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Here’s a simple supper that’s become a favorite among my single friends who want a filling home cooked meal but have no time to make one– Skinny Sesame Salmon with Ginger-Garlic Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms.

Quick and easy and with very few ingredients, it’s a dish that’s loaded with flavor and nutrition, but not with calories.

While farmed Atlantic salmon has 233 calories a serving, wild Pacific salmon has only 160 calories–not to mention fewer pollutants and more beneficial nutrients. In fact, one little 4 ounce slice of wild caught salmon delivers roughly 22 grams of protein…almost half the average woman’s daily need.

Fiber rich and cancer fighting cruciferous greens –chard, bok choy, spinach, mustard, turnip or collard greens–sauteed with broth and a scant bit of oil add so much nutrition that the few calories they bring aren’t even worth counting. And chewy shiitake mushrooms not only contribute more texture, fiber and a tiny bit of protein, research has proven they’re also helpful for weight loss, especially if you’re trying to “ease up on the animal.”

Best of all, this basic recipe is wide open to improvisation…from the type of fish or greens you use, the amount of garlic or ginger, or what else you might add to the mix–like bell peppers, edamame, even asparagus.


Though this recipe is written for one, it’s easily doubled or quadrupled to served 2 or 4.

1 3.5 to 4 oz salmon fillet

salt and pepper

1/2 t toasted sesame oil

1/2 t fresh grated ginger

1/2 t black sesame seeds

Squeeze of fresh lemon

Lightly season both side of salmon with a little bit of salt and pepper.  Combine the sesame oil, ginger and sesame seeds and coat the surface of the fish.

Set aside to rest 10-15 minutes while you cook greens.

To finish, spray a non stick pan with cooking spray–I use the same pan I’ve cooked the greens in– and place over medium high heat. Once hot, add salmon and reduce heat to medium. Cook until bottom side is golden, about 4 minutes, flip and cook another 3 or 4 minutes. (Total time will vary according to thickness of filet and how well done you like your salmon.)

Squeeze a bit of lemon over fish and serve with Ginger-Garlic Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms.


This makes a large portion of greens and mushrooms and could probably serve two but, to be honest, when I’m really hungry, I can devour the entire plate myself!

1 bunch greens, rinsed, leaves stripped from tough stems and torn into pieces

5-6 oz Shiitake mushrooms, sliced or whole

1 to 2 heaping T minced garlic

1 to 2 heaping T minced ginger

2 T seasoned chicken broth

1 t toasted sesame oil

salt and pepper

Fresh lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, red chili flakes and/or soy sauce, optional.

Spray a large non stick pan with cooking spray, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and stir fry over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes more. (You’re adding garlic in last 2 minutes of stir frying so it won’t turn brown and bitter.)

Add 2 T chicken broth and greens and toss with tongs (rubber tipped if using a non-stick pan!) until greens begin to wilt. Add a little more broth if cooking tougher greens like Kale.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sesame oil, toss again and taste for seasonings.  (Notice you’re adding oil last, not cooking with it..which lowers the calories of the dish and preserves the taste of the sesame oil that would otherwise be diminished by the  heat.)

Add fresh lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, red chili flakes or a little soy sauce to enhance flavors as you like.  Top with Sesame Salmon and serve.


Use any sort of greens that are fresh and in season where you live.  If you like a tender and mild green, use spinach or chard; if you like things spicy, try mustard or turnip greens.  For a more substantial green, try chopped bok choy or kale.  (Again, if using a sturdier green, you may need to add a little more chicken broth for the healthy saute as they take longer to cook.)

If you’d like more color and crunch, toss in slivers of red bell pepper as you add the greens. If you’re craving more protein, add a 1/4 cup of frozen, shelled edamame.

You can also experiment with the seasonings: adding more garlic or more ginger or using a little mirin–a sweet Japanese rice wine– instead of, or mixed with, the broth; or can even brush a little Hoisin Sauce or Thai Sweet Chili Sauce on the fish in the last minute of cooking.

Play around, have fun and find the combination of flavors that you like best!


If you’ve really paid attention to your serving of salmon and kept it to 4 ounces, you probably won’t have any left…( and least I never have..!)

But you may have extra greens and mushrooms and they are golden for your inventory.

Add them to a Skinny Veggie Omelet, or toss them with some broth, soy sauce, a bag of 20 calorie a cup soy noodles, and 3 or 4 frozen shrimp for a quick soup.

Super skinny,  super quick and delish!






About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
This entry was posted in Feeling Fishy, Fit For Kids, Low Meat Mains, Quickies, Skinny Sides and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


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