crushed pistachios for a crunchy salty bite to balance out the sweetness of the tamarind. I paired this salmon with some coconut rice which I kicked up a notch with an optional pinch of jalapeno lime sea salt made by Reginas Spices. For my healthy veggie I choose roasted brussel sprouts. Next time I plan to pair this dish with a combination of brussel sprouts and sweet plantains. My dads family is Ecuadorian and I grew up eating chifles, a crunchy plantain chip made from the unripe green version. I have since come to love the sweet ripe ones which are also commonly found in Ecuadorian cuisine.
Anyway if your stuck inside your house tomorrow because the snow you were hoping for was mostly ice covered by a pitiful layer of snow, try this and boost your vitamin D while your at it!
Tamarind Glazed & Pistachio Crusted Salmon with Coconut Rice
- 4 3-4oz salmon filet pieces
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- pinches of salt
- pinches of pepper
- 1/4-1/3 cup crushed salted pistachios
- 1/4 cup Apex Food Company Zukti sauce
- 1-2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 cup brown or black rice
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or jalapeno lime sea salt by Regina's Spices
- 1-2 tsp agave (to taste)
- Sides: Run Fast Eat Slow roasted brussel sprouts or fried sweet plantains, or a combination of the two!
- Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and begin preparing salmon.
- Place the salmon filets on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil, covering all sides including the bottom skin. Sprinkle each filet with a pinch of salt and pepper and then prepare sauce.
- In a small bowl combine the tamarind sauce with 1-2 tsp of sriracha and a 1/2 tsp of chipotle chili powder. Brush onto each filet so that you have a nice even glaze on each. Set the salmon aside while you begin preparing the rice.
- Place a small amount of olive oil (1-2 tsp) in a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Add your rice and stir. Toast the rice about 5 minutes or until it browns slightly and is fragrant. Add your water and coconut milk and stir. Bring the liquid to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer about 20-30 minutes or until rice has fully absorbed liquid.
- When your rice has about 10 minutes left add your crushed pistachios to the top of each piece of salmon and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 12-15 minutes.
- When rice finishes cooking, remove from heat and add the salt and agave to taste.
- Plate each piece of salmon with 1/2 cup of the cooked rice and whatever veggie side you choose! Enjoy!
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