Tag Archives: salmon

Salmon & Couscous Salad

The first time I had this salad was on a family vacation, and my sister-in-law and her friend were cooking a vegetarian dinner for everyone. She has been a vegetarian for going on 20 years now, which is an awe-inspiring lifestyle, for me. I’m not sure where the original recipe came from, but it involved corn and tomatoes, pine nuts and salmon, shaved parmesan and arugula. It sounded pretty good.

Then we sat down to eat. And it was presented beautifully, layered in a rainbow across a large serving tray.

And then I took a bite.

And I was in love.

That’s the story of my obsession with my favorite salad of all time. Since then I have made several permutations of this salad, for a dinner party, for hubs and myself, and just for me to enjoy at work. It is super simple to put together, and can be an easy thing to take to work to eat for several days. You can eat it cold or room temp, so there is no microwave fishy smell (which I’m sure my co-workers appreciate).

And it is virtually endlessly customizable. I’ve had it with pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, macademia nuts, or none. I’ve tried craisins, raisins, dates, and prunes. I’ve used couscous, quinoa, or no grains. And nearly every salad dressing on the planet will go with this well, as well as having it naked! (As in, no dressing, though do whatever makes you happy. At your house, not at work.)

If you’ve been keeping up with my Weekly Eating series, you know this is frequently a dish I make in large amounts so that I can have leftovers for several days. I’ve begun taking enough for 3-4 days’ worth to work, and just keeping it in the refrigerator and taking out one serving at a time. It is super healthy, quite filling, and pretty affordable if you choose ingredients seasonally and/or on sale.

If you’ve been looking for a recipe to impress at a dinner party, a meal that is inclusive for vegetarians (just offer extra protein options like quinoa and other toppings like beans/nuts), something light and fresh and healthy, or a make-ahead nearly-no-prep work lunch option, look no further!

Ingredients (per salad):

  • 2-3 ounces cooked salmon
  • 2-3 cups salad (spinach, romaine, mixed greens, arugula)
  • 1/2 cup cooked couscous (or barley, rice, quinoa)
  • Sprinkle of craisins or raisins or other dried fruit
  • Sprinkle of nuts (walnuts work best but any will work)
  • Sprinkle of cheese (parmesan, feta, goat…)
  • Optional other toppings: tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, peppers, carrots, beans, anything you can think of!
  • Dressing of choice

Step 1: Cook your salmon however you like, I usually pan-fry them with a spritz of coconut oil or bake them in the oven. Your choice to leave them as a fillet or shred them. You could also use canned, drained salmon here, or sub in cooked chicken, steak, or other fish.

Step 2: Cook your couscous or other grain. I like pearled couscous because it has a pleasant, sort-of-chewy texture that goes well with the overall texture of the salad. Quinoa is also good here.

Step 3: For visual effect, lay down a bed of greens and then layer each separate ingredient in a line across it. To just dig in, toss it all in a bowl, topping as you see fit. Enjoy!

 

 

Salmon Latkes

 

Latkes, the Yiddish word for potato pancakes, have a long history in Jewish tradition.  According to history, the tradition is more about the oil used to fry the cakes than the potato pancakes themselves.  The Maccabees freed the holiest Temple in Jerusalem from the takeover of King Antiochus.  After ridding the temple of all idols, they lit the menorah with a little purified olive oil.  It seemed there was enough to last only one day.

But then, a miracle happened.  The lamp burned for eight days and nights.  Just long enough to press fresh oil.

And thus, olive oil is a sacred tradition during Hannukah, the eight days and nights celebrated in 2015 from Sunday December 6 – Monday December 14.  Any food fried in oil can be commemorative of the Miracle of the Oil, in fact donuts are a very popular Hannukah food, as are matzoh and other kinds of fritters.

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This recipe takes the classic potato latke and adds in canned salmon for a protein-filled, full meal on its own.  They can be served alone, or atop a bed of lettuce, or covered in applesauce, salsa, relish, or any other condiments you like.  Feel free to experiment, there are no rules saying you have to use potatoes and potatoes only.

Grate in some onion, carrots, or beets.  Try regular flour, chickpea flour, matzoh, or breadcrumbs as the binding agent. Fry them in olive oil, coconut, or even bake them in the oven.  But no matter what you do, do make sure to use a high quality oil, share with your loved ones, and be thankful for all you have!

Salmon Latke Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 2 can salmon, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 – 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Mixing salmon latke ingredients

Step 1: Either make mashed potatoes from scratch, use leftover mashed potatoes from a previous meal, or use boxed/instant potatoes to make approximately 1 cup cooked. Open the canned salmon and drain.

