Asian Inspired Salmon Salad (AKA Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon Salad)

You know what I think is amazing?  Those moms who raise a bunch of kids and still have time to cook HEALTHY food that the kids actually love, on top of staying within a small budget.  Forget Superman.  I’d like to see Clark Kent try to do that!  To all you supermoms…you are phenomenal and I want to be just like you when I grow up! 😉  Shout out to my sister-in-love, Becca “Jim” Kirkwood, cause she’s got it down!!!

Anywho.  I just started a blog post with a bunny trail, ha.  Let me explain to you why my mind went there!!


Wonderful leftovers.  No, really, I love leftovers!  I have been blessed with the Kirkwood inability to make small portions of food.  Us Kirkwoods (or former Kirkwood in my case) always cook for an army.  It actually works out nicely, because the Kirkwood house is the hang out house…my parents are the cool parents that let all their kids have friends over at any time of night…and ALWAYS find something to feed them.  Usually something ridiculous like steak and mashed potatoes with garlic bread, even if its 11 at night.  Or if they are tired they’ll settle for a never ending supply of corndogs and dad’s famous rice krispy treats with essential oils!  Though my apartment here across the country from them is small…it is already starting to have the same legacy.  We have different people sleeping on our couch all the time, and you know how I love to feed people 😀  But lots of times I cook for an army…and it’s just me and Jay, and I have a lot of leftovers.  I still like it.  Cause that means less money spent next month on meals, cause this month’s meals are stretching out.  However, eating the same thing for dinner three or four nights in a row can get a little….”blah.”  So this brings me back to my adoration for supermoms.  Taking leftovers…and transforming them into something else so the family doesn’t know they are eating the same thing.  And BOOM! You saved lots of MOOOOLAH.  That was one of the first tips my sister in law gave me.  Transform your leftovers to save money and eliminate food waste.  I gave her the deer in the headlights look.  Hooooow do you figure out what to make?!  Well guess what.  I came up with this one.  Yeah baby!  Went from a tasty dinner to a creative, light, Asian style salad…all from my little brain!  Go me!  Not Super Mom yet…but maybe by the time I have kids, I will be good enough at it that I can put on the cape 😉


Wow.  What an intro!  Enough distraction, let’s get down to business 🙂

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce (or 2 if they’re small)
  • 3 C Spinach
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced or julienned (I decided to julienne mine because…I was thinking Asian…and when I think Asian, I think about our favorite sushi restaurant, Ruyi Asian Fusion.  And it just seemed like something they would do…because their presentation is never ordinary in any way!)
  • 1/4-1/2 a Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • Half recipe of Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon (About 1 lb Salmon, and 1/2 C chutney)

Dressing:  (This will make about enough for 2 platefuls of salad.  If you want to be able to dress the whole salad, you can double it. )

  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • Squeeze of Flaxseed Oil (Optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Citrus (I used lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tsp Bragg’s Amino Acids ( my Soy Sauce substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger, paste or minced
  • Dash of Sriracha


And here’s how you do it: (Pretty self explanatory ;))

  1. If you do not have Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon leftovers but still want to make this fantastically tasty salad, then click on the link and get it started now.
  2. Rinse your romaine and chop or rip it into bite sized pieces, and toss them into a bowl.
  3. Rinse and sort your spinach and add it to the bowl.  Toss with the romaine to evenly distribute.
  4. Slice your onions and cucumbers and scatter on top.
  5. Cut your (cold) salmon into small chunks and scatter on top.
  6. Distribute the chutney evenly over the top.
  7. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and serve on the side.  I do this because I hate it when I dress the whole salad and then we don’t eat it all and it gets soggy and I can’t eat it for lunch the next day.  Booooooo!!


How yummy does that sound?  Let me tell you a secret.  It was REALLY yummy!  And this is like…bare minimum for the salad…I didn’t have much in the cupboards, but think of all the variations you could do!  Here’s a few of my ideas:

  • Add a small can of mandarins, and sub the mandarin juice in for lemon juice.
  • Add raisins
  • Add apple chunks
  • Nuts or trail mix

What can you think of that would be tasty?!


Pictures, ready GO!

Get your veggies ready!  Clean them all, chop them all, and put in a large bowl!

Chutney Salmon Salad 2Chunk your salmon and add it to the top with the sweet bell pepper chutney

Chutney Salmon Salad 3

YUM!  Now take it outside and eat it in the sunshine!!!

