Recipe No. 03: Blackened Salmon Bowls
2 x 6oz salmon filets*
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, coconut (or brown) sugar
1/2 organic wild rice blend
1 c water
1-2 ribbon-cut zucchini
drizzle of olive oil, s+p to taste
1 medium avocado, diced
1/4c green onion, finely diced
1 tbs. cilantro chopped
1tbsp. fresh lime juice
I have prepared this recipe using a pan, oven, and grill. The caramelization will change depending on the cooking method, but they are all delicious.
*I highly recommend using Wild Sockeye Salmon from ButcherBox - it's sustainably harvested, wild-caught, and incredibly delicious. In fact, most of the meats and seafood I use come from Butcherbox unless I can find them at local markets. (You can sign up for ButcherBox and with the link, receive $50 off!)
Begin by preparing the wild rice blend according to the package instructions. Preheat a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, mix together smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and coconut (or brown) sugar. Brush both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil, and then rub the spice mixture over the top until well coated. Place the salmon in the pan flesh-side down and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the salmon is cooked through. The sugar helps caramelize the top for a satisfying crispness, but it can burn if the pan is too hot.
In a separate pan, sauté the zucchini until tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, combine the diced avocado, green onion, cilantro, and lime juice to make the avocado salsa. Serve the blackened salmon over a bed of wild rice with the sautéed zucchini, topped with the avocado salsa.
For oven: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.
For grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the salmon on the grill flesh-side down and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the salmon is cooked through.
Preparing my own birthday dinner has become somewhat of a tradition since the launch of the shop. Instead of making plans, I spend the whole day doing whatever I please, which usually means a day full of sunshine, books, and espresso—although you can always count on me ending up in the kitchen. My loved ones now know not to ask what we are doing, but rather, "What are you making?" Birthday parties feel like a surprise for the guests since the menu is decided on a whim, but they show up anyway.
Over the years, cooking has transformed from a necessity and experimentation to a fully-fledged hobby and a stress-busting ritual. With the addition of a robust seasonal garden, I feel like an Instagram girlie harvesting zucchini, giving cilantro a generous pruning, and juicing limes that I've watched grow. Cooking is how I find romance in my life and achieve complete presence. Plus, feeding people hits me squarely in my sentimental cancer-sun heart.
For the whole month of June, I've been preparing whatever I wanted (not unlike any other time), but I think just listening to what my body needs for nourishment and what I need for soul food has been such an enriching way to cultivate daily self-care. From sautéed mushroom and spinach eggs benedict to rotisserie chicken salad on butter lettuce and mounded black bean and caramelized onion tostadas, it's been a flavorful foodie birthday month. But this signature recipe is the one my loved ones wait for. It's the most requested for their own birthdays, and I'm happy to make at least one dish for others because caring for ourselves and celebrating special days can be easy, connective, and delicious.