Avocado Dill Pasta Salad

This recipe started off as a way to use up some fresh dill that wasn’t my favorite egg salad and somehow ended up morphing into a riff of an old Summer family favorite: seafood salad. Which I can’t believe I haven’t shared a recipe with y’all for yet. I c-r-a-v-e it every tomato season.

The original (to my family at least) salad included Krab, shrimp, hard boiled eggs & lots of mayo. Sometimes, depending upon which Aunt got a wild hair, chopped up bits of lettuce. Which is weird, but good.

Anyways. I gave myself an aversion to fake crab my first Summer out of high school (reminder, kids: check your expiration dates), so that was out. I swapped with flaked salmon but kept the shrimp in this version; I also sadly forgot the egg until I was eating trying to figure out what was missing. I was also wanting a little more mustard punch, so adjust yours as necessary.

And a note on seasoning: I happen to love this salad with way too much pepper and salt, because that’s how my family usually served it. This recipe includes a normal amount of each (depending on how HAM you go with the cracked pepper); I had to go back twice for more after the salad hit the fridge.

gluten-free, pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan with substitutions

Avocado Dill Pasta Salad

Dressing:

1 avocado (mine was small and I could have gone for more)

2 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salad:

4 – 6 cups pasta of choice (I used rice spirals)

15 cherry tomatoes

1 smallish cucumber (about 2/3 cup chopped)

1 smallish bell pepper (about 1 cup chopped)

2 – 4 stalks celery (about 3/4 cup chopped)

1/2 shallot, minced

2 scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. celery seed (if using celery salt instead, you may not need to salt the salad – taste, taste, taste)

Loads of fresh cracked black pepper

Salt

Shrimp (I used 13 medium), peeled, cooked & chopped (optional)

Krab, crab or salmon (also optional)

2 – 3 Tbsp. your favorite mayo (optional)

Start you pasta boiling according to package directions, taking care to salt the water. When almost done, chuck your shrimp in to cook. Drain and set aside.

Pull the shrimp and chop. Add to a large bowl.

Chop the cucumber, bell pepper, celery, scallion and parsley. Add to the big bowl.

Mince the shallot and add. Halve the tomatoes and add those too. Add the celery seed.

In a blender or food processor, blitz all dressing ingredients until smooth. If you want your dressing a little runny, add more water until desired consistency is reached. Mine turned out a bit thick, which I liked, but I ended up adding 2 – 3 Tbsp. Kewpie mayo to the salad to loosen it a bit.

Add the cooled-ish pasta and dressing to the bowl. Mix well to combine. Hit with a bunch of pepper. Taste. Add more salt, lemon juice or some mayo to finish off.

Stash in the fridge for a bit to chill and let the flavors get acquainted.

Serves 4 – 6 for a meal or more if a side

Thai-Style Red Curry

Finally! I’ve been trying to make a silky, luxurious feeling Thai-style red curry for a minute and keep screwing something up. Either I don’t let it reduce long enough, or I drown the flavors some how – or I forget a key component like curry paste or coconut milk.

This go round, I forgot to pick up coconut milk. I swear my kitchen eats the stuff. I’ve lost like 3 cans of it in the last few months. But, with a last-minute grocery trip I was all ready to go. Whoo. I’m glad I was, too – this is a good one.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Thai-Style Red Curry

1 can coconut milk

Veggie, fish or chicken stock (1 of the empty coconut milk cans’ worth)

2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste

2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. soy sauce/coconut aminos

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled to reveal the soft center – mince 1 and whack the other with the back of your knife to release its flavors while cooking

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

2 Thai red chilis (optional), minced

1.5 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped

3/4 cup chopped okra

2 Tbsp. minced basil

Minced smoked salmon (optional)

Rice to serve

This is a simple slow-cooker dump meal. Prep all ingredients and dump into your cooker (minus the salmon, basil and green parts of the scallions). Cook however you would make a stew.

When complete, add to a saucepan and simmer until reduced a bit and silky. Serve over rice, topped with the green parts of the scallion and chopped basil.

Serves 4

Salmon Soba Salad

This makes a nice little Summer dinner. It’s low fuss, can be eaten cold or room temperature, and dressed a bunch of different ways. As pasta salads can.

Gluten-free, pescatarian

Salmon Soba Salad

1 package soba noodles

2 salmon fillets

4 – 6 ounces watercress or microgreen

1/4 cup chives, snipped

1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin

Dressing

Juice of 1 lime

1 medium cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons or diced

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. sriracha

Marinade

2 tsp. gochujiang

2 tsp. honey

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

Combine the marinade ingredients. Marinate the fish 30 mins – an hour. Discard marinade and bake or sauté the fish until your desired done ness is reached. I pan sautéed mine until medium with nice and crispy skin. Do watch the fish; your marinade has honey in it so it is like to burn. Mine did a bit, but it was still delicious.

