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Last week I had the opportunity to attend Sprouted Kitchen’s food photography workshop at Cannelle et Vanille’s beautiful studio in Seattle.  After being a quiet admirer of Sara and Hugh’s work for so long and then finally being able to meet them and learn from them was like a dream for me.  Both of them are so remarkably talented, yet they are so humble and approachable.  It was a weekend full of refreshment and inspiration and I’m still processing it all.  Our lunches and snacks were all from Sara’s new cookbook, Bowl + Spoon, and after those meals, I seriously wanted to come home and cook through her entire cookbook.  Sara’s approach to “bowl foods”- mixing favorite foods with different colors, textures, toppings, and sauces- is the inspiration behind this salmon and lentils plate (could also be easily eaten in a bowl).  Since both salmon and lentils are favorites in this house, I started with those then added quinoa as our grain and shaved cucumbers with microgreens for a raw vegetable.  I topped it off with a creamy dilled yogurt sauce and sprinkled on some lemon muscovado sunflower seeds for crunch.  Setting out all of the components and letting everyone assemble their own plate is such a beautiful way to serve and enjoy a meal.  Everyone can have more of what they like, less of what they don’t like, and it seems that kids especially enjoy having some ownership of what goes on their plate.  There’s lots of flexibility to this meal- you could use rice or millet instead of quinoa, chicken instead of salmon, or other shredded greens instead of the cucumbers and microgreens.  Don’t leave off the lemon muscovado sunflower seeds though; it really adds the perfect finishing touch to the whole meal.

salmon and lentil plate with dilled yogurt-1 salmon and lentil plate with dilled yogurt-2

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Baked Salmon and Lentils with Quinoa, Shaved Cucumbers, and Dilled Yogurt Sauce}
 
Ingredients
Dilled Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 cup whole milk or lowfat plain yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Muscovado Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
Lentils
  • 1 cup french green lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • fine-grain sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Cucumbers
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 cup micro greens
Assembly
Instructions
Dilled Yogurt Sauce
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Season to taste with additional salt and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Muscovado Sunflower Seeds
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the muscovado sugar, lemon zest, and ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the sunflower seeds until they start to become golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle the lemon sugar mixture over the seeds and stir constantly until sugar melts and coats the seeds, about 1-2 additional minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Season to taste with additional salt if needed.
Lentils
  1. Place lentils is a small pot and cover with water by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender and soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid. Toss warm lentils with vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Allow lentils to rest for 5 minutes. Taste again and season with additional vinegar and salt if needed. Add olive oil and scallions and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside. If lentils seem dry when ready to serve, stir in some of the reserved cooking liquid.
Cucumbers
  1. Use a vegetable peeler to shave cucumber into ribbons, stopping when you get to the seeds. Place cucumber ribbons in a serving bowl and toss with the micro greens.
Assembly
  1. Serve each plate with a portion of quinoa, salmon, lentils, and cucumbers with greens. Drizzle a generous amount of dilled yogurt sauce over each plate and garnish with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
Notes
-inspired by Sprouted Kitchen's Bowl + Spoon
-lentils from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food
-muscovado sunflower seeds from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Everyday

 

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Baked Salmon with DIY Potlatch Seasoning | Gather & Dine

A favorite go-to family meal over recent years has been this baked salmon with potlatch seasoning.  It’s easy and quick for a weeknight meal, but is also special enough for a weekend gathering.  I first learned about potlatch seasoning,  named after the traditional gatherings of Native Americans of the Northwest to commemorate special occasions, from Williams Sonoma.  I usually try to keep a supply on hand, but last week I picked up some salmon for dinner only to come home and discover that I was at the very end of our tin.  I quickly looked at the ingredients, came up with this DIY version, and then wondered why I hadn’t tried my own version earlier.  It takes two minutes to put together and it’s so much more economical!  This seasoning blend will elevate your seafood to new heights of flavor and deliciousness.  We usually use potlatch on salmon, but it can also be used on steak and chicken.  Up later this week- a beautiful, more elaborate, and yet still simple meal incorporating this potlatch baked salmon.  Stay tuned!

Baked Salmon with DIY Potlatch Seasoning | Gather & Dine

 

Baked Salmon with Potlatch Seasoning
Serves: 3-4 mid-size portions
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ pounds salmon
  • 1½ teaspoon potlatch seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Potlatch Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Combine all seasoning ingredients in a jar, tighten lid, and shake to combine.
  3. Line a baking dish or pan with parchment paper. Place salmon skin-side down. Rub salmon with olive oil and sprinkle potlatch seasoning evenly over the top and sides of the salmon. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, depending on thickness of the salmon. Salmon should be flaky, but not dry. Be careful not to overcook.
Notes
Keep remaining potlatch seasoning in a tightly sealed container for later use. Store at room temperature.

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Carrot Banana Muffins {with honey cream cheese} | Gather & Dine

Last week’s spring break at home with the kids unintentionally resulted in a lot more baking and a lot less cooking.  Not quite sure how it ended up that way, but the days passed by quickly and I have no regrets of how we spent our time together.  One of the things my daughter looked forward to most over the break was being able to host a tea party for her grandparents.  According to her, it was to be a tea party featuring her scrambled eggs.  Scrambled eggs are her specialty; she loves to cook them for anyone who will eat them.  She has such a sense of accomplishment after she’s cracked her own eggs, whisked in the milk, sprinkled in the salt and pepper, and scrambled it together on the stove.  Although it may sound simple, to her it is not, and she is proud of being able to do everything on her own.  She couldn’t have been more excited about being able to cook for her grandparents.  It gives me great joy to see her taking initiative in bringing others together, to share good company and delicious food .

Along with Evelyn’s scrambled eggs, we served a bowl of fresh berries and arranged a tiered tray of cardamom vanilla breakfast cookies, mini-jars of soaked muesli with chia jam, and these carrot banana muffins.  I don’t know what else to say about these muffins besides that they are incredible.  They are sweetened almost entirely with dates, only a touch of honey, and made with a spelt and almond flour blend.  They are wonderful for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a healthy dessert.  The texture is fairly dense, but also very soft and moist. The honey cream cheese is a fun surprise in the middle and makes these taste like carrot cake without all of the added sugars.  Carrot cake for breakfast?  Oh yes, I can always be on board with that.

Carrot Banana Muffins {with honey cream cheese} | Gather & Dine Carrot Banana Muffins {with honey cream cheese} | Gather & Dine

Carrot Banana Muffins {with honey cream cheese}
Serves: makes 16 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 5 ounces cream cheese
  • 3½ tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1½ cups mashed banana, (about 3-4 ripe bananas)
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates, chopped (about 9-10 dates)
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and 1½ tablespoons honey until creamy and smooth. (Using a stand or hand mixer here is helpful.) Place in the refrigerator to chill while making the muffin batter.
  2. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly butter a 12-cup muffin tin and 4 cups of an additional muffin tin.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and coconut.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, banana, vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir in the dates. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped walnuts.
  5. Place about 1 slightly heaped tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Transfer honey cream cheese to a piping bag. Cut the tip off and pipe a small amount of cream cheese in the middle of each muffin cup, dividing evenly among the 16 muffin cups. Divide the rest of the batter among the muffin cups, gently placing on top of the cream cheese.
  6. Bake 27-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. These taste delicious both at room temperature or chilled. Store remaining leftover muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Notes
adapted from Andrew Weil's True Food
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