Salmon Cakes

by Sarah on May 22, 2015 · 0 comments

You’d think with my new Pinterest obsession, the inspiration for what to finally do with this random can of salmon in the pantry would have some from there.IMG_9010 (853x1280)

But you’d be wrong.*

*Sort of. I did consult the almighty pins during an interim period. And I had pinned this recipe.

IMG_9086 (1280x853)

The inspiration came from my Relay Foods newsletter, which, although I no longer live anywhere near the distribution area, still provides me with weekly e-mails of delicious meal plans.salmon cakes

Including these Salmon Cakes.IMG_9091 (1280x853)

I pretty much followed the recipe, but I made my own bread crumbs with toasted multigrain sourdough (good plan)…IMG_9029 (1280x852)

…and halved it, yet came away with 3/4 of the intended servings.IMG_9073 (1280x853)

I also added lemon juice, dill…and a secret ingredient.IMG_9055 (1280x853)

Apple!IMG_9036 (1280x853)

 (Because why not.)

IMG_9045 (1280x853)

Truth be told, the addition of all those flavors to the already very mild canned salmon made it likely that these could have been any type of fish cake you could guess.IMG_9060 (1280x853)

It didn’t stop me from devouring them, though.IMG_9071 (1280x853)

As for The Professor, he said they were “very moist,” and even called them burgers.IMG_9080 (1280x853)

Which, for the man who won’t even entertain the thought of eating Chicago style “pie” because it doesn’t resemble pizza, I guess that’s saying something (hopefully good)?

Salmon Cakes

[Makes 8 cakes]

Adapted from Relay Foods

  • 1 14.75-oz can pink salmon, drained, large bones and skin removed
  • 2 stalked celery
  • 1/4 Vidalia (or other sweet) onion
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper
  • 1/2 Gala apple
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. capers
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 3/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup homemade bread crumbs (or substitute crushed crackers or Panko)
  1. Using an electric chopper (or super finely chopping yourself), chop onion, bell pepper, celery, and apple.
  2. Saute vegetable mixture over medium heat until soft, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Combine salmon, vegetable mixture, and seasonings in a mixing bowl. Stir well with a fork to combine.
  4. Beat in egg to the mixture.
  5. Add bread crumbs in 1/4 cup increments until mixture can be formed into patties.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Sear patties on both sides.
  8. Transfer patties to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

There was a good week when I was eating kale salad as though my life depended on it.

IMG_8892 (1280x853)

(This was conveniently tied to a period of time when the anti-kale Professor was out of town.)IMG_20150509_072705_709

The consumption of kale covered in champagne vinaigrette had reached an all time high when I decided that the “dinosaur” kale I’d purchased from the Druid City Garden Project at the Farmers Market deserved some special attention.IMG_8849 (1280x853)

After an embarrassing amount of time searching for potential lacinato kale recipes, I realized that most of the dressings resembled the (highly addictive) Zesty Tahini dressing from Whole Foods that I’ve already attempted to recreate (and modify) before.IMG_8858 (1280x853)

This time, I took it to a whole new level.*IMG_8834 (853x1280)

*Mostly because I had just the perfect amount of almond butter left and that was so gratifying.IMG_8867 (1280x853)

The orange, the cranberries, the chia…just seemed right (for color pleasing purposes) at the time, but it was a close call between just adding a shake of hemp seeds and calling it a day.*

*I didn’t want to open the unopened Costco-sized bag, though, so…chia it was.IMG_8878 (1280x853)

I’m not saying I ate it all by myself.IMG_8868 (1280x853)

I’m saying I ate it all by myself in only two sittings.*

*Technically “standings” at the counter in the kitchen, but…

Kale Salad with Orange, Chia, & Almond Miso Vinaigrette

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 2 large oranges (you’ll want to eat pieces while you chop, I’m sure)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. yellow miso
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. orange juice (optional)
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Blend together all dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. Wash, de-stem, and chiffonade (or chop) kale.
  3. Peel, segment, and chop oranges.
  4. In a large salad bowl, combine kale and oranges.
  5. Toss salad with dressing.
  6. Sprinkle chia seeds on top.

So not all of the cauliflower ended up being drizzled with (or dunked into) avocado dressing or spicy “secret sauce.”IMG_8614 (1280x853)

Because when it’s summer, and motivation to work on that thing we call a PhD is low, why make up one recipe when you can make two?

IMG_8577 (1280x854)

Plus, this is a great way to treat Thai food obsession without ingesting massive quantities of coconut milk.

IMG_8583 (1280x853)

Although that is clearly still an optionIMG_8603 (1280x853)

Coconut Cauliflower Thai Curry (Soup)

(Makes 2 cups)

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 2-3 Tbsp. shredded coconut
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 tsp. green Thai curry past
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 2-4 Tbsp. almond or coconut milk (obviously the latter will intensify the coconut flavor)
  • fresh cilantro and basil
  • chopped peanuts
  1. Combine first five ingredients (cauliflower through ginger) in a medium pot.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat slightly, and continue to simmer/boil until cauliflower is tender.
  4. Using a good immersion blender (or a “real” blender), process cauliflower until smooth.
  5. Just before serving, stir in almond or coconut milk.
  6. Sprinkle generously with fresh basil, cilantro, and chopped peanuts!

NOTE: If you’d like to use this as a curry sauce to serve with veggies and rice, cook 4-6 cups of veggies in a medium saucepan (either saute or steam). Once tender to bite, pour sauce over top and cook until heated through. Serve over rice! (Don’t forget the herbs and peanuts!)IMG_8676 (1280x853)


There was something missing on my plate last night.*

*Aside from the crackers, “magic” peanut butter chocolate krispies bars, and pile of watermelon I also consumed.IMG_20150513_184454_868

Because before this kale salad could make it to the party, I’d eaten almost all of it.IMG_8924 (1280x853)Sure, between all of us, the inaugural “Book Club” (without books) ended up being a rather feast o’ salad.bookclubFB

But  my brilliant attempt to use the kale I had received from our neighbors two nights prior…IMG_8829 (1280x853)

…with the delicious inspiration for a nutty apricot and cheese-dusted kale concoction—proved to be just TOO brilliant I guess.

IMG_8920 (1280x853)

Maybe it was the vinaigrette made from canned apricots?IMG_8898 (1280x853)

Sure was sweet. Shame I couldn’t share. :) IMG_8901 (1280x853)

Kale Salad with Almonds, Pecorino, & Apricot Vinaigrette

  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 can apricot halves
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp (or more or less to taste) grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • smidge of Worcestershire (literally 2 drops)
  1. Blend together 4 apricot halves, 1 1/2 Tbsp. can syrup, garlic, ginger, vinegar, water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire for the Apricot Vinaigrette. Adjust ingredients as desired for taste and consistency.
  2. In a large bowl combine dressing and kale, tossing well to completely coat leaves.
  3. Drain and rinse remaining apricots. Quarter apricot halves.
  4. Just before serving, sprinkle kale with apricot sections, chopped almonds, and pecorino.

Something had to be done with the cauliflower.IMG_8548 (1280x853)

So, naturally, I took to my new obsession friend, Pinterest.pinterest

But, much like every encounter I have with Martha Stewart, I became a bit overwhelmed by the recipes I wanted to make.

There would be no coating of cauliflower with batter and oats. There would be no crispy sweet potato chips.

But I could season and roast.IMG_8620 (1280x853)

And I could make Spicy “Special Sauce” with yogurt instead of mayo.specialsauce

And it could still be delicious.IMG_8624 (1280x853)

Seasoned Crispy Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp. dried cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • salt + pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Coat cauliflower with cooking spray.
  3. Toss together cauliflower and seasoning in a glass baking dish, making sure seasoning is evenly distributed.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender to bite, but still crispy.
  5. Serve with Citrus Avocado and Spicy Yogurt “Special Sauce”

Spicy Yogurt “Special Sauce”

(Adapted from Dolly & Oatmeal)

  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. (or more) sriracha
  • 2 tsp. ground dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  1. Stir all ingredients together in a small dish.
  2. Enjoy!

NOTE: I’d also recommend getting jiggy preppy with it and adding a little green to that pink. Citrus Avocado Sauce tastes amazing with these flavors, too.IMG_8643 (1280x853)


A Tag Team Cinco De Mayo

by Sarah on May 7, 2015 · 1 comment

After couples women have babies, it’s pretty standard practice to want to bring over dinner to the new (or expanding) family to get a look at the adorableness of the baby help them out.

Usually this is just a “Hey, here’s your dinner. Great to see you. Now back to your new life!” type of thing.cincodetakethemameal

But when someone who loves Pinterest as much as you (now) do is the new mama AND your dinner night happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo…well, things quickly take a turn towards ‘party’ mode.PhotoGrid_1430917700780

Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that.IMG_8516 (1280x853)

Store bought salsa got a face lift with some previously frozen corn and fresh cilantro. (And saving that old salsa jar proved to be not such a ridiculous idea after all…)IMG_8522 (854x1280)

And SUPERCHUNK* guacamole was eaten made just before the dinner hour.

*Like the peanut butter…but, you know, not.IMG_8530 (1280x853)

I made Stepmama Smart’s “famous” cilantro slaw, and remembered to purchase some skirt steak at the farmers’ market on Saturday, but other than that, I think it was The Professor who did most of the actual on-site work.IMG_20150505_191138_357 (1280x720)

I will take credit for seasoning the shrimp and getting the off of the grill in time.

