Salmon Tikka with Everyday Dal Red Lentils

You might have guessed this by now, but discovering fresh and flavorful ways to cook at home is by far my #1 hobby!

One of my favorite brands to cook with for years has Maya Kaimal, so I couldn’t be more excited to see their products carried at Whole Foods Market 365 in Concord, CA. My local 365 carries Maya Kaimal’s most delicious (and vegan!) Everyday Dal pouches along with some seriously amazing Indian simmer sauces.

To celebrate, I made salmon with Maya Kaimal’s Tikka Masala sauce over Everyday Dal Red Lentils. The result: easy AND tasty! In the blink of an eye, you will have scrumptious dinner at your table with this recipe.

What’s even neater is that for the entire month of February, both of their product lines are on sale when you buy two!

Salmon Tikka with Everyday Dal Red Lentils

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 2

2 (4 oz) Atlantic salmon fillets
1/3 cup Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala Indian Simmer Sauce
8 oz Greek yogurt
2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (10 oz) pouches Maya Kaimal Everyday Dal Red Lentils

To Garnish
Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

In a medium bowl, combine salmon and simmer sauce. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

In a small bowl, add yogurt, cilantro, coriander, cumin, garlic, lime juice, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer salmon to a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F. Remove from heat.

Squeeze lentils into a small pan and heat over low heat until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.

Divide lentils between plates. Top with salmon and garnish with yogurt, cilantro, and lime wedges.



Greek Salad with Seared Salmon

Greek salad is one of my all-time favorite main courses. Eaten vegetarian, it's inherently healthy between the diverse array of vegetables and extra-virgin olive oil. I also love adding a hefty block of feta cheese on top! 

When I know I need a few extra omega-3s in my diet, however, there's no better choice than a Greek salad with seared salmon.

For the pescatarian version, I typically use a little less feta and dressing than usual to keep the overall calorie count down - just because it's salad doesn't mean it's low calorie! The salmon adds an extra dimension of flavor that marries well with the salad greens and makes for quite the balanced meal.

Every time I eat Greek salad, I feel slightly euphoric, similar to the "runners high" after a challenging workout. I can almost feel the nutrients running through my veins. I guarantee you will feel healthier after making this recipe and hope that this one will become a staple in your kitchen!

Greek Salad with Seared Salmon

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4 

½ cup extra virgin olive, oil divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
2 heads butter lettuce leaves
½ English (seedless) cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
12 Kalamata olives
3 medium vine ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and oregano. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Coat the salmon fillets with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season evenly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Increase the heat to medium-high and add salmon in two batches, skin-side up. Sear salmon until the fillets are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then turn over and cook on the opposite side until browned and the internal temperature reaches 140F. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Plate lettuce leaves and top with cucumbers, red onions, olives, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Top salad with warm salmon fillets. Sprinkle with feta on top and drizzle reserved dressing. Enjoy! 



Roasted Salmon without a Recipe

I made this roasted salmon a couple weeks ago and misplaced the recipe I wrote down. While I was a little bummed a few minutes ago, I realized that I'd just have to turn this blog post into a salmon recipe....without a recipe!

The perfect thing about this blog post's spin is that when I chose my protein for the night, the ingredients weren't pre-planned. We had some leftover spring onions and lemons in the fridge, garlic in the pantry, and tarragon growing like a bush in our Fall garden. The cooking method came to me quickly and easily when I opened up the refrigerator and started fishing for ingredients. Maybe losing my chicken-scratch recipe was meant to be so I could share some quick and easy no-recipe strategies with you.

So what's my first tip for salmon without a recipe? Make it on a Friday when you have some leftover produce in your fridge and pantry! It's a delicious protein that pairs with just about any flavors - sweet, savory, acidic, spicy, or even salty. I especially love salmon with leftover greens. 

Second tip: Pre-heat your oven to 450F and lightly brush a foil-lined baking sheet with olive oil (I tried not rhyming here, but it was difficult!). Meanwhile, locate your produce and cut into any size you desire. If you think your ingredients will take a little longer than 10 minutes in the oven, you might want to sauté them first in a little bit of oil until tender.

