A Crowd-pleasing, Simple and Healthy Twist on a PNW Staple for the Whole Family
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, it’s probably no surprise that salmon was a weekly staple in my household. Yet, as a picky child who favored Twinkies and tuna noodle casserole, the pink-fleshed fish was deemed too healthy for my taste and consequently very boring.
Until one fateful night when my mom served up a salty-sweet glazed salmon over rice. Unlike my bland experiences of salmon past, this dish was so flavorful, buttery and balanced—it was a total game-changer. Suddenly I found myself requesting the meal for birthdays and special occasions, piling my plate high with rice to soak up the near-addictive sauce.
Fast-forward to my mid-20s, when I finally—to the relief of my mom—took an interest in cooking. While my previous experience was limited to microwaving frozen Lean Cuisines, I found myself craving my mom’s salmon dish and was able to repeat it easily and with success. After all, it only required one sheet pan and one pot of foolproof sauce consisting of basic pantry items. It was the one impressive dish I knew how to make, and I served it for pretty much everyone I knew, tricking them all into thinking I was a talented cook, including my now-husband, then-unsuspecting boyfriend.
As the years progressed, I developed an intense passion for cooking, eventually enrolling in nutrition school and launching my real-food recipe blog, So Fresh N So Green. I began incorporating more whole, nutrient-dense foods into my diet and found myself feeling better than I ever had in my life, from enjoying deep, restful sleep to more energy and clearer skin.
I wanted to share what I had discovered with others: to help people realize that healthy eating didn’t have to be boring, that food could taste good and make you feel good too.
I began to reimagine classic and favored dishes and found myself coming back to the salmon dish of my childhood. This time, I began experimenting with the ingredients, swapping the butter in the sauce for grass-fed ghee, with its healthy fats, buttery taste and no lactose; coconut sugar for refined-brown sugar; and gluten-free tamari for soy sauce. I chose wild-caught Alaskan salmon, rich in omega-3 healthy fats, and began serving it with fibrous quinoa or cauliflower rice instead of white rice, and roasted vegetables for good measure.
The result was, well, the same, but healthier. I continued to make it for guests and continued to get rave reviews and requests for the recipe. So, here it is in all it’s glory: an upgraded version of a beloved childhood dish the whole clan can enjoy and feel really good about.
Crowd-Pleasing Salty + Sweet Glazed Salmon
- 1 large, wild Alaskan salmon fillet, approximately ½-inch thick
- ½ cup grass-fed ghee or butter
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 4 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 dash gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Toss all sauce ingredients in a stovetop pan and melt on medium-low heat until well-combined.
- Once sauce is evenly mixed, line a large baking pan with parchment paper and place the salmon fillet on top. Pour roughly half of the sauce over the salmon until covered. Reserve the remaining sauce for later.
- Bake salmon for 20 minutes or until flesh is slightly pink in the center and sauce is browned.
- Remove from the oven and serve over cauliflower rice or quinoa. Pour the rest of the sauce on top.
Lauren Chambers is a certified nutrition coach and healthy recipe blogger of So Fresh N So Green.