Tag Archives: pescetarian

Salmon Lasagna

We had a great time with Dave’s parents during their four-day visit. Having them over for dinner after I got back from work on Friday made me wish we could love in the same town and have family dinners and game nights on a regular basis. We’d love to one day move back to Dave’s home town, Portland, OR, but academic careers don’t often allow people to freely choose where they live. Fortunately, we love Central PA as well and enjoyed showing off our favorite spots.

After boating at Bald Eagle State Park and fire works at the foot of Mount Nittany on the 4th, they came out to Woolrich to see where I work on the 5th. They got a mill tour and we had lunch at Leo’s in Lock Haven, a small and delicious, authentic Italian deli place my co-workers and I love.

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I had a mozzarella sandwich, which is my favorite. Their bread is so fresh and amazing.

When I got home, I started making one of my specialties – salmon lasagna. I learned how to make this when I worked at a restaurant during college in Germany.

Salmon Lasagna:

Ingredients:

– 12 cooked lasagna sheets (boiled in oiled and salted water for 10 minutes)
– 18 ounces cooked salmon (I used Trader Joe’s wild Pacific salmon)
– 2 16 oz. bags of frozen spinach, thawed (I used Trader Joe’s organic)
– 1.5 cups of Hollandaise Sauce (can buy ready-to-eat at TJ’s)
– medium bag of shredded cheese (I used a three-cheese blend)
– Garlic salt and pepper

Directions:

After boiling the lasagna sheets, I put the pot in the sink and run cold water into it until I can touch the pasta sheets. I separate them and put them on a plate, alternating a horizontal one and then a vertical one. I end up using only 9 sheets for the lasagna, but cook 12 because there is always potential of some breaking. It helps to stir the sheets up while they’re cooking in oiled water a few times.

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While the sheets are cooking, cook the spinach and press it in a colander; then spice it thoroughly with garlic salt and pepper.

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Now, line up all the ingredients to assemble the lasagna.

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The Hollandaise cups from Trader Joe’s are a pricey alternative to packets, but buying them ready-to-eat saved me some time.

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I used one and a half of these packets and saved the rest in a zip lock bag.

For assembly, begin with a layer of Hollandaise sauce, then add three sheets of lasagna next to each other lengthwise in a casserole dish. Add another layer of Hollandaise sauce, then spinach, then salmon. Add a new layer of pasta sheets and repeat, then another. Add Hollandaise sauce at the top of each layer as well as the bottom to hold them sheets together better. Finally, sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40ish minutes. Check the oven to see how the cheese is doing. You can decide how brown you want it to get.

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I served this with some fresh, white baguette, which we also had with brie, olive oil, and wine for appetizers. Dave’s parents loved the lasagna and Dave and I enjoyed the left-overs two days later for lunch.

For desert, I went the easy route and bought Trader Joe’s Creme Brulee.

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As you can see, pretty much the entire meal was courtesy of Trader Joe’s. I was working and had limited prep-time, so going the ready-to-eat route with a lot of the ingredients was ideal for me.

Dave and his dad did the dishes, we all went for a walk around the neighborhood, and then we taught his parents how to play “Settlers of Catan,” during which we enjoyed more chocolate and wine.

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Leisure-Time Marathon

I love Saturdays just as much as the next person, and this week was especially delicious, both literally and figuratively speaking. We packed so many activities into today that I feel like the weekend should be over already. And it’s not. So I’m winning.

It all started with a 7 a.m. workout at our apartment complex gym. I did the elliptical for 30 minutes while Dave ran and lifted weights.

This made us pretty hungry, so we had sweet potato pancakes for breakfast.

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3 eggs and one mashed sweet potato – bam. The trick is to use plenty of coconut oil for frying and keeping them small-ish to make them easy to flip.

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I topped mine with almond butter and maple syrup. The flavors of this mixed with coffee flavor put me in heaven. We went over German dialogues while eating.

The next stop was Cafe Lemont for some lattes (regular for Dave, almond for me).

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Dave studied German vocab and I worked on a freelancing project. Coffee shops and Saturdays are a dream combo, if you ask me. Especially if they have non-dairy, non-soy latte options.

Around noon, we left to go grocery shopping. On our way to Trader Joe’s, we realized we were both starving, so I introduced Dave to this all-you-can eat Asian buffet. I had been there before and wanted him to experience the insanely large variety of food.

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It was $10 per person for the lunch buffet, which included an appetizer bar, a Chinese buffet, a salad bar, a huge selection of sushi, and a ton of desert options. They also have a Mongolian-Grill style setup, but I stuck to pretty much appetizers and sushi.

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Contentment.

Afterwards, we went to Trader Joe’s before returning home for some reading and TV time. I think every weekend needs several hours of couch-time. It was hard not to take a nap, that’s for sure.

Around 6 p.m., we decided to play tennis on our apartment complex courts. It was much colder than it has been today and pretty windy as well, but we wanted to give it a try.

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I had to wear a headband and a jacket, but once I warmed up, I could take those off. We played for about an hour and the score at the end was 15:1 for Dave. I really suck at tennis, but really enjoy it at the same time. I have great ambitions for beating Dave one day. Maybe this “season” will bring more success than last summer.

Back in the apartment, I made dinner and we watched The Mindy Project. Have you guys seen it? It’s hilarious and so current. It’s one of the few shows Dave and I enjoy equally.

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Dinner was spinach salad with avocados, toasted cashews, goat cheese, and dried cranberries, The dressing had balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds, sugar, cayenne pepper, and poppy seeds in it. Desert was chocolate coconut ice cream, naturally, though no pictures were taken.

Not too shabby for a Saturday in State College, if I do say so myself. Getting up early is my new favorite thing.

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Filed under Breakfast, dairy-free, deserts, eating out, gluten-free, recipes, salads, seafood, vegan

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salmon Cakes Vol. 2

Dave had class tonight, so I got a little over an hour for some full-power mid-week cooking and cleaning. I danced in the kitchen to a strange mix of music on Spotify – from 90s to high school classics to German pop.

I gave these salmon sweet potato & quinoa cakes another attempt – this time, I remembered to put the eggs into the mix instead of having to put them on top fried.

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After cooking a medium sweet potato and half a cup of quinoa, I mixed them with 6 oz. of wild Pacific salmon, half a chopped onion, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of cornmeal.

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Then I seared them in olive oil for about 4 minutes per side.

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They held together a little less well than last time, despite the eggs! I think that’s because I didn’t cook the sweet potato for long enough. It was less doughy and sticky than last time.

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Deliciousness. If you make this, make sure to add enough salt and pepper. Also, I think it would be even better with green onion than just with regular onion. Yes, now that I think of it, definitely use green onions or scallions.

Six cakes meant we have leftovers for lunch. Yay!

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, lunch-prep, recipes, seafood

Salmon, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Cakes

Tonight’s dinner was made out of so many of my favorites, I must immediately declare it a new staple dish!

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Salmon, sweet potato, quinoa, scallion, and onion burgers. Can you say yum?

I got the recipe from my co-worker, but then I modified it a little because I forgot to add eggs when mixing everything together to make these balls of deliciousness.

Once I realized that the eggs were missing, I was rather surprised that everything was sticking together so well. But I won’t ask questions.

Oh! Also, I was supposed to use corn meal, but I didn’t have any. Instead of bullying Dave and sending him on an impromptu trip to the grocery store, I looked up corn meal alternatives. Did you know you can toast a slice of bread and then grind it to get a substitute? I sure didn’t. But then again, I’m sooo still a beginner.

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Here is what I did about the egg thing…. Brilliant, huh? This actually gave me the idea of adding hollandaise sauce as well for a fun twist on Eggs Benedict, but who wants to get that crazy – or eat all that dairy?

Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Salmon Burgers 

Ingredients:

– 2 eggs
– 1 large sweet potato, – peeled, cooked, and mashed
– 1/2 cup quinoa – cooked
– some scallions and about half a large onion, chopped
– salt and pepper to taste
– 2 tbsp. cornmeal

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

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I ended up using my hands because the wooden spoon wasn’t thorough enough for me.

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Then form six cakes out of the doughy mass.

Heat olive or coconut oil in a pan (probs not hard to guess which I used) and cook them on medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side.

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Kind of surprising that it went this well without the eggs, right?!

I made these last night, so they were all ready for us to eat when I got home today after a networking coffee at Starbucks (wisely, I ordered a DECAF soy misto to avoid a sleepless night).

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Seriously, make this.

I actually liked the fried egg on top. It was more fun to look at and I am a sucker for the runny yolk – so delicious.

