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Salmon Salad with Avocado

Salmon Salad with Avocado overhead shot

There is nothing like a plate of salmon and greens that just makes you feel healthier for eating it. I sometimes feel as if I deserve a medal when I make this Salmon Salad with Avocado. We all know how important it is to increase the amount vegetables in our diets but did you know that salmon has its own set of health benefits? Just enter the search terms ‘salmon’ or ‘omega-3’ into Google Scholar to see how salmon can reduce inflammation, has anti-oxidants, improve the vascular system, among other benefits.

But we aren’t here to talk about nutrition and health benefits. We are here to talk about deliciousness and this salmon salad with avocado does not disappoint. I like to cook the salmon in a cast iron skillet. Check out my recipe for Pan-seared Salmon for details on the technique. Or, you can also cook the salmon outside on a BBQ. When I prepare salmon, I typically just season the fillet with salt and pepper to let the flavor of the fish shine through.

Salmon Salad with Avocado side view

For the greens, I love the flavor and texture of a spring or mesclun mix. When I make a salad, I like to think about incorporating various flavors and textures. The avocado adds a rich creaminess to the dish. The cucumber and sprouts bring freshness to the recipe. The red onion provides a bite and almonds give the salad some crunch.

While salmon is the star of this dish, green goddess dressing is the leading lady. It is super easy to make and tastes so incredibly fresh when you make it at home. Use a mixture of herbs to maximize the taste of the green goddess dressing if you make it yourself. I love chives, parsley, and basil but use what you have. I typically use this recipe for green goddess dressing when I make salmon salad with avocado but you can use whatever dressing you favor.

Salmon Salad with Avocado single plate

I would love to hear about what ingredients you like in your salmon salad. Let me know in the comments below. I am always on the hunt for inspiration.

How to Make Salmon Salad with Avocado

Check out these other salmon recipes:

Salmon Salad with Avocado long pin

 

Roasted Squash and Pear Sandwiches

Roasted Squash with Pear

Fall = Gourdfest. Well, around my house anyway. Each fall, we host a party where all things gourd-related are celebrated. I am talking about pumpkin beer tasting, butternut squash soup, pumpkin hummus, and roasted delicata squash with red onions. All the fall flavors make me so happy but having some of my besties in the house puts it over the top.

What my friends may not know is how many recipes I test before Gourdfest. I want the food to be as memorable as the laughs and good times that we enjoy. This year, one of my first test recipes is this Roasted Squash and Pear Sandwich. Doesn’t that sound like perfect fall food? Yet, such an unusual sandwich idea.

Roasted Squash with Pear

Let’s talk about butternut squash. Are you a fan? I was a little bit intimated by butternut squash at first. I mean, could winter squash BE any more difficult to cut through? But, I learned a little secret about butternut squash. When you are shopping for butternut squash, look for one that has long neck compared to its bulbous end.

Then, just cut through the stem end and cut again at the end of the long neck before the bulbous end. From here, all you need to do is peel the skin with a vegetable peeler. For this recipe, slice the neck into 1/2” slices.

Roasted Squash with Pear

After that, you have a decision to make, do you want to tackle the bulbous end or just chuck it into the compost bin? No judgment here no matter what you decide. Sometimes I will peel the skin off with the vegetable peeler and then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Other times, I won’t be feeling it at all, and will just quarter it and throw it into my compost bin.

The next component is a perfectly ripe pear sliced thin and a red onion also thinly sliced. The surprise ingredient is the miso mayo. Are you a miso fan? My first experiences with miso was in soup form at Chinese restaurants.  Miso is made from fermented soy beans. You know anything fermented is good for you, right? Gut health and all that. Miso paste can be found at Asian markets and sometimes in the ethnic food aisles or produce section of some grocery stores. Miso adds that umami flavor which is rich, deep flavor.

If you decide to buy miso paste (and you should) here is a recipe for miso soup so you can use up your stash. The video below is from The Happy Pear where twin Irish brothers post articles and videos featuring easy vegan recipes.

