Fishing for a good tea-flavored recipe? Try Hickory Tea-Smoked Salmon

April 28, 2017

Healthy Hickory Tea Salmon by Providence Healthy Living

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian

It’s always time for tea! If you know me, you know that I generally have a cup or glass of unsweet tea, hot or cold, close by.

So how does it fit into a healthy lifestyle? There is some evidence that consuming black tea can decrease incidence of heart attack, while drinking green tea has been associated with lower cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and high HDL levels.

The polyphenol compounds found in tea, especially the catechins, may play a role in preventing cancer. Black, white, green or oolong tea are all made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The differences between them lie in how mature the leaves are and how they are prepared. All four types of tea are high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can play a role in preventing and reducing diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

We still need more evidence before we start recommending that people drink tea in great quantities. We do know tea can be a better option than many other beverages as long as it is not served Southern style. It is the processed sugar-sweetened beverages that we need to avoid, as they are loaded with extra Calories.

Join us in our Providence Cooks! class on Tuesday, May 2, when we learn how to cook with different types of tea to incorporate those flavors into our recipes.

Hickory Tea Smoked Salmon


  • 12 oz. salmon
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 cups cooked farro from Trader Joes
  • stock for farro (follow package directions)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 8 oz. fresh baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 4 oz. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2 tsp. garlic, fresh minced
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 4 tsp. shallots, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic, fresh minced


  • Roughly chop ingredients for stock and bring to boil. (Follow directions on farro package.)
  • Add farro, and cover. Simmer with lid on.
  • Combine Firefly vodka and agave nectar, simmer and reduce by half.
  • Meanwhile, sear salmon on both sides in skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add glaze to salmon and cook until done, turning frequently to coat salmon with sauce.
  • Wilt spinach and freshly minced garlic in pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, add shallots and portabella mushrooms.
  • Fluff farro before adding to plate.
  • Layer cooked farro and wilted spinach with baby portabella mushrooms and top with glazed salmon.

Nutrition Information: 639 calories, 11.57 gms fat, 150 mg sodium.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes. The next class is Tuesday, May 2.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.