salmon cakes with lemon dill sauce

Have you ever walked by the canned fish isle and thought, "oh my god, that looks amazing"? Yeah me neither. But I have figured out a way to make a can of salmon pretty damn delicious. Salmon cakes are one of the simplest dishes you can make with a can of salmon and a few other ingredients. 

Once upon a time, I used to make these cakes with breadcrumbs and saltines. But when I completely overhauled my diet, I had to find a way to make them taste great without all the added gluten. Admittedly it took a few tries to nail the recipe down.

Canned salmon, fresh dill and lemon

Canned salmon, fresh dill and lemon

Once I changed my diet, I also had to part ways with traditional tartar sauce. Salmon cakes without tartar sauce make about as much sense as Bonnie without Clyde or PB without J. So I set out to make my own. Since I generally like a little intuitive play in the kitchen, I just used ingredients that made sense to me, starting with the wonderful Primal Kitchen Mayo. Look, regular mayo tastes pretty good, but let's not kid ourselves - it's filled with soybean or canola oil - ingredients I try to stay away from as much as possible. So I was delighted to find Primal Kitchen's avocado oil based mayo, which has elevated many a recipe! If you haven't gotten your hands on it yet, I highly recommend. it. 

salmon 6.jpg

And aside from the tasty mayo, one of my favorite things about this dinner is how inexpensive it is to make. If you want to go all out and get super expensive canned salmon, feel free but for me as long as it's wild caught and the lining is BPA free, I'm good. I'm particular enough about other food and spend way too much money on it in general that I feel pretty good when I can actually be frugal.

By far one of the easiest weeknight dinners, this may just become one you keep on hand for regular "I don't know what to make for dinner" days. It will come in handy, I promise!

salmon patties

salmon patties

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cooking time 10 minutes 
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

For salmon cakes:

  • 1 14.75oz can wild caught Salmon, drained
  • 1 tsp fresh dill (you an use dry but fresh is much better)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil for frying
salmon cakes with lemon dill mayo

salmon cakes with lemon dill mayo

For lemony dill sauce

  • 3 tbsp Primal Kitchen Mayo
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp drained, rinsed and chopped capers
  • 1/4 tsp fresh dill (again, you can use dry)
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard 

Equipment

  • heavy bottom frying pan such as cast iron or stainless steel
  • medium mixing bowl
  • small mixing bowl

Directions

Combine all ingredients under salmon cakes aside from avocado oil and form into 6 patties. Set aside. Preheat frying pan and add avocado oil. Cook patties for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Set on paper towel lined plate. 

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients under lemon dill sauce and mix well. 

Serve with your favorite sides and plenty of lemon dill sauce and a wedge of lemon. 

Canned salmon transformed

Canned salmon transformed

sausage, veggie and caulirice fry-up

I have a pretty lengthy commute to and from work. 114.4 miles, but who's counting? I'm used to it and on most days doesn't bother me much. I have uninterrupted time to think (a favorite pastime activity), listen to inspiring podcasts and of course music. 

So in my head I'm laying out the evening which goes a little something like this: Okay so I'll get home, make the recipe I've been trying to post for weeks, give kids a bath..errrr..suddenly all traffic comes to a complete halt and stays that way for well over an hour. Panicked and anxious, I try to listening to a podcast and fail. I can't recall a single word. Okay, let's try music, music is always good...calming, calm, relaxing. SHIT THIS ISN'T WORKING! So the intrusive thoughts continue. My family will starve, the kids are going to be sleep deprived, what will happen to my post? Damn it, everything is falling apart. 

Vegetable prep

Vegetable prep

Food processor speeds up the process

Food processor speeds up the process

But in reality it isn't. It's just traffic and yes, it's frustrating but it's just part of life. I would often whip out the "why is this happening to me?" question when I know very well it's happening to everyone everywhere and certainly not just to me. It's fascinating how even the slightest disruption in routine can unravel a person that quickly.

But a good thing that came out of this hour back up, is finding a shortcut to this recipe. I realized I would be able to simplify things by tossing everything into the processor and pulsing a few times. Voila! 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time 25-30 minutes 
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

For Cauliflower Rice which you can make ahead:

  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp ghee or avocado oil

For sausage fry up:

  • 1 lb Italian sweet or spicy sausage
  • 1 red pepper cut into large pieces
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced 
  • 1" knob ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp coconut Aminos
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped scallions - green part only
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 cups caulirice

Equipment

  • food processor
  • medium frying pan - preferably non stick 
  • large frying pan (I use cast iron)
  • lemon zester/cheese grater

Directions

cauliflower florets 

cauliflower florets 

For cauliflower rice: You can make this ahead. Cut cauliflower in half and discard green leaves. Cut into smaller sections and pick only florets and add to food processor. Pulse a few times until you have rice like consistency. 

Heat medium pan over medium heat and add oil or ghee. Add caulirice and cook for 8-10 minutes until softened but not soggy, stirring occasionally. Set aside

processed cauliflower 

processed cauliflower 

ghee plus cauliflower makes for delicious caulirice

ghee plus cauliflower makes for delicious caulirice

For Sausage Fry-up

veggie fry 1.jpg

Heat non-stick pan and add 2 tbsp avocado oil. Beat eggs with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Scramble and cook for 2-3 minutes until done. Set aside.