Salmon latkes in pan

Step 2: Mix the potatoes, salmon, eggs, and seasonings in a bowl. Add breadcrumbs until the mixture is moist but able to stick together. Form into patties, this should make about 4-8 depending on thickness and size.

Fried salmon latkes

Step 3: Add 2 tbsp oil to a frying pan and heat to medium.  Add the patties, working in batches if you made more than will fit.  Leave some room between each latke so they can heat and cook evenly.

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Step 4: Fry about 4-6 minutes, then flip.  Each side should get a nice golden brown color.  Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.

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Top however you would like and serve! I covered mine in sriracha and homemade green tomato salsa and it was positively delicious.

 

Swiss & Lox on Toast

 

As you may know, I am a huge fan of salmon, especially smoked salmon in the form of lox. Lox is amazing on bagels and toast, or crackers, or pasta. Salmon is known as a great source of lean protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.

This is a great, quick breakfast or snack, or even light lunch option. Look for sales especially, as I got this 4 oz pack of salmon for only $1.50, and the cheese for less than $1.  The salmon I bought was pre-seasoned with black pepper and dill and who know what other goodies, but you can use whatever kind you like. You can also use any kind of spreadable cheese here, and fresh herbs if you have em.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce lox
  • 1 tbsp swiss cheese
  • 1 slice wheat bread
  • Optional: squeeze of lemon juice

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Step 1: Spread 1 tbsp of your cheese on the bread, toasted or not.

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Step 2: Top with a heap of lox. If desired, squirt on some lemon or lime juice, a sprinkle of sea salt, or fresh diced herbs. Enjoy!

 

Pistachio-crusted baked salmon

 

You may have heard that nuts of all kinds are good for you, in small amounts. They all contain healthy protein, and some level of good fats. A personal favorite since I was a kid, pistachios are a great choice. Grown in bunches on bushy trees, pistachios are available year round.

Regular consumption of pistachios in the diet helps to lower total as well as bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol levels within the blood. They are a part of the Mediterranean diet, which is high in heart-healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado, as well as vegetable-heavy and fish friendly.

Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in dietary-fiber, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile. Pistachios also contain many antioxidants, carotenes, multiple minerals, B vitamins, and vitamin E.

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Though a good thing, you can get too much. They contain about 550 calories per 100 grams, so as with most good things you need to exercise restraint. A tough task indeed when you have a bowl for shells and a bag of nuts. I know I’ve looked down to see a pile of shells much larger than I thought possible many a time.

While I love pistachios plain in the shell, I also love combining multiple heart-healthy options into a tasty health bonanza. What could be more heart-healthy than a salmon fillet?! With tons of omega-3 fatty acids and protein of its own, salmon is one of my favorite types of fish to cook and eat. Since I also already had pistachios lying about, they seemed a natural match.

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And since I have just done a post about sweet Brown Sugar & Maple Apple Glazed Salmon, this recipe will take the fish in the savory direction.

Ingredients:

  • 2 4-oz salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup crushed pistachios
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt (or mayo)
  • Cooking oil

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Step 1: Shell and crush the pistachios. I put them in a plastic bag and slammed them with my rolling pin. Put on a flat plate with the bread crumbs. You could use crushed crackers or flour here too.

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Step 2: Smear 1 tbsp yogurt onto each fillet. Don’t be afraid to get messy and use your hands.

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Step 3: Place the yogurt-smeared side down on the nut and bread mixture and press. This creates the crunchy coating on the fish. The yogurt helps keep the moisture in while the nuts give it texture and great flavor.

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Step 4: Spray an oven-safe baking pan with cooking oil, and place the fillets inside. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until fish is light pink and flakes easily with a fork.

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The fish cooks up nice and juicy, with just a hint of nutty flavor and a crisp outer coating. You can use a beaten egg or milk or mayonnaise in place of yogurt, and other types of nuts, or none at all if you have allergies.

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As you can see, I served mine with a baked potato and sweetly addictive and stunningly easy Mexican street corn.

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So do your heart and your taste buds a favor, and cook this up for dinner soon!

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Brown Sugar and Maple-Apple Glazed Salmon

 

Salmon is one of my favorite kinds of fish. As I’ve said before, white fish are awesome because they are so versatile, but salmon can hold many bolder flavors while also bringing its own flavor profile to the table. With the mainstream becoming more aware of its amazing protein punch and heart-healthy omega-3s, salmon is increasingly becoming a popular protein option for any meal.

