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!!

LEFTOVERS.

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!  🙂

 

 

 

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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!

deliciously-healthy-vegetables

 

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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Eh hem.  One word.  FAVORITE!

If you haven’t noticed, I am in love with salmon.  Pretty much any way it comes.  Garlicy.  Asian.  Sweet.  Citrusy.  Barbecue-y.  Seared.  Raw!!!  Holy yum.  It makes me so happy.  I could eat it all the time.  And this…is probably my favorite way to eat it of all time.  The only contender is my daddy’s home grilled salmon.  Cause he’s got a magic touch on the barbecue 😉  But I dunno…cause the crispiness…freshness…slight spice…sweetness…gosh.  Its just remarkable.  Please make this dish.  It’s so simple as well!!!  Let’s take a gander together…

This monumental discovery is from health.com, slightly altered.  I could kiss them.

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 C Finely chopped fresh Pineapple (yes, it simply must be fresh for this!)  If chopping a pineapple scares you…I am definitely no pro…but you can scroll down to my pictures and see how I did it if you want on possible technique 🙂
  • 3 Tbsp Finely chopped Red Onion (This is subject to your tastes, I usually add a little more 🙂
  • 3 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped (or a good squeeze of paste)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • Rounded 1/8 tsp Ground Cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 6 Salmon Fillets (We couldn’t get fresh, but Wal*Mart has a super great huge salmon fillet in the freezer section for about $9, it comes in 6 pieces and is the freshest, highest quality frozen fillet I have found!  Of course fresh is by far the best, but that’s my tip if you can’t get it fresh :))
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced (optional)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep your veggies.
  2. Combine the pineapple, onion, cilantro, vinegar, and cayenne in a bowl.  Bam!!  Salsa 🙂
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  4. Salt and pepper your fish and place it in the pan, skin side down first.  (Just heard that tip on food network!).  Cook about 4 minutes, then flip.
  5. If you want a little garlic flavor, add it to the pan.  I didn’t have you add it first…because when I did that it burned.  There are few things more heart breaking than burnt garlic.  But save it till the fish is flesh side down and you only have a few minutes left…it shouldn’t burn and the fish should take on the flavor better 🙂
  6. Let fish cook 4 more minutes, or until if flakes easily.
  7. Place salmon on serving dishes and top with that FANTASTIC salsa.  Serve and enjoy my favorite food on earth!!!!

 

Yummmmm!!

 

Prep your ingredients!!  Take your pineapple:

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 1

 

Slice around outside of the pineapple, in just enough to get the skin and fun little pokies off.

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 2

 

Go around the entire pineapple, and cut off the top and bottom.

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 3Trim off any spots you missed, and cut it in half to make it more manageable.

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 4Cut around the core, and discard it.  You should now have much more manageable pieces that you can cut into salsa-sized chunks!

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 5See?  Gosh.  I could go for some fresh pineapple right now.  I’m getting hungry.

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 6Don’t forget to dice your red onion too!

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 7Combine pineapple, onions, vinegar, cayenne, and cilantro to make one of the most fantastic salsas you have ever tried!

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 8Yum!!!!  Now, on to the salmon!!!  Cut your fish into the six fillets, and salt and pepper to your tastes.  Do you like my spot where I slipped with the pepper?  Haha!  A nice spicy little bite!  But…I have Kirkwood blood in my veins…we LOVE black pepper…so no issue here!

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 9Heat your coconut oil, and cook fish about 4 minutes per side…

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 10Nice sear, but still moist!!!  Now…plate and top with the salsa.  Mmmmmmm salsa!!  Serve with a lovely vegetable…can’t wait to share this asparagus recipe with you!  Soon to come!! 🙂

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 12So pretty!!  EAT EAT EAT!  ENJOY!  Let me know if you try it, and how you like it!  I can’t imagine anyone not loving this 🙂

Pineapple Salsa Salmon 13So pretty!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon with Pecan Pesto

Say whaaaaaat?!  Pecan pesto…and on fish?!  It’s true, it’s true!  And it was super fun!  We both enjoyed it!!!  I am seriously in love with salmon, and am loving discovering new ways to prepare it!!!!

I love that this pesto is hearty enough that it adds a lot of substance to the lightness of the fish…and I love that it has a mild warmness to it as well because of the jalapeno 🙂  I’m going to halve the recipe for you, because…I still have a tupperware full of it in my refrigerator, and my salmon is long gone haha!!  But I think you will find this very fun and delicious!!!