Third tip: Brush your salmon and produce with olive oil and/or a condiment (or two) of choice like mustard, honey, BBQ sauce, or an Asian sauce like Hoisin or Oyster Sauce. Season your produce to taste and scatter over the salmon.

Final tips: Cook the salmon until your vegetables are tender and the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 145F, about 10-15 minutes.

Easy enough? Yep, think I might make this again tonight after a long week!



Thai Red Curry with Salmon

Thai curry is my comfort food! It's healthy, full of flavor, and I can make it in 30 minutes or less with a jar of red curry paste! Plus, I often have my of the ingredients growing in my garden, like birdseye chilies, cilantro, and bell peppers. It's also a great dish to throw in other vegetables left over from the week. In my case: carrots!

You can make this curry with light or whole coconut milk, but I like to keep it light to cut out unnecessary calories. It's still just as yummy! 

Speaking of yummy, did you know that Thai food is meant to be balanced with sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and bitter flavors? I think that's what makes Thai food one of my top favorite cuisines in the world. It truly never lets me down! 

Thai Red Curry with Salmon

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp canola oil, divided
2 medium spring onions, white bulb and green stalks, finely sliced, or 1 medium onion + 4 green onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 (15 oz) can light coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
6 fresh birdseye chilies, sliced
1 tbsp light brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp fish sauce
1 cup loosely packed Thai basil
1 lb skinless salmon fillet, pins removed

To Serve
Steamed rice
Cilantro leaves, to garnish
Thai Basil leaves, to garnish
Steamed rice, to serve

Preheat oven to 400F. 

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry paste, coconut milk, chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add bell peppers, carrots, birdseye chilies, sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in Thai basil. Adjust seasonings if desired.

Meanwhile, in a large oven-proof skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook salmon for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 6 minutes, until internal temperatures reaches 145F. Remove salmon from heat and divide into four pieces.

Transfer salmon pieces to curry mixture and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes to allow flavors to combine.

Serve salmon on plates over steamed rice and season to taste with additional squeezes of lime and fish sauce. 



Roasted Salmon with Corn and Salt for Life Herbed Butter


This Roasted Salmon with Corn and Salt for Life Herbed butter is so good it’s ridiculous! 
I made the tastiest herbed butter with Salt for Life’s Sea Salt and Potassium Salt Blend and I was so impressed with its ability to enhance flavors in cooking. You have to pick some of this stuff up and try out this recipe. Your health will thank you!
Salt for life is a unique salt alternative because it’s actually made of salt. It just has 75% less sodium vs. regular salt and replaces the sodium with potassium, which can reduce your risk for heart disease! This makes it taste and look just like regular salt, but it’s a whole lot healthier for you. 
If you think you don’t need less salt in your diet, think again! 90% of Americans consume more salt than recommended, which increases your risk for cardiovascular disease. That’s why I have a solution for you - Nutek’s Practice Safe Salt campaign! 
Check out their interactive website, Practice Safe Salt, which offers fun quizzes and videos aiming to increase your knowledge about the health effects of sodium and how to eat less of it in your diet! Then make this recipe and get ready to be wowed! 

Roasted Salmon with Corn and Salt for Life Herbed Butter

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4-6

6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped, such as chives, thyme, sage, rosemary, and fresh fennel pollen
2.5 tsp Salt for Life
4 ears medium ears corn, husked
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 meyer lemon, sliced
2 large spring onions, quartered
4 (8 oz) salmon fillets
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450F.

In a food processor, add butter, cumin, ground red pepper, garlic, herbs, and Salt for Life. Pulse until blended. 

Lay out corn, zucchini, lemon slices, and spring onions on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Brush vegetables lightly with compound butter. 

Add salmon fillets to a separate foil-lined baking sheet and brush with compound butter to lightly coat. Season salmon and vegetables to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer vegetables to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Add salmon to the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 145F, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove salmon from heat and keep warm. 

Broil the vegetables for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, until browned and lightly crisp around the edges.

Serve salmon on plates topped with a dollop of compound butter. Garnish with roasted vegetables. Enjoy!



