Tag Archives: salmon

New Yoga Endeavors

I went to a 90-minute “Power Yoga Flow” session at a new yoga studio downtown this morning – PYP Studio in State College.

Afterwards, I rewarded myself with this.


But more on that after my Yoga recap:

It was insanely hard – maybe harder than a running my half-marathon in April. I hadn’t been expecting such a high intensity class, so I found myself utterly unable to put my best effort into most poses. Such things, at least for me, require mental prep time.

For at least the first hour, all I could think was, “these people are insane,” and “I’m never coming back here again.”

I had never been to a yoga class set up like this one. It started out with everyone in child’s pose, and the instructor, a tiny British lady with a fierce voice, gave kind of an opening “sermon.” Or a dramatic monologue maybe? She spoke about how we constantly reach outside of ourselves, searching, wanting, trying for more, when all we need is right here in the present. She challenged us to stop seeking approval from other people and to appreciate the perfect, innocent human being buried inside of us amidst the daily craziness. Throughout the session’s resting poses, she always came back to this theme, reiterating her points, and dramatizing them in the context of our movements.

During savasana at the end, which I enjoyed so much in my complete exhaustion, she played “Let it Be” by the Beatles. Tacky, yes. But still somehow in line with everything else she was doing.

Dave, of course, said all of this sounded terrible when I told him about it at brunch. And yes, it was definitely different and intense. But during the last 30 minutes of the class, as the exhaustion had broken me down enough, I discovered new, refreshing thoughts within myself. One of them was that it makes complete sense to me that in a “church-like” format, in which we challenge the mind to center itself and connect with its core, we would challenge the body at the same time to go to its limits.

So then, after yoga, I picked up Dave and we went to Pine Grove Mills, which is about 5 minutes from our house, to try the new breakfast place that opened there on Monday, Naked Egg Cafe. A co-worked told me about it yesterday, and I was so excited when I looked at their menu and discovered they have salmon Eggs Benedict!

In light of my new plan to stop drinking coffee, I ordered a pot of Irish Breakfast tea. By the time our food arrived, I had finished the entire pot, about five cups or so, because we waited for about 45 minutes!!! Sure, they recently opened and the place was packed, but waiting that long for breakfast is not acceptable in my opinion. When we got the food, we couldn’t believe the small portions. I paid $12.99 for the salmon benedict and there wasn’t really as much smoked salmon under the egg as I would have expected. Plus, why wouldn’t they serve some sort of potatoes on the side? Pretty disappointing. It tasted good, but not great. On the plus side, the food is all local. That’s why I wanted to like the place so much. We’re thinking we’ll give them one more chance and come earlier in the morning when it’s not as crowded and order something else. But it’s still a bummer because no other place in town that I know of makes salmon benedicts or even has a breakfast menu with smoked salmon on it.

Enough complaining. After brunch, we went to the Farmer’s Market to stock up on some organic produce. I bought eggplants, onions, tomatoes, and parsley. We also each bought a pastry from an Amish woman, plus I had a macaroon and Dave a gluten-free brownie. Splurge alert.


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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.


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:


– 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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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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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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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!


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.


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 


– 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


Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.


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


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.


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).


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

Sunny Maze

After having to complete my last 10+ mile run on the treadmill (shudder), I was beyond excited to see the weather forecast for Saturday: 55 and sunny. Oh State College, why do days like that have to be so desperately rare right now?

I mapped a 12-mile run via mapmyrun.com – my last long-run before the half-marathon in 2 weeks. From now on, I start tapering down, never doing more than 8 miles. Around 1 pm, I headed out.

It was so nice out – the time just flew by. I also felt really strong because I took a running-break this week due to my crazy schedule. I took a route I’d never taken before, along a long stretch of country road.

Because it was so nice out, I decided to take pictures, which turned out better than I expected, considering I took them on my phone while running.


Loving the blue sky with the back-drop of Mount Nittany.

I was so enamored with the view, the weather, and my playlist that I didn’t notice that I took the wrong turn on this road. I took a left when I was really supposed to keep going straight.


Windy country-road leading me back into town. I had no reason to believe I wasn’t following my mapped-out route.


Lovely little creek.


Back in town, ready to take a left back towards our neighborhood. At this point, it dawned on me that I was ahead of schedule. I expected the run to last around 2 hours and 15 minutes, but was only and hour and 11 in with approximately 3 miles left.

When I got back to our neighborhood, I was sure that I took a premature turn somewhere, and added an extra loop to prolong the run. When I got back, my knees and calves were grateful to be done, although my mind and lungs felt like I could have gone on longer to enjoy more of the glorious sun.

A look at the map quickly revealed that I did in fact cut my run substantially short because of the missed turn, I ended up doing 10 miles instead of 12. I was bummed, but what can I do? I think I’ll be able to do 13.1 in two weeks anyway, so no need to beat myself up over it. I stretched and showered, and then Dave and I went on to enjoy the nice day.


We started with an early salmon and asparagus dinner on the balcony. First meal outside this year!


For desert, we had some of the Easter chocolate Dave’s mom sent in her Easter package. It also contained about 400 wedding picture prints, so we can spend this rainy Easter Sunday afternoon scrapbooking.


I also must give a shout-out to my new shearling suede slippers from Sundance, which I got from their heavily discounted employee sale through a co-worker. I am obsessed with them and want to wear them 24/7. They were perfect for an early spring dinner in the shade.

Later in the night, we met some people from Dave’s program for trivia night. I had two wheat beers to help with my light-headedness after the run.


Our team won first place, and it’s pretty safe to say that I had absolutely nothing to do with that.

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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 😀


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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I should know by now that the worst choice I could make is take a nap on the couch on a weeknight. But all it takes is a glass or two of wine and I am too tempted to resist.

I slept from 8:45 to 10:20 p.m. and then was up talking to Dave for at least an hour. Since then, I haven’t really been able to fall asleep, although I was dozing until about 2:30 a.m. At that point, I got up because the first spring downpour is happening and is accompanied by lots of wind, which makes for a loud spectacle. I took a ho bath and played a few rounds of Scramble with Friends. Now I think I might give the sleep thing another try.

I toyed with the idea of making chocolate-covered strawberries for work. But then I had a little talk with myself about where my priorities are….

Anyway, here is what we had for dinner.


There is the first of two glasses of wine that caused all of this.

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