I believe that it is best to avoid animal products if one wants to do the utmost to protect the environment through one's eating and cooking practices. I find it difficult to do this all the time though, and I do love seafood. So once in a while I allow myself to splurge. (Once in a while is better than every day, right?) One can lesson the negative impact on the environment by purchasing wild caught seafood rather than farmed seafood. I hear that there are some responsible farmed seafood sources, but do not feel comfortable evaluating them. It is difficult to know whether any particular seafood farming source is truly environmentally friendly. So I avoid all farmed seafood. Luckily, wild salmon is still in season, and it is one of my favorite seafood dishes. This is a quick and easy way to prepare it, and the result is good enough to serve to any foodie guest (unless they are vegan!).
About 10 years ago, I travelled to Alaska with my family and we purchased a cedar plank for cooking salmon from a tourist gift shop in a small town. It came with a photocopied recipe for a marinade, handed to us as a bonus by the owner of the store. The recipe was typed on a piece of paper, just their family recipe. Since then, whenever I cook salmon on a cedar plank, I first marinate the salmon in that marinade. I am temporarily living in a furnished rental far from my home kitchen right now, so I am making do in a bare-bones kitchen without many of my favorite cooking items -- such as a cedar plank. I wanted to use some of the flavors from that recipe, and combine them with a few other items that I had on hand and thought would make good ingredients in the marinade. So this recipe is inspired by that original cedar plank recipe, but it is different so that I can claim it as my own. The salmon tasted delicious even though I did not cook it on a cedar plank.
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 limes
2 TBS orange juice
2-3 cloves garlic (2 large or 3 small), chopped
3 TBS tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp ginger juice or minced ginger
1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
3 TBS maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar
Allow approximately 1/3 lb. salmon per person.
Mix all ingredients together. Put salmon in marinade and turn to coat. Marinate for 1/2 hour to 3 hours.
Remove salmon from marinade and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Bake in oven preheated to 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Test before serving to make sure it is cooked enough by cutting into the middle with a sharp knife; it should flake. Do not overcook it or it will be dry!
Why I Am Posting These Recipes
I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.