Tag Archives: salmon dinner

LUNCH FOR SEAN ! Quick & Easy Salmon Cakes with Rice or Greens (makes 6 cakes – serves 4-6) AND RACING IN MOAB, UTAH

My brother Seán ran his first race of the season this past Saturday: the 33k Red Hot in breathtaking Moab, Utah. Every year I am so jealous of him getting to run in what he describes as one of the most breathtaking trail course races in the United States that I vow I will run with him some day. Alas I didn’t make it again this year!!!

Mile 15

The beautiful Red Hot trail in Moab (Sean at mile 15)

I did the next best thing and spoke with him right before the race and then started a 7-mile run at the same time the gun went off in Utah. I picked a route we had run together when he last visited Pennsylvania so he could really visualize where I was and feel more connected.

Let's not forget the Salmon Cakes! (recipe below and not to be missed)

Let’s not forget the Salmon Cakes! (you can skip to the recipe if this running thing does not interest you!)

My brother is an Ultra Runner, one of those mad human beings that push themselves to the max in grueling long distance races (anything over official marathon distance of 26.2 miles is deemed an ultra race) making this event last Saturday a mere sprint, being only 19 miles!

Race Day

Race Day

Yes, he will disagree with that as he takes all his races seriously, but I have witnessed him run 100 miles so you can see my point! – (Read that story here). I suppose it is all relative and Saturday morning I tackled what I considered a respectable distance of 7 miles, and being that it was only 19 degrees in Snowy Pennsylvania, it felt like an Ultra to me.

The beautiful Red Hot trail in moab

Sean

This race is important to him because it is the race that got him hooked on long distance trail running and because it was the last race his friend Jenna was a part of six years ago. Jenna was a talented athlete and one of his biggest champions. She inspired him to believe in his ability to go the distance. Sadly Jenna is no longer with us in body but she is most certainly out there on the trail with Seán in spirit, and no where is that truer than when he is running on the red ground of Moab.

Jenna

🌷  Jenna 🌷

He ran his tough 19 miles on Saturday and as he analyzed his performance afterwards said, “I was as ready as I could have been”. He has run in many races at this point and his ritual is the same: he trains, builds himself up and sets goals, then he rallies everyone he loves around him because this is something he cannot mentally do alone. He brings us along in his head for company and when the going gets tough we are there to cheer him on. I know I was with him step for step as I made it up a few hills myself last Saturday and just thinking about him as I ran along made my snowy and bitterly cold run something I will remember.

one of my running routes in rural Pennsylvania

one of my running routes in rural Pennsylvania

The real test comes in September when he attempts to take on the 100-mile race that defeated him last year. (I was there and you can read about it HERE!). I plan to be there physically, and not just a conjuration in his head. And maybe for the Red Hot in Moab next year, I will be wearing a race number of my very own – all I can say is: “watch out Seán, here I come!”

After the race Sean and some freinds took a jaunt out to the back country - another reason for me to go to Moab next year!

             Kristi standing precariously by the precipice of a canyon!                   After the race Sean and some friends took an exploratory jaunt to the back country – another reason for me to go to Moab next year!

As for this recipe…Seán is always asking me for cooking ideas, especially something easy and good for lunch. And, since I love food as much as he loves 50-mile races, I was only too happy to come up with this salmon dish for him. It is dead simply to prepare, packed with protein and low in calories – a very good combination for any aspiring athlete.

Amazing little fish cakes

Amazing little fish cakes

This is made with canned Salmon and don’t knock it until you try it. I did a lot of research on canned Salmon and there are plenty of companies out there making quality products. It is super affordable and a life saver pantry ingredient. If you have no plans for dinner or lunch and you want something delicious in a hurry, then this is a recipe you will fall in love with. I made this recipe with optional variations. You can go Asian or more Italian depending on what you have available and on your mood.

Happy cooking Seán!

