Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon with Caribbean Salsa

Normally, I don’t follow dinner recipes very closely. Usually, once I decide what it is I want to eat, I find out what I have in the fridge and pantry then make something work. Sometimes, I’ll make a quick trip to the grocery store if I’m missing something essential, but usually not.

When I picked up the salmon, I didn’t really have a plan in mind for it. I was feeling uninspired when I got home. I didn’t feel like making our usual lemon, butter and dill salmon. I didn’t have sliced almonds to make dad’s recipe. So, I started searching the Internet for a few ideas. That’s when I came across the Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon and the Caribbean Salsa recipes from FoodNetwork.ca. This was just what I was looking for! Something different than the usual, yet interesting, and better yet, quick to prepare. Even more unusual, I liked everything about the recipes and didn’t feel compelled to change it drastically.

This salmon and salsa was an exception to our normal dinners. I bought the salmon, found the recipe, made a shopping list, made another trip to the grocery store, and followed the recipe (for the most part, I left out the salt and pepper in the crusted salmon and left the skin on the salmon). I bought fresh cilantro (when I would normally use dried) and fresh pineapple (instead of canned) as the recipes suggest. The place where I “cheated” was with the limes. I bought lime juice instead of squeezing limes.

Was this meal worth the extra money for fresh ingredients? Definitely! Would I make it again? For sure! However, Bryan and I both agreed to use half of a red onion instead of the whole onion next time.

Our only complaint? You need lots and lots of salsa to go with the fish. The fish is nothing to write home about on its own. But when paired with the salsa it is amazing!

Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon with Caribbean Salsa

Both the Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon and the Caribbean Salsa recipes are from FoodNetwork.ca (with slight modifications)

Ingredients

Salmon

  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut – approximate cost $1.00
  • 5 salmon fillets, skin on – approximate cost $15.00

Salsa

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cubed – approximate cost $2.50 (purchased at a reduced price, the pineapple was very ripe)
  • 1 red onion, diced – approximate cost $1.10
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1/4 cup olive oil – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/4 cup lime juice – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used sriracha) – approximate cost $0.05

Makes 5 servings (approximate cost: $4.58 per serving).

Note: Both the Caribbean Coconut Crusted Salmon and the Caribbean Salsa recipes are from FoodNetwork.ca (with slight modifications). I have listed the ingredients here to show the affordability of the meal. Please visit FoodNetwork.ca for the full recipes.

Monday Link Parties

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mop it up mondays


Day 29: Dessert

Coconut panna cotta with a pineapple consomme and kumquats (prepared two ways)

Delicious! (I forgot to take a picture before I started eating) My brother says it’s really not that hard to prepare yourself at home… I haven’t tried yet, but when I do I will share the recipe!

Raw Apple Pie in Cupcake Tins

I’ve been making a lot of raw apple desserts lately, so when Chef Renee said we were going to make a raw apple pie I was excited to learn a few things about how I could improve the desserts I was already preparing. And the answer was obvious… play with the ingredients! I was using walnuts exclusively for many of the desserts, including the raw apple crisp and the raw apple cobbler. I hadn’t thought of including dried coconut flakes, pecans, or any other type of nuts.

Raw apple pie

Renee’s apple pie was fantastic! Although when I made this again myself I left the dates out of the filling to tone down the sweetness of the dessert. Just a personal preference.

B and I both enjoyed this pie. For his, I heated the apple mixture before serving and prepared my own at room temperature. Because you don’t put the crust and the filling together until you are just about to serve the pie,  it is easy to cater to various preferences.

Raw Apple Pie in Cupcake Tins

Recipe by RAW food chef Renee Shaidle

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts – approximate cost $2.25
  • 1 cup pecans – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut (optional) – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 cup raisins – approximate cost $1.00
  • 10 medjool or honey dates – approximate cost $2.75

Crust

Filling

  • 6 apples – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1 lemon, juiced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/2 cup raisins – approximate cost $0.50
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted  – approximate cost $0.80
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon – approximate cost $0.05
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup – approximate cost $0.75

Filling

Method

  1. Soak the raisins and dates in warm water for at least 20 minutes, this will make them more sticky. This step is optional. You will likely need to use more raisins and dates if you do not have time to soak them first.
  2. Prepare the crust
    1. Blend the walnuts, pecans, dried coconut, cinnamon and sea salt in a food processor until coarsely ground.
    2. Add raisins and dates until mixture begins to stick together.
    3. Reserve half of the crumble (to sprinkle on top of pie).
    4. Press the remaining half of the crust mixture into muffin tins lined with plastic wrap (Or a 9” pie pan)

      crust

  3. Prepare the filling
    1. Peel, core, and thinly slice 2 apples.
    2. Coat sliced apples with 2 tablespoons lemon juice (this will keep them from turning brown) and set aside.
    3. Peel, slice, and core 4 apples and blend in the food processor with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
    4. Add dates, cinnamon, and maple syrup and continue to process until smooth.
    5. Remove mixture from processor and combine with the sliced apples.
  4. Putting it together
    1. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared muffin cups or pie plate.
    2. Top with remaining crumble.