How to Make Roasted Squash and Pear Sandwiches

Want more sandwiches?

Roasted Squash with Pear Sandwich

Grilled Mexican Corn with Spicy Mayo

Grilled Mexican Street Corn with Spicy Mayo

Fresh corn on the cob, it’s like baseball, apple pie, and the Fourth of July! Stopping by a farm stand and picking up fresh corn is one of life’s simple pleasures. Sweetie and I recently stopped by a new-ish restaurant in the Heber Valley called Main Street Social.  We enjoyed a delicious Mexican-inspired street corn dish. Obviously, I had to try to recreate this tasty meal at home. Grilled Mexican Corn with Spicy Mayo is the result.

Summertime corn has a sweetness and crunch that cannot be found any other time of the year. So, for the weeks in the summer that is it on, I try to utilize it in every way that I can imagine. I would love to hear about your favorite ways to eat corn in the comments below.

Three Ways to Grill Corn

While testing the recipe for Grilled Mexican Corn with Spicy Mayo, we wanted to try a few different ways of cooking the corn on the grill.  So, we bought a dozen ears, fired up the grill, and tried three different ways:

  1. Silks and husks intact
  2. Silks removed and husks pulled back over cob
  3. Silks removed and husks pulled back (or away) from the cob (see photos below)

Grilled Mexican Street Corn with Spicy MayoSweetie and I both decided that we didn’t care for the second option. But, from here we disagreed. I preferred the corn that had the silks removed and then the husks pulled back like a handle. This method gives the corn that beautiful char from direct contact with the grill. Sweetie preferred the first method which results in a moist, steamed cob of corn. The choice is yours.

Once the corn is grilled you can decide if you want to serve the cob whole or cut into smaller pieces. If you prefer the corn cob whole, then I would drizzle the spicy mayo over the whole cob and top with onions, cheese, and chives. If you want to serve the corn in bite-sized pieces, I like to pour the spicy mayo in the bottom of a serving dish and arrange the pieces of corn on the sauce. Then, top the corn with the onions, cheese, and chives.

Corn-lovers may want to check out these recipes for Shrimp and Corn Ceviche and Fiesta Buddha Bowls.

Grilled Mexican Corn with Spicy Mayo

Mediterranean Spring Mix Salad

Mediterranean Spring Mix Salad

Is anything more exhilarating than watching the Earth come back to life in the spring? No matter how challenging things are in the rest of the world, a walk around the block can have me whistling a tune in no time. Daffodils and tulips are popping up from the ground, forsythia bushes burst out their bright yellow flowers, and one of my favorite ingredients, spring mix salad greens, make an appearance in my garden. One of my favorite ways to serve spring mix salad is to combine it with Mediterranean flavors of roasted red peppers, olives, pine nuts, and feta.

Spring Mix Salad

Spring Mix Salad is typically a combination the following lettuce types: romaine, oak, leaf, butter, chard, spinach, and arugula. The greens are small and tender. They are also quite delicate so you will want to handle and dress them with care. I like to make a light vinaigrette and sparingly drizzle it over the greens.  A spring mix salad is not the salad to pour a glumpy ranch-style dressing over. You will want a hearty romaine or iceberg to stand up to the weight of those types of dressings.

Mediterranean Spring Mix Salad

Put the ingredients for the simple Mediterranean-inspired vinaigrette into a Mason jar and shake vigorously to combine. You can make the dressing ahead of time and then shake it up again just before serving.

You can either use jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe or roast your own. If I am not in a mad rush I usually roast them myself over one of my gas burners. You can also roast the red pepper under the broiler or on your BBQ. The key is to let the skin of the red pepper get nice and charred. Then, you place the pepper in a brown paper bag or in a bowl with a cover to steam for 10 minutes. The skin will peel right off.

The salad comes together quickly and makes a great accompaniment for dinner or I love to take it to work for lunch. Just tote your dressing along separately and pour on just before serving. The spring mix salad greens will wilt rather quickly after being dressing so plan accordingly.