Oven-Baked Barbecue Salmon with Mashed Cauliflower

There's nothing like salmon when it's this finger-licking good! One thing I love about salmon is that it's so easy to pop it in the oven with a little bit of bottled sauce you have on hand, or just as simply, with slices of citrus, herbs, and salt and pepper. No matter what, it's going to come out tasty.

But this salmon is really beyond tasty! #Saucin's Original Barbecue Sauce was on-point as a marinade, and adding some leftover spring onions I had in the refrigerator....genius! Flavors for days! Served over a bed of mashed cauliflower with bacon, this dish rounded out very nicely. 

Make it and don't blame me if you literally lick the plate clean!

Oven-Baked Barbecue Salmon with Mashed Cauliflower

Serves 4

Hands-on Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes


1.25 lb salmon fillet
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 large spring onion, white bulb chopped, greens cut into 3-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cauliflower Mash
1 medium heat cauliflower, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp barbecue sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 large spring onion, white bulb and greens, finely chopped

Add salmon to a deep plate or platter. Cover all over with barbecue sauce and allow to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Transfer salmon to a foil-lined baking sheet. Top with spring onion and greens and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until salmon is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 145F. Cut salmon into four fillets, dividing roasted spring onions evenly.

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Return cauliflower to the pot with butter and barbecue sauce. Mash cauliflower with a potato masher until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, lay out bacon in a cold medium-skillet. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5-6 minutes, stirring and flipping bacon pieces occasionally, until bacon is crisp. Remove from heat and pour off all but 1 tbsp of bacon fat. Add spring onions and greens to the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes until soft. Stir in cauliflower mash to combine. Remove from heat. Adjust seasonings if desired.

Serve salmon fillets and spring onions on plates over cauliflower mash. Enjoy!



Salmon with Beurre Blanc and Sautéed Greens

Is this salmon with beurre blanc and sautéed greens a sexy dish, or what?

I recently learned how to make lemon confit, which I now know is an easy and exciting way to add flavor to your meals! I made a whole batch of it by slowly simmering finely sliced lemon rinds in olive oil and sugar. Then I let the flavors meld overnight and added the contents to a mason jar. When I woke up in the morning to try it, I was astounded. Lemon confit makes for such a tasty and simple way to add flavor to your dishes. If you don’t feel like making lemon confit (not sure why you wouldn’t), it’s easily purchased online or at your local gourmet grocer.

The salmon dish as a whole is incredible. There are a few steps, but they’re all very easy. In 45 minutes, you’ll have plated some amazing French-inspired cuisine, impressed your friend or spouse, and will have saved a few dollars cooking at home instead of dining out at a fancy French restaurant!

Salmon with Beurre Blanc and Sautéed Greens

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4

3 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into 3-inch pieces
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, torn into 3-inch pieces
2 tbsp lemon confit, finely sliced, or lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (6 oz) center-cut salmon fillets, skin on
7 tbsp butter, divided
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup vermouth
4 lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Finely mince garlic, running the knife blade over the garlic a few times to mince further. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the mince and continue to alternate between mincing and running the knife over the garlic until you have formed a fine paste. 

Heat 1 tsbp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic paste and chili flakes and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the kale, chard, 3 tbsp water, and cook, stirring until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in lemon confit, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Keep warm.

Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add salmon fillets and briefly press down with a spatula to ensure even searing. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes, without moving the fish. Add 3 tbsp butter to the pan and allow to melt. Spoon butter over salmon for 30 seconds, then transfer skillet to oven, basting the fish with a spoon every 3 minutes, until the thickest part of the salmon is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 145F. Remove from heat and keep warm.

In a small skillet, bring shallots and vermouth to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the sauce has thickened, leaving a bit of vermouth in the pan. Remove from heat.

To the same pan, stir in 1 tbsp of butter at a time until each cube is fully melted. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and remove from heat. Strain the beurre blanc into a bowl over a fine-mesh strainer to remove shallots. 

Serve salmon on plates and ladle a tablespoon of beurre blanc over each fillet. Serve with sautéed greens and lemon wedges.



