Grilled Salmon-easy and full proof!

It’s Wild and fresh Copper River Salmon season here….yum!   Lot’s of folks are intimidated by cooking fish on the grill.  Here is the super easy low down how to season and cook your own super healthy and delicious whallop of Omega 3 healthy Salmon.  Did I say yummmmmm!

-Fresh and wild Salmon Filets-previously frozen doesn’t taste as good and farmed is not only bad for the environment but is fed gmo soy and corn meal, dumped with antibiotics and fertilizers and then colored with toxic chemicals-yikes! so stick to wild if at all possible!!

1-Check for bones and remove with needle nose pliers-just grab and pull.  Don’t worry if you tear the fish a bit, it will be fine.  It is much more enjoyable to do this part before cooking.  The bones usually are in a row so just use your fingers to feel for them.  Trim off any large fatty or discolored areas.  Gently rinse filets with water and pat dry with paper towel.

2-Season with rub or marinade.  Here are my 2 favorite go tos:

Curryous Spice Rub

2 T Curry powder

1 T Chili powder

2 t ground cumin

1/2 t cayenne powder

1 t brown sugar, packed (in colorado where brown sugar dries out no matter what you try -this is great for use in rubs-grind hard chunks with a mortar and pestle)

1 t garlic powder

Sprinkle Salmon liberally with rub and let sit at room temp for a 5-10 min before grilling.  

Store extra rub in an empty spice jar or sealed baggie for next time!


Dana’s Everyday Teriyaki Sauce

-2 T soy sauce

-2 T maple syrup

-1 T grapeseed oil-(this is olive oil that retains its health properties at higher heats)

-1 T roasted sesame oil

*optional -2 cloves fresh minced garlic

Marinate Salmon filets face down in marinade for 15 min to 12 hrs before grilling.

3-Preheat your grill on high for 5 minutes.  Clean grate and turn down to med/low.  Place salmon filets skin side down on the grill grate and close the lid.  Grill for 8-12 minutes for medium depending on the thickness of your fillets.   Remove from grill.

You can remove the skin before serving by sliding the spatula between the skin and the meat-the skin should slide right off.  I also like to gently scrape off the brownish gray layer between the skin and meat.  You can also serve your filets with the skin on.  It is easy to remove bites of meat from the skin with a fork.

Serve over a bed of greens with light balsamic dressing or with steamed veggies and whole grain rice.  YUM!


Celery Parmesan Salad

I don’t even like celery but, I LOOOOOVE this salad!  AND Celery is a great source of Calcium, Fiber, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C-which is COOL! Did I say mmmmmmmm?

 1/2 C. good olive oil

 2 t grated lemon zest

1/4 c +1T fresh squeezed lemon juice(3 lemons)

2 T minced shallots

1 t celery seed

1/2 t celery salt

1/2 t anchovy paste

1 1/2 t salt

1 t pepper

5 c thinly sliced celery hearts, celery and tender leaves included-slice very thin(about 12 stalks)

4 oz chunk aged parmesan cheese

2/3 c toasted walnuts coarsely chopped

-At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 c lemon juice, shallots celery seed, anchovy paste, 1 t salt and pepper.  Let rest so flavors can meld

-Place celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the 1 T lemon juice and 1/2 t salt.  (even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me—this step makes a difference.)

-Add dressing to moisten well.  Cover add refrigerate for at least ah hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.

- When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a plate or bowl, shave the parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, then sprinkle with walnuts and serve immediately.

I also like this salad with a bed of mixed greens underneath……mmmmm


Brussels sprouts with herbed pecans

I haven't tried this yet but I am going to!  I used this in my newsletter as a "real food" Thanksgiving idea. The idea on Thanksgiving is not to deprive yourself but to try and keep your foods and ingredients real.  

