Pasta Salad with Baked Tinga Salmon

Pasta Salad with Baked Tinga Salmon

Rich in fibre, omega-3 fats and protein, this pasta salad with baked salmon provides slow-release energy and boosts your concentration levels.

Most of you know by now that the way to start eating healthier is to get rid of processed foods from your pantry and fridge and to start eating foods in their whole, natural form. What is not so clear is how to build healthy meals or recipes. Everyone has a different way of doing things, but I always believe that the best way to start {and continue} is to keep things super simple. You don’t need to worry about creating exotic recipes to start with; it is perfectly fine to choose items from each of the food groups and combine them to form a meal.

My basic formula for constructing a healthy plate of food is to include a starchy vegetable or grain, leafy vegetables or non-leafy vegetables, a source of protein and fat. Once I decide on the components I want to use; I divide my plate into two halves. I then split one-half into two, so that in total, I have three sections. One quadrant is for my protein, the other is for my starchy vegetable or grain, and the rest of the plate is for the leafy greens. I can eat healthy consistently by doing this.

My meals don’t fit this formula everyday. But, even on the days that meals don’t fit the formula, I try to make sure that I have each of the components included on my plate. For my non-starchy vegetable component,  I used wild rocket {argula} as my leafy green and supported it with cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers. Pasta is my grain of choice while salmon and edamame constitute the protein components. Olive oil {used to cook the pasta} serves as my fat. The fat in salmon is an additional source of healthy fat.

Tinga is a Mexican tomato-based spice mix. It contains chipotle, oregano, paprika and garlic. You can use Tinga as a marinade for any protein of your choice.

Nutrition Unravelled

Rocket {arugula} is part of the Brassica family of vegetables that includes broccoli and cabbage. It is rich in immune-boosting vitamin C and beta carotene, and eye-healthy lutein and zeaxanthin. Rocket is also rich in cancer-fighting isothiocyanates and contains sulphur compounds that strengthen the liver. Rocket has the added benefit of being low in oxalates, making the iron and calcium it contains more bioavailable.

Edamame are immature soybeans still in the pod. Just like soybeans, they are rich in complete protein, ALA omega-3 fats, and iron. They are also good sources of fibre, folate, potassium and calcium. Edamame contains isoflavones that are linked with lower risks of breast cancer and osteoporosis.

Salmon is uniquely rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fats are readily useable by the body unlike the ALA omega-3 fats found in the plant foods. Salmon is rich in the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K which promote bone joint, msucle skin and eye health.

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Pasta Salad with Baked Tinga Salmon

  • Author: Somi Igbene
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner


Fibre, omega-3 and protein rich pasta salad with baked salmon. Perfect for lunch or dinner.



  • 75g gigli pasta (or any other pasta of choice)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely minced
  • 80g edamame beans
  • 50g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Large handful rocket
  • 100g sliced sweet peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon mixed Italian herb
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

For the Salmon

  • 2 medium salmon fillets, descaled
  • 2 teaspoons Tinga paste


Preheat the oven to 200ºC then line a baking tray with parchment paper. Season the salmon with a pinch of salt then coat evenly with the Tinga paste. Allow it to marinate in the fridge for 20-30 minutes then bake in the oven for 20 mins.

Start cooking the pasta according to the instructions. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the garlic, fry for a half a minute then add the herbs, edamame, cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers. Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Tip the pasta into the veggie stir fry, mix  throughly then season with salt or vegetable seasoning. Add a splash of the pasta liquid to loosen, if needed. Allow the pasta to cool for a few minutes before adding the rocket.

Serve the pasta salad with the salmon. Sprinkle with chilli flakes if desired.


You can use chicken, tofu or tempeh in place of salmon in this recipe. For extra protein, replace wheat pasta with lentil, chickpea or edamame or black bean pasta.

Keywords: Salmon, Pasta salad, Tinga paste, Edamame

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