Pan-Fried Salmon over Broccolini and Farro Served with a Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce

I'm all about simple elegant dishes and this salmon with broccolini is really superb. I adapted a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, One Pan, Two Plates, and am not sure how I hadn't cooked this one yet! The use of garam masala, yogurt, and almonds makes for a lovely flavor profile, and I really, really love broccolini. What else do I love? Oh right, farro, whose carbs balance out the protein from the salmon and whose texture brings out the best of everything. If you're going to make this recipe, be sure to anticipate some serious omega-3 weeknight deliciousness! 

Pan-Fried Salmon over Broccolini and Farro Served with a Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4
Adapted from Carla Snyder's One Pan, Two Plates

1 cup farro, rinsed and drained
4 (6 oz) skin-on salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp garam masala, divided
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 medium bunches broccolini, about 1 lb
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsbp lemon juice
1 tsbsp fresh mint leaves, minced
25 toasted almonds, chopped

In a medium saucepan, add farro and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess water. Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, pat the salmon fillets dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp garam masala. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add broccolini and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, and drain.

Heat 1 tsbp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccolini, 1/4 tsp salt, garlic, ginger, and remaining 1/2 tsp garam masala. Season with pepper. Cook until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute. Set broccolini aside.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and place fish, skin-side down. Cook the fish without moving for 3 minutes. Flip the fish over with a thin-edged spatula, add the wine, and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the fish for 4 minutes. Add broccolini back to the pan, nestling salmon on top. Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes, covered.

While the fish and broccolini sit, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, and mint. Season with salt and pepper. 

Divide the farro between four plates, arranging the fish and broccolini on top, spooning over any excess juices. Drizzle salmon with yogurt sauce and almonds and serve immediately.

Salmon Burger with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Caperberries

I love salmon so much and this salmon burger with chipotle mayonnaise and caperberries is no exception! Wouldn't you rather have omega-3s than saturated fat in your burger? Yup, me too! While a hamburgers are fine on occasion, packing fish, lean protein, and/or veggies in the middle of a whole wheat bun is always the best choice. And you know what? Doing so hits the spot just the same!

Salmon Burger with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Caperberries

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4
Adapted from Food Network Kitchen

1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 4 brioche buns, split
Chipotle mayonnaise
1/4 red onion, sliced into thin rounds
3 cups arugula, stemmed

Cut three-quarters of the salmon into 1/4-inch pieces. Put in a large bowl. Cut the rest of the salmon into chunks; transfer the chunks to a food processor along with the mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest and cayenne. Pulse to make a paste.

Add the pureed salmon mixture to the bowl with the diced salmon. Add the scallions, 2 tablespoons panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Gently mix until just combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 mounds on the parchment paper. With damp hands, pat into 4-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-thick patties. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Spread the remaining 1 cup panko on a plate. Press both sides of the salmon patties in the panko. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties (in batches if necessary) and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary. Turn and cook until the other side is browned and the patties feel springy in the center, 3 to 4 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt.

Meanwhile, arrange the buns, cut-side up, on a broiler pan and broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the patties on the buns; top with chipotle mayonnaise, red onions, and arugula.

Smoked Salmon Belly & Frisee Salad with Celery Root and Walnuts

Isn’t it awesome when you can have a salad for your main course? This salad is not only filling, but delicious to the extreme. The smoked salmon belly just melts in your mouth and pairs really well with the dressing. Did I mention it only takes 10 minutes to make? Yep, dinner in 10 is totally cool with me!

Smoked Salmon Belly & Frisee Salad with Celery Root and Walnuts

Adapted from Peggy Knickerbocker

Time: 10 Minutes
Serves 4

1 large shallot, minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 small heads frisee, torn into pieces
1 medium celery root, peeled
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 lb smoked salmon belly pieces

Combine shallot, balsamic vinegar, and 3 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, whisk, and set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and stir until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels, sprinkle with salt and let cool.

With a mandolin, slice the celery root very thin. Stack pieces and cut into small strips.

Add the frisee to the dressing and toss well. Add the celery root, walnuts, and cheese. Toss again, and serve over plates, topped with salmon belly.