Sunday, December 8, 2013

Donna Hay's Seared Salmon on Coconut Spinach

My friends and I are really into Jazzercise right now.  We've been going six days a week since September and we have an absolute blast each and every time.  At the beginning of November the owner announced a contest.  It was a simple contest.  Attend 20 classes and receive a free bag.  My friend and I became obsessed with being the first to win the bag and the secret plotting began.

We were bound and determined to win this contest.  We did the math and figured out that we would have to do ten classes in one week in order to win.  Now Jazzercise is lots of fun, but it certainly isn't a walk in the park.  It's a physically demanding, high impact, total body workout with lots of jumping.  So, comitting to ten classes in one week is a little crazy for two girls pushing their forties.  Of course we knew this, but it still didn't stop us.

We started on Monday morning and took a morning class.  Then we had to go back Monday night for a second class.  We were full of vigor and we giggled like crazy.  Tuesday and Wednesday we took it easy and took only one class per day.  We were feisty and full of energy and ready to win. Then Thursday came around and it was time to get serious.  We took three classes on Thursday and by the end of the third class we were almost drunk on adrenaline. Friday morning we were back at it bright and early and laughing like crazy.  Just a couple of crazy stay at home moms with nothing better to do than win a Jazzercise contest. Then we came back for a second class Friday night. By this time we were really sore, but we were so far into our goal we knew we couldn't give up.  We leaned on each other and somehow or another we made it through a Saturday and Sunday class.  Before you knew it we were just one short class away from our goal and better yet, we were actually going to win!  Monday morning I woke up for our tenth and final class and both of my knees and ankles were on fire.  Not wanting to give up I went ahead and went to class and it took everything I had to make it through that hour. 

I don't think I'll ever forget how good it felt to win that contest with my friend that morning!  I think we both rediscovered our inner strength that week.  We also discovered our limitations.  The next morning I woke up to two swollen and bruised ankles and two swollen and sore knees.  To say I overdid it is an understatement, but I have no regrets.  It was a fantastic week!

I had to nurse my legs for about two weeks.  During this time I had two goals.  The first goal was to stay off my feet as much as possible so I could recuperate and get back to class.  The second goal was to eat a very healthy diet so I wouldn't gain any weight.  I set my sights on quick and healthy dishes like this Seared Salmon on Coconut Spinach.  It's very healthy and very quick (you don't have to be on your feet too long) and it's also very delicious.  This was an extremely satisfying meal and one that I would make again.  We really enjoyed the flavors.

It's been two weeks and I think I'm finally ready to go back to Jazzercise tomorrow morning.  I'll have to take it easy on my knees and ankles for awhile, but it will feel so good to move around again and laugh with the girls.

Seared Salmon on Coconut Spinach
Recipe by Donna Hay 
found online at Sidewalk Shoes
Serves 4

For the Salmon
4 (6oz) salmon fillets
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 large garlic clove, sliced

For the Coconut Spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons Asian chilli paste (Sriracha)
About 3/4ths can coconut milk
The juice of one lemon
2 bunches spinach, stems removed

Optional: Additional Sriracha for drizzling over salmon before serving

Place the salmon in a shallow dish with the ginger, sesame oil, garlic, and soy. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes on each side. Heat a frying pan over high heat and sear the salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side (cooking times may differ depending on how thick your salmon is and how well done you prefer it to be).

To make the coconut spinach:  Place the garlic, chillies, and chilli paste in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add the coconut cream (or milk) and lemon juice and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the spinach and toss until wilted.

To serve, place some spinach on each plate and top with a piece of salmon.  This dish is also great served with rice.

Theme: Fast & Fabulous!

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