*This recipe is also perfect for Blood Type A Diet followers – omit the butter and capers if you are very strict*

*This makes 12 Salmon Cakes – If you are serving lass than that for this meal I suggest you make all twelve and freeze the remainder in a freezer bag. DO NOT FRY THE ONES YOU ARE FREEZING – FREEZE AFTER YOU FORM THE CAKES. They can be thawed and fried in a pinch – SO HANDY!!*

 You will need:

2 tbs unsalted butter (or olive oil if you do not want to or cannot use butter)

1 small red onion – finely diced

2 celery ribs with plenty of green leaves – diced

1/3 cup chopped parsley or chopped cilantro leaves (cilantro leaves are great if using soy sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce)

2 14 oz cans good quality canned salmon (if it comes with bones and skin as mine did – it is easily removed before adding to mixture)

2 1/2 tbs rinsed capers OR  3 tbs green or black olives – finely chopped (optional)

1 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce OR 2 tsp soy sauce (if you go with soy sauce, do not add any capers or olives)

1 tbs Dijon mustard (do not use if using soy sauce)

1 cup panko bread crumbs (these can be found in the International section of your supermarket or where the Asian foods are displayed)

2 eggs – slightly beaten

Method:

Fry the celery and red onion until softened

Fry the celery and red onion until softened

1 – Put pan on medium heat and fry the celery and onion for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

2 – In a large bowl add the salmon (making sure to remove the skin and bones first) and roughly mash and break it up using a fork. Add the parsley (or cilantro), capers or olives (if using), Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, egg and panko. Mix together with a fork and then add the celery and onions and mix everything together with a wooden spoon.

Make Salmon cake mixture

Make Salmon cake mixture

3 – Form the mixture into 12 cakes using your hands and place on a plate until ready to fry.

4 – Put pan or skillet on medium/high heat and when the pan has warmed up, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add 4 to 6 cakes to the pan and fry for about 4 minutes on either sides until browned on outside and heated through. Place on plate and keep warm in oven (180*) while you fry the rest of the cakes (adding more oil as needed).

I served these with a very simple savory Basmati Rice and some fresh spinach leaves but you can use anything you like. You can even put these atop a leafy salad or make them the star of a hearty sandwich.

Salmon cakes and savory rice

Salmon cakes and Savory Rice

The rice I made had some sautéed red onion and celery which highlighted some of the ingredients in the Salmon cakes. Cook the rice and then add your cooked veggies.

Blackened Asian-Style Salmon with Yummy Rice

This was another one of those dinners that was held together flavor-wise by my trusty bottle of soy sauce! Soy sauce is an all around champion in the kitchen if you want a big flavor but don’t want to spend any time trying coax it out of your main ingredients.

Serve

A Great, Fast & Easy Dinner

Take salmon for example…it’s not my most favorite fish in the world, and unless you whip it right off of your fishing line or get it when the boat comes in, I think a lot of the flavor gets lost by the time it is presented to you on a bed of crushed ice in the display case of your supermarket. This is why I always treat salmon to a robust dousing of something strong like soy sauce. Here I let it sit in a sweet and salty concoction and then cooked it fast on high heat.

It sealed in the flavors and gave every bite a crusty zingy taste which everyone raved about. The rice was the perfect partner and the zucchini soaked up the rest of the marinate like the absorbent sponge that it is – a totally yummy dinner which was enjoyed to no end the other night!

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*This is a great Blood Type A Diet Recipe with the main ingredients being beneficial (salmon, soy, onions, garlic) and the rest being neutral*

You will need:

4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz per piece)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin (find this in the Asian or international section of supermarket or specialty shop)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp finely granulated sugar

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 sweet onion

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

2 medium zucchini, diced

4 to 6 cups cooked basmati rice

Method:

*If you have leftover rice, take it our of the fridge ready for use. If cooking rice, do so first. For stove-top use two cups raw and follow package instructions. if using rice cooker, use 3-cup rice cup measure and follow instructions*

mix marinade

Mix marinade

1 – Mix the soy, mirin, sesame oil and sugar in a shallow bowl or dish and add the salmon. Turn a few times to coat and set aside in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

prep veggies

Prep veggies

2 – Chop veggies!