I also had another small slice of daiya pizza and then followed it up with a glass of coconut milk because I burned my lips with the hot sauce. Some lip icing may also have occurred. Oh life.

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April 2, 2013 · 8:39 pm

Late-Night Salmon

This is what I ate at Duffy’s Tavern at 10:30 pm. We had the Woolrich Warehouse Sale, which I volunteered at with some co-workers to get first dibs on the stuff 😀

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By 10:30, I was starving because I hadn’t had dinner. I got blackened salmon salad (I always order that at Duffy’s, it’s fantastic), a merlot, and Dave and I split some sweet potato fries with maple syrup, of which we stll brought half home.

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Filed under dairy-free, drinks with dinner, eating out, salads, seafood

Easy Weeknight Pasta Dinner

When I plan meals for the week, I try to think about what’s easy, nutritious, and can be eaten for lunch the next day as well. I also try to consider innovation because repeating the same five meals over and over gets old. But on busy days, relying on what I know and can make quickly is definitely the best stress-reducer.

Tonight, I opted for an easy shrimp & pasta dish – a staple in our household and a good choice during the last few weeks of half-marathon training (exactly one month until race day!).

It took about 15 minutes to prepare.

First, I cooked some penne in olive oil and salt. I would have preferred to use whole grain penne, but white was what I had.

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Next, I sautéed shrimp in some olive oil and garlic.

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Then, I added chopped, filleted tomatoes.

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I had to switch the shrimp over to a new sauce pan because I charred the bottom of the first one. Oops. I get so distracted by my German soap while cooking.

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I also added a little bit of chopped red onion, and a handful of spinach and kale each. I seasoned it all with lemon juice, lemon pepper, and garlic salt.

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That’s it. I had a small portion because I didn’t want to overdo the carbs at night, but my leftovers will make a perfect lunch before my night-run tomorrow.

Speaking of running, I am icing my legs as we speak. Yoga at lunch today helped me recover too, but I want to avoid any preventable soreness.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying this chocolate almond milk for desert.

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My number one goal for tonight: a solid 8-hours of sleep. Why do we as a society prioritize everything else over sleep? It’s so incredibly good for us. I am trying to be more conscious of what little tasks I squeeze into my nights that keep me from getting to bed at a reasonable time. Sure, they all seem more exciting than hitting the hay, but then I pay with a lack of focus and energy the next day and often many days after that. A simple realization, but still so difficult to act on.

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Filed under dairy-free, leftovers, running, seafood, yoga

Night-Before-Run Pasta Dinner

It’s Friday and it’s March! I’m so excited to gain more daylight back next weekend and for warmer temperatures.

For now, I’ll have to do with the mid-30s and my high school volleyball training jacket will have to be my constant running companion. It’s perfect for temps from 30 to 55.

We’re going out for drinks tonight, but I wanted to have dinner at home first to make sure I get what I need before my 10-mile run tomorrow. Pasta was my intuitive go-to.

First, I cocked two separate pasta versions: gluten-free penne rigate for Dave and regular spaghetti for me.

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I cooked them in water with some olive oil and salt for 12 minutes. Not that anyone woud be wondering how to make pasta, but just in case  😉

I also made a shrimp, tomato, and kale stir fry.

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Frozen cooked shrimp from Trader Joe’s in olive oil.

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I also added half of an Italian pepper and some fresh parsley that I had sitting around and then seasoned the whole mix with salt and pepper.

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Carb-loading time!

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I had been watching my German soap while cooking and Dave was watching Battlestar Galactica or some non-sense (we are very judgmental of each other’s television preferences), so we decided to be dysfunctional and eat with our respective shows.

I’ve been watching that soap since 1994 and just can’t seem to cut the cord. Episodes are 20 minutes long, so it’s perfect when eating lunch or doing the dishes or doing any other kind of housework. What are your favorite shows to eat to?

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Desert was dark chocolate and peanut butter goodness.

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Such perfection.

Now we’re headed out for drinks, which will mean beer for me to stick to the carb-loading theme.

I’m nervous about trying 10 miles tomorrow. It’s supposed to snow and I hope my mind can get in the running zone. I may as well try to prep food-wise by sticking to what I know works: pasta and beer.

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Filed under dairy-free, deserts, gluten-free, recipes, running, seafood