It’s race week.
And race week can be kind of hard because you’re nervous; first marathon or fifteenth, there will be nerves. So your nerves want you to eat, you know, whatever. But eating all kinds of soothing comfort foods is not a good idea. Instead, you need nutrient-dense foods that are not too greasy or fatty. Okay, really, it’s the stuff we should be eating all the time.
Here is a fun salad that fits the bill. It is one that I make regularly, and it’s relatively easy to put together.
Sweet potato and salmon hot salad:
Feeds 2-4 people or 2 people and one really hungry baby
- 1 medium onion
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- red sockeye salmon, about 8oz
- coconut oil or butter
- fresh spinach
- your favorite vinaigrette
Here is what you do:
Slice the onion.
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes (or yams… who can really tell the difference?) into about one inch chunks.
Compost your junk.
We keep this gallon pail under the sink and Dr. Duke takes out the junk about once every couple of days to our compost bin outside. I rarely do this task because I am good at finding excuses. Plus he really likes churning his AeroPressed coffee grounds into the decomposing horse manure. He’s a stud.
With that little bit of coconut oil or butter, saute the onion over medium to medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes.
Steam the sweet potato chunks for while the onion is sauteing, also for about 15 minutes. And heat your oven to 350 or 325 in the convection oven because you’ll finish the sweet potatoes in there.
Take your red sockeye salmon (other salmon could work, but I find this one the best) and try to use canned because of the little bones and such mixed in. I know, gross…but it’s calcium, and you’ll never taste ’em if you do this right… Open the can and take out probably half. Take more if you have a really hungry baby. Oh yes, drain off that salmon juice. No need to reserve that for anything. Nothing other than the compost pile. Save the remainder of your salmon in a separate airtight container, with some juice. So, wait, don’t drain off all the juice. Anyway. Back to the part that you took out in the first place, place it in a bowl and with fork start smushing it around. Be sure to smush up anything bony. Set this aside.
Take another dollop of coconut oil or butter (about 1-2 T) and toss it onto a baking sheet. Spread out the steamed sweet potato chunks evenly over the baking sheet. Stir around the oil or butter to coat the par-steamed chunks, sprinkle on some salt and then place the sheet in the oven. Bake for about another 15 minutes. This will firm up the potato chunks and give them a bit more of a caramelized taste instead of a mushy-just-steamed-bland taste.
Mix together the salmon and sauteed onion.
Using your favorite vinaigrette (I used a homemade red wine vinaigrette) toss a bunch of spinach to coat it with the vinaigrette. I find tossing it better than just dumping on dressing. You use less and it just goes on better. So next, plate up a big pile of spinach. Then top with sweet potatoes, and finally add the onion and salmon on top. Enjoy hot. Hot, yet with a crisp bed of spinach.
I learned the trick to making hot salads while in France. They’re all over the place in restaurants in France and one of my all-time favorite meals. This one in particular…
Play around with other ingredients like: olives, goat cheese, bell peppers… the possibilities are endless.
Here are some other thoughts on (and probably my favorite post I’ve written) the topic of hot salads if you’ve not heard of the idea.
Are you racing anytime soon?
Have any favorite race week meals?