Lemony Salmon with Kale and Cabbage

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Lemony Salmon with Kale and Cabbage

This recipe is one of my kids most requested fish dishes! Salmon was a first food for both of my girls and they continue to love it. This dish as a whole makes my dietitian mom heart happy – it’s so easy to make and there is just so much good stuff for our bodies! Let’s talk about some of the benefits of this lemony salmon with kale and cabbage.

Salmon

Salmon is a fatty fish that is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) offer several health benefits. Here are 5 key benefits associated with including salmon in your diet:

  1. Heart health: The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are known to have a positive impact on heart health. They help reduce blood pressure, lower triglyceride levels, improve HDL (the “good” cholesterol), and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  2. Brain function: DHA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, is a major component of the brain. Eating DHA-rich foods like salmon is associated with improved brain function, memory, and mood. It also plays a role in reducing the risk of things like age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Anti-inflammatory effects: The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Including salmon in your diet may help reduce inflammation and promote overall health.
  4. Nutrient-dense: Salmon is packed with several important nutrients. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. Salmon also provides vitamins D, B12, and selenium, which are important for bone health, immune function, and thyroid function.
  5. Eye health: Salmon contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for eye health. DHA, specifically, is a major component of the retina. Adequate intake of DHA is associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.

Tips for buying salmon

Though I prefer to buy fresh wild-caught salmon, I know this can be expensive. As an alternative, try finding a frozen wild-caught salmon, which tends to be lower cost. You can also opt for a sustainably farmed salmon, which will still provide lots of those awesome nutrients!

Kale

Though I don’t love calling anything a “superfood” because all foods provide different health benefits, kale is often considered a nutritional powerhouse. The following are 6 benefits of kale:

  1. High in micronutrients: Kale is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, B6 and K, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium, and manganese. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion.
  2. Antioxidant-rich: Kale contains various antioxidants, including flavonoids and carotenoids. These compounds help protect the body against oxidative stress, which contributes to chronic diseases like heart disease and certain types of cancer.
  3. Anti-inflammatory properties: Some compounds found in kale, such as kaempferol and quercetin, have anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation is linked to several health conditions, so eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties is a great health practice.
  4. Heart health: Kale contains fiber, potassium, and antioxidants that are all associated with heart health. Diets rich in these nutrients can lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease.
  5. Eye health: Kale is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are good for eye health. These compounds help protect the eyes from damage caused by oxidative stress. They also reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  6. Bone health: Kale is rich in vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in bone health by helping with calcium absorption and promoting bone mineralization. Adequate vitamin K intake is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Cabbage

Cabbage, like kale, is a nutritious vegetable with several potential health benefits. Here are 6 benefits associated with cabbage:

  1. Nutrient-rich: Cabbage is a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese. 
  2. Antioxidant properties: Cabbage contains antioxidants, including vitamin C, anthocyanins, and sulfur compounds. These antioxidants help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Research has also shown that the sulfur compounds in cabbage may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction.
  3. Anti-inflammatory effects: Certain compounds found in cabbage, such as sulforaphane, have anti-inflammatory properties. Regular consumption of cabbage may help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with conditions like arthritis and heart disease.
  4. Digestive health: Cabbage is a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and helps prevent constipation. Additionally, cabbage contains glucosinolates, compounds that can support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
  5. Heart health: Cabbage contains compounds that may contribute to heart health, including fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. These components can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease.
  6. Skin health: The vitamin C content in cabbage supports collagen production, a protein that helps maintain the health and elasticity of the skin. Eating cabbage regularly can contribute to healthy skin and a youthful appearance.

How much salmon, kale and cabbage does my family need?

As with all foods, it’s important to consume salmon, kale and cabbage as part of a balanced diet in order to promote overall health. Here is a quick overview of the recommendations for your family:

  • Most adults: 2 servings (4-5 oz each) of fish per week and 2 to 4 cups of vegetables per day
  • Younger kids, 2-8 years old: 2 servings of fish per week (2-3 oz each) and 1 to 2½ cups of vegetables per day
  • Kids 9-13 years old: 2 servings of fish per week (3-5 oz each) and 1½ to 3½ cups of vegetables per day
  • Older kids, aged 14-18 years old: 2 servings of fish per week (4-5 oz each) and 2½ to 4 cups of vegetables per day

Recipe

Lemony Salmon with Kale and Cabbage
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Lemony Salmon with Kale and Cabbage

I love that the salmon, kale and cabbage all cook in one pan for less dishes and everyone LOVES this dish! Seriously, my picky one eats 2-3 servings of the veggies!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: kale and cabage, salmon
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • oven
  • rice cooker
  • 9×13 baking pan (metal or glass both work fine)
  • tongs
  • food thermometer (optional, but good to have)
  • measuring cups, solid
  • measuring cup, liquid
  • measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon (You can skin it before you cook or after; fillet into 4 pieces)
  • 1 bag kale (I use a 12 oz bag, pre-washed kale to keep things quick and easy)
  • 1 bag cabbage (I use an 8 oz bag, pre-washed; we also use a mix of green and red/purple cabbage)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil (disclaimer: I only measure the oil for the sauce and just drizzle until the kale and cabbage are coated well)
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped (I buy a ⅔ oz package of dill)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup rice (we do a ½ and ½ mixture of brown and white rice)
  • 1 cup water (for rice; if you are using any brown rice, add ⅔ cup water extra)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450oF.
  • Put your rice and water in the rice cooker and hit start.
  • Empty your bag of cabbage into your baking pan, drizzle some olive oil, and season with garlic salt and pepper. Mix with tongs then add kale – remove any thick stems in the process. Drizzle more oil, garlic salt and pepper, and mix well with tongs. Bake veggies in oven for 6 minutes.
  • While veggies are cooking, make your sauce. Whisk together lemon juice, dijon mustard, ¼ cup olive oil, and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When kale and cabbage have finished, remove from oven and mix with tongs. Add your salmon fillets on top of veggies and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cooked to your preference (anywhere from 120-145oF).
  • To serve, remove salmon fillets and plate them. Spoon a little sauce on each salmon fillet, then mix the rest of the sauce with the kale and cabbage. Finish plates off with a serving of veggies and rice.

Notes

If your family likes tuna, you can utilize any leftover salmon and veggies like a tuna salad. Just add a little mayo in with the leftover salmon, kale, and cabbage and mix with a fork. Refrigerate overnight and eat with your favorite crackers! My kids love this so much I always buy about 1.5 lbs salmon so we have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Tips for picky eaters: 
  • You can always serve the sauce on the side for dipping the salmon and/or veggies in.

About the Author

Dru Rosales

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1 thought on “Lemony Salmon with Kale and Cabbage”

  1. Sandra Rosales

    5 stars
    Very well done Dru 👍🏼
    I’ll be making this recipe for Juan and I. 😋
    Adding Lemon is what’s I like. For me it takes that fishy taste that I don’t care to much about. But overall well put well done 👏🏼
    💕

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