(And thank goodness there were five of us or I would have to also take credit for eating them all.)IMG_20150505_190657_850 (1280x1279)

I can NEVER take credit for being ruined always to any margarita that is not made by The Professor however.

So simple. So good. So easy to drink….IMG_20150505_184814_279

And somehow, the new mama we were supposed to be helping became her own hostess and even made the dessert: a Happy Birthday (one day early) peanut butter honey treat covered in dark chocolate.IMG_20150505_200912_451 (1280x720)

But hey, no one said you had to do it all by yourself. :) IMG_20150505_191039_668

Tag team dinner: it’s like pot luck, but with slightly more coordination.*

*Not the hand-eye type.



You don’t have to use spaghetti squash.IMG_8448 (1280x853)

You don’t have to use tofu.IMG_8463 (1280x852)

You really don’t even have to stir fry any vegetables at all.

IMG_8495 (1280x853)

 This sauce is one of my proudest, improvised, “let’s just see what happens” achievements. (And I want to drink it.)

IMG_8290 (853x1280)

One that I’ll never convince The Professor to try most likely, as it involves peanut butter.*IMG_8331 (1280x853)

*Oh the irony of a former peanut butter entrepreneur finding herself with a man who hates the stuff.

IMG_8296 (1280x854)

AND ketchup AND tofu AND spaghetti squash AND– in a least one incarnation–mushrooms.IMG_8309 (1280x853)

Total contraband.IMG_8490 (1280x852)

But more for me.IMG_8336 (1280x853)

Oh yes, (please) MORE for me.IMG_8481 (1280x853)

Pad Thai Peanut Sauce

(Modeled after Healthy Pad Thai from Paint and Tofu)

  • 4 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. chili paste (sambal oolek)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. peanut flour (or peanut butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • water, to taste and desired consistency
  1. Whisk together all ingredients until dissolved/smooth.
  2. Pour onto stir-fried veggies for last 3-5 minutes of cooking.

(Will store in fridge, with separation, for a few days.)IMG_8484 (1280x853)


I received free samples of California Dried Plums mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Dried Plum Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.IMG_8369 (1280x853)

When The Recipe Redux announced it’s latest contest, partnering with the California Dried Plum Board for National Osteoporosis Month and the “No Bones About It” Challenge, to promote good bone health enhanced by adding dried plums to your diet–reciperedux_plums

–I was first excited simply to receive a whole bunch of snack sized samples of California dried plums*–

IMG_8355 (1280x853)

*Prunes by any other name (would smell taste as sweet).IMG_8361 (1280x853)

–but then found myself finally having the perfect opportunity to recreate an edamame side dish I’d been thinking about ever since my trip to Anna Maria Island in the fall (and lunch at The Waterfront Restaurant).

IMG_8341 (1280x853)

What I remember most about the salad was how surprising it was. I always associate edamame with Asian food, but here was a Mediterranean twist, featuring basil and feta.IMG_8363 (1280x855)

The original had dried cranberries, but I wanted to try for a slightly sweeter take–although a little vinegar and lemon juice keep the salad just tart enough–and when I went out to pick some basil, thought, why not add a little mint, too?IMG_8343 (1280x851)

Because of the plumpness of the dried plums, you don’t even need to add oil: combined with the creaminess of the feta, there is plenty of flavor to coat and hold everything together.IMG_8370 (853x1280)

I like to eat this much as I did its cousin–by the spoonful. However, it would be great alongside any grilled meats, as part of a salad plate, or even served with chips, like a dip!

IMG_8377 (1280x853)

Dried Plums: They’re not just for octogenarians anymore.IMG_8378 (1280x853)

Edamame & California Dried Plum Salad with Feta, Mint, & Basil 

Serves 4-8

  • 1 16-oz. package frozen shelled edamame
  • 4 oz. California dried plums
  • 3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  1. Steam edamame in the microwave according to package directions. Allow to cool.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together edamame, plums, vinegar, and lemon juice.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in basil, mint, and feta, just until well incorporated.
  5. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

An InLinkz Link-up


When In Portland…

by Sarah on April 28, 2015 · 3 comments

…immediately don your plaid, fleece, and (corduroy) Toms.