3 – Put large saute pan on medium to high heat and let the pan warm up. Add the oil and when it is hot, add the salmon, shaking off the excess marinade as you go (reserve marinade to be added later to the rice). The fish should be un-crowded, so if your pan is small, cook two at a time. Cook fish for about 4 minutes, disturbing as little as possible. Flip and cook for another 3 or so minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm on low heat in the oven.

fry salmon

Fry salmon

4 – Add a little more oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini and continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes.

saute veggies

Saute veggies

5 – Add the rice and when it is just hot, add enough of the leftover marinade to color the rice. Taste rice and add more marinate to suit you.

add rice

Add rice

Serve a piece of fish with a serving of rice. an optional garnish (not for blood type A’s or diary-free diets) of a dollop of sour cream is great here, with a splash of sriracha sauce.

garnish with sout cram & chili paste, topped of with a flourish of parsley

Serving option: Garnish with sour cream & chili paste, topped with a flourish of parsley (on its own or along with rice)

Baked Fish with Green (or Red) Salsa & Lemon Wedges (serves 6)

The great thing about fish is that you can make something good in a hurry. Besides fish, having a food processor to blend ingredients is also a labor-saving device that allows for a speedy dinner. I used both the fish and the food processor for last night’s dinner.

Salmon filet with a great green slasa

Salmon filet with a great green salsa

Have you ever found yourself in the supermarket in a daze wondering how to get dinner on the table fast without the compromise of grabbing something from the freezer section, or God forbid a can of soup! It is at times like this you have to take this sound advice from the Crappy Kitchen: cook fish!

This dinner was luxurious in every way all with no trouble on my part because of smart choices. I blended all the ingredients for a salsa, spooned it over my fish and into the oven for 13 minutes!

lots of peppers from my garden & from next door!

Salsa can be made with whatever hot pepper you have on hand

It left me free to get ready for the week ahead and still manage to serve something very delicious for dinner.

You can use any type of firm fish so it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The other great thing is that this can be made for an impromptu dinner party by any 10-year-old!

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You will need:

6 Firm fish filets (6 oz each), Cod, Salmon, Monk fish, Orange Roughy, Haddock, or any firm flaky fish

sea-salt

Freshly ground black pepper

for green salsa:

1 clove garlic (use 2 cloves if they are small)

1 poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded, and roughly chopped (any hot pepper will do)

4 or 5 scallions, whites and light green parts only, chopped

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped flat-leafed parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano

2 tomatilla, cored, seeded and roughly chopped (if you cannot find tomatilla, use plum or Roma tomatoes instead)

1 tsp sea-salt

1/3 cup water

1 tbs white wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

*You can also use a red salsa for the topping*

Slice 6 plum tomatoes in half and remove the flesh and dice. Put into a bowl with 2 tbs finely chopped red onion, 1  diced jalapeno, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves and 1 tbs of lime juice. Taste and add salt if you feel it needs it.

Method:

Preheat oven 350*

1 – Rinse and dry fish. Season with plenty of sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in an oiled heavy casserole (glass, enamel or metal will do). You may have to use two dishes.

season fish

Season fish

2 – Prep all of the veggies as instructed above.

Fresh parsley and an onion; great flavors

Prep all veggies for salsa

3 – Place all ingredients for salsa into your food processor and blend until smooth.

Blend all salsa ingredients

Blend all salsa ingredients

4 – Top each filet with a generous dollop of salsa and place in the oven until the fish is cooked (depending on the fish, but between 8 to 14 minutes).

Top fish with salsa adn place in oven

Top fish with salsa and place in oven

Serve with anything you like: on a bed of greens, with rice or on its own.

a squeeze of lemon is a lovely addition

A squeeze of lemon is a lovely addition

Make sure to have lemon wedges for generous squeezing. However, if you top with red salsa, a squeeze of lime works best.

fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro

Freshly chopped cilantro is also a nice touch.

Salmon (or other firm fish) With Onions & Spinach (serves 2 FAST!)

