Four-spice salmon with cranberry spinach salad + my new fall outfit

Fall is officially here in Texas. I was finally able to bust out my fall clothes, including my new hat and scarf. I had been eyeing them on some of my favorite bloggers and finally took the plunge and ordered them. They arrived just in time for the weekend!

I was also looking forward to Halloween weekend. We celebrated Halloween at work earlier in the week, where I dressed up with a few other girls as the Spice Girls. We even created a music video to get in the spirit. That might have been the highlight of my week!

But after a weekend of eating candy, I decided it was time to get back into the game and focus on eating healthy leading up to Thanksgiving. I saw the recipe for the salmon on New York Times Cooking, and knew I had to try it out because salmon is so easy, and I had been craving salmon for a while. And I love pan frying salmon with the skin because it gives it a nice crunchy taste. Some people don’t like the skin, and that’s fine, but I do! For the side, I decided to go for a simple salad. Also, I had a whole bag of dried cranberries and walnuts in my pantry, but you can pretty much toss together whatever you want.

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Salmon

  • 1 lb salmon fillets (preferably organic or wild caught Salmon)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds or ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon whole or ground cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seed or ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, grape seed or other neutral oil, or clarified butter

Season fillets with all the spices salt and pepper and toss in a dish. Press some of the mixture onto the top of each fillet.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the oil or butter and, when it sizzles, place the fillets, coated side down, in the pan. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spice mixture forms a nicely browned crust. Turn the fillets and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the salmon just slightly resists when pierced with a thin-bladed knife.

I was making the salmon for myself, so I cut up the salmon into serving portions and just cooked it when I was ready to eat it.

Salad

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 oz soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Toss all ingredients together and add your favorite dressing. I drizzled some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the salad.

Products/What You’ll Need:

Fall outfit

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  • Scarf
  • Hat (this hat was literally named for me)
  • Shirt (similar)

Crunchy cabbage and cashew salad with spicy peanut dressing

quinoa cakes

I normally don’t post a lot of salad recipes because I usually throw together whatever I have in the fridge, but this one is definitely worth sharing.  The cashews give it a nice crunch and goes really well with the dressing.

Stay tuned for the amazing quinoa cake recipe that is also in the picture. The two go together perfectly! I’ll post soon 🙂

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 head napa cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions:

Combine the cabbages, carrots, snow peas, avocado and half the herbs in a large bowl.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl, adding more water to thin if necessary.

Toss the cabbage mixture with the peanut sauce and top with the reserved herbs, cashews and sesame seeds.

Greek chicken salad

Greek salad

There are many things I love in this world. Two of those things are greek salad and chicken salad. Put them together? You’ve got one awesome combination. This is an easy recipe to make for lunches or for a quick dinner, and goes well on a sandwich or a bed of spinach.

The other great thing about this recipe is that it gets even better the second day once the herbs and flavors have a chance to sit. You can thank me later for introducing you to this recipe. 🙂

Ingredients:

Greek chicken salad

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, chilled to cool and diced
  • 1  cucumber, diced
  • 3/4 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced Kalamata olives
  • 3 Tbsp sliced almonds (optional)

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, preferably fresh
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Greek chicken salad:

To a mixing bowl add, diced chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, red onion, Kalamata olives and sliced almonds. Add dressing and toss to evenly coat.

For the dressing:

In a mixing bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together to blend and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine dressing with chicken salad and serve over bread, rolls, salad, wraps, or in pita pockets.

Roasted butternut squash salad with quinoa and avocado

butternut squash salad

Ready for the best salad recipe ever? No joke, this salad is packed with protein. Quinoa and spinach, with the sweetness of the butternut squash. The toasted squash seeds adds the nice crunch factor. I kinda threw this together because I had so much butternut squash and didn’t know what to do with it. But this salad did not disappoint!

  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds and set aside. Cut the butternut squash into one-inch cubes. Grease a roasting pan, place the squash on the pan and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Place the butternut squash seeds in another roasting pan and put in the oven, but remove after 10 minutes.

Then prepare the quinoa according to package directions. Put 1 cup quinoa and two cups water in a pan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, slice the avocado, and toss the spinach with the avocado, butternut squash and seeds.

I served with my favorite tilapia recipe and roasted cauliflower soup.

soup salad and tilapia

Tomato and beet salad

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You can really do a lot with beets but we had some radishes and tomatoes in the fridge so I thought I would make a wonderful side salad with what we had!

1 pound scrubbed small beets

2 tomatoes

1 pint cherry tomatoes (I found some pretty yellow ones to add some color)

6  radishes

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Seal beets in a foil packet. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, 75 minutes. When cool, rub beets with a paper towel to remove skins; slice. Slice large tomatoes and radishes, halve cherry tomatoes, then arrange with beets on a platter. Season with salt and pepper.

Beet salad with goat cheese and toasted walnuts

I recently tried a beet salad at a restaurant the other day and was inspired to make my own little creation. I am such a big fan of goat cheese, so I combined it with that. I love adding walnuts to a salad because it adds nice texture and flavor.

This is a simple, filling, and healthful salad. Hope you enjoy eating it as much as I do!

  • 3 ounces of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts
  • 1/2 one beet
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Peel and chop the beet into small cubes. Heat the walnuts over medium heat on the stove until toasted, about 4-5 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and olive oil together. Add pepper if desired.

Arrange the spinach on a plate, add the beets, toasted walnuts, and sprinkle the goat cheese evenly across the salad. Add the dressing, toss, and enjoy!

Goat cheese salad with caramelized onions and toasted walnuts

 

I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to eat a salad for dinner, it better be a good salad that fills me up. This one should do the trick because of the yummy vegetables, cheese, and walnuts. It’s got a light vinaigrette dressing that really ties it all together. You can easily substitute the goat cheese for feta. But I really wanted to use up the ingredients that were in my fridge and this is what I came up with…

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 oz. Goat cheese
  • Spinach
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the walnuts out evenly over a baking sheet. Bake for about ten minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the bell peppers and onion. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and bell peppers and cook for about eight minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper; mix well.

Remove the walnuts from the oven. Combine them with the vegetables over a bed of spinach and add the goat cheese. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss well and serve.