Chutney Salmon Salad 4


Seriously, this was perfect for a spring front porch picnic with my husband!!  We took the puppies for a morning walk on a beautiful river-side trail and got some exercise…

Chutney Salmon Salad 1Aren’t they ADORABLE?!  The one on the right is mine 🙂  She needs a hair cut…anyways we started the day with fresh air, exercise, and their cuteness, then shortly after got to sit down in the shade, enjoy the sunshine, and eat something light, fresh, and oh-so-satisfyingly tasty!!  Such a good day 🙂

Chutney Salmon Salad 5Hallelujah!!  Enjoy!  🙂




Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon (Or Tuna)

I was raised quite near the Pacific, which had many perks!  One of which was parents that love deep sea fishing.  Which meant ridiculously fantastic fresh fish.  All the time.  Especially tuna.  My parents would come home with their epic stories of choppy seas, hard fought battles, and slimy fish trying to get away…all while my mom whisked up her famous teryaki marinade and my dad fired up the grill.  In fact…that is what the men in my family made for my husband and friends for his bachelor party…and my husband still talks about it, and we’ve been married two years!

That being said, imagine my surprise when I went to the store to get some tuna…and couldn’t find it.  Two or three different stores even.  Couldn’t even find FROZEN.  Laaaaaaaaame.

However, good can come of any lame situation.  I decided to try salmon instead, because it was the only other fish I know of that won’t hurt you if you don’t cook it all the way through, which is what the original recipe said to do.  In the end I DID cook mine all the way through, because I decided to grill it instead of sear it.  I’m almost glad that I couldn’t find tuna because the flavor combo with the salmon was great 🙂

This recipe was fantastic.  Very sweet, delicious…yum.  My husband isn’t a huge ginger fan…but he loved this!!  You know that a recipe is something special when it causes someone to enjoy a food that they don’t usually like.  So…whether you like ginger or not, keep reading!

Adapted from a lovely little book that I found at a discount store!  One of my favorite $4.00 purchases I’ve made 🙂  If you find the cook book Deliciously Healthy Vegetables by Shaily Lipa…give it a try!



Here is my slightly more healthy, slightly more “salmon” version of her “Tuna with Pepper Chutney.”


Sooooo, here is what you need:

  • 2 lbs Salmon Fillets 
  • 3 Large Bell Peppers, diced  (Not green, I used two red, one yellow.)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, miced
  • 1 Inch Ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1/4 C Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Agave
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Coconut Oil


And here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep your veggies!
  2. Place the bell peppers, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and agave in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, until it gets thick, reduced, and peppers are tender…about half an hour.
  3. Get your grill pan nice and hot.  Rub a little coconut oil on your fish, then salt and pepper.  Toss on the grill for about 3 minutes per side, depending on how thick your fillets are.  It should flake easily with a fork when done.
  4. Serve  the salmon with your delicious chutney!


This chutney only gets better as it sits, so save some for lunch the next day!!  Be looking for another recipe that is perfect for these leftovers!  Yummmmmmmmy!



Prepare your veggies.  Mix all ingredients but fish, salt, pepper, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and the peppers are tender.

Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon 1



Preheat your grill pan (or grill).  Rub your fillets with a small amount of coconut oil, then salt and pepper generously.  I actually put the coconut oil right on my grill pan, but I think it would probably be easier to rub it on the fish now that I’m thinking about it 😉
Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon 2Grill for about 3 minutes per side, until you’ve got nice grill pans and the fish flakes easily.

Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon 3Grill lines yaaaaaay!  Put on a plate…

Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon 4And top with yummy chutney!!!

Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon 5So pretty, and so tasty!

Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon 6Let me know how you like it!!!






Crispy Charred Brussels and Pineapple

Again, I face the challenge of changing the way people view Brussels Sprouts.  The poor, judged and misunderstood vegetable that is so good for you, and can certainly be dang tasty when given a chance!  You just have to treat it right 😉  Haha.  I just made Brussels Sprouts sound like a woman.  Treat her wrong, and she’ll shrivel up and waste away and you’ll never know what she’s worth.  Treat her right and she’ll shine and the world will praise her 😉  Wow.  Deep.  Two points for me 😛

That just happened.  Boom.

ANYWAYS!  Wow.  Focus.

I decided to try this recipe because it is chocked full of my husband’s favorite things.  Pineapple and almonds and soy sauce…happy happy Mr. Rodgers.  I like to make Mr. Rodgers happy 😀  Cause he makes me happy.  I bet it would make some people in your family happy too.  So you should try it.  Ready, GO!