This is the ultimate feast as far as I’m concerned: fish, onions, spinach. It was a revelation to express so much flavor out of 3 ingredients with a minimal amount of effort on my part. The reason for this recipe was a purely selfish one. I have been cooking using guidelines for my blood type which has constantly come under fire as I also have to consider the rest of the people around the dinner table, family and friends alike.

Salmon With Onions & Spinach

Most nights I end up compromising to satisfy everyone, but the rest of the time I prepare two dinners. I know this seems crazy on the surface, but I have to confess at this time that not only is my blood type A, I also possess that “A Type” energy! Cooking several dishes at once does not really phase me, in fact I enjoy the feeling of total concentration and absorption in my little culinary tasks.

spinach

This dinner was perfect for my blood type (read Blood Type Diet Experiment at the top of my blog to learn more), and I made enough for two. Everything about this was lovely, from the sweet brothy onions, to the rich flavor of the meat. I wholeheartedly recommend this dish for everyone who wants to have fish for dinner.

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*This is a Blood Type A Beneficial Dish*

You will need:

2 or 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin (optional)

2  6oz salmon fillets (or another firm fish that is Blood Type A beneficial – Cod, monkfish, trout, whiting, carp, red snapper)

1 large sweet onion (Vidalia), cut into 1/2 moons or very large dice

2 sprigs fresh thyme(finely chopped, including stems)

4 cups spinach leaves

1 cup veggie broth (or chicken broth, which is neutral for type A’s)

1/2 tsp coarse-sea salt (or 1/4 tsp if salt is very fine)


Method:

1 – Put large saute pan on medium/low heat and add the oil.  When the oil warms, add the onions, salt, and thyme, and saute gently for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. While onions are cooking sprinkle cumin on both sides of the fish (if using).

saute onions

2 – Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the salmon, cover and cook for about 8 minutes.

add broth and seasonings, then fish

3 – Add the spinach and cover. Cook for a further 2 minutes (until the spinach wilts).

Add spinach

Divide between two bowls, giving each person equal portions of spinach, onions and broth.

Salmon with Perfume-y Green Beans and Escarole (serves 4)

Salmon with Perfume-y Green Beans and Escarole

All in all it was a very uneventful evening. The highlight was nothing to do with celebrating some special day or event, although at this point I have to say to someone who was not present “happy birthday Kevin!” and move on to tell you that the main attraction of the evening was the spectacular dinner. The only thing I knew for sure is that there was going to be salmon and after that it was a winging-it affair.

I pottered around in a large tin container I keep my spices in and came up with a combination I though would compliment the sweetness of the salmon. It turned out to be just that: a perfume-y sweetness that brought out the best in the veggies and fish.

Daisy Dude

Well, there was one funny thing I can relate. It is not just that the photo above is something that everyone will get all cute about. In fact, I am one of those people who detests cutie pictures of animals (especially if they are dressed up – yuck). 

Yes, I did take this picture, but the cat in it is not at all cute. Moments after taking this he scratched me on the ankle as I walked by (whilst growling). This is a cat who started hanging around about 3 or 4 years ago and we just let him stay. I admired his blatant arrogance, and general disdain for the world.

We all thought the cat was female and after going through all the flowers we know (all our cats have flower names), settled on Daisy. After about 6 months of her not leaving I decided I had better get her spayed. When I took her to the vet I found out it was in fact a neutered male, which probably accounted for the aggressive behavior, (he frequently catches bunny rabbits and eats their ears) After huge family discussions on a name change, we were all so used to the name Daisy we couldn’t see her, I mean him, as anything else: hence Daisy Dude! I have to say, it suits him to a tee, if only to soften his hard edge when we call him.

*This is a Blood Type A Diet Dish*

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You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

4  6oz salmon fillets

1 large sweet onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 head escarole, leaves separated, rinsed and roughly chopped

4 cups green beans, cut in the middle

3 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 1 good quality bouillon cube & 3 cups water)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground fennel seeds (smash in a mortar & pestle)

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of ground cloves

1 tsp sea-salt or smoked sea-salt (I used Smoked Maldon sea-salt flakes)

Method:

1 – Place large saute pan (with a lid) on medium heat and add the oil. When it has warmed add the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.

Saute onions & garlic

2 – Add green beans and continue to saute for another 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add green beans

3 – Add spices and mix well.

then spices

4 – Add liquid (broth or bouillon and water) and bring to a simmer. Add escarole. cover with lid and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

then escarole and broth

5 – Place salmon on top, cover and continue to cook until fish is done (about 6 minutes). Turn off heat.

Cook salmon on top

Serve as is (this is the way I had it) or add a carbohydrate such as rice, bread or pasta.

serve with anything you like (with tagliatelle for my daughter)

Salmon in Flavorful Sauce & Arugula with Soba Noodles (serves 2)

 This is another one of my Blood Type A dinners (see top of my blog for more information), but I would eat this no matter what blood type I happen to be!

Salmon with Flavorful Sauce with Arugula & Soba Noodles

It was comforting, savory, aromatic, and interesting all at the same time, and I devoured it. I was actually sorry I had not cooked this for the rest of the family. They missed out.

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You will need: 2 salmon fillets (6 oz each), 1 small red onion, diced, 2 cloves garlic, sliced, 1 medium carrot, diced, 1 cup arugula leaves, 1/2 tsp crushed fennel leaves, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped, 1/2 tsp turmeric, pinch of nutmeg, pinch ground cloves,  1/4 tsp sea-salt, 2 tsp all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups veggie stock (or, 1/2 good quality vegetable bouillon cube and 1 1/2 cups water), 4 oz soba noodles (buckwheat noodles).

1 – Put pot of water on for soba noodles and cook according to instructions. Rinse with lots of cold water and set aside.

2 – Put saute pan on med/low heat and add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

saute onions, carrots & garlic

3 – Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the salmon, and bring to a simmer.

Add spices, liquid & arugula

4 – Add the salmon, cover and simmer gently for 8 minutes or so.

add salmon, and cover to cook

5 – Add the cooked soba noodles and cook for another couple of minutes, until the noodles are completely warmed through.

start serving

Serve in warmed shallow bowls.

Salmon Simmered in Aromatic Broth with Soba Noodles (or penne) Serves 4

This was my most successful “Blood Type A” dinner to date (see top of my blog and click on “Blood Type A” for more info.).

The dinner that satisfied everyone!

The reason it was the best is because I managed to satisfy everyone’s tastes with one dinner, while sticking to my diet (and when I say diet, I mean the foods I can eat as opposed to the foods I am restricting). This is no easy task considering I cannot eat meat, all kinds of fish and shellfish, dairy and numerous vegetables and fruits!

how to dice bok choy ribs

I was feeling so sorry for myself until last night when I came up with this dish, and realized, I could certainly make food to devour, even if it didn’t have butter in it!

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You will need: 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 4 6oz pieces of salmon fillets, 1 red onion, diced, 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes (omit if sticking to type A diet), 3 bok choy ribs, white parts diced, green parts chopped, 1 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 tbs flour,1 good quality stock cube, crumbled, 2 1/2 cups water, sea-salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste, 8 oz soba noodles (buckwheat noodles).

1 – Prep everything before you begin. Put big saute pan (which has a lid) on medium heat. Add oil, and when it is warm, add onion, garlic and bok choy ribs. Cook for 10 minutes until it starts to get nice and soft.

saute onions

2 – Add crumbled bouillon cube, 1/2 tsp sea-salt, freshly cracked black pepper and flour. Stir into veggies until incorporated. Add the liquid, parsley and bok choy leaves, and cherry tomatoes. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

add tomatoes, greens & liquid

3 – Add fish, cover and continue to simmer for another 8 minutes.

* While this is going on, put water on for soba noodles. When it boils, cook the noodles according to instructions. When cooked, drain and rinse with plenty of cold water. Add noodles to pan to warm up.

all ready

Serve in shallow bowls, giving each person a piece of fish, noodles and plenty of rich green broth.

Serve with soba noodles (first photo) or penne pasta (above).