Mediterranean Spring Mix Salad

How to Make Mediterranean Spring Mix Salad

Mediterranean Spring Mix Salad

Beet Sliders with Green Goddess Dressing

Beet Sliders with Green Goddess Dressing

Aren’t sliders adorable? I think most things in miniature form are cuter than their full size counterparts. Think babies, puppies, kitties, and burgers. However, why should meat-eaters have all the slider fun? They shouldn’t, right?

Now that we are in agreement on that, let’s talk about these Beet Sliders with Green Goddess Dressing. Boiling the beets along with a variety of aromatics imparts great flavor into the beets. The Green Goddess Dressing is creamy, herby, and delicious, which complements the earthiness of the beets. Red onions offer crunch and bite to the slider. The combination is top notch.

Beet Sliders with Green Goddess Dressing

I estimate that approximately 99% of slider recipes that I come across feature some sort of meat filling. You know that I am always up for a challenge. Therefore, I want to create delicious options for vegetarian sliders. These Beet Sliders are not only gorgeous; they are perfect to eat while drinking a glass of wine or a beer and listening to Budos Band.

I would plan to serve two to three sliders per person for a perfect small plate offering. I adore small plates. Small plates always feel like a party. I would much rather have a few small plates than one entrée any day. Honestly, every day that would be my preference. Small plates are perfect for the chronically indecisive, possibly commitment challenged.

Beet Sliders with Green Goddess Dressing

I digress. Let’s move on the these sliders. The key to any burger is getting the bun and burger to match up in size. Be sure that your beets are as big in the widest part as the bun they will eventually sit on. Once the beets are cooked and peeled, you will want to slice them into about one-inch rounds.

While the beets cook, whip up the ingredients for the Green Goddess dressing and thinly slice part of a red onion. I always recommend wearing latex or rubber gloves when working with beets. Beets stain everything they encounter so exercise care when preparing them.

If you are beet lover, you may want to check out these other recipes:

Beet Sliders with Green Goddess Dressing

 

Guacamole with Clementines

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

Clementines, Mandarins, Cuties, Halos, whatever you call these delicious little gems, they are easily found at grocery stores this time of year. I nearly always have a bag of them in my fridge during the winter months. They travel well, are super sweet, and let’s face it; seasonal fresh fruit is scarce this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. But, this small citrus fruit shines when it is cold outside.

So, why not add a little oomph to your guacamole with chopped up segments of clementines? That is exactly what I did here.  I took a handful of those easy to peel clementines and cut each segment into thirds. I wanted the pieces to be substantial enough that you get a burst of sweetness in a bite but not so big that you would have worry about keeping it balanced on a chip.

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

Everyone loves guacamole. I mean, if you don’t love guacamole then you confuse me. We can still be friends and everything, but I don’t understand how anyone can resist dipping a chip into a bowl of fresh creamy guacamole. Actually, if you don’t like guacamole, let me know, I will invite you over to my place. More guacamole for me!

A local restaurant here in Salt Lake City called Taqueria 27 offers a ‘guacamole of the day’ (G.O.D.).  They offer up some wild combinations.

Recent G.O.Ds include:

  • red apple, Anaheim pepper, and pickled red onion
  • grilled onions and jalapenos, lime and queso fresco
  • blueberry, gorgonzola, habanero, and balsamic

I don’t love all of them but I do appreciate the chef’s commitment to using interesting ingredients.

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

That is what inspired me to add clementines to a batch of guacamole last weekend to snack on while the NFL playoffs were on. Plus, the Superbowl is coming up in a few weeks which always feature the best game-snacking opportunities of the year. I believe I once heard that the statistic that more avocados are sold Superbowl weekend than any other time of the year.

This recipe doesn’t stray too far from a traditional guacamole recipe other than I bumped up the heat a little to complement the sweet from the clementines.  I love the sweet and spicy combination with the traditional creaminess of the avocados and acidity of the lime. Recommended!

