Moo-free salmon bake

“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” Charles de Gaulle, French resistance leader and lover of democracy

The thing I have missed most since going dairy free is cheese, particularly all those creamy sauces that put the “comfort” in comfort food come snowy weather. Thanks to my vegan friends out there, that cheesy joy is back!

Moo-free Salmon Bake, while obviously not vegan or even vegetarian*, uses a nut-baseCIMG5836_edited-1.JPGd “cheese” that may taste better than the real thing. Enjoy!

Moo-free Salmon Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking dish (a Dutch oven or 9-by-13-inch Pyrex dish works well) with coconut oil or some similar dairy-free alternative. Set aside.

Put one can of drained, wild-caught salmon into a medium bowl and crush skin and bone bits well. (I crush rather than remove such parts. One, if I’m going to eat meat, I don’t want to waste. Two, those bones are loaded with nutrition.) Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, mix 1 cup water, 1 cup unsalted cashews, 1-2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (has cheesy flavor) and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Cook one 12- to 16-ounce box of small wheat or gluten-free pasta (like rotini or elbows) according to directions. Return pasta to cooking pot and add the salmon and the cashew sauce. Mix. Taste. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 large egg and 1 cup frozen sweet peas and mix again.

Put the mix into the prepared dish. Top with crumbled rice squares (the gluten-free cereal) and a light sprinkle of paprika. Bake 30 minutes and serve while warm. (Oddly enough, one daughter and I like to add ketchup on top for full-on comfort food.)

* Vegans and vegetarians: You know what to do. Leave the salmon out and, for vegans, substitute for the egg. 🙂 It’s still yummy. Blessings!

outdoors, recipes

Lemony Salmon Spread

“…vicinity to the sea is desirable, because it is easier to do nothing by the sea than anywhere else, and because bathing and basking on the shore cannot be considered an employment but only an apotheosis of loafing.” E.F. Benson, English writer/archaeologist

People who have never lived at the beach watch hurricane coverage from afar and wonder why anyone would be so crazy as to build a house upon the sand. These are probably the same people who will burn themselves lobster bright next July, however. Live there or not, it’s hard to escape the allure of the sea.

Having been blessed to have lived quite near beaches much of my early life, I can tell you why coastal dwellers risk it. To know a beach requires being there day by day, night by night, season by season. It requires watching the tides rise and fall, sensing the tempo of the day by the color of the sea come morning, having the sizzle/crash/lap of waves embedded in your soul.

While we are deep inland these days, we will pray in solidarity with our coastal friends (who are neither blocking public access nor demanding repeated government assists for rebuilding.) We will even eat in solidarity with them — and you can, too!

Here is our family recipe for Lemony Salmon Spread, the base of many simple meals enjoyed on the shore and the focus of my 100th JOY Journal post! Thank you, dear readers!

Lemony Salmon Spread

Drain one can of wild-caught pink salmon. Using your fingers, either remove visible skin and bones or (as I do) mash them thoroughly for added nutrition. Add the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon finely minced rosemary (use less if using dried) and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Mix well.

Use this spread with cooked pasta, on excellent baguettes, with pita crisps etc. Combined with a salad or a fruit and veggie tray and something chocolate (check my recipe archive for Bake Sale Brownies), it’s a simple but delightful way to round out the summer beach season.