While your fish is working, whisk the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.

Cook your soba according to package directions, drain and set aside, adding a scant sprinkle of sesame oil and tossing quickly to avoid the noodles sticking together while they sit and cool. If you want your salad cold, chill in the fridge.

Dice and mince the cucumber and herbs. Add to the bowl. Add the micro greens. Add the noodles. Toss to combine.

To serve, plate up a bowl of noodle salad, topped with thick batons of fish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 2

Orange Salmon

This recipe is unabashedly stolen from a (mostly) Internet friend, who daily sets his sights on making the rest of us in our little corner of the (virtual) world drool.

Gluten-free, pescatarian

Orange Salmon

2 salmon fillets

1-2 cups cooked rice

1 cup snow peas

1 orange

1 thumb + 1 thumb ginger

1 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (the original recipe called for mirin, but I can’t get that where i live)

1 Tbsp. honey

2 cloves garlic

1 green onion

Sesame seeds

Mix together the soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. sesame oil, rice vinegar and honey. Grate and stir in the garlic and 1 thumb ginger.

Brush the mixture over your salmon and place skin side up on a prepared baking sheet.

Broil 3 – 5 minutes, flip, baste, and broil another minute or two – until your desired done ness is reached.

While the salmon is working, bring the other Tablespoon of sesame oil up to medium-high in a large pan. Add the snow peas in and toss. Grate the second thumb of ginger in and toss. Zest the orange and toss in.

Sauté until browned in spots. Remove.

Supreme the orange and slice each segment into thirds.

To serve, toss the rice with the segmented orange. Thinly slice the green onion and toss in.

Arrange the rice mix in a bowl, top with a bed of snow peas, and a salmon filet. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the whole lot.

Serves 2 for dinner

Hummus Salmon with Relish

This was one of those providential recipes that just sort of fell together. I was craving a bright salad – where I live, cucumber/tomato salad is ubiquitous – my auto-pilot has Asian flavors on the brain – and I had half a tub of premade hummus that needed using up. And past-me was smart and put two salmon fillets in the freezer. Go, past-me. Thanks for looking out.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Hummus Salad with Relish

First, start the salmon:

1 salmon fillet per person (defrosted if frozen)

Red chili powder

Cumin powder

Salt & pepper

Pat the salmon dry, dust with spices on both sides and pan sautee in a couple spritzes neutral oil until your desired doneness is reached. We like a nice medium.

While the salmon is working, make the relish:

1 medium cucumber, chopped

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 ounce pickled ginger, minced

2 tsp. sriracha

2 Tbsp. coconut aminos

Juice of 1 lime

I scallion, minced

Combine all relish ingredients and let sit.

To serve:

Leftover rice cooked in chicken stock (I had a mixture of basmati and wild rice I’d made a few days before)

3-4 Tbsp. hummus per person

To assemble, line the bowl with a generous smear of hummus. Top with the rice, lay the fish on top of that and spoon some relish over the whole shebang.

Makes enough relish for 4; the rest is up to you

Chili Tuna Fried Rice

This pantry-friendly fried rice is quick enough for a weeknight meal (for when the world gets back to working outside the home), and makes a great lunch the next day if there are leftovers.

Gluten-free, pescatarian

Chili Tuna Fried Rice

1.5 cups leftover cooked rice (I used sushi rice)

1/3 cup frozen shelled edamame

1/3 cup frozen cut green beans

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. sambal olek

1 green onion, sliced

1/2 can chili tuna in oil, drained

Add your neutral oil to a large pan over high heat. When it shimmers, add the frozen veggies and green onion. Stir fry until no longer frozen and starting to look cooked.

Add the rice and tuna. Continue to stir fry until the veggies begin to brown.

Make a well in the center of the rice mixture and crack the eggs in. Let sit until the bottom is firm, then scrape up, folding into the rice mix.

Add the coconut aminos, fish sauce and sambal. Stir quickly to combine.

As written, serves 2 for dinner

Grapefruit Salsa Salmon

This is a quick, light meal perfect for the heat of Summer or when you’ve had enough of feeling locked in a dark Winter and need a little sunshine on your plate.

Gluten-free, Paleo, pescatarian, Whole30

Grapefruit Salsa Salmon

4 salmon filets
1/4 c. coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sriracha (check your labels)
1 inch ginger, grated
4 squirts garlic oil
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice

First, prep the ingredients above to form a marinade. Marinate the fish for 3 – 6 hours.

When it’s time to cook, pull the fish, pat dry and sautée over medium-high with a little oil until your desired doneness is reached.

To make the salsa, combine:

1 grapefruit, supremed
1 orange, supremed
1.5 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 small limes
1 inch ginger, grated
Generous sprinkle cumin
Salt & pepper

Serve with slices of avocado, roasted mixed potatoes and a squeeze of lime.

