AIP Salmon Cakes With Avocado Aioli

Because I am cooking for myself a lot of the time now, I tend to make a lot of single person meals.

The only exceptions to this are when I am also cooking for my 2 housemates, or I am making something that will keep in the fridge for a few days and is easily reheated.

This recipe is one of my “single person” meals, although it would easily be doubled or tripled if you needed to feed more people.

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Salmon is a fish that is very good for us because it is an oily fish that is high in the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids.

I usually have some wild-caught salmon fillets in the freezer that I can pull out and thaw when I need to make a quick meal just for me.

I used white (Japanese) sweet potatoes here, which are slightly less sweet than the familiar orange ones.  This recipe would work just as well with the regular sweet potatoes however…

There will be more avocado Aioli than you need for one person – just cover the remainder tightly with clingwrap, ensuring that the clingwrap is in contact with the surface of the sauce.  It will keep for another day in the fridge and can be used as a dip with veggies for your lunch.

AIP Salmon Cakes with Avocado Aioli

serves 1

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For the Salmon Cakes

  • 1 fillet fresh or frozen salmon 4-6oz (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 green onion – chopped
  • 1 tsp capers – rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
  • pink Himalayan salt to taste
  • arrowroot flour to dust
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil – divided

For the Avocado Aioli

Prick the sweet potato all over and then cook it in the microwave for 5 minutes until it is fork tender. Depending on the power of your microwave, it may take more or less time than this.

If you do not want to use a microwave, you can also bake the sweet potato in the oven – wrap it in foil after pricking it, and bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350°F (175°C) oven until it is fork tender.

While the sweet potato is cooking, melt 1 tbsp of the coconut oil in a small skillet.  Add the fish and cook for 3 minutes per side until it is opaque and flaking.  do not over cook the fish!

Once the sweet potato is cooked, use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin into a small mixing bowl and mash it well.

Flake the fish into the bowl, discarding any skin.  Add the green onion, capers and parsley, and season to taste with the salt.  Mix well.

Dust your hands with some arrowroot flour and shape the mixture into 2 patties, 1″ thick.  Dust the outside of the patties with more arrowroot flour.

Melt the remaining tbsp of coconut oil in the same skillet that you used to cook the fish.  Add the salmon cakes and cook for 5 minutes per side until heated through and golden brown.

While the salmon cakes are cooking make the avocado aioli.

Place all the aioli ingredients in a food processor and puree till smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and necessary.

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Serve the salmon cakes on top of a bed of sauteed spinach with some of the avocado aioli on top.

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Store any remaining aioli tightly covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Shared at:  Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable

Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

I love salmon, and one of my favourite ways to prepare it is as gravlax.

Gravlax is a Nordic (Norwegian and Swedish) cured salmon dish, where the fish is cured in a mixture of salt and sugar, usually with dill, and is then consumed raw.  If you love smoked salmon, you will most likely love this fish preparation as well.

The name gravlax means “buried salmon”.  In medieval times, and possibly even earlier, the raw fish (not just salmon, but also herrings and other oily fish) was buried in holes in the ground and left to ferment as a means of preserving the fish for consumption during the winter when food was scarce.

Modern gravlax is not buried in the ground, and is not fermented.  Instead it is cured in salt (and usually sugar), in the fridge for a few days.

It is very simple to make and tastes delicious.  Don’t be put off by the fact that is is served raw, it has a texture very similar to smoked salmon.  It is also safe to eat the fish raw as long as it has been frozen for a minimum of 7 days as this kills any parasites that may be in the flesh.  You could also buy sushi-grade salmon to be extra safe.

This recipe is AIP friendly, and because the fish has not been cooked, it is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so very good for you.

Use it just as you would smoked salmon.  It is excellent as an appetizer, as a light main-course and the leftovers are great for breakfast.  I often add leftover gravlax to scrambled eggs.

My recipe for gravlax is loosely based on a recipe in Cured by Lindy Wildsmith.  I cut out the sugar for this cure to make it Paleo/AIP and added a small amount of honey for a little sweetness.

