01-08-2015 by 

Level: Easy

Yield: 4 servings


This is a fantastic salmon recipe that taps into important nutrients for boosting your mood and health.  Easy and quick to make, this recipe is one of the first I recommend for anyone who wants to eat well for a better mood.

Before we look at the recipe here is a little background about the mood-boosting ingredients:



Salmon is a heavy-hitter for supplying omega fatty acids and tryptophan (more that 100% of your daily value in a 4oz serving.)  an amino acid crucial for the production of serotonin the brains “feel good” and confidence neurotransmitter.


Asparagus, is rich in vitamin B-12 a vitamin that improves brain function, and aids in staving off fatigue, confusion, memory loss and depression.    This fantastic vegetable also contains an abundance of fiber, folate and vitamin A, E, C and K which all play a crucial role in supporting brain function and boosting health.   


Touted as a “superfood” for its concentration of vital and potent health-promoting compounds, almonds have been shown to heighten serotonin levels, lower inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease, and decreases appetite.    I use raw almonds to avoid the less desirable “roasting oils”, like soy, found in most pre-roasted nuts.


Finally the little guy with the big taste – the caper.  Capers are a very rich source of the flavonoid compounds rutin and quercetin  (a compound only found in higher concentrations in the tea leaf).  Both of these compounds are powerful anti-oxidants with anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.


Prep Time: 5 min.    Cook Time: 20 min.



1 and 1/4 pounds salmon fillet (skin removed)
1 pound asparagus – about 24 stalks (trimmed)
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic crushed
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ fresh ground black pepper
½ lemon cut in 2



  1. Pre-heat your oven broiler.

  2. Lightly rinse brine from the capers and pat dry.

  3. Slice or chop the almonds roughly, and toast the almonds on a baking tray until they begin to lightly brown and become fragrant (about three minutes.) Be sure to shake the tray occasionally in order to turn the almonds (or use a spoon), keeping constant watch on the almonds as they burn easily.  Set them aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

  5. Cut the salmon filet into 4 equal portions and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt, the black pepper and crushed garlic by rubbing it on to the salmon so that it coats the surface completely.

  6. Place the seasoned portions into the skillet and sauté them until all of the color becomes visibly opaque, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side turning once.

  7. Squeeze half of the lemon over the salmon and transfer to a warmed plate and cover them with a piece of foil.

  8. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet, and once the oil is warm, which will happen quickly in the warm skillet, add your asparagus being sure to spread them out as much as possible. 

  9. Once the asparagus just starts to sizzle, sprinkle them with ¼ teaspoon salt and add 1/3 cup of water to the skillet, steaming the asparagus partially covered until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

  10. Drain any remaining liquid from the asparagus leaving them in the skillet.  Add the capers, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice; and stir so that everything becomes warm and flavors combine.

  11. Transfer asparagus to plates, making a bed for the salmon.  Place the salmon on top of the asparagus and capers, sprinkle with toasted almonds and parsley, drizzling any remaining pan oil over all.


Mood Keywords: nutrition, health, weight
1. Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods.  George Mateljian Foundation. Seattle: 2007, p.782
2. Cousens, G. et al. Depression Free For Life: An All Natural, 5 Step Plan To Reclaim Your Zest For Living. New York: Harper Collins p. 111
Image Credit: Heinz Leitner © 123RF.com (used under license)
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