Salmon has a stronger fishy taste than some, but that definitely depends upon how you cook it and what you serve it with. There are so many good options for salmon; including grilling, broiling, sauteing, and baking.

Salmon can easily be paired with something savory or sweet. One of my favorite things to incorporate is brown sugar. The sweet, caramely notes work wonders to bring out the fish’s unique layers of taste. And to go with brown sugar, butter and apples are natural accompaniments.

Ingredients:

  • 2 3-oz salmon fillets (or one big 6 oz-er)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium firm apple (such as Gala or Fuji)
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or cider
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Veggie Rice

  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • Garlic salt to taste

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Step 1: Dice the apple into small bite-sized pieces. In a frying pan over medium heat, add the butter, apple juice, apples, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, and simmer 3-5 minutes.

Step 2: Add the salmon fillets and cook 5 minutes. Flip, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover and simmer 5-10 more minutes, until sugar is slightly caramelized and the fish is cooked through. It should be light pink in color and flake easily with a fork.

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If you’d like to make this rice as a side, dice up the zucchini. Either in a rice cooker or a sauce pot, add the rice, zucchini, spinach, and 1 1/2 cups of water or stock. In a rice cooker, mix and turn on. Fluff before serving.

If using a pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer on low with the cover on for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and serve alongside salmon with garlic salt to taste.

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The salmon is flaky and sweet, with a sugar glaze and apple flavor. The apples become soft and sweet, almost like having dessert with your dinner!

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Silly American attempts to make Salmon Nigiri

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I absolutely adore sushi. There are few types I dislike. Something about the soft buttery fish and rice with copious soy sauce just makes me swoon. I know I violate rules by using as much sauce as I do, but I’m over it. Low blood pressure and all that. I flipping love soy sauce okay?
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Oh, and not all sushi is raw fish. Common misconception. Actually the majority of sushi is not raw. You must have nigiri or sashimi to be sure it’s raw. And even then… probably some exceptions. The blog The M Resort has a handy guide for keeping sushi terminology straight. The main ones are sushi, maki, nigiri, and sashimi. I won’t even try to overwhelm you or myself with all the different nuances of flavor, texture, color, and types of fish, or vinegars, additives, and temperature’s effects on rice.
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Sushi = any Japanese style fish roll, may or may not be raw, include vegetables, or be rolled in seaweed (nori).
Maki = rolled sushi using a bamboo mat. Typically rolled in seaweed, but can also use thinly sliced cucumbers.
Nigiri = raw slices of fish served over a hand-rolled slab of rice, no nori. Some sushi chefs add wasabi between the fish and rice.
Sashimi = raw slices of fish served without rice, as naked as it gets. Try it with wasabi and soy sauce mixed together.
So one day I’m grocery shopping, and see a gorgeous salmon fillet on sale that needs used today. As often happens when at the grocery store, just seeing one item sparks an idea, and today’s idea was “why not try to make my own sushi at home?” Don’t mind if I do. I did recently purchase a rice cooker (which I also flipping love) so hopefully that would make the process even easier.
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I did nothing special to the fish itself, as I wanted its natural flavor. I did try to doctor up the rice, and made my own dipping sauce. I also had some dumplings in the freezer, which I thawed and fried to make a lovely lunch.
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Ingredients:
1 8 oz salmon fillet
1 cup white rice
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
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Garlic-Ginger Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tsp diced garlic
1 tsp sriracha
1 in piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
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Step 1: Put the rice and water in the rice cooker and cook. Alternatively, cook the rice in the microwave or stove-top according to package directions.
Step 2: White rice is cooking, mix all dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and heat 3 minutes in microwave. Whisk well and set aside.
Step 3: Slice the fish fillet as thinly as possible on the diagonal. Once rice is cooked, let cool to room temperature. Add vinegar, sugar, and salt and mix well.
Step 4: Take a tbsp of rice, and form into an oblong oval shape with your fingers. Press a thin slice of fish onto the rice and place on plate. Repeat with all fish slices.
Step 5: Fry dumplings according to package if you have them. Place dipping sauce on a plate with the nigiri.
Step 6: Enjoy! While not as good as a sushi restaurant, it was dang good for my first attempt. You better believe anytime fresh fish is on sale I will be trying this again.
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You could use really any type of filleted fish, and if you want to get real crazy, buy some nori (seaweed) sheets and make rolls. Add in avocado, carrots, cucumber, cream cheese… the possibilities are endless. Sushi is a great vegetarian and vegan option, you can even make dessert sushi! Give it a try.
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What’s your favorite type of sushi?