Avocado Mango Salsa on Salmon and Coconut Rice

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Swap out 2 cups of water for a can of coconut milk next time you make rice. Oh my heavens, best thing ever. It’s such a nice compliment to the fish and sweet hot salsa. We ate the leftover rice with cinnamon and whole milk for breakfast the next day and it was wonderful then, too.

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This salsa was the result of a box of mangos I picked up from Costco. I made it twice in one week, it was such a hit. The first time, I used more avocado, the second, I added cilantro. It’s a flexible recipe. Play with it. I used it as a topping for a steak salad for lunch and ate some on corn chips. It’s a fresh burst of flavor and you’ll find yourself finding all sorts of ways to eat it. Leave the jalapeno out of some for the sensitive palates (ie 3 year olds) and you’ll keep everyone happy. I served it with a side of curry roasted carrots. Nom.

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The fish wasn’t anything special, but I needed the protein and this salmon had more flavor than tilapia or sole, though both of those would work well, too. I baked the fish in a bit of olive oil and lemon under foil at 350 for 12 minutes. Easy.

It’s a quick dinner, but certainly not boring. Perfect for summer, perfect for kids, perfect for patio dining.

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Avocado Mango Salsa
Adapted from Allrecipes here and here

Ingredients:
2 mangoes – peeled, seeded and diced
1 Tbs white sugar
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 tsp salt

Instructions:
Mix together the mangoes, sugar, vinegar, cilantro, jalapeno and salt. Gently fold in the avocado and serve.

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Asparagus Dijon Crustless Quiche

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I make these crustless quiches rather often as a delicious way to use up whatever leftover meat and veg are still in the fridge on a slow weekend morning. This one is a little special because it didn’t have anything to do with leftovers and really highlighted the asparagus in season. It’s such a short, blissful season when we can get local asparagus, and nothing says spring and gratitude for green better than the tender stalks.

I hate calling these crustless quiches, because I promise you won’t be thinking of the lack of crust when you eat a big slice. This is a healthier and simpler recipe than making a traditional pie crust cheese filled quiche to what is supposed to be a quick prep breakfast. Though, I hesitate to call it a frittata, because in my mind, a frittata is made specifically by starting to cook the whole thing on the stove and then finishing under the broiler in the oven. Perhaps one of these days I’ll make it that way just so I can stop calling it a crustless quiche.

But if you’ll pardon the name, the method of cooking couldn’t be simpler. Sure, it has to cook for a while, but that’s the perfect time to make a pot of tea and ease into the morning with a book or the paper. Just my sort of weekend.

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Asparagus Dijon Crustless Quiche

Ingredients:
6 oz canned boneless, skinless salmon, drained
1 Tbs butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1-2 Tbs grainy dijon mustard
1/2 cup whole milk
8 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter, onions, asparagus, and big pinches of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus and onions are soft. Remove from the heat and use a spoon to spread out the mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add dijon mustard, eggs, milk, and more pinches of salt and pepper. Whisk together until well combined.

Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus mixture in the cast iron. Bake until the eggs are set, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve.

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Catching Up

I’m preoccupied. My work is getting busier, my workouts are getting longer, my food is getting simpler, and I have new romantic diversions.

Is that a good enough excuse for why I’ve been neglecting this blog? I hope so. Also, the progress on my house seems to be picking up a bit, so I may be in my own brand new kitchen soon enough, making all sorts of complex delights. Until then, these days have been filled with super quick, pretty healthy, still yummy little meals. I’m eating more and more often. My strength, motivation, and weight were all plateauing and I decided to push through it, eating big and lifting big (well, compared only to myself). It’s amazing. I’m eating about 500-800 calories more a day now, doing some sprints and heavier lifts at the gym, and my weight has gone down while my quads and shoulders are starting to take shape. Not how women are usually told to diet and exercise, but maybe we’ve been told wrong for too long.

I’m rambling. Take this away: I’m happy. I’m eating a lot and feeling great. I’ll try to eat more interesting food and take better pics to share soon. Promise. Until then, here’s a sampling of the simple:

Honey mustard roasted carrots. Perfect accompaniment to beef especially. Aurelia couldn’t get enough.

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This has been a lovely stand in when I want something other than my usual meat, guac, and egg for breakfast while still being meat, guac, and egg. I suppose salmon patties aren’t “meat” particularly, but it’s a lean shot of protein to start the day with. Rich, runny egg yolk on the cold guacamole, topped with smoked paprika. Ahhh. So delicious.

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Chicken apple curry, eaten in a variety of ways for few happy days. Especially wonderful scrambled with my morning eggs and spinach, or cold over spring greens with guacamole, or hot and mixed up with spaghetti squash and a twist of fresh parsley. Terribly versatile, well spiced and balanced with the sweetness of apple and caramelized onions. Oh, my.

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Jalapeno lime green beans. Another awesome veg side. Just enough kick to make them stand up to anything. I like them especially limey and paired with chicken green chile tamales.

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Baked Salmon with Lemon Dijon Sauce

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This is such a classic combination, it hardly warrants any commentary from me. It’s a simple vinaigrette and I think baking salmon in a sauce this way is the easiest way to get a juicy, flavorful filet with little effort. The flavors are perfectly suited to salmon and the fish can stand up to the might of lemon zest, garlic, and mustard. I served it on some garlic smashed potatoes from a rump roast dinner made the other night. Topped with plenty of fresh parsley, this is a filling and delightful meal with lots for your palate to take in. As usual, I made far too much, but I’m looking forward to lunches of cold salmon on greens and Aurelia can finish half a filet on her own in any sitting, smart girl.

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Baked Salmon with Lemon Dijon Sauce

Ingredients:
4-6 salmon filets
zest and juice of one large lemon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 small onion, finely sliced

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Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, mustard, honey, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. In a 9″x13″ baking pan, line up the salmon filets. Pour the sauce over the salmon and turn the salmon over to coat all sides before sprinkling the onions on top. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick the filets are. They should be light pink on the outside, but still hold a bit of bright pink in the center of the thickest part. Remove from oven when just done, plate with a scoop of onions and sauce, and serve hot.

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Cinnamon Curry Salmon Salad

This recipe includes staples I get from Costco that I think get the most bang for your buck in your food pantry: Canned salmon (or tuna) in a case of 6, the double bag of organic raisins, and the 5 pound bag of organic carrots. Easy to keep on hand, loaded with deliciousness and not much to frown at, and comparatively cheap. It’s hard to tell the size of the dish, but this salad was huge. I was hungry, but tracking my meals (as I only occasionally do) on FitDay, so I wanted to be good about dinner after accidently diving into some peanut butter with crackers mid afternoon. Approximate nutrition data for my mondo-cinnamon-curry-salmon-salad: 295 calories, 11 g. fat, 24 g. carbs, 22 g. protein. The best part: it’s not a traditional mayo slogged fish salad and the flavor combination is incredible! The cinnamon and curry bring an earthiness to the sweet of the raisins, contrasted with the sharp capers and lemon juice. It all works. Eat it on an enormous pile of greens and go for seconds.

Cinnamon Curry Salmon Salad
Adapted from Allrecipes
4 servings

Ingredients:
2 (6 ounce) cans water packed, skinned and boned wild salmon, drained and flaked
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbs capers, drained
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until use. Especially wonderful served on greens with roasted carrots and broccoli.