Serves 4

One-Pan Honey Mustard Salmon

Is there anything more satisfying than only dirtying one cooking implement for dinner while spending minimal time actually cooking?

Yes, but this is pretty dang rewarding too.

Especially if you’re a dork 🙂

This meal serves 2 with a little left over, comes together in under an hour, and can be dressed a bunch of different ways depending on what you have on hand.

For instance, you may notice some decidedly non-broccolini green stuff on my plate that isn’t in the recipe. That’s because I had a literal hand full of snow peas that needed using up, so I threw them in. Feel free to do the same, just note that if you have something like a carrot that takes forever to cook, you might want to add that in with the potatoes rather than the greens.

Also good to note: the sauce on this dish isn’t the overly sweet, sticky sauce I generally think of when I think ‘honey mustard’ (you know, like the radioactive yellow dressing from a ton of US restaurants that comes straight from Sysco central processing. Which I love in memory theory). This sauce is light and delicate with just a hint of sweet.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

One-Pan Honey Mustard Salmon

Baby potatoes
Salmon
Broccolini
Oil, salt & pepper
2 large cloves garlic
2 tsp. grainy mustard
2 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. butter

Preheat your oven to 200c (400f) and prep a baking sheet with foil.

Arrange your baby potatoes in a single layer in one third of the pan. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. of your favorite oil, salt & pepper and toss.

Bake 20 mins.

Add your broccolini to the other third of the pan, toss with 2 tsp. oil & salt and pepper.

Bake 10 minutes.

While that is baking, mince the garlic and add with the honey, mustard & butter to a heat-proof vessel. Zap until the butter is melted and stir.

Add the salmon meat side down to the middle, sprinkle with 1 tsp. oil + salt & pepper, slather in sauce, flip and repeat.

Sprinkle any remaining sauce over everything else.

Bake 5 mins, flip, and broil if you have the ability an additional 2-3 minutes to crisp that skin up a bit.

Viola.

Serves 2 for dinner with a little left over.

Paleo Poke Bowls

Mmmmm… poke. This is a dead simple choose your own adventure kind of dinner – the kind of thing I’m making a lot lately, since I’m back to eating low carb and DH is craving rice to fuel his workouts.

Gluten-free, paleo, Keto if you make it Keto

Paleo Poke Bowls

Fresh salmon or tuna, chopped bite-sized
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
4 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Toppings

Sliced avocado
Shredded purple cabbage
Julienned carrots
Chopped cucumber
Minced ginger
Lime juice
Chopped pineapple
Sliced scallions
Chili garlic paste
Furikake

Base

Zoodles, rice, lettuce or steamed and chilled broccoli

Marinate the fish in the next 5 ingredients while prepping the toppings.

To serve, top X with X and fish. I laid out a plate of toppings + bowls of zoodles & rice for an interactive choose-your-own bar. Enjoy.

Keto Sushi

Ha! Finally! Keto sushi! I have no idea where exactly I saw a version of this recipe, but I do remember I was deep in a Pinterest recipe hole at 3am while I couldn’t sleep one night. Go, night cravings me. I didn’t think keto sushi was a thing unless it involved cream cheese and cauliflower rice.

You can make these however you want – I’d say the only “must” is avocado, but mostly because I love avocado and without it these would not be filling in the slightest. I made 2 rolls for my dinner, and could have eaten double happily. But then again, much like Homer Simpson, I can lay waste to some seafood.

Gluten-free, paleo, keto

Keto Sushi

Nori sheets (1 per roll)
Avocado, sliced into thin strips
Fresh fish of choice (I had salmon on hand), sliced into thin strips
Julienned kimchi
Julienned bell peppers
Julienned green onions

To assemble

  1. Place the nori shiny side up on a bamboo sushi mat or piece of parchment paper.
  2. Place your fish down about half an inch from the edge facing you.
  3. Add your other ingredients in a strip – I did a double-wide strip – fish in a quarter-inch thick slice topped with avocado then pepper and scallion with kimchi on top.
  4. Wet the edge closest to you with a finger dipped in water.
  5. Roll the damp raw edge over the fillings.
  6. Roll the edge of the mat (or paper) over the roll and push back with your hands to compress into shape.
  7. Slowly roll the mat (or paper) away from you while compressing to form the roll.
  8. Wet the far edge with a finger dipped in water.
  9. Seal by rolling the sushi over the edge and pressing a bit to stick.
  10. To slice, dip your sharpest (non-serrated) blade in water and pull through the roll quickly, taking care not to mash. My first cut was a hot mess – with subsequent cuts, I started on the far side and sliced towards myself. Which I’m sure offends some sort of sushi gods, but so probably does kimchi and zero rice. I have not yet been haunted.