Lemon Pepper Salmon

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Lemon Pepper Salmon by Maria Angela Zavala
Story and Photos by Mariajose Romero

College students face constant challenges everyday. Who would’ve thought that food would also be one of them? Between the low budgets, lack of time, and constant unhealthy food options, it’s hard to keep a healthy diet.

Originally from Honduras, Maria Angela Zavala is a finance and risk management senior at St. Mary’s University. What caught her attention about St. Mary’s is the welcoming community. When she first arrived to campus, she found everyone really nice and friendly.

“At first, I was scared for the change but after meeting people the transition was easy. I quickly adapted to the cultural change,” Zavala says.

One of her main priorities has always been keeping a healthy diet and exercising, which is why seafood is Zavala’s favorite type of food. Fish is a versatile dish to prepare and has several health benefits. For example, it helps to maintain cardiovascular health, reduces depression and mental decline, and the omega 3 fatty acids in fish may reduce the risk of many types of cancers by 30-50 percent.

Lemon-Pepper Salmon is a recipe that is special to Zavala because her mom would always prepare this meal back home.

“I enjoy the process, it is so simple, easy to cook, and tasty!” she says. “You may also grill the salmon with medium heat instead of using the oven.”

It is also not an expensive dish to prepare.

“I never spend more than $20 on groceries to prepare this meal. That’s why I love it so much,” Zavala says. Zavala recommends to avoid overcooking salmon.
“The center of your salmon should flake and have a pinkish color,” she advises.

Zavala offers other tips, such as adding some cayenne pepper for a little spice; after serving the salmon pour the extra sauce on top of it for a tastier flavor; and if this dish is to acid in taste, serve it with something sweet on the side.


  • 1 lb salmon fillet
  • 1/4 c sour orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp oregano



Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Cut and squeeze 2 lemons to prepare the lemon juice. Place the fresh salmon on a plate. Pour on top together the lemon juice, sour orange juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Then add the salmon skin side up into the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute until the flesh is baked. Place the skillet into the preheated oven, and cook until the salmon flakes with a fork. Serve and enjoy!


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