This dinner made me really happy. It had all the flavor and texture components to make a really satisfying meal with no rice, bread or potatoes in sight!
Sadly, after a great vacation in San Diego, my starch party is over. It was fun while it lasted (and we all know it will begin again, but, hopefully, not too soon). Our hotel was directly across the street from Panera Bread which was dangerous, but not nearly as bad as when we actually lived directly across from Panera Bread in Arlington Heights, IL. As Bob says, we were larger then. I was actually able to resist their french toast bagel that I used to be so fond of but, let’s face it, their breakfast sandwiches on a large Ciabatta roll weren’t much better (although they did have some protein to slow down the starch). We ate those every morning except one, when I had a need for a strawberry waffle. I was lucky enough to find Richard Walker’s Pancake House which, as I had hoped, was of the same family as Walker Bros in Chicago. They had the same amazing strawberry waffle! Fluffy and crisp waffle, fresh, ripe berries, real whipped cream and hot maple syrup with thick bacon on the side. My perfect breakfast.
So, you can see why I need to put the brakes on the carb fest. I won’t even bother to tell you about our lunches and dinners that usually began with large piles of tortilla chips if they didn’t start with a sourdough bread basket. It was totally worth it and I have no regrets but, life requires balance, so it’s time for lots of veggies and protein. Luckily, those can be very tasty as well if you know how to liven them up a bit.
Salmon with Ginger Soy Glaze
@ 1 1/2 lbs wild caught salmon, skin on or off
2 TB brown sugar
1 TB sesame oil
1 TB low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger root
dash of Sriracha (hot chili sauce)
Begin by soaking a cedar grilling plank in water for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours so it doesn’t burn up on the grill. The plank not only adds great flavor to the salmon but also makes a really easy surface for cooking on the grill. We buy them every summer at Costco in packages of six and use them for all kinds of fish. I placed a bowl full of water on top to sink it down as it tends to float.
While the plank soaks, make your glaze. Whisk together brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and Sriracha in a small bowl until fully combined. Set aside to allow the sugar to dissolve and the glaze to thicken slightly.
Meanwhile, make your salad and dressing (instructions below), then preheat your grill.
When the board is sufficiently soaked, remove it from the water and place the salmon on it. Liberally, brush the glaze on the salmon.
Place board on preheated grill, turn it down to med-low heat and put the cover down. It should maintain @ 350 degrees (if you don’t have a temperature gauge, it’s not a big deal).
Allow salmon to cook for @ 20 minutes. The glaze should be caramelizing on the edges and the flesh should be lighter pink and have white stuff forming on top (it’s protein/albumin).
Remove the board from the grill and serve with the salad. If you bought salmon with the skin on, as I did, you will find it very easy to lift off the flesh and leave the skin on the board where (in my opinion) it belongs.
Fresh Veggie Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
head of romaine lettuce, chopped
bell peppers, thinly sliced
cucumber, thinly sliced
carrots, thinly sliced
cilantro, loosely chopped
green onion, thinly sliced
(Feel free to take liberty with the salad ingredients. I just don’t suggest using tomato. It might only be me but I think they’re weird with Asian flavors)
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 TB grated ginger root
2 TB reduced sodium soy sauce
2 TB fresh lime juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sesame oil
3 – 4 TB honey
1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend together. Taste. If it’s too sour, add more honey, if you like it spicier, add more Sriracha, etc.
Dress your salad and serve alongside the glazed salmon. Delicious!
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”