Eat healthier by making salmon a staple in the new year.
The new year is here, and the plan is — of course — to eat healthier, at least for a few weeks. The transition from indulgent eating to healthy eating is hard; fat, salt and red meat are a hard combo to top flavor-wise, so the goal should be to find something hearty, flavorful and healthy-ish … and let’s stick with -ish for now. It will likely not be a surprise that salmon fills the void, and restaurants across the metro from fast casual to fine dining serve it up in a variety of creative, delicious ways.
Bee Healthy Cafe recently opened its 10th location, this one downtown in City Place at the old Coolgreens spot. The menu at Bee Healthy, even when it was Health Nut Cafe, has always been filled with healthy-ish and outright healthy options. Try the wild Alaska salmon option, available as a quinoa bowl with parmesan, onions, tomatoes, spinach and chipotle vinaigrette. No one will judge you if you get a cup of the delicious coconut curry stew on the side.
On the other end of the healthy spectrum, salmon-wise, is the cornbread salmon at The Hamilton Supperette and Lounge (12232 N. May Ave., OKC). Served with toasted pecans and a cornbread crumble, the beurre blanc takes it over the top, so to speak, but you can limit the damage by getting the sauce on the side or subbing it for something healthier. The broccolini that accompanies it guarantees you’re definitely on the right track.
Smoked salmon offers another variation that, salt aside, makes for a nice, light meal with some relatively healthy accouterments, including endives, capers, onions and mustard. We’ll just tell ourselves the bread on the side is in very small pieces. The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro (6418 N. Western Ave., OKC) has one of the best smoked salmon dishes in the 405 and a phenomenal wine list to accompany it. McClintock Saloon and Chop House (2227 Exchange Ave., OKC) has a great one, too, served with sriracha honey, and you’ll be able to pair it beautifully with one of its hundreds of whiskeys.
The Thai curry salmon at Cafe 501 (501 S. Boulevard, Edmond) keeps it light but comes with a punch of delicious lime and coconut curry. The bok choy and charred red peppers amp up the flavor and nutrients, and it’s served over jasmine rice. The curry is rich and deeply satisfying but never overwhelms the salmon.
If the one you love is always wanting steak — it happens — salmon can be a much better option at a steakhouse for hitting your goals. Mahogany is still the premier steakhouse in the city, and it has excellent seafood on its menu, including a delicious North Coast salmon. It comes with a citrus beurre blanc, so again, probably best on the side or subbed out.
The organic salmon at Scratch – Norman (132 W. Main St., Norman) comes with risotto, so you’ll have to make a choice here. Hopefully it’s your cheat day, because who says no to risotto? The salmon is pan seared and served with fresh lemon, paprika oil and Brussels sprouts, as well as the aforementioned parmesan risotto.
Iron Star (3700 N. Shartel Ave., OKC) has never gotten the love it deserves, and its salmon is a perfect example of how the nonbarbecue items are treated with the same care reserved for the smoked meats. The grilled Atlantic salmon comes with avocado-lime butter, so the first two cancel out the butter part, and then you get two sides. While you’re going to want the mac ‘n’ cheese and corn pudding, you’re trying to be good, and fortunately, the collard greens are fantastic.