Adapted from

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Brussels Sprout, rinsed, trimmed, and cut in half
  • 1 1/2 C Fresh Pineapple, Chopped (This is if you like lots of pineapple.  You can do less if you want)  Sidenote…YOU PUT DOWN THAT CAN OF PINEAPPLE!  Keep it fresh, yo!  If you are afraid of cutting pineapples, I showed you how I do it in my Salmon with Pineapple Salsa post.  You can leave the pineapple larger for the Brussels Sprouts though 🙂
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Honey
  • 1/4 C Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Braggs Amino Acids, maybe more if you like it more salty!  You can always taste and adjust. (You can use soy sauce, Tamari if you are gluten free 🙂 )
  • 1/3 C Sliced Almonds

Aren’t those fantastic sounding ingredients?  Yummy.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prep your pineapple and sprouts and put them in  a bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and the 1 Tbsp of honey.  Drizzle over the Brussels, and toss to coat.  You can add a small amount of salt if you desire, but you will be adding amino acids (soy sauce) later.  I usually start without salt if amino acids/soy sauce will be involved, cause you can always add salt later 😉
  4. Add almonds.
  5. Pour the Brussels and pineapples out on to a foil lined cookie sheet.  Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, until they are crispy and charred.  Yum!  Turn Brussels over halfway through cooking!
  6. Whisk together amino acids and remaining tsp of honey, drizzle over Brussels/Pineapple mixture, and toss to coat.
  7. Eat and be merry!

Rinse and trim your Brussels Sprouts, and cut them in half.

Charred Pineapple Brussels 1Chop your pineapple and add to the Brussels.

Charred Pineapple Brussels 2Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp honey.  Drizzle over the pineapple and Brussels and toss to coat.  Add almonds.

Charred Pineapple Brussels 3

Pour out on a cookie sheet…

Charred Pineapple Brussels 4

Put in your preheated oven.  Roast for about 30 minutes, turning once.  They should be charred, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside 🙂

Charred Pineapple Brussels 5Yummy crispy deliciousness!!! Whisk together amino acids and the remaining honey, drizzle and toss 🙂  Enjoy!

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls (Slow Cooker!)

Cabbage rolls.  How is it that I had gone 22 years without even hearing of them?  Am I the only one that didn’t know what a cabbage roll is?  For real.  This was a total “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!” moment.  They outdid my expectations by far.  I usually don’t get excited about cabbage.  I’ve gotten to the point where I love some purple cabbage in my salad, but that’s as far as I have gone.  Don’t really like coleslaw.  Hate the smell of the cabbage juice my dad would always make in efforts to be super healthy.  Just really was not excited about cabbage.  Until now.  Now I am excited about cabbage.  Cause these were yummy.  Delicious, in fact.  Hearty.  Warm.  And has a sweet but tangy sauce that was just so fantastic.  Darn it, why do I always write these when I’m hungry?!  Gaaaaah tummy grumbles!!!  Anywho…it reminded me of some sort of Asian roll…with cabbage instead of some deep fried wrapper, and with a sauce reminiscent of sweet and sour!  But SO much better for you.  Again, eliminating the mystery.  You know what is going in to these 🙂  That’s one of my favorite things about cooking at home 🙂

I left these out on the counter the day I made them, because they were super hot and I was in a rush to get to church on time.  As I was climbing into my car to leave, my mother in law popped her head out of the front door and yelled out “TAB ARE THESE CABBAGE ROLLS?!  CAN I HAVE SOME?!”  Of course I said yes…she seemed so excited for food, which doesn’t happen often.  Especially food with meat in it!  About an hour later I got a text from her that said something along these lines, “All I can say is wow Tab, delicious!”  That is quite the compliment.  Do you want that kind of reaction from your fam?  Well then read on!  This would be a great healthy dish that you could get the little ones to eat!  What kid doesn’t like sweet and sour, eh?  😉

Adapted from

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Head Cabbage
  • 1/2 C uncooked rice, I used brown basmati
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/4 C Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 1/4 C Minced Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce (15 oz) If you take the time to look, you can find some without sugar in it 🙂
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Agave (More if you want it sweeter, you can taste and adjust)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (Try and find some without sugar or corn syrup, I am in the process of using up what I have, but I know there has to be some at the health food store or something!)
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice


And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, get your cabbage boiling so it will be nice and soft!!  Get a large pot of water boiling, add your head of cabbage, and boil till tender, about 2-5 minutes.  Take it out and gently peel off 10 leaves.  If the first few layers come off easily, but the under layers start to break, feel free to toss it back into the boiling water for a few minutes.  That’s what I did 🙂
  2. Now for your filling!!  Combine your rice, egg, almond milk, onion, garlic, beef, salt and pepper.
  3. Work station time!  I love setting up my little work stations!  I had my bowl of filling on one side, my cutting board and cabbage leaves in front of me, and my crock pot on my other side!!  Lay a cabbage leaf flat on the cutting board, and plop about 1/4 C of the filling towards one end of it.  Now you are going to kind of roll it up like a burrito.  You can either fold the ends in now and then roll it up all the way…or you can roll it up first then use your finger to shove the ends inside.  Whatever is easiest for you.  It should just be sealed and look like tiny burritos when you are done 🙂
  4. Stack inside your crock pot.  Repeat for the rest of the leaves/filling.
  5. Combine the tomato sauce, agave, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.  Taste and adjust if you want more sweet or sour 🙂  Dump the sauce over the cabbage rolls, put the lid on, and cook on low for about  hours 🙂  I love this kind of meal.  You can clean up your kitchen, and go about your day being productive, all the while smelling the delectable fruits of your labor!!  Or you can be like me, and not be productive…you can make a smoothie, put the baby down for a nap, sit down and chat with her mom for a while, then turn on a ridiculous movie 😀  I hope you enjoy this fantastic recipe!  It kind of blew my mind.  What a great and interesting combo!


Pictures!  Pictures!  Pictures!

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the cabbage, boil for 2-5 minutes, drain, and peel off 10 leaves.  If they begin to break, return to boiling water for a few more minutes.  They need to be soft enough to roll 🙂

Cabbage Rolls 3

Combine rice, beef, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, onion, and almond milk. Cabbage Rolls 1Cabbage Rolls 2

Now, get distracted by a ridiculously cute 2 year old running circles around you in a bike helmet.  Gosh I love her ❤

Cabbage Rolls 7

Now get back to business, because these have to cook for a long time, haha.

Place 1/4 C of the filling on one end of one of the cabbage leaves.  Roll up and tuck in the ends, like a burrito.

Cabbage Rolls 5


Stack into your crock pot!
Cabbage Rolls 8

Mix up the tomato sauce, agave, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.  Taste and adjust if you want it more or less sweet 🙂

Cabbage Rolls 4

Now pour over the cabbage rolls…

Cabbage Rolls 9

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours!  While you wait, you can clean your kitchen, do some laundry, play with the kids, or…be awesome like me.  Put the baby down for a nap, and watch a movie that you should have seen long, long ago.  Who can tell me what this is?

Cabbage Rolls 10

Who knows that movie?!  “Why have you not been baptiiized?!”  Haha.  It was about time I finally watched it.  I swear my little brother and his best friend communicate solely in quotes from this movie.  So random.  So strange.  So fantastic.  Haha.  I’m so glad I can finally speak their language!!  Anyways!  Go do something fun because you already have dinner prepared and all you have to do is wait!!!  Now go take them out and devour!!!  Cabbage Rolls 11Cabbage Rolls 12

You know you want that!  SO GOOD!  I hope you enjoy!

Bell Pepper Fried Eggs!!

Ever since I saw a picture of this on Pinterest, I knew I just had to try.  They are so cute.  And I LOVE me some fried eggs.  And since I eat eggs for breakfast almost every day, it was nice to have a way to shake it up a little bit…and it only added yummy healthiness, cause it was eggs plus a veggie.  It’s pretty self explanatory.  If you can see the picture, you can probably do it. But here is how I did it, just in case 🙂

Here is what you need:

  • 1 Large Bell Pepper of your favorite color (You want it more short and fat, in contrast to one of the long skinny ones.)
  • 2-3 eggs, depending on how hungry you are
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Slice the bell pepper into slices between 1/2 in and 1 inch thick.  If it is a narrow pepper like mine was, you’ll need thicker slices so your eggs don’t run over. (I learned that the hard way ;))
  2. Melt your butter in a flat-bottomed pan.
  3. Toss in your slices and cook for a couple of minutes, flipping once.  You want them to be starting to get tender.
  4. Crack your eggs into the middle of the pepper slices.  Duh.  😉
  5. Salt and pepper!  I like LOTS of fresh cracked black pepper on my fried eggs.
  6. Cook until the eggs are at your desired amount of done-ness.  It works best for over easy-ish.  If you like them cooked all the way through, it will still work but won’t be as pretty.  I’ll show you in my pictures 😉

Here we go!

Slicey slicey!

Bell Pepper Fried Egg 1

Melt the butter in a pan and start cooking the bell pepper slices

Bell Pepper Fried Egg 2

Crack the eggs into the middle of the slices

Bell Pepper Fried Egg 3

Cook until it is at your desired amount of done-ness.  You like my fancy, official foodie speech?  Ha.  I wish.  Done-ness.

