This post was sponsored by Alaska Seafood as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
One of our family resolutions this year is to eliminate the amount of meat products we consume. We’ve recently cut back on red meat, but we’re incorporating more of a nutritional, healthful protein into our lifestyle as of late, and I’m loving it. The nutrition that comes from fresh, sustainably sourced seafood is well documented, not to mention I feel great after every meal.
I’ve spent the better half of the first month of 2018 eliminating carbs and sugar. I have more energy, sleep better, and the inches I’ve lost off of my waistline isn’t a bad perk either. So the journey to a heart healthy protein was only natural. The way my food is sourced has become increasingly concerning for me over the years, its important that it is always wild, and responsibly sourced. Alaska seafood has a long history of always being wild and sustainable. Alaska is our nations largest source for domestic seafood, and it’s easy to find at your local grocer.
I chose Alaska Salmon for this dish. Salmon can be tricky for some, they either love it or hate it. Well, I’ve found a way that anyone can enjoy a good salmon dish. Simple and fresh, this recipe is sure to please. I use four six-ounce pieces of wild Alaska Salmon (skinned) and sear it to perfection. Searing salmon creates a delicious char that can lure even the biggest salmon skeptic.
Most often people shy away from salmon because of its texture. If it isn’t cooked to perfection, it can be a little too fishy. But the benefits in a protein that is naturally loaded with minerals, vitamins and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids just can’t be ignored. This is a fish you need in your diet. Period. Over the years I have developed quite a few ways to eat Alaska Salmon, but this recipe is by far my favorite.
Simply sear the salmon for four minutes on one side, then another three on the other in a hot skillet with some EVOO. After they have a nice golden crust add butter, garlic, lemon juice and fresh-cut basil and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. We love it, and I’m one of those picky “funny about texture” skeptics. This is the best way to make perfectly flaky salmon that even the biggest critic can enjoy!
One of my favorite parts of winter is the cozy and hearty meals we can enjoy. While we are only experiencing a mild cold front here in South Florida, I am a creature of habit. I need baked goodness throughout the winter, and that includes my dinner! This Three-Cheese Baked Penne os a cheesy wonder that crept its way into my heart years ago and I haven’t looked back. It’s my indulgence on a cool winter evening, and an excuse to get cheesy. Pun intended.
It’s a lot like a baked ziti (without the ziti), born of necessity. It includes ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and of course my favorite, Parmigiano Reggiano. The creamy ricotta lends to the heartiness of this dish, while the gooey mozzarella provides comfort that only cheese can bring. The parmesan is perfect for adding those crispy edges that are my favorite part!
You start with some cooked pasta (penne in this case) and boil it until al dente, saute some ground sausage meat and add to the pot. Incorporate your favorite marinara, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Grate some fresh parmesan over the hot pasta and take a big whiff! This baby is already your favorite dish. Add the mixture to your greased baking dish and top with some more mozzarella. That’s right, you heard me.
Pop it in the oven at 375 degrees covered for twenty minutes, then add some more of the fresh grated parmesan (for that golden crust). Another ten to twelve minutes in the oven and let it sit on the countertop for another fifteen. This smoky, hot, cheesy dish is just begging for a big ol’… SALAD! Let’s face it, folks, with this much pasta you are going to need to counteract it with some heavy greenery. I like to chop some fresh basil and sprinkle it into the pasta, but… my youngest son is currently boycotting basil, so a sprig will have to do for now.
Enjoy! I know I will.
Thanks to Parmigiano Reggiano for partnering up with me to sponsor this post, and for single-handedly enabling my obsession with cheese. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.