Do you have a favorite non-traditional ingredient that you like to add to your guacamole? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

A few other ideas for your Superbowl party:

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

Greek Pizza with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Greek Pizza with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Do you have a few dinner recipes in your arsenal that you go to when you need a quick, healthy dinner? Veggie burgers, bean and cheese burritos, and popcorn are mine. I know popcorn isn’t technically dinner but on occasion, paired with a glass of wine, it is the best I can do.

It can be easy to outsource dinner to take-out or delivery but its January and we are committed to sticking with our healthy eating goals, right? Right! So, let’s skip take-out and add some new quick and healthy recipes to our collection.

Greek Pizza  with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Easy | Healthy |  Quick

What I love about this recipe is not only quick and healthy but the Greek flavor profile is delicious too. The only cooking involved is chopping the veggies and roasting them in the oven. Everything else is just an assembly job.  The pizzas can be totally customized to suit your taste and the tastes of your families. Hate olives? Skip them.  Love artichoke hearts? Add them.

Use a whole wheat pita as a base. You can use regular white pita too, of course, but using whole wheat bumps up the nutrition. Hummus is the sauce. You can use prepared hummus or homemade. I love making hummus at home but there are so many delicious commercially prepared tubs of hummus out there that I almost always pick up a few containers to keep in the fridge when I grocery shop.

Greek Pizza  with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Easy | Healthy |  Quick

The only step in this recipe that can be considered cooking is this one. You will chop up vegetables into uniform pieces to encourage them to roast together in harmony. If some of the veggie pieces are huge and others small, the small pieces may burn before the large ones cook through. So, uniformly chop your veggies and drain then rinse a can of garbanzo beans. The roasted beans add a little crunch to the pizza.

Warm the pitas in the oven while the veggies roast and all you have left to do is assemble pizzas and pat yourself on the back for sticking to your resolutions.

Greek Pizza  with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Easy | Healthy |  Quick

Greek Pizza with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Quick | Easy | Healthy

Fiesta Buddha Bowl

Fiesta Buddha Bowl

I live on Buddha bowls. I cook the components for Buddha bowls as part of batch cooking for the week. When I first started making them I didn’t know that they were called Buddha bowls. I just called them bowls. But, I love the name Buddha bowls now, so that is how I always refer to them. For the uninitiated, a Buddha bowl is simply a meal that consists of a grain, a green, and a bean.

The grain can be rice (brown, white, red, black, or wild), quinoa, wheat berries, or any other grain that you fancy. Be adventurous and try some new grains. Peruse the bulk bins at your grocery store and find a new grain to try. You can buy a small amount of a few different types and see which ones you like. You can google how to cook any grains for instructions on how to prepare them.

Fiesta Buddha BowlFor greens, I like to use raw greens which are hearty like chopped Romaine or kale. Or, sometimes I will use sauteed greens like Swiss chard or spinach. But, I often substitute other veggies in my bowls like roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower. This isn’t science, just use what you like!

I always have cans of beans in my pantry. I couldn’t pick a favorite. I love them all. They each offer unique character to a dish. On any given day, you can find garbanzos, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans in my pantry. I also keep a stash of dried beans handy. They are so cheap, easy to cook, and a great source of fiber and protein.

Fiesta Buddha Bowl

As you can see, Buddha bowls are perfect for make-ahead meals. Cook a big batch of your grains over the weekend, open a can of beans, and then decide what vegetables you want to include. Then, you will have a quick easy dinner and left overs for lunch.

I often will see an ingredient at the store that will inspire my Buddha bowl for the week. This week I found avocados on sale at my local market. Instantly, I know that a Fiesta Buddha Bowl was going to happen this week. Over the weekend, I made a batch of brown rice. I had black beans, Romaine lettuce, salsa, corn, onions, salsa and pepitas in my pantry. Along with the avocados, I was set!

Fiesta Buddha Bowl

I will be featuring ideas different Buddha bowls in the coming months. But, there are seriously so easy that I encourage you to come up with some combinations of your own featuring ingredients that you love. I would love to know if you have any favorite bowl combinations.  Feel free to leave me some ideas in the comments below.

Fiesta Buddha Bowl Pin

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