Sometimes I get caught up on coming up with unique recipes for this blog, that I get away from the real deal food I eat on a daily or weekly basis. Not today.
This meal right here is pretty much our go-to Monday night meal, especially this time of year when we're in the peak of wild salmon season. It's feel good food that is easy to make and hits all the right notes of flavor and health to makes this one of my favorite at home. A great dinner for just the two of us.
Since I post mostly vegan and vegetarian recipes on this blog, I thought twice about posting a seafood recipe here, but this blog is really all about overall health, and wild salmon is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Wild salmon is so good for you. You know this. Loaded with Omega3's, wild salmon is straight up food for your brain. When looking for salmon, the only word you need to look for is WILD. None of this organic farmed salmon. There simply is no such thing as "organic" salmon.
I am pretty picky about my seafood, just like I am my produce and most other things I eat and prepare. I eat salmon because of all of the health benefits, but I stay away from many other types of seafood, especially farmed seafood and deep water fish that contain high levels of mercury.
It's all about being a conscience eater and knowing exactly where your food comes from before it makes it's way back to your kitchen.
For my vegan and vegetarian friends, you can make this as a warm quinoa salad and omit the salmon all together. On days I cannot find a good piece of wild salmon, that's what I do. I am kind of addicted to the ginger sesame dressing that goes over this dish. You can put that dressing over anything and it will make it feel like a special meal.
Bayley, our sweet crazy mutt dog, turned three last week (that's 21 in dog years). His birthday is March 1st. He's adopted, which means we do not know what his exact birthday is, so we gave him a made up birthday when we got him. I make sure to give him a few extra hugs on his birthday (he's a big time hugger, he loves getting hugs).
I am a bit of a crazy dog lady. I'm that person who has to stop every dog on the street just to give them a scratch and say hello. I love the dog culture and the conversations you have with other dog owners.
"This is Spot, don't mind him, he's a bit ant-social."
"Oh, Roofus loves to play, can he pay with your dog."
"Jack gets really excited when he sees big dogs, he thinks he's bigger than he really is."
It's amazing how much a dog's personality reflects their owner's. I like to think that Bayley got his happy and loving attitude from us.
The other day I was walking him around our neighborhood and a random guy stopped us on the street and asked if he could pet Bayley. This guy spent a good couple of minutes scratching him, hugging him, telling him how beautiful he was. Bayley was eating it up. Then he told me he just lost his dog and that it felt good just to pet another dog. My heart sank, but I totally knew what he meant. It just feels good to get some love from a dog.
I walked away with a giant smile on my face knowing that my dog made that random guy on the street so happy and brightened his day.
Owning a dog is not 100% love 100% of the time. There are definitely moments when I think to myself, why on earth am I taking care of this pain the butt animal. When he jumps on my friends when they come over to our apartment, or when he whines to me during the day because he would rather be outside playing. There are many moments of frustration.
But all of those moments added up do not even come close to negating the fact that animals bring so much happiness into a home.
My all-time favorite thing that someone said to Bayley on one of our walks: "That dog sure does love life."
Yes ..... yes, he does.
So for Bayley's birthday this year, he got hugs + I got a bowl of soba noodles with a ginger tahini dressing with lots of greens. Because I was more in the mood to celebrate with a bowl of soba noodles than a piece of cake.
I could eat this every day of my life and be happy. There is something about the creaminess of the tahini that gets me excited. Since I stopped eating dairy, it's the healthiest way for me to get a creamy fix.
It's no secret that I love a big bowl of noodles or a big bowl of greens, so combining the two is just double happiness for me.
The great thing about this dish is you can add any type of green or vegetable that you like, it goes with just about anything. Collards, swiss chard, carrots, cucumbers + tomatoes when the summer comes back around. Same thing goes with pairing this dish. You can add soba and tahini to so many meals as a side dish, or you can just eat it alone for lunch. Yum.
I think I am going to make this every year for Bayley's birthday, and for many of the days in-between.
Yes. I am sharing two salads with you in a row.
You see, there is something I have to tell you ... salads are my thing. My speciality. My jam.
I know, It is not exactly the most exciting thing in the world.
Some people are really good at making awesome, fancy things like creme brulee or pot pie. I am really good at making salads.
I always wanted to be really good at making one thing. You know, so Bobby Flay would come knocking on my door to do a throwdown. Being the veggie lover that I am, I guess it was natural that salads became my thing. I'm ready for my salad throwdown Bobby. Bring it.
You might be thinking, what's so special about making salads? Isn't making salads really easy. Well, yes, it is. But anyone who is really good at making one thing puts a lot of love into making that one thing.
I put a lot of love into my salads.
I love to make my own dressing, I love to incorporate a good balance of ingredients, I love to use only what's fresh and seasonal, and I love to add unexpected things.
It's all about the love and the ingredients.
As always, whenever I post a salad recipe, I like to think of it more as a guideline or an inspiration for your own salad creations. If you've never used sautéed fennel in a salad, maybe you will try it sometime. If you've only had ginger dressing at a japanese restaurant, maybe now you'll be tempted to make your own at home.
Or maybe you will try this just as I made it. I sure hope you do.
I love Fall.
We're only a few days in, but I have already began to embrace putting on vest and scarf in the morning to walk the dog, and I am so excited to start to see fall fruits and vegetables make their way to the farmer's markets and grocery stores.
I planted some pumpkin this summer (note: some = a lot), and I am going to have to have to get very creative with the dozens of pumpkins I am going to have this October.
Starting with this recipe right here which I created for the fall issue of a beautiful, new online magazine, Delighted.
There are a few other really good-looking recipes using pumpkin in the issue, and I will likely be trying them all. Go check them out, and be sure to browse all of the other great articles on life and style and tips on setting a beautiful table for the fall season.