Crust

Note: Raw apple pies will keep in fridge for approximately 5 days. However, you might want to keep the crust and filling separate until you are about ready to serve the dessert.

Makes about 12 servings (approximate cost: $1.08 per serving).

Raw apple pie

Chocolate Power Balls

I’m not a huge fan of chocolate. Yes, I realize this is shocking to many. I preface with this comment so you won’t be surprised when I confess that I haven’t re-made this dish after the Raw Desserts Workshop. And it will probably be a few more months before I decide to try this again. Don’t get me wrong, it very tasty and a healthy enough treat that you could eat it for breakfast! It’s just too chocolatey for my tastes.

These chocolate power balls are very similar to the Raw Chocolate Truffles with Cashew Kream that Janne and I prepared at the Raw Food Workshop in October (image is from that workshop).

You can make a batch of this chocolatey dessert in about 10-15 minutes!

Chocolate Power Balls

Recipe by RAW food chef Renee Shaidle

chocolate power balls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almonds – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1/2 cup walnuts – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/4 cup cacao – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 tsp salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 avocado – approximate cost $1.00
  • 8-10 dates – approximate cost $2.75

Method

  1. In a food processor, blend walnuts and almonds for about 30 seconds.
  2. With the food processor still running, add coconut, cacao, salt, and avocado.
  3. When the ingredients are well mixed, add the dates to create a sticky consistency. Continue to process until all ingredients are mixed well.
  4. Divide the mixture into 1 tsp portions.
  5. Roll each portion into a ball.

Makes about 15 servings (approximate cost: $0.50 per serving).

If you want, roll the power balls in nut pieces for a variation on this recipe. At the workshop, I coated mine in raw cashew pieces.

Raw Banana Coconut Cream Cake

This was my favourite dessert that we/Renee prepared at the workshop. It’s sweet, as most desserts tend to be. But it isn’t overly sweet. The tartness of the lime adds just enough sour flavour to counter the sweetness of the dates and the agave nectar.

When I made this cake at home, I was so happy with the outcome that I decided to share it with my family. However, I didn’t tell them that the dessert was raw/vegan. The cake had become so frozen that I wasn’t able to cut it. So we had to wait almost an hour after dinner before we were able to enjoy the dessert.

Their reaction? Everyone ate their cake without complaint and the dogs begged for the cake. My stepmother shared her last two bites, one for each dog (this is not unusual). My dad, brother, and I enjoyed our cake, but didn’t share. Everyone said thank you and we went about our night. All of the plates were clean. I think they liked it too!

Raw Banana Coconut Cream Cake

Recipe by RAW food chef Renee Shaidle

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup walnuts nuts (the original recipe calls for macadamia nuts, I substituted walnuts to helps keep down the cost) – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1/2 cup cashews – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1/2 cup shredded dry coconut – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 10 dates (or ⅓ cup raisins) – approximate cost $2.75
  • Pinch of sea salt – approximate cost $0.05

Banana layer

  • 3-4 bananas – approximate cost $1.50

Filling

  • 1 cup fresh coconut meat (or 1/2 cup coconut cream and 1/2 cup cashews) – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews – approximate cost $4.50
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 tablespoon agave nectar – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 lime – juiced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 bananas, sliced – approximate cost $0.75

Method

  1. Prepare the crust
    1. Blend the macadamia nuts, cashews, coconut, coconut oil, and sea salt in a food processor until finely chopped.
    2. Add dates slowly to mixture until the crust becomes sticky (use more or less than recommended depending on your crust).
    3. Line a cake or pie pan with plastic wrap.
    4. Press crust mixture into an even layer in the pan.
    5. Place crust in freezer and chill for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the filling
    1. Blend the cashews and sea salt in a food processor until finely chopped.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients one at a time (coconut or coconut cream, coconut oil, agave nectar, lime juice, vanilla, and banana slices)
    3. Blend all ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Prepare the banana layer
    1. Slice the bananas into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Put it all together
    1. Take crust out of the freezer and place the bananas slices evenly on top of the crust.
    2. Pour the filling on top of bananas and spread into an even layer.
    3. Place assembled cake into the freezer for 3-4 hours to set.
    4. Remove from freezer.
    5. Decorate with coconut flakes.
    6. Serve immediately.