Brussels Sprouts with herbed pecans


For herbed pecans:

6 T butter

4 t dried rosemary

1/8 t dried basil

2 t salt

1/2 t cayenne pepper

4 c pecan halves

For brussels sprouts:

2 lbs brussels sprouts

4 T extra virgin olive oil

pinch sea salt

6 oz bacon or pancetta-preservative free makes this a much better choice-whole foods and natural grocer    have some choices

1 T brown sugar

1 T maple syrup


For Herbed pecans:

-In a  large saucepan, melt the butter over med. heat.  Add  rosemary, basil, salt, and cayenne-stir

-Remove from heat and then add the pecan halves.  Toss gently to coat all the pecans well without breaking  them

-Arrange nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Scrape any remaining herb mixture over nuts.  Bake in a  pre-heated 325 degree oven.  Stir gently two or three times during baking.  Bake for 10-12 min or until well  browned.  Serve warm or at room temp. (Can be made ahead.  Store in a ziplock baggie in Fridge, bring to  room temp before serving)

For Brussels sprouts:

-Cut off the brown ends and discard any leaves that may be damaged.  Cut into halves or thirds

-Place in large metal bowl and season with sea salt, black pepper and olive oil

-Place brussels sprouts on a cookie sheet and roast in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes-they will  caramelize.

-Dice bacon/pancetta into small strips or cubes

-In a shallow sautee pan, cook bacon until crispy 

-Remove bacon from the pan and discard the fat. Drizzle with maple syrup and brown sugar

-Put bacon back in the pan and stir over med. heat until candied for about 5 min

-Put brussels sprouts in a large dish and fold in bacon

-Serve immediately topped with pecans



Thai Spicy Beef Salad

This is my favorite answer for what to do with left over steak.  Saturday night we had guests over for games and grilled flank steak.  I did an asian bbq marinade for the steak and grilled it rare to med. rare.  Sunday night we had left over steak so I made this super simple and easy steak salad…..mmmmmm!!

I served this with avocado slices, not very thai but, lovely with the spicy flavors and some left over mango salsa on the side.  Did I say mmmmmm?

Thai Spicy Beef Salad

serves 2

Lettuce-I like a mix of baby greens and hearts of romaine-washed, dried and torn or cut into bite size pieces

8-10 mint leaves torn or chopped

2 T chopped cilantro

lemon grass-2 T slices from jar(Thai Kitchen) or  1 stalk minced(only the tender bottom 2/3)

1 sm. red onion finely sliced into rings

lean beef, grilled or roasted rare, sliced into thin bite size pieces-about 1-11/2' long by 1/2" wide

4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. red chili sauce  or finely chopped serrano chilies, seeded
1 T fish sauce
2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
2 t agave nectar, raw sugar or stevia
-mix together, set aside

Arrange salad on plates or in bowls and drizzle dressing over.







Cauliflower Puree

This Thanksgiving why not try a smooth, creamy and delicious Cauliflower puree instead of the traditional mashed potatoes?  This fabulous recipe is simple and amazingly delicious.  I have served it to some serious doubters, some particular eaters and some unwitting guests–everyone last one loved it!  It is around 89 cal per 1 cup/serving compared to traditional mashed potatoes that weigh in around 238 cal per 1 cup/serving.  For me, the answer is an easy one…we are doing it!  mmmmm

Cauliflower Purée

Total time: 30 min


  • 1 quart half-and-half (please use organic if possible)
  • 1 head cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into 1/2-1-inch-wide florets
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • Special equipment: parchment paper


Bring half-and-half with cauliflower, covered directly with a round of parchment paper, just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.  I measure the parchment paper by drawing around the top of the pan or lid and then cutting it about 1/4″ smaller.  The parchment paper helps to keep it from boiling over and making a big mess on your stove-very wise to keep a close watch!

Transfer cauliflower with a slotted spoon to a blender and blend with 1/4 cup cooking liquid until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), then add salt and pepper.   If you have one of those hand blenders, it works great for this!  

This can be made ahead and reheated over low heat, stirring occasionally, before serving.  I save some of the left over half and half to use for reheating.