When it comes to heart health, salmon and sweet potatoes are like Sonny and Cher, Simon and Garfunkel, Johnny Cash and June Carter—a dynamic duo. Each brings their own flavor, but the pairing is inspired.
In the recipe below, the marinade offers a tart citrus counterpoint to the potatoes’ natural sweetness. This meal is a one-dish wonder with the salmon and sweet potatoes roasting together in harmony. Research has shown links between stress reduction and heart health; having only one dish to clean after dinner should relax you like a deep breath or a hearty laugh. If that doesn’t work, indulge in a post-dinner (and heart healthy) glass of red wine.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation throughout the body, bringing down blood pressure and keeping clots at bay. Sweet potatoes fight for center stage with their combination of B6 and magnesium contributing to better artery, blood and heart function. This is a dish you can feel good about eating.
Cilantro Lime Roasted Salmon and Sweet Potatoes
- 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large lime, juice and zest
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 2 pounds salmon fillets
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put cubed sweet potatoes into 9x13x2-inch lasagna-type pan and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sea salt to taste. Roast sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes until outside is tender but centers are still firm.
2. Meanwhile, puree olive oil, lime juice and zest, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno (if using) in food processor or blender until smooth. Rinse and pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper.
3. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees. Move sweet potatoes to the edges of the pan to leave a hot open center for the salmon. Put the salmon, skin side down, into the baking dish. Spoon the lime cilantro marinade onto the fish.
4. Return dish to oven and cook until salmon and sweet potatoes are done, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and serve straight from dish.
Variations: Try adding a little honey to the lime cilantro topping to bring out the sweetness in the salmon or up the Thai element of the dish by adding some coconut milk.
Perfect salmon tips:
- Leave the skin on the bottom of the salmon during cooking to preserve moisture.
- Buy salmon filets in uniformly sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Choose wild salmon over farm-raised as the latter may contain pesticides.
- Cook salmon to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.