Spicy Salmon Rolls

If you’re like me…SAM_5383

You grew up on fried chicken and Oreos.

If you’re like me…

You’re just now discovering health food is delicious.

A recent surprise:


I’ve been trying it a lot as a mix-in for soups and pastas by sauteeing it. But recently, I boiled those healthful little leaves. My eight-year-old self would have cringed at the very word of such things. My twenty-three-year-old self was more open-minded.

And then, she was pleasantly surprised.SAM_5370

A spicy tuna mix can make anything delicious, but the boiled cabbage I used as wrappers was such a nice compliment of flavors/ textures. I think I’m in love.

And I feel a little bad for my anti-cabbage younger self. Missed way too much good eating because I was way too stubborn.


5-6 cabbage leaves

2 packet of shredded salmon

handful of kale

chopped onions, radishes, and any other veggies you like. SAM_5384

1/2 t minced garlic

squeeze of lemon

tiniest dash of cayenne, and a heftier dash of red pepper flakes


-Peel and clean off your cabbage leaves. Boil for only a few minutes or until tender. Remove and let dry as much as possible while you…

-Set broilers to high (or bake setting to 400 degrees). Prepare broil-safe pan with cooking spray.

-Prepare salmon mix in skillet with cooking spray on the pan first. Then add in garlic, spices, and chopped veggies. When it starts to look the like the heat is drying it out. Use the lemon juice you’ve been armed with. Sautee for a few minutes; ’til warmed through completely.SAM_5372

-The wrappers are the tricky part. Let them face up and spoon some of the mixture on the fullest end. Not too much salmon, though. You’d be surprised how little it needs. You don’t want it spilling out the edges. Fold the sides in, roll, tuck the bottom of the leaf under. Repeat.

-Line up your salmon rolls. Broil or bake until they’ve turned a bit more translucent and yellowish in color. Remove and serve warm.

You can, of course, also try them cold. I’m sure they’d be just as delicious.

My lunch was delightful. How was yours?

Curry in a Hurry!


If you know me, you know my dinner standby is a simple equation of sorts: pasta + veggies + protein. I like to mix up each part, and I love trying new sauces. Definitely my favorite comfort food, and heaven knows I eat a lot of it.SAM_5020

But sometimes when I’m feeling wild and crazy, I make Curry in a Hurry. It’s so simple, so healthful. Plus, it’s fast!

Yes, a good curry can be made fast and made for one. Here’s how.


1/2 cup dry brown riceSAM_5014

4 oz. of cooked protein of choice (chicken, mahi mahi, etc.)

1 cup veggies of choice (onions, scallions, carrots, edamame, broccoli, and red pepper slices are a few of my favorites)

1-2 T broth (for a runnier curry)

1-2 T Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce

1/2 t curry powder


cooking oil

optional: dash of cayenne or ground ginger for good health


To cook your rice fast, prepare in rice cooker as directed. Or do as I do and combine 1/2 cup rice and 1 and 3 T water in microwave-safe bowl and zap for about 7 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

While your rice is cooking, heat garlic in a lightly oil pan. Add in veggies. Sautee as you add in the curry powder, then the broth and optional seasonings if you’d like those.SAM_5021

At this point, if you’d like your protein mixed in, then do that now. I often just eat mine over the top, on a bed-of-rice sort of deal.

When the rice is finished, blend it in to heat up with the veggies. After a minute or so, mix the secret weapon, Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce, in. Blend well; add more if you like.

Serve warm. And if you’re in a hurry, at least take a minute to enjoy this incorrigibly good, Indian-inspired dish.

Ricotta-Stuffed Salmon Roll

Doctors recommend that we eat salmon at least twice a week. My favorite health benefit of salmon, and there are many, is knowing that the omega-3 nutrients can help keep a brain sharp. It’s a little expensive, yes. But in my opinion, health and well-being are always worth splurging on.

I usually eat my salmon atop a bed of fresh pasta and veggies. This is pretty routine for me. Routines are nice some nights, but I’m always looking for something new.