Bell Pepper Fried Egg 4

It works best for over-easyish done-ness.  And looks the prettiest.  However, if that freaks out you can pop the yolk and flip it half way through so it all gets cooked 🙂

Bell Pepper Fried Egg 5

Isn’t that just a fun idea?  I hope you love it!!!  It would be cute for entertaining too, cause they kind of look like flowers!  Totally just thought of that!  FUN!!!!

Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Chicken (Gluten Free)

My husband looooves rotisserie chickens.  Whenever we are out being busy all day and get famished…without time to go home and make something healthy, but don’t want to completely blow a healthy streak…we will go to Wal*Mart, buy a whole rotisserie chicken, sit down at the Dunkin Donuts inside and have a little feast 😉  However, even still there are some mystery ingredients…the ones that are half a mile long and you just stare at them wondering “how the heck do I even pronounce that?!”  Some of you may be smarter than I, and know exactly what all those words mean in the ingredient list.  But for me I just stare at them and wonder “is that some sort of chemical?”  And if you have followed me for very long, you know how I feel about the whole “Natural Flavors” thing.  Grr.  Anyways.  All that to say…getting a rotisserie chickens instead of McDonald’s and Taco Bell is probably a better choice.  But I just took that better choice to a whole new level.

That’s right.

I just made a roasted chicken that my husband declared “better than a rotisserie chicken.”  I kinda think that’s a big deal, because of how much he loves his Wal*Mart chickens 😉  Tender and juicy, but with such great flavor and a little crisp from the roasted skin and herbs on top!  Is your tummy grumbling yet?  Mine is…it’s almost dinner time dang it!  I will stop the torture.  Let’s get down to business!


Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Whole chicken, I believe mine was in the 6-7 lb range
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 3 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic (I used the stuff in a jar cause I had it on hand, but fresh would work too)
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Mrs. Dash Original (If you are gluten free and concerned about Mrs. Dash, read this blog to know where it’s a risk or not.  There is no gluten in the product.)


And here’s how you do it:

  1. Look at the chicken and take not of the cooking time and temp on the package.  Preheat your oven to said temperature.
  2. Unwrap your chicken, rinse, and make sure there are no surprises inside.
  3. Strip the leaves off of your rosemary and thyme, and finely mince.
  4. Put the butter in a small bowl with the garlic, and plop in the microwave for about 45 seconds, just until the butter is melted.
  5. Remove garlic butter from the microwave and stir, then add in the herbs and stir again.  Alternately, you can keep out the herbs and add in later in cooking.  When you add them in the beginning, they get crisp and dark and not only infuse the bird with flavor but make a sort of delightful crunch, which is a nice texture for the meat.  However, if you don’t like the thought of dark, crunchy herbs you can save them out until later so they don’t get as cooked 🙂
  6. Pour your garlic herb butter over and in the bird.  Pick it up and make sure some garlic butter gets rubbed in on every surface.  Now wash those hands!
  7. Sprinkle all surfaces with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.
  8. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice over your chicken, then shove those lemon halves up inside it!
  9. Slide inside your preheated oven and cook for recommended amount of time.

Now you are ready to eat it!!  But here’s the exciting thing about this!!  I was surprised at how cheap whole chickens are (why has no one told me this?!), and….with this one bird…I fed three people with this as the main dish…then had enough to make avocado chicken salad for two people for lunch a couple days later (recipe coming soon!), and still had enough to add to a salad for another lunch!!  Whaaaaat?  Now that’s thrifty right there!!!


Here’s my picture steps :O)


Preheat oven to temperature indicated on package.  Strip the rosemary and thyme leaves from their stems.



Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken !

Chop finely.

Garlic BUtter Roasted Chicken 2

Put the butter and garlic in a bowl and melt in the microwave, then whisk in the herbs!

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken 3

Pour mixture over and in the chicken.  Make sure there is some on all surfaces.  I gave mine a rub for good measure.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.  Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice over the chicken, and shove the halves inside.  Plop in your preheated oven and roast for recommended amount of time.

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken 4

Take it out and get ready to serve!  Look at how yummy that baby looks!!! Aaaaah yum!

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken 5


Have your super strong husband cut it up (if you’re a weenie arm like me), and serve with a yummy veggie!

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken 6


I love that color!  Ohhhh yeah baby!!  Sooooooooooo delicious!

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken 7


I hope you enjoy this!!  What is your current favorite whole chicken recipe?