Preheat large frying pan. Remove sausage casings and add sausage to pan. Break up into small pieces. 

veggie fry.jpg

Meanwhile, add red pepper, onion and carrot to food processor. Pulse a few times until veggies are broken up into small pieces but not completely processed. 

Once sausage is brown and cooked through, remove from pan and add veggies. If you want to add additional avocado oil, you can. Next, add salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos and cook for 5 minutes. 

Add sausage, egg, caulirice, cilantro and cook for an additional 10 minutes. In the last minute, add the scallions. Serve with additional fresh chopped cilantro. 

veggie fry 3.jpg

 

 

 

 

sweet potato toast with egg and avocado

Once upon a time, I used to be scared of eggs. You know you were too...convinced that having more than 2 eggs a week may just stop your heart. Thanks to research and education, we now know that eggs are not going to kill you. Everyone ahhhhh. Sigh of relief. 

So now, I eat a dozen eggs a day. No, I'm kidding, but I eat eggs the way I used to growing up; with regularity and zero guilt or worry. In fact, I've become a bit of an egg snob. 

eggs_.jpg

I've been buying free range eggs for years, as I'm convinced they not only taste better but nutritionally are far better than regular, Plus there is the ethical part. There's something about knowing that an animal is not being held in confinement that just makes me feel more at peace with eating animal products. While free range eggs are more expensive, I do feel they're worth the money. 

A few months ago, I've upped the ante and started buying eggs directly from the farm. I'm lucky to have one not too far from me that sells free range, organic, unpasteurized eggs. The whole experience of actually going to the farm and getting eggs, is one I look forward to and one my children equally enjoy. 

You certainly don't need farm fresh eggs for this recipe but if you're lucky enough to have one near by, I promise, you'll notice a difference.

A favorite way of using eggs, is by adding them to sweet potato toast. It took me a bit to jump on board the sweet potato toast train but I'm happy I did. This breakfast/brunch/lunch is quick to do, requires few ingredients and will provide lasting energy until the next meal. 

sweet potato slices

sweet potato slices

  • Prep time: 2-5 minutes
  • Total cooking time: 10
  • Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 4 organic free range eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: sprouts
  • optional: Dr. Cowan's Garden Veggie powder - you can buy it here

Equipment

  • Frying pan (preferably one that's nonstick or ceramic coated)
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Oil brush
eggs 1.jpg

Directions

Cut sweet potato into thin large slices. Brush with olive oil on both sides, lay them on a plate and microwave on high for 1.5 minutes per side. Carefully remove, place in toaster and toast twice on the highest setting until fully cooked and slightly crispy. 

Meanwhile, add avocado oil to pan and fry your eggs to desired consistency. 

To plate, add avocado to sweet potato toast, layer egg on top and finish with salt, pepper, veggie powder and sprouts. Enjoy! 

roasted butternut squash soup

I truly love fall. Especially fall soups. This one, I created back in 2007, when I first started toying around with cooking. It still is one of my favorite recipes of all time and a go to in cooler weather. I've made it more than probably any other recipe.

squash, apple, sweet potato, thyme, onion and garlic

squash, apple, sweet potato, thyme, onion and garlic

One year, my office decided to hold a Thanksgiving potluck. Despite some trepidation, I decided I would join in on the cooking and not just on the eating. The idea of people critiquing my food felt quite uncomfortable but decided to pitch in despite these feelings. 

So the day in question arrives. The night before, I made an enormous batch, brought my crock pot to the office and was eager for my co-workers to try it. While busy tasting everyone else's food, I didn't initially have any of soup. Eventually though, decided to see how it tastes outside of my own kitchen. To my utter amazement it was disgusting. I mean truly nauseating. The kind where you take one bite and quickly look for a private area to spit. What really came through was a meaty, somewhat greasy taste. It was mortifying. Could I have gotten it that wrong? My coworkers must have been repulsed, thinking me a horrible cook. How could this be? I did taste it at home and recall it being quite good. In that moment, I vividly remember the utter horror, embarrassment and the strong urge to take my crock pot and run. 

veggie prep

veggie prep

Then, while busy berating myself, mouth full of turkey, I realized what had happened. Someone decided to use my ladle for GRAVY and nonchalantly set it back in the soup. And not only did this take place once but I actually witnessed it happening over and over. I wanted to shout it from the top of my grey cubicle that I DID NOT SCREW THIS UP, it was THEIR fault, they sabotaged my soup!

squash soup 2.jpg

Since, I have forgiven these people... sort of. Actually, I can't remember who they are and can't even say with certainty that they're still around. But hell, this recipe is good and I've made it dozens of times. So give it a shot and let me know what you think. And for god's sake, don't get gravy anywhere near it. 

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes 
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes total
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 dry) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt (you can always add more later)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I like this one
  • optional: pumpkin seeds and additional thyme 

Equipment

  • Roasting pan
  • Large soup pan
  • Food processor or blender
  • Foil or parchment paper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and cut all veggies and add to lined roasting pan (leave garlic clove whole). Add thyme, avocado oil, salt and pepper and toss everything together. Roast for 25 minutes tossing once half way through. 

Meanwhile, add broth to soup pan and start heating it. Once vegetables are finished roasting, remove garlic clove and discard, add all veggies to broth along with ginger and curry and simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Scoop vegetables only into food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly add a little broth at a time until you reach desired consistency. I like my soup thick. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and if you wish, additional fresh thyme. 

butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds

butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds