Salmon Kale Cakes with Sweet & Spicy Mustard Jam

Sometimes dinner comes from the pantry because I can’t spend every day shopping or waiting for something to defrost. This recipe happened one day when the fridge was pretty bare. With the exception of the kale, everything else tends to be a staple for most. The jam is something my mom recently made for shrimp, so I thought it would be tasty on the salmon cakes, and it was. Serve the whole shebang on top of a large arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette. This recipe makes 2 large or 3 average sized cakes.

salmonbowlRECIPE: Salmon Kale Cakes

  • 1 cup finely chopped kale
  • 1 5oz pkg skinless/boneless wild salmon
  • 2 slices of bread, crumbled in food processor (use whole grain or gluten free)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • chopped green onions (for garnish)

salmonmixtureMix all ingredients together thoroughly with clean hands. Form into patties. (They’ll be kind of loose, but pat them together as tightly as possible and handle with care while putting them into the pan.) Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Gently set salmon cakes in pan, leaving enough room to flip when it’s time.) Cook over medium heat until the first side is brown. Carefully flip over and cook until the second side browns and the cake is heated all the way through.

RECIPE: Spicy Mustard Jam

  • 1/2 cup peach, apricot or pineapple jam or orange marmalade
  • 2 tsp thai sweet chile (optional)
  • 3 tsp spicy chinese or coleman’s english mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 TBSP water

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Add as much or as little of the water as you need, depending on the consistency of the jam you choose. Top the salmon cakes with a generous spoonful of jam and sprinkle liberally with chopped green onions. Enjoy!salmonfork


Kale Salad with Tahini Goddess Dressing and Spicy Garlic Croutons

I learn a lot from my gluten free friends. Including realizing certain products contain wheat. Goddess dressing is one of those products – and while I really don’t like bottled salad dressings at all, I will grab a bottle of Annie’s Goddess Dressing in a pinch. Not any more. This dressing is so similar made with just a few ingredients you can throw right in the blender. I apologize for another kale salad, but this superfood tossed with a homemade tahini dressing and crispy croutons with a kick is just too good not to share. I also recommend doubling the dressing recipe and keeping it in the fridge.

VARIATION: After making this a few times, I started adding 1 large carrot (peeled and rough chopped) to the blender. This increases the health value exponentially, while lowering the fat and improving the thickness. This variation is like goddess dressing meets ginger carrot dressing from your favorite Japanese place. I’ll never make it without carrot again.

dessing_drizzleRECIPE: Kale Salad with Tahini Goddess Dressing

  • a bunch of kale, washed, stem removed, leaves chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large carrot (peeled and rough chopped) ** see VARIATION above
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: Prepare kale; set aside. Mix all remaining ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your liking. (I added another tablespoon of olive oil, water for consistency and an extra splash of tamari for a little more saltiness, but to each his own.)

garlic_oilRECIPE: Spicy Garlic Croutons

  • 4 slices of bread cut up into cubes  (I like Udi’s gluten free whole grain millet, but anything will do)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red chile flakes
  • 6-8 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a small saucepan, heat up olive oil with chopped garlic and red chile flakes. Remove from heat just before garlic starts to brown. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange bread cubes close together on a sheet pan and drizzle with hot garlic oil, a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly (be careful, the oil is hot!). Taste to make sure the seasonings are right and then spread out croutons on the sheet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, tossing once. Keep your eye on them so they don’t get too brown.

kale_tahiniASSEMBLY: In a large salad bowl, toss kale with the amount of dressing and croutons you like. This keeps pretty well in the fridge, but you might want to reserve the croutons just before serving, in that case. Enjoy!



Kale and Quinoa Salad with Mango & Feta

ingredientsMy friend, Geri, brought me the fixins’ for this salad a few months back because she had picked some fresh kale out of her garden that morning. It blew my mind. It’s one of those dishes that each ingredient is independently delicious, but together it’s even better than the sum of its parts. I’ll do my best to be precise, but from what I understand this recipe has evolved like a game of ‘whisper down the alley’ among a group of Santa Fe friends. No one follows a specific recipe so we all have our favorite variations. But the one I’m posting is Geri’s favorite. (Another friend, Allyn, adds shredded carrots to hers.) I actually like it without the fruit and cheese, but honestly I eat it differently almost every time I make it. Here goes.

kaleRECIPE: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Mango & Feta

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (nice and fluffy)
  • 2 cups kale, shredded/chopped into small pieces
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • handful of fresh, chopped herbs (mint, dill, chives, basil – whatever you have)
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of crumbled feta (add as much as you like)


  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP agave nectar, honey, pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

mixedAdd quinoa, kale, mango, fresh herbs, scallions and feta to a large mixing bowl. Shake all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Drizzle the dressing into the salad a bit at a time until it’s to your liking. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

NOTE: When I make this salad, I add a little feta each time I dish it out, rather than in the bowl. The feta taste seems to take over the freshness of the salad as it sits in the fridge. Don’t worry if you don’t eat it all in one sitting – this is even better the next day! And I hear it’s great with blueberries instead of mango. Enjoy!


Kale, Pineapple and Shaved Brussels Sprout Slaw

Have a sweet tooth? This is a great way to enjoy some sweetness accompanied by a mound of superfoods. And if you’ve never tried raw brussels sprouts, now’s your chance to turn your opinion of those dreadful mini boiled cabbages around. This slaw is crunchy, tangy, sweet and it’s filled with a ton of vitamins. Not to mention a satisfying pile of protein-packed cashews on top.

shaved_brusselsRECIPE: Kale, Pineapple and Shaved Brussels Sprout Slaw

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts (cut ends off, chop in half, lay cut-side-down and chop until shredded OR slice them in the food processor)
  • 4-5 large kale leaves (stem removed, cut finely into thin strips)
  • 1/2 ripe pineapple (cut into small chunks)
  • 2 TBSP vinegar (white wine or cider)
  • 1 TBSP dijon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or pure maple syrup (if needed, depending on the ripeness and sweetness of the pineapple)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • roasted, unsalted cashews

brussels_kale_pineappleDRESSING AND ASSEMBLY:
Add brussels sprouts, kale and pineapple to a large bowl. Then make the dressing; add these ingredients to a jar with a lid: vinegar, dijon, olive oil, agave nectar and salt and pepper to taste. Shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. Pour half of the dressing over the slaw and toss. Add more dressing until you get it coated to your liking. The amount usually depends on the sweetness of the pineapple. Let the flavors marry for at least 20 minutes. Top each serving with a palmful of chopped cashews. Add a couple extra turns of cracked black pepper. Enjoy!


All Kale Caesar!

This has to be one of my all-time favorite salads. I first ate it at Vinaigrette in Santa Fe. This restaurant happens to be a client, so actually I was doing a little ‘market research.’ The owner, Erin Wade, has basically nailed the concept of eating healthy and enjoying food at the same time. I love everything about her restaurant –and all of her salads are to die for. If you ever find yourself in Santa Fe, don’t miss out on the chance to eat there.

Okay, onto the salad. Raw kale is my absolute go-to superfood and a fantastic ingredient that many people claim to hate. I eat it all the time, but mostly when I feel like crap. If I’ve missed a few workouts, ate more ice cream than I should have, or after a long road trip where I haven’t had the chance to cook or eat anything but snacks for days. Well, throw out everything negative you’ve ever thought about kale and try this salad. It’s an eggless version and dairy is optional. As a classic caesar, it’s not suitable for vegetarians because there are anchovies in the dressing. Yes, there are anchovies. (I’m always shocked at how many people who cringe over the thought of eating anchovies, yet love caesar salads as long as there aren’t anchovies on top. I have news for you – there are always anchovies in the dressing.)


RECIPE: All Kale Caesar Salad
They key here is the dressing should be blow your doors down salty and acidic, because the lemon and the salt actually cook the kale – in the same way it would cook seafood in a ceviche. That’s what keeps the kale from being a rough as you would imagine it would be to chew. The amount of anchovies is really your call. The recipe calls for 6 to 8 anchovies, but put more if you like – I do! Plus they are high in vitamin D.

For the dressing:

  • juice of 1.5 lemons (or 2)
  • at least 8 anchovy fillets depending on size and their oil (a whole can will do)
  • splash (2 TB) of champagne or white wine vinegar
  • almost but not quite one TB of regular (creamy not grainy) dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot or half a big one (rough chop)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (start with that and add more if needed)
  • 1 TB of water
  • salt and pepper to taste (sea and freshly cracked, if you have it)

Put everything in the blender to emulsify. Like any salad dressing, adjust to your taste. But remember the blow your doors down intensity, so don’t imagine drizzling this on baby spinach when you make your adjustments.

For the saladkale_chopped

  • head of kale
  • macadamia nuts
  • freshly grated parmesan or parmigiano-reggiano (NOT the stuff in the green can)

Finely chop the leafy part of green curly kale (pull the leaves off the stem, but don’t worry about the veins, those are fine. What’s more important is that you chop the leaves fairly fine because kale is so intense, so more like a fine coleslaw size, like an 1/8th to a 1/4 inch slices. I usually do something like a chiffonade (stack the leaves, roll it up as best you can and slice it like you would do to basil).

Toss the kale with your preferred amount of dressing – start on the conservative side and add more as needed. Add a good amount of chopped macadamia nuts and a generous handful of grated parmesan (optional – I skip this if I’m having an extra clean, non-dairy week, but it’s not nearly as good without it). You can also toss in some more rough chopped anchovy if it doesn’t seem like the flavor is coming through enough for your taste. And a little extra freshly cracked pepper never hurt anyone. This is a really bold, but really delicious and balanced salad. Not to mention how insanely good it is for you.

Add ons
To make this a complete meal, serve it with grilled chicken, sliced pork tenderloin, grilled shrimp, salmon, sliced filet or other lean cut of beef – whatever floats your boat. I always cook a bunch of chicken breasts on Sunday afternoon so I have protein to add to salads all week long.