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Mix up your meals with this non-traditional veggie sauté. Leeks are a fun and mild substitute for onions and complement the earthy mushrooms and salty capers. In fact, caper juice is used in place of salt to season this dish. With big race goals in sight, unique veggie combos keep eating healthy from getting monotonous.
4 salmon filets (5-6 oz each), skin on
2 heaping cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ cup leeks, sliced*
1 ½ cup broccoli florets, finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup capers
4 TBSP caper juice
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
3 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp honey or agave
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
*The edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves and the light green parts (Above the roots and stem base. The dark leaves are too rough for cooking with.)
1. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring with a wood spoon. Add the balsamic vinegar and sauté another 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms develop a dark golden crust. Remove from pan and let rest in a large bowl.
2. In the same pan, heat 2 TBSP olive oil over the same heat. Add the leeks, carrots, and broccoli to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the red wine, capers, 2 TBSP caper juice, honey or agave, and pepper and sauté another 7-8 minutes stirring every minute, until the liquid has cooked down. Add to the bowl with the mushrooms and stir gently with a wooden spoon.
3. Using the same pan over the same heat, place the salmon flesh side down and sear for 90 seconds. Turn over and pour the remaining 2 TBSP caper juice over the salmon. Cover and let cook another 3-4 minutes depending on thickness (until just underdone inside). Half way through, uncover and spoon the caper juice back over the salmon.
4. Serve with the salmon over the veggie sauté.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.