Live the stereotype.IMG_20150422_123659

…drink locally roasted Stumptown Coffee, and marvel over the fact that you can stir soy milk and stevia (never on the counter in Alabama) into your cup with a REAL spoon.IMG_20150422_094752

…and then find the nearest Whole Foods.IMG_20150422_082124_976 (720x1280)

Because, Whole Foods.IMG_20150422_082219_076 (1280x721)

When in Portland, sample ALL the local granola from the bulk bins…IMG_20150422_095835_988 (1280x720)

…drink as much local kombucha as possible…IMG_20150424_140906_020 (1280x720)

…and learn new words.IMG_20150425_225432

When in Portland…discover that the farmer’s market is reason enough to visit the city, and that your entire way of eating would change if you lived there–IMG_20150425_121713

—and not just because there are entire restaurants that are vegan.IMG_20150425_125649_974 (720x1280)

When in Portland…catch up with someone you haven’t seen in 13 yearsIMG_20150425_142400

—over an Urban Bowl–kale, sea veggies, carrots, avocado, seeds and such–with lemon ginger sauce at just such a restaurant.IMG_20150425_153320

When in Portland… make sure to bring along an adventurous friend…IMG951846

…with whom you can share a plate of smoked trout and accoutrements at Tasty N AlderIMG_20150423_072135

–and a magical beef burger that would make anyone question vegetarianism.IMG_20150423_071607

When in Portland...drink the best cocktail you’ve ever had in your life at Kask.


Seriously. Molasses rum and ginger beer? That’s my kind of dark and stormy night.IMG_20150422_184655_079 (1280x720)

When in Portland…why stop at cocktails? Have one of the best meals of your life as well.IMG_20150423_200557

Combining Tom Yum and pho? I mean…IMG_20150423_201212

…how was I NOT going to slurp up every last drop?IMG951830 (600x800)

When in Portland…don’t forget why you’re there!IMG_20150425_073022_243 (1280x718)

[...but even if you ARE there for a conference, you can still rock your Toms. :) ]IMG_20150422_144608_240 (721x1280)

When in Portland…marvel over the fitness center in your hotel–IMG_20150422_065129

—and overcome the lack of a continental breakfast by packing plenty of LOVE (Grown Foods) in your suitcase.IMG_20150424_083037

Speaking of love, when in Portland…fall in it.IMG_20150424_125936

(With the city itself, not just  the fact that you can drink an almond milk latte with house made fleur de sel caramel syrup while studying for your Certified Health Education Specialist exam.)


So, maybe last week (or whenever it was I posted the Spicy Tomato Basil Kasha recipe) you were thinking, “WTH, Sarah? KASHA? Where did THAT come from?IMG_7813 (1280x853)

Well, it came from these dry, roasted buckwheat kernels, but that’s beside the point, really.IMG_7752 (1280x853)

You see, I’d been going through my pantry as a part of Recipe Redux‘s April “Spring Cleaning,” and after a vigorous search and organize endeavor-after which my cabinets look shockingly the same as the did before*-I settled on the tub of kasha that I used to use often when making protein pancakes.


But then I was so excited about my spicy shrimp version that I couldn’t wait to post it. So I needed something elseIMG_7990 (1280x852)

Good thing what I never knew was that one small scoop of kasha is one giant leap for mankind fluffy finished product….so I had leftovers.IMG_7957 (1280x853)

I tried to tie in the natural, hearty flavor of the kasha–if you don’t like the taste of buckwheat, you may not like this–with some baby bella mushrooms, brightened up with lemon and dill to help us transition into spring.IMG_7973 (1280x853)

Or maybe I’m just obsessed with the local asparagus and those seemed to accentuate its flavor.

IMG_7968 (1280x853)

The Parmesan was because, well…Parmesan.IMG_7998 (1280x853)

It’s pretty easy–and if you DO like buckwheat, you ought to start experimenting with it, too. It takes 10 minutes to cook, and is as easy as cooking couscous.

Plus, you get a LOT for one serving. And we all love that.IMG_7975 (1280x853)

(Though it’s not like I didn’t just shove the tub of kasha right back where it was in my cabinet. I’ll get to that whole “cleaning” thing another day.)

IMG_8003 (1280x853)

Lemon Dill Kasha with Mushrooms & Asparagus

(Serves 2)

  • 1/2 cup dry kasha (roasted buckwheat)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped spring onion (or scallions, white parts only)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. baby bella or white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup asparagus pieces (about 1″ long)
  • juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tbsp.)
  • 2-3 tsp. dill
  • 1 tsp. stone ground Dijon mustard
  • salt + pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

Cook kasha:

  1. Bring 1 cup water to boil.
  2. Add kasha.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  4. Cook 10 minutes.
  5. Remove lid.
  6. If water remains, continue cooking until it has absorbed or evaporated.

Cook mushrooms and asparagus:

  1. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and chopped asparagus to the pan.
  3. Cook until mushrooms are soft.
  4. Add lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper,stirring well to combine.

Finish the dish:

  1. Stir cooked kasha into mushroom and asparagus mixture.
  2. Add Dijon mustard, stirring well.
  3. Cook 3-4 minutes, until heated through.
  4. Remove from pan and put onto serving dish.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  6. Serve!