Makes about 9 servings (approximate cost: $1.88 per serving).

Raw Apple Crumble

I’ll be participating in a bake sale tomorrow, with the proceeds being donated to a local charity. You might have noticed from the nature of my posts, I don’t often bake sweets. Honestly, because I rarely follow a recipe step-by-step the result usually isn’t quite right. At first, I thought it might be nice to prepare some finger foods such as dumplings or other such appetizers. Being that I would have to prepare this on a weeknight, I ruled out that option as too time consuming.

Then, I looked to the Raw Cooking Workshop that I attended at the beginning of the month. I sifted through the recipe book that Renee prepared for us, but nothing was quite what I was looking for. As my mind drifted and I began looking forward to a weekend shopping trip at the market, I found my inspiration: it’s apple season! I will make something with apples. What can I make with apples? Apple pie, apple sauce, apple crumble, baked apples, candied apples… the options seemed endless. However, I still liked the idea of making a raw dish.

Apple crumble seemed like the least intensive item to prepare on a weeknight. I searched the Internet for “raw apple crumble” and found two recipes that seemed appropriate: Raw Apple Crisp from Raw Food Passion and RAW Vegan Apple Crisp from A Taste of Raw. I ended up taking suggestions from both recipes and came up with the following recipe for apple crumble.

Raw Apple Crumble

Adapted from Raw Food Passion and A Taste of Raw

apple crumble

Ingredients

Crumble

  • 2 cups raw nuts (any combination, 1 used ½ cup walnuts, 1 cup almonds, ½ cup cashews, could also include pecans, sunflower seeds, etc.) – approximate cost $4.00
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut flakes – approximate cost $1.00
  • 8 (about a ½ cup) medjool dates, soaked and pitted – approximate cost $2.00
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar – approximate cost $0.25

Filling

  • 4-6 apples (I used Macintosh), cored and thinly sliced – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1 lemon, squeezed/juiced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/2 cup raisins, soaked – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon – approximate cost $0.10
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar – approximate cost $0.25

apple crumble

Method

Preparing to make this dish

  1. Soak the medjool dates and raisins for 2-3 hours or until softened.
  2. Core and slice apples into thin pieces. (This can be done with a paring knife and a lot of patience, or much more quickly using a food processor).

Prepare the filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice and agave nectar, then set aside.
  2. Let the mixture marinate on the counter for 1-2 hours.
  3. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins to the apple mixture and mix well.

Prepare the crumble

  1. Place nuts and coconut in a food processor (or blender) and process until coarsely ground.
  2. Add dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together.

Assembling the dish

  1. Press the crumble into 8″ square glass baking dish to make an even and solid crust.
  2. Drizzle the crust with 2 tablespoons of agave nectar.
  3. Pour the apple filling mixture over the crumble and arrange into a mostly even layer.

Enjoy immediately or chill and save later. Serve at room temperature or warm it slightly in an oven turned to its lowest temperature with the door propped open.

Makes 9 servings (approximate cost: $1.29 per serving).

apple crumble

Raw Chocolate Truffles with Cashew Kream

At the raw cooking workshop, we prepared raw chocolate truffles with cashew kream. I’m usually note a huge fan of sweets, but the tartness of the lemon in the sauce made it taste refreshing. This was very enjoyable!

Raw Chocolate Truffles with Cashew Kream

Recipe by RAW food chef Renee Shaidle

Chocolate truffles with cashew kream

Ingredients

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds (soaked and dried)
  • 1 cup of dates
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 lemon, squeeze
  • 2-3 tbsp agave

Method

Truffles

  1. In a food processor, blend walnuts and almonds for about 30 seconds.
  2. With the food processor still running, add coconut, cacao, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  3. When the ingredients are well mixed, add the dates to create a sticky consistency. Continue to process until all ingredients are mixed well.
  4. Divide the mixture into 1 tsp portions. Roll each portion into a ball.

Cashew kream

  1. Blend the cashews, lemon, and agave until it forms a smooth icing-like consistency.

Putting it all together

  1. Serve the truffles with the cashew kream drizzled on top.

If you’re interested in Renee’s raw food cooking class, see her website: http://beliveonline.com/events or, if you want raw cooking without the work, check out Marbles restaurant in Uptown Waterloo.

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