Sweet heat: Chili grapefruit salmon salad

Now that the weather is warmer, I have been craving fresh salads with lots of fresh ingredients, including anything and everything citrus. I made a lunch based on these cravings yesterday that will be on a weekly rotation in my house from here on out. It was one of those salads that was a happy accident that came from using ingredients I had in the fridge. I literally couldn’t stop saying “mmm” to myself while I was eating it (you know what I am talking about).

My Chili Grapefruit Salmon Salad is not only super healthy, but is also full of fresh flavors that truly make the perfect lunch or light dinner any night of the week. The ingredients can even be prepped in advance (like roasting your salmon ahead of time), and then what feels like a really special lunch can be ready in under five minutes.

This salad is packed with healthy omega-3s, vitamins C and B12, protein and other nutrients that are great for this time of year when we are all trying to stay healthy. This is a prime example of how healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless!

This recipe is so simple it’s hard to believe that it could be so delicious, but what I find is when the ingredients are all delicious on their own, you don’t need too much to make them extra special. This salad has tender roasted salmon, crunchy cucumbers and sweet grapefruit with a little kick that is makes for one epic combination. If you aren’t a grapefruit fan, you could substitute blood oranges or regular navel oranges, and it would be equally delicious. And omit the jalapeños if you don’t like it spicy. (But I highly recommend them if you can handle a little heat!)


2 (4-oz.) pieces wild sockeye salmon (or other wild-caught salmon)
1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
½ cup sliced cucumber
½ avocado
1 jalapeño, sliced thin
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Chili powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season salmon with salt and pepper, and roast for 10 to 12 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Let cool.
Layer grapefruit, cucumber, flaked salmon, avocado, cilantro and jalapeño on a plate. Squeeze lime juice over top of salad, then sprinkle with chili powder, a little more salt and pepper, and green onions. Serve immediately.

Leigh Ann Chatagnier blogs about food, life and love at MyDiaryofUs.com and is the author of the cookbook The Unexpected Cajun Kitchen. The second edition of her cookbook filled with recipes for young eaters, Natural Baby and Toddler Treats, was published in March.