I came across this idea while pinning.

It’s perfect.


-4 oz. salmon (a long, thin slice will work best)

-2 T ricotta

-1 T flowering kale, chopped

-Italian seasonings of choice


-Set oven to broil. Lightly grease a broil-safe pan. Set aside.

-Mix ricotta, kale, and seasonings in a small bowl. Place on the thicker end of the filet. Slowly roll and pin together with oven-safe skewers.

-Broil for about 4-5 minutes or until the salmon has cooked fully. A little pink color is good, but know that the insides of the roll will need more time than the outsides.

Serve warm, possibly atop a bed of pasta if you want to follow suit.

Spicy Cream Shrimp & Pasta

Ever wondered how restaurants make spicy cream sauces so good?

It’s actually not that hard. Take this spicy chicken rigatoni recipe I adapted from Buca di Beppo. Just a mix of red sauce, a little dairy or cream sauce. A quick boil, and a quick reduction, and BAM! Cream sauce (which we call pink sauce in St. Louis).

But don’t forget the spice. That’s what gives the sauce life, right?

Sidenote: I went a bit more Cajun with this one, opting for shrimp over chicken. But you could replace the shrimp with chicken if you like.


  • 1 T oil
  • 1/2 T crushed red pepper
  • pinch of onion salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 t crushed garlic
  • 20-25 shrimp, thawed, deveined
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T marinara sauce
  • 2 T non-dairy milk (or Alfredo sauce)
  • 2 T peas, cooked
  • 2 ounces of dry pasta of choice, cooked according to package directions
  • additional crushed red pepper (for garnish)


– In a saucepan, heat oil. Sprinkle in red pepper, salt, and pepper. Then add garlic.

-Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

-After a few minutes of simmering, add shrimp to first saucepan. Let saute for about 3 minutes. Then mix in marinara sauce, then milk or Alfredo sauce. Bring to a quick, low-boil, and quickly reduce by removing from stove. Let thicken up a bit.

-Once pasta is prepared, drain thoroughly so no extra water ruins the sauce. Add pasta to sauce mixture and blend. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle peas on top. Garnish with additional red pepper.

Wondering what I had for dessert to follow this spicy pasta dish? Watermelon ice cream!

Light Tuna Melt in Bell Pepper Halves


My borderline-obsessive love for cooking is now pouring over into the kitchenette space of Carver Hall–where I work as a writing center graduate assistant. On a particularly toasty Tuesday in July, I made tuna melts, and they were as terrific as this continual alliteration.

I’ll stop now 🙂

In all seriousness, these tuna melts are so yummy! They’re perfect for a day when you’re not feeling starches.

The original recipe I adapted from suggested broiling them, which would also be very tasty. But because we have no broilers at work, I settled for the next best thing: the microwave.

And guess what? They turned out great! Everyone within a 50 foot radius of the kitchenette was wildly complimentary of them, and I was slightly less embarrassed to be trying out new recipes on my lunch break.


Mixed right in the very to-go container I took to work. Hooray for fewer dishes, too!

2.4 oz package of tuna, drained

1 t mayo (Trader Joe’s has a great preservative-free, low-cal option)

1/2 stalk celery, chopped

2 T diced scallions or red onion

2 ounces cheese (I used a soy-based slice)

1 green, yellow, or red bell pepper, halved, core and seeds removed

red pepper flakes to taste


-Warm up the peppers in the microwave for about 45 seconds or until they begin to soften. Set aside.

Almost ready…

-Combine tuna, mayo, celery, and onions in a small bowl. Add this mixture to one of the pepper halves and place a small slice of cheese on top. Repeat with the other pepper. Microwave both for about 45 seconds.

-Then place cheese slices and seasonings over the top of the pepper and heat until cheese is melted. If you want to try out the broiler version, plan to broil on high for about 3 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

This might be a new workweek favorite for lunch. If you enjoyed them as much as I did, leave a comment letting me know.

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