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Smile Recipe: Wild Salmon and Quinoa

Recipe by: Dr. Shawn Frawley, DDS
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

A cast iron skillet will allow for precise control of cooking temperatures since its heat retention qualities produce an even temperature cooking surface without hot spots. With cast iron, you can prepare salmon that is moist and has a nice crust.


  • SALMON: 2, 6-8 oz. wild salmon filets
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon grape seed oil
  • MARINADE: 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon grape seed oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar
  • QUINOA PILAF: 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken stock
  • 3 teaspoons grape seed oil (1 tsp. for sautéing, 2 tsp. to dress quinoa)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped


  1. Season both sides of salmon with salt, pepper and chopped fresh dill. Let salmon come to room temperature.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the marinade and mix thoroughly.
  3. Soak quinoa in room temperature water for at least 15 minutes. Rinse and strain quinoa. Bring chicken stock up to a boil, add quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 30 minutes. (Alternately, you can add the chicken stock and rinsed and strained quinoa to a pressure cooker and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes.)
  4. While the quinoa is cooking or soaking, finely dice the onion, celery, and tomato. In a large sauté pan that can accommodate the vegetables and quinoa, add 1 tsp. oil and sauté the onion and celery until they are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato, stir and turn off the heat.
  5. Add cooked quinoa to the vegetables in the sauté pan. Strip thyme leaves off stem with fingers and rough chop. Add the thyme to the quinoa along with enough grape seed oil to lightly coat the quinoa (approximately 2 tsp.). Cook at medium heat while stirring for 1-2 minutes and keep warm.
  6. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Place a small amount of grape seed oil in skillet. Place salmon in skillet skin side down. Cook for approximately 4 minutes while basting the fish with the marinade every 30 seconds. Turn heat up to medium-high and turn fish over and cook for another minute. Adjust cooking time based on the thickness of the salmon.
  7. Serve salmon immediately with approximately ¾ cup of quinoa. A lightly dressed simple, organic leaf salad goes well with this dish.

SMILE TIP: Wild salmon is high in omega-3 which reduces inflammation in the gums; quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is good for teeth structure because it’s high in calcium, as well as being high in fiber and protein and low in cholesterol.

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