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Ginger Salmon Poke with Mango and Avocado

Ginger Salmon Poke with Mango and Avocado

Salmon and Mangos and Avos….oh my!

I could eat Hawaiian poke (pronounced poe-kay) every day, it is so light and fresh, perfect in the summer. Poke is a raw fish salad seasoned with flavors common in Japanese cooking. Ginger salmon poke is flavored with a dressing of fresh ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and Sriracha. Once the cubes of salmon are coated with the dressing, onions, sesame seeds, mango and avocado are added to poke.

There are a few things to consider before attempting to make poke at home. First, buy your fish from a reputable fish monger or a grocery store which carries high-quality fresh fish. I recommend mentioning that you plan to make poke with the fish when you are buying. Also, you will want to use a very sharp knife to cut the fish into cubes. A knife that isn’t super sharp will tear the fish so be sure to sharpen your knives before cutting up the fish.

Do you have a good knife? The single most important kitchen tool for me a sharp chef’s knife. This is the knife that I use to cut almost everything while preparing recipes. I have a serrated bread knife for slicing bread and a paring knife that I occasionally use to slice up a peach or remove the segments of oranges.

Having a solid chef’s knife is the first step, keeping the knife sharp is the second step. You should invest in a steel to sharpen your knife. The video below will show you exactly how to use the steel to keep your knife in perfect cutting condition.

With this in mind, you will become a poke-making master in no time. I love to serve poke in a bowl with steamed rice (brown or white). Then, I like to add some fresh vegetables like shredded cabbage or a lightly dressed cucumber salad to round out the bowl.

If poke is your thing too, you may want to check out my post on Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke too.

How to Make Ginger Salmon Poke with Mango and Avocado

Ginger Salmon Poke with Mango and Avocado

Ginger Salmon Poke with Mango and Avocado

Pizza with Morel Mushrooms and Green Onions

Morel Mushroom and Green Onion Pizza-1

A few of my favorite signs of spring are the incredible vegetables that pop up early to remind us of the rich bounty of produce that is heading our way. This list includes asparagus (yes!), peas (nothing like ‘em), greens of all varieties, and for those fortunate to live near cool, damp forests, morel mushrooms.

For those of us who live in the high desert, the morel mushroom is a bit of unicorn, amazing to behold but rarely seen in person. But, this year, through a unicorn trick of her own, my friend Rachael, who lives in Missoula, Montana had a banner year foraging the forests and brought home sixteen pounds (!) of these woodsy gems.

That alone is amazing but she generously shared her haul with me. Isn’t that incredible? I was beside myself when she sent them to me. I have eaten morel mushrooms in restaurants before but I’d never worked with them before.  So, once I opened up the package, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work researching how to store and looking for inspiration on how to prepare them.

How Morel Mushrooms Grow

<In your best Elmer Fudd voice> ‘Be very, very quiet, I am hunting morel mushrooms…’

Typically, Friday nights are not the most productive nights in my kitchen. I am usually tired and likely to be in the mood to put my feet up and enjoy a glass of wine. But, the allure of these mushrooms was just too great. I decided that pizza would be the perfect vehicle for these meaty mushrooms. If you can’t find morels you can substitute any other mushrooms in their place.

Turns out that they are easy to work with so if you happen to spot some at your local farmers’ market, grab them. I cut the stem ends off, split them down the middle vertically and gave them a good rinse. They are pretty dirty because they were plucked from the dirt in the forest. Hey-o! Keep in mind, you don’t want to rinse or wash them until you are ready to use them.

Morel mushrooms-7

How to Make Morel Mushroom and Green Onion Pizza

I sautéed the mushrooms for a few minutes in a little butter and olive oil with pieces of green onions (red or yellow onions would work too). Then, I removed the veggies from heat and rolled out the pizza dough. Note: you can make your own dough from scratch if you are feeling inspired but I like to keep a few packages of Trader Joe’s pizza dough in the freezer at all times.

Roll out the dough into a thin circle and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Spread the oil around the dough evenly. I also like to sprinkle some salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes over the dough. Then, top with shredded mozzarella, the sautéed morel mushrooms and green onions.

Morel Mushroom and Green Onion Pizza-9

Pop the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes. Take the pizza out of the oven and carefully crack a raw egg into the center of the pizza. I cracked the egg into a small ramekin first to make the process easier (and in case I needed to pick out any egg shell fragments). Cook five more minutes. Take pizza out of the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. When you cut into the pizza, the egg yolk breaks and becomes a rich, creamy sauce for the pizza.

The pizza was delicious and special thanks to Rachael for her generosity. I had a ball playing with the mushrooms.

Morel Mushroom and Green Onion Pizza

Shrimp and Corn Ceviche

Shrimp and Corn Ceviche

 

Let’s be real here. I heart anything that I can scoop in a tortilla chip. If that scoopable dip contains seafood then I am over the moon. So, you can imagine my excitement as I prepped this shrimp and corn ceviche.

