52 New Foods: Week 9, Wild Salmon with Quinoa March 07 2012, 3 Comments

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! This jewel of a recipe for quinoa with wild salmon is simple and delicious. A tasty treasure for busy families.  

quinoaWith St. Patrick’s Day on the sunny California horizon, our conversations have turned to leprechauns and lucky charms (the whole food kind!). My kids are fascinated by stories of finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Where does that rainbow end? It could be our kitchen table! Hailed as the “gold of the Incas”, quinoa has been treasured for generations as a power grain. If my kids will try it, this easy quinoa recipe may prove to be a treasured jewel in our weekly dinner lineup.

Feature Recipe: Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli and Quinoa from Family Fresh Cooking

Family Fresh Cooking's Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli and QuinoaEasy quinoa recipes are in abundant supply with the resurgence of this ancient South American grain. The trick is how to pick one that won’t result in a tasteless mountain of mush. Thanks to Marla Meridith, we’re in good hands! Cruising Marla’s site is a joyful adventure for your eyes and tummy. Her tasty recipes are beautifully presented and make it easy for amateur chefs (like me) to make designer dinners, effortlessly.

I used Marla’s recipe for Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli and Quinoa as my starting point. It’s a little early in the season to grill, so I opted to bake the salmon and it was equally tasty.


1 cup quinoa
16 ounces wild salmon
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
Garlic salt
Marla’s Basil Aioli


For the quinoa

1)   Rinse the quinoa in cold water.

2)   Place in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water (or broth). Bring to a boil.

3)   Reduce to a simmer, cover.

4)   Cook about 20 minutes.

*Tip: For more flavor, sauté the quinoa in a splash of olive oil until lightly toasted, then add to your saucepan.

For the salmon (modified for baking from Marla’s original recipe)

1)   Heat oven to 350°

2)   Wash the salmon and pat dry.

3)   Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic salt and pepper.

4)   Bake for 15-20 minutes in a lightly greased heatproof dish.

Divide the quinoa between four dishes. Place a piece of salmon over each bed of quinoa. Drizzle with basil aioli. Enjoy!

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Jackpot! 

What we liked: I used rainbow quinoa instead of black quinoa for our recipe, thinking it would be easier for my kids to try. They were hesitant at first, but I encouraged them to try this new kind of “mini pasta” as a way to earn their bonus points. Sautéing the quinoa in a splash of olive oil, and adding chicken broth instead of water, definitely helped create a more flavorful dish. Serve the basil aioli on the side so the kids can have fun drizzling!   

Do you have a favorite, easy quinoa recipe? Share your comments!

Next up: Gluten Free Fruit and Berry Crisp

Gluten Free Fruit and Berry CrispCan gluten free be tasty? According to Amy The Family Chef, the answer is yes! Next week we’ll take her Gluten Free Fruit and Berry Crisp for a test drive. Loaded with peaches and blueberries and topped with a tasty cinnamon oat crunch, it may be tough to wait for dessert!


Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Cinnamon Beef Noodle Soup.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.