Blackened Salmon with Strawberry Avocado Salsa

This recipe is hands DOWN my favorite food to come out of my kitchen!  Writing about this recipe is hands DOWN my favorite way to procrastinate the residency application work that is looming over my head. Now that exams are over, this is the last *big* project left in medical school…and hopefully some interviews to follow during this coming winter!

While I am SO ready for fall to come (hey there, football season!), it will be hard to say goodbye to the fresh, crisp, summery foods. My new tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum combo is absolutely avocado and strawberries!  This fab duo pairs magnificently with spicy, seared salmon to create an unforgettable dish.  Plus, it doesn’t take long to make! So you can impress your tastetesters in no time at all.  Have any leftovers? Check out this SWAG Salad – strawberry, walnut, avocado, and goat cheese!

Um, hi there lovely summer colors!

So, in these last few weeks of summer I’ve created a mini-bucket list!

  1. Go to the Toledo ZOO! And finally check out the safari side!
  2. Take the dogs to all the metro parks when it cools down – their fur can’t handle the heat!
  3. Check out one of the new rooftop bars in downtown Toledo!
  4. Make this dish as long as the strawberries look delish 😀

Let me know how your dish turns out! And, as always, tag @anappleadayonline so I can check it out!

Blackened Salmon with Strawberry Avocado Salsa
Author: 
Recipe type: Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
This has been my go-to meal for years - this combination creates a sweet heat that is unbeatable! This recipe is enough for two servings, so multiply for a large crowd!
Ingredients
For the salsa:
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup strawberries, diced
  • 1 tbsp. diced red onion
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro, minced
  • ½ lime, juiced
For the Salmon:
  • 2 medium-sized salmon filets
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (I love the frozen brown rice packs by the frozen veggies - makes weeknight dinners a breeze!)
Instructions
  1. Combine the salsa ingredients and mix well, set aside.
  2. Cook the brown rice according to the instructions.
  3. Mix the rub ingredients together - salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Pat salmon filets dry and press the rub onto one side.
  4. Heat canola oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Place salmon rub-side down and cook for 60-90 seconds (just enough to create a crust). Flip the salmon and reduce the heat to medium.
  6. Cook the remaining side for 7 minutes (might need more depending on how thick they are).
  7. Serve the salmon over a bed of brown rice. Top with the strawberry avocado salsa and enjoy!

 

Best House Salad

Happy Tuesday that feels like a Thursday!  Honestly, I walked out of work today and was like, it CANNOT only be Tuesday *insert crying emoji*.  On the bright side, that gives me two “extra” days to study for an upcoming exam.  Or two extra days to watch the new season of Bloodline, whichever seems better in the moment.  I’m happy to be back into a groove with the blog – I have a ton of ideas for summer recipes and finally created a good spot to take some pictures in my small kitchen!  So expect more goodness coming from here in the next few months – especially my new Summer Salad Series.  First off…starring the best house salad you can ask for.

This delicious and nutritious collection of veggies can do you no wrong.  It has just enough flavor to stand alone, yet can balance anything else you put on your plate.  Note – you do not have to cut your avocado into a rose, I just find this entirely too tempting and satisfying.

I do make one request for all my fantastic followers – make your own vinaigrette!  Making your own salad dressing is head.and.shoulders better than anything from the store.  This bright apple cider vinaigrette can be stored in a mason jar in your fridge and used throughout the week to freshen up greens for a quick side salad.

When it comes to “house salads”, you really can get creative with what you have on hand.  Instead of red peppers, feel free to throw in yellow, green, or orange.  Instead of pumpkin seeds (but, they’re delicious!), throw in walnuts or sunflower seeds.  Yes, I did buy these cherry tomatoes because they were so colorful and cute.  But you can use whatever tomatoes you have on hand. Mild banana peppers from the jar add crunch and saltiness and are amazing – you could get a similar flavor with artichoke hearts or olives too.

For those who *hate* red onions, I hear you.  They’re flavor-loud and can take over any dish pretty quickly.  I like to cut mine up and soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes before I drain them and throw them on the salad.  I think it tends to tame their bite a bit! (I do the same thing with guacamole!)

Looking for another crowd-pleasing salad? Check out this green apple. walnut, blue cheese salad with maple dijon vinaigrette!

Best House Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
This salad can be added onto any meal - with fresh, bright ingredients like this, you can't go wrong!
Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil - NOTE: I like a more "vinegary" dressing, but if you want something a little tamer, add up to ⅓ cup total olive oil!
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. dijon or stone ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Note 2: If you want a little sweeter dressing, add up to 1 tbsp of maple syrup. It goes really well with the garlic and apple cider vinegar!
For the salad:
  • ½ head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2-3 cups of spring greens
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ⅓ cup banana peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup red pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
  • ½ a medium avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Cover and shake to combine.
  2. Chop your salad ingredients - peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, red onion, avocado. (Soak red onion if you want to tame the flavor...see note above!)
  3. Wash and chop your romaine lettuce. Combine with equal parts spring greens.
  4. Toss the salad in about half the dressing - you can always add more but you can't take it out! You will likely have dressing left over.
  5. Top with your chopped ingredients and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Hey there everyone!  I think spring has officially sprung!  We had some serious rainfall last week (48 straight hours!), but the sun has been shining this weekend, the temperature is rising, and flowers are blooming everywhere.  In the spirit of summer, we had a belated Cinco de Mayo celebration today.  Instead of rushing to the store for some supplies, I opted for homemade taco seasoning from the spices in my cabinet.

In a perfect world, all of those pre-made seasoning packs would be salt-free, but unfortunately that is not the case!  With this homemade seasoning, you’re cutting out massive amounts of sodium that you’d find in your favorite packs from the grocery store.  On top of that, you can adjust the heat as needed (just reduce the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper!).

I’m excited for the week and even more excited for the meals to come…we’ve got curry chicken and Chinese lettuce wraps on the calendar!  Hopefully I can share them with you all soon.  I’m off to go eat some of these crunchy, delicious tacos with a side of Fool-Proof Guacamole and enjoy the sunshine!  Have a great Sunday 😀

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Author: 
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 tacos
 
Skip the grocery store and make this homemade taco seasoning - packs a flavor punch! Homemade tacos are at your fingertips.
Ingredients
For the seasoning:
  • 5 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1.25 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2.5 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2.5 tsp. cumin
  • 3.75 tsp. onion powder
  • 8.5 tsp. chili powder
  • 1.25 tsp. cayenne pepper
The rest...
  • 1 pound of ground turkey, beef, or chicken
  • 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. Combine all of your spices in a tupperware or mason jar for storage.
  2. Sauté 1 pound of ground turkey, beef, or chicken (your choice) in a saute pan until browned.
  3. Add 1 to 1.5 tbsp. of the seasoning mix with 1 cup of water and 8 oz. can of tomato sauce.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed.
  5. Enjoy on tacos! Try different toppings like avocado, red onion, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

 

Fool-Proof Guacamole

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Fool-Proof Guacamole in all its glory

First recipe!  I decided to kick off our culinary adventure together with guacamole – fantastic for all cooking levels.  A college student could make it in their dorm room if they were determined enough.  When I am asked to bring an appetizer to a party, wine night, Netflix-binging-get-together, you NAME it – there’s a 99% chance it will be this guacamole.  Everyone from your grandparents to little munchkins eat it right up and you’ll be asked to make it again and again.

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