Pecan Pesto Salmon 6Yum!!!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lemon, for zest and juice
  • 1/2 T fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 oz cold butter (a stick is 4 oz so a little less than half), sliced into Tbs slices
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 lb shelled pecans
  • Wild salmon fillet
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil (optional)
  • 1-2 T Coconut Oil

And here’s how you do it!!  🙂

  1. Zest your lemon.  Cut your jalapeno into chunks, and deseed and devein if you want less heat.  Pull rosemary off stem.
  2. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Lay your pecans out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and toast for about 20 minutes.
  4. Put the lemon zest, rosemary, jalapeno, butter, and pecans in a food processor and pulse a few times.  Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in…and if you want your pesto to be thinner, add olive oil until it reaches the consistency you desire.  Ours was a liiiiiiittle thick.  Add salt to taste and process again until blended and the right consistency.  Feel free to taste and adjust 🙂
  5. Rinse your salmon fillets and pat dry.  Rub with coconut oil, and salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and toss in your salmon.  Saute it until it gets firm to the touch, about 8 minutes total, 4 per side.
  7. Remove salmon, spread with pesto, serve with some veggies, and devour!

Pictures, yes?! 😀

Pecan Pesto Salmon 1Toast your pecans 🙂

Pecan Pesto Salmon 3Get a sexy man to help you with the food processor…he’s getting so good at making pestos!!!  Remember the pictures of him making the pesto in the lamb and garlicky pesto recipe???  If you haven’t seen that one, you should go to the archives and look it up…it’s a favorite 🙂  And you may notice that he is almost 30 pounds lighter here than there 🙂

Pecan Pesto Salmon 4Here is what he created!  Well done husband!  Can you see the little bits of nuts and jalapenos?  Feel free to add olive oil if you want yours thinner than that!

Pecan Pesto Salmon 2Rinse the salmon, dab it dry, rub with coconut oil, salt, and pepper!!!

Pecan Pesto SalmonCook your fish!

Pecan Pesto Salmon 5Top with pesto, and eat!!  Get a little pesto in every bite.  So good, and such great flavor combinations.  I loooove pecans!  Enjoy!!!

Seared Salmon with Warm Lentil Salad

photo (1)

I never realized that healthy food can be comfort food.  Warm.  Tasty.  Fills up the tummy and makes you wanna curl up on the couch and just…be still.  That’s what this was for me!! And so very, very simple!!

This was my first experience with lentils! And I must say, I very much enjoyed it! Pleasantly surprised.  We ate leftovers for days and were happy about it!! 😉

This IS a Perfect Weight America recommended meal, so…if you are going for super health, try and get all your ingredients fresh and organic.

So, here’s what you need 🙂

  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 C Chicken Stock (Preferably free range!)
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 1 lb Lentils
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, leaves stripped
  • 24 oz Wild Caught Salmon Fillets (Fresh or frozen…but fresh will taste better and probably be more moist!!) cut into 4 even pieces!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Bring 6 Cups of water to a boil.  Add lentils and remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.  Set your timer and continue prep!! But don’t forget to drain them after 20 minutes!  This was so interesting to me…I had never heard of this technique…kinda like a fast-soak! Who knew?!
  3. In a nice big pot, heat up 2 Tbsps of  your coconut oil.  Saute your onions, thyme, salt and pepper for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute.
  5.  Add carrots, lentils, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Stir it all together, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  6. Heat a large, oven safe pan to high heat.  The original recipe says to rub the last 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on the salmon fillets.  I found that…icky and not-working-y.  So I took a couple Tbsps of coconut oil, melted it and drizzled it over one side of the fillets.  Then gave it a nice shaking of salt and pepper.
  7. Toss the fillets in the hot pan.  If you are using the melted coconut oil method, put it coated side down, then drizzle the rest of the coconut oil on the other sides of the salmon while it cooks and sprinkle salt and pepper on it! You’re going for a sear here, so just cook them about 3 minutes.  Flip them, then transfer immediately to the hot oven in the pan.  Cook 4-6 additional minutes, or until its done to whatever degree you desire 🙂  I didn’t have a big enough pan, so I had to cook my fish in shifts…I had a casserole dish heating up in the oven, so when it came time to transfer it to the oven, I set it straight into the 450 degree casserole dish while I seared the next shift.  It worked pretty good!
  8. Take out and serve with your warm lentil salad.  SOOOO warm and wonderful!

Credit to Perfectweightamerica.com for this beauty! I barely changed anything!! I hope you enjoy!