Favorite Recipe: Salmon Cakes and Spaghetti Squash

I think all of us are trying to get back on track after a month or two of holiday eating. Whether or not you put on weight or just find yourself less energetic than normal, the new year is always an inspiring time to try new things. Though I do not personally believe in making a list of firm New Year’s resolutions, I do give myself an opportunity to do some reflection and make a few tweaks to my current routine. This year, I have decided to focus on finding time to meditate and getting more creative with my veggies (i.e. eating more of them!).

Like any normal human out there, I have my good days and my not so good days when it comes to nutrition. In fact, there have even been days where I don’t eat a vegetable at all! (insert *gasp* here) Yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking… How could a nutritionist go a day without eating a veggie. Well, it happens. Busy schedules, travel, and unexpected happenings can all disrupt the most perfect of plans.

So back to my quest for more veggies. If you know me I am always looking for good recipes, especially ones that are gluten-free and chalk full of fresh food and vegetables. This week I stumbled upon an absolutely delicious recipe that I couldn’t resist sharing with you all. Moreover, it totally accomplished my “goal” to eat more veggies every day. It was inspired from a simply fabulous meal program called TheFresh20. I’ll have to blog more about that site later, but this recipe made me especially happy.

This is a GLUTEN-FREE & GRAIN-FREE recipe with a DAIRY-FREE option.

My hope is that you enjoy it as much as I did!

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Salmon Cakes and Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

3/4 pound yams (white or orange will work)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 pound wild caught salmon, diced very small
2 tsp gluten-free Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sour cream (could also sub out with coconut milk for those of you avoiding dairy)
1/4 tsp sea salt
Dash of black pepper
1 lemon, zested and then sliced (reserved slices to squeeze juice over cakes)
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup parsley (about 1/4 of a bunch)
6-8 oz mixed greens or arugula (I used arugula to help boost my bitter greens intake)

1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Optional side item: 2-3 cups red grapes

Method (Squash):

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place squash, cut side down, into a baking dish or tray with about 1/2 cup water. Cover with foil.
  3. Cook 30-40 minutes or until squash is tender to touch or very easily pierced with fork.
  4. Cool slightly, then rake out the strands of squash with large spoon or fork. Toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil, then set aside.

Method (Mashed Yams):

  1. Start a medium to large pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt.
  2. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to remove skin from yams. Cube yams into medium to large chunks and add to boiling water.
  3. Boil for 15-20 minutes until yams are fork tender. Drain water and return yams to pot.
  4. Add chicken broth and mash yams fork or potato masher until smooth.

Method (Salmon Cakes):

  1. While squash is cooking or cooling, combine salmon, mashed yams, mustard, sour cream or coconut milk, salt, pepper, lemon zest, scallions, and parsley in a large bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly and form into 8 patties (2 per person).
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place patties on tray. Bake for 15 minutes until fish is done.
  4. Serve patties on a generous bed of greens or arugula and a side of spaghetti squash. Squeeze fresh lemon over patties for an added ZING.
  5. Enjoy 1/2 cup red grapes with your meal for a sweet, nutrient dense dessert option.

Kitchen Note: My husband sprinkled parmesan cheese over the spaghetti squash and it was quite delish. A great option if you are not intolerant to dairy.

After writing this post, I can see that the recipe looks somewhat daunting. It’s really not! It takes a little effort, as does most cooking, but the rewards do pay off (happy tummy and tastebuds being the most notable). I would encourage you to cook some extra yams and spaghetti squash in the process so that you can use it again later in the week. Both store very well in the fridge and make a great add-on to meals. Some ideas? Mashed yams could be used to top a Shepard’s pie or used to thicken a soup. Spaghetti squash can be topped with marinara or Bolognese for a simple hearty dish or stir-fried with your other favorite veggies and proteins.

If you have the chance to try this recipe out, you will have to let me know what you think in the comments section below.

In Health and Vitality,

~Beth