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salmon burgers

salmon burgers
In her book, It’s All Good, Gwyneth Paltrow writes,

“Burgers are my favourite food in the world, which is ironic because I don’t eat red meat.”

I know, right? Gag me with a spoon. I know I should be rolling my eyes right now while I LOL, but I get it, I can totally see where Gwynnie is coming from.

Unlike Gwyneth I do eat red meat from time to time. I don’t often cook it at home, but I can’t say no to a good quality filet mignon when I’m out. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fare share of tasty, traditional beef hamburgers — I’ll be the first to suggest Five Guys when I’m in the mood for something sloppy and last year I waited nearly three hours for April Bloomfield’s legendary burger at The Spotted Pig, a wait that was worth every second. But overall my thoughts on beef burger are generally a big fat meh.

However, like Gwyneth, burgers are probably just about one of my favourite foods in the whole world too. It’s rare that a week goes by in this house without some kind of burger on the menu. Turkey, chicken and veggie burgers are always in regular rotation for quick dinners and lunches, and I even have a couple of recipes for a good lamb burger that I’ve got stashed away when I’m really feeling wild.

There’s just something about these other types of burgers that are so much more flavourful, so much more interesting. And of course these salmon burgers are no exception. There was a time when the words “salmon” and “burger” together in one sentence would have freaked me out, but they were one of the first recipes I bookmarked when I cracked open It’s All Good for the first time. They’ve got everything I love in them. Salmon. Cilantro. PICKLED GINGER!

salmon burgerssalmon burgers

They were as delicious as I had hoped for, a perfect vehicle for Sriracha mayo. I made them twice in as many weeks; once mid-week, stashing them in the fridge overnight ensuring that we had a speedy dinner on the table and again on a lazy Saturday. They were also great on a salad with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of olive oil.

Definitely one of my favourite foods in the world.

Salmon Burgers with Cilantro and Pickled Ginger
Adapated from It’s All Good

Ingredients:

1 pound salmon fillets, skin removed and cubed
2 tablespoons picked ginger, drained
½ small onion
1/3 cup cilantro
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon course sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for cooking
For serving — Sriracha Mayo, cucumber, avocado, pickled onions, lettuce… whatever you like!

Method:

If your salmon is frozen, let it thaw almost all the way through. If it’s fresh, stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes so it’s well chilled. You want the salmon to maintain some shape and keeping it chilled also ensures that it’s not going to start to cook in the food processor. Working in two batches, pulse the salmon so that it’s well chopped but not pastey. Think tinned tuna, not hummus. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Combine remaining ingredients (except olive oil) in the food processor until finely chopped and well mixed. Add to salmon and mix well.

Use your hands to form four patties and then stick them in the fridge to bind, at least one hour and up to overnight. When you’re ready to eat, heat a heavy-bottom pan on medium with the oil. Once hot, throw in the burgers cooking five minutes on each side until cooked through and nicely browned on the outside.

Serve with your favourite burger fixings.

Enjoy!

almond date granola bars

almond date granola bars
For as long as I can remember, as in like my whole life, granola bars have been a go-to snack. They were a mainstay in my lunchbox when I was a kid. There was always a box in my bottom drawer when I got my first job. Granola bars were a weekly staple when I got my first apartment and started doing my own grocery shopping. When Jeff and I moved in together we’d each get to select a box of our own granola bars for the week.

Granola bars are a perfect snack… In theory. Fibre, good fats, protein — but in reality most of today’s packaged granola bars are glorified candy loaded with sugar, artificial flavours, preservatives and other junk, all wrapped up in a “chocoately coating.” What is this “chocolately” that is coating these granola bars anyway?

Needless to say conventional grocery store granola bars are no longer a pantry staple in the house. Full disclosure, we do keep a box of Uberbars and Larabars in our pantry. With minimal ingredients and without most of the yuck that a Quaker bar might have, I feel okay keeping them around for emergencies. They come in handy when I need a boost before an early morning workout or after a client meeting that ran late and left me without lunch. But even still they are not the best snack and we certainly try not to indulge too often.

almond date granola bars

I had always wanted to try baking my own bars at home but the recipes I’d come across in the past often called for ridiculous amounts of honey, maple syrup or nut butter — sometimes as much as a cup each! — making them cost prohibitive. A cup of good quality honey could cost upwards of $10, making those grocery store bars look ever more attractive. So when I spotted a recipe for breakfast bars in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook that called for a mere quarter cup of olive oil, honey and almond butter, respectively, I knew my time had come!

I had everything in my cupboard to whip these bars up on a Friday night and they took barely any time at all. Key learnings for next time: no really, wait until the bars are completely cool, if not cold, to try and cut them. Even at warmish they were crumbly and difficult to slice. And I’m definitely going to try throwing in a handful of cacao nibs.

Jeff and I both enjoyed these bars to fuel our workouts or simply for breakfast. One more I crumbled a bar over a bowl of fresh local peach slices, blackberries and a sheep’s yogurt — a winning combination and a power breakfast to boot. Needless to say with a batch of these in the freezer we haven’t been reaching for those Larabars, and I’m more than happy with that.

Almond Date Granola Bars
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Makes 8 large or 16 small bars

Ingredients
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 1/4 rolled oats
3 Tbsps whole spelt flour
1/3 cup ground flax
1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extra

Method
Preheat your oven to 350. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to go up the sides. Drape a second piece in the opposite direction so you can easily life the bars once they are cool.

In a large bowl, stir together dates, oats, spelt flour, flax, almonds, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk almond butter, oil, honey and vanilla until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until everything is coated well and evenly. Spread the mixture in to the pan and press firmly into the edges.

Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are brown around the edges. Remove and let them cool completely. No seriously, let them cool! Maybe even put them in the fridge. Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut into squares.

Enjoy!