Now that the holiday season has come and gone, it’s time to ease back into the slower pace of everyday life and start the new year off right.
Even the most steadfast of us health-conscious folks can stray a little from our routine habits over the holidays. We’re busy with the hubbub of company, parties, activities, and obligations, and we tend to consume more lavish food, rich, decadent desserts, and alcohol—often at odd times of the day—than we’re used to. In the meantime, most of us are also getting less downtime, sleep, and exercise. It’s no wonder that our bodies might feel (and probably are) depleted by the time all is said and done.
I love the holidays and all the fun stuff we get to enjoy during those last two months of the year, but I always welcome the opportunity to get back into my usual practices. I dive back into my routine, and my body thanks me for it.
This is why I crave lighter foods at the beginning of the year. Even though I hold fast to most of my habits around cookies, cakes, and other sweets during the holidays, the little bits of extra everything still add up after a couple months. I can tell when my body needs a break and some cleansing foods.
This dish feeds that hankering. Rich in protein and lots of healthy fats, it sings with bright flavors and contrasting textures. Nourishing, motivating, and inspiring, I can feel this meal fuel me and create a sense of lightness in my body and brain.
Wild caught salmon, a nutritional powerhouse, is readily available fresh or frozen year-round. It’s so nutrient dense, in fact, that you don’t need to consume too much of it. The briny flavor from the salmon pairs wonderfully with the fresh, sunny salad, which adds even more nutritious fats from the avocado and sweet-tart seasonal grapefruit. Though many citrus varieties are available all year long, they really shine at their peak in the winter months and are possibly my favorite part of the season. Look for unique offerings that may not be available out of season. You can find at least a couple different kinds of grapefruit in the stores right now. A medley would be beautiful and provide extra visual and flavor excitement.
Simple to put together and quick to cook, this vibrant, colorful dish tickles all the senses and feeds the soul. A perfect way to start the new year off right.
Grilled Salmon with Grapefruit-Avocado Slaw
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
For the salad:
1 small Savoy cabbage, cored and finely shredded (about 6–8 cups total)
¾ cup shredded red cabbage
1 large handful cilantro leaves
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
½ cup fruity olive or avocado oil
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 avocados, peeled and sliced or diced
2 pink grapefruits, trimmed of peel and sliced into thick rounds or half moons
For the salmon:
4 (6 oz.) salmon filets
Sea salt, lemon pepper, and granulated garlic
- Prepare salad: Toss both cabbages, cilantro, and sliced cucumbers with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add avocado and grapefruit. Gently toss to combine, being careful not to crush the delicate fruits too much. Set aside in the fridge.
- Prepare salmon: Preheat grill to high. Drizzle salmon filets with olive oil. Season liberally with salt, lemon pepper, and garlic. Grill salmon flesh side down until golden brown. Flip and grill the skin side until salmon is just cooked through. (If you prefer, you may roast the salmon in a 450°F oven until cooked through, about 12–15 minutes.)
- Serve salmon with salad.
Image from Briana Goodall.