Sometimes, I will go on a bender of good health and stuff delicious fillings into leaves of lettuce (Romaine and Boston Leaf being my favs) instead of chips. Other times, I just want to scoop up delicious fillings into crisp, salty tortilla chips. I fall completely into the salty camp and would trade you cookies, cakes, and brownies for chips, nuts, and cheese any day of the week.

In the interest of full disclosure, this recipe would be at its best during summer when you could score fresh corn from the farmers market and roast it on the grill but it is also possible to make this dip year-round using frozen fire-roasted corn.

Shrimp and Corn Ceviche

You can make this shrimp and corn ceviche several hours or a day ahead of when you plan to serve it. This makes it an ideal dish for parties or potlucks.

I used an orange as the citrus in the recipe but you could also use grapefruit if you preferred. Blood oranges would also make a dramatic and visually appealing substitution in this shrimp and corn ceviche recipe.

In addition to serving shrimp and corn ceviche as a dip or filling in a lettuce cup, you could also top the ceviche onto a bed of greens for a light lunch. I would serve the shrimp and corn ceviche with a crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a summer beer such as a Hefeweizen.

As the weather warms up, what are your favorite recipes, drinks, and music to listen to while you enjoy the sun-filled days? Drop a comment below and let’s get this warm-weather party started!

How to Make Shrimp and Corn Ceviche

Shrimp and Corn Ceviche

Veggie Enchiladas

Veggie Enchiladas

My main goal in life is to incorporate more vegetables in the food that I prepare for myself and my family and friends.  Okay, calling it my main goal in life may be an exaggeration, but it is a very important consideration in my cooking. Vegetables are full of healthful nutrients. They are also proven to reduce the incidence of most lifestyle-related diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These veggie enchiladas are delicious AND nutritious!

Veggie Enchiiladas

Eat Your Veggies

So, do you still need convincing about why sneaking adding vegetables into every meal is important? Okay, here it goes, vegetables are cheap. Who could argue with adding more budget-friendly food into your diet? Vegetables are also delicious. Stick with me on this one.

This veggie enchilada recipe is for you if you not a veggie lover. Or, it is also for veggie lovers who live with and cook for veggie-resistant people, I encourage you to try introducing new veggies to your crew and/or new preparations of veggies.

Veggie Enchiladas

For example, most people can behind the idea of eating a tray full of warm, cheesy enchiladas. Right? What if you added some delicious roasted vegetables to the beans and cheese that most people expect in their enchiladas? I tried this out on family and they gobbled up the enchiladas. As a result, I effectively and deliciously added an extra serving of vegetables to their day!

For this recipe, I roasted sweet potatoes, red peppers, and red onions in order to bring out the sweetness of the vegetables. By seasoning the veggies in in olive oil and chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper, they take on a smoky, spicy flavor.

Veggie Enchiiladas

Once you are ready to start assembling the enchiladas, spread refried beans on a tortilla, top with roasted veggies, add finely chopped kale and cheese on top, and then roll up! Then, you slather on enchilada sauce and more cheese, no one will be the wiser about the big favor that you have done for them.

Leftover Filling

If you have any of the filling leftover, you can use it to make:

  • Huevos rancheros – warm corn tortillas, top with refried beans, leftover veggies, fried egg & salsa
  • Frittata – Beat eggs in a bowl, add leftover veggies to greased pan to warm, add egg mixture and cook until set
  • Quesadilla – Warm up leftover veggies, place a tortilla in pan, add veggies and shredded cheese, top with other tortilla, cook until golden on both sides. Slice into 6 pieces and serve with salsa

Here are a few other recipes that are chock full of veggies for you to consider:

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Veggie Enchiladas

 

Tator Tot Poutine

Tator Tot Poutine

It’s time for some real talk. You guys know that I typically focus on whole food, plant-based recipes here on Hello Fun Seekers. But sometimes you need something else. Call it comfort food or Super Bowl food, or whatever you need to justify this delicious but in no-way-healthy dish.

I want to share with you guys a dirty little secret of mine. I love tator tots, despite the fact that they represent everything that I hate in food. Frankenfood. This is what I like to call processed food made in a factory that bears little resemblance to the natural food from whence it came. What the hell are those ingredients?

Tator Tot Poutine

That being said, I love tator tots. I can’t help myself. But, I do try to limit my tator tot fix to the occasional treat. This recipe is nod to our neighbors to the North. Canadians have an unparalleled level of expertise on hockey, beer, and poutine. For the uninitiated, poutine is traditionally a snack of French fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy.

In general, I am not a fan of fried foods and never fry food in my kitchen. The mess! The smell! No thank you. But, I can get 100% behind baking a tray of tots. See the note in the recipe for tips on crisping up baked tots.

Tator Tot Poutine

The key to this Tator Tot Poutine is timing. You want all the components to come together at the same time. Layering the hot Tater Tots, room temperature cheese curds, and bubbling gravy all come together is the key to successful poutine. So, be sure to have all your ingredients prepped and think through the timing of this dish so it will be perfect.

If you are looking for other comfort food or Super Bowl recipes, may I recommend?

Tator Tot Poutine

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