To make this strict AIP, you would need to omit the black pepper which is a stage 1 reintroductoin.  If you have managed to reintroduce it and know you are not sensitive to it, it does add a touch of spice however.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Gravlax

serves 12

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  • 2 x 2¼lb (1kg) pieces of wild-caught salmon fillet (skin on) – previously frozen for a minimum of 7 days then defrosted
  • 4 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 4 tsp ground black pepper (omit if sensitive or strict AIP)
  • 2 tbsp honey – preferably raw and local
  • 1 bunch of dill finely chopped

Thaw the salmon in the refrigerator, then check carefully for any pinbones, removing them with a pair of tweezers.

Mix the salt, pepper, honey and dill together.  You may need to warm your honey to make it liquid if it is the creamed, solid kind.

Place one piece of salmon skin-side down in a shallow dish and spread the salt mixture evenly over the flesh.

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Top with the second piece of salmon, flesh side down.  Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, turn the fish over so that the top piece is now on the bottom, recover and replace in the refrigerator for another 24 hours.

After this time, wipe off the salt mixture,

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sprinkle the top of the fish with a little extra chopped dill, slice thinly on the diagonal, leaving the skin behind, and serve.

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I served this with a green salad, roasted beets and carrots and some lactofermented cucumber relish.

If you want to serve fewer people than 12, you could halve the recipe, just using one piece of fish that you cut in half lengthwise to give 2 similarly shaped pieces of fish.  I usually make the recipe just as it is though as we love this fish so much that we will happily eat all of it.  Any leftover sliced fish will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #24

Shared at Real Food Fridays #36

Shared at Fight Back Friday May 2nd

Cajun Salmon with Roasted Beets

This was an incredible meal.  The salmon was spicy, with just enough mouth-tingling heat.  The beets were sweet and delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to the spicy salmon.  I served this with a side of sauteed kale.

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The nightshade spices in this recipe are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Cajun Salmon with Roasted Beets

serves 6

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  • 6-8 Wild salmon fillets (aprox 4-6 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 8-10 small beets
  • 2 tbsp oil of your choice (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp chopped dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Mix together the paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne, black pepper,  garlic powder and salt.

Lay the fish on a baking sheet and liberally sprinkle the top surface with the spice mixture.  Set aside in the fridge to rest while you prepare the beets.

Peel the beets and trim off the tops.  Cut into bite-size pieces.  Toss in a bowl with the oil, balsamic, rosemary and thyme.  Tip into a roasting pan and cover with foil.

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the foil.  Toss well, and return to the oven for 45 minutes of uncovered roasting, tossing every 15 minutes or so.

10 minutes before the beets are done, slide the salmon into the oven and roast until cooked and the flesh flakes.

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Serve the salmon with the beets and a side of sauteed greens.

Yummy!

Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Peach Salsa

This meal was inspired by this post on Marks Daily Apple.

I was a little nervous at cooking fish in so much oil at a very low temperature, but it turned out perfectly – moist, flavourful and not at all greasy.

We paired this salmon with a peach salsa and stir-fried ruby chard.

The tomatoes in the salsa make this a stage 4 reintroduction recipe.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Peach Salsa

serves 6

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For the fish:

6 skinned salmon fillets (ours weighed around 4oz each)

sea salt

olive oil to cover

3 cloves of garlic – smashed

2-3 sprigs rosemary

2-3 sprigs thyme

a few black peppercorns (omit if strict AIP)

For the peach salsa:

3 fresh, ripe peaches – diced

3 lg tomatoes – seeded and diced

3-4 green onions – chopped

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp olive oil (you could use some of the olive oil that the fish was poached in!)

1 handful fresh cilantro leaves – roughly chopped

sea salt

Instructions

Place the fish in a pot and lightly season with sea salt.  Cover with olive oil.  This is the olive oil that we use:

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It is Tunisian and has a wonderful fruity flavour.  We buy this from Basha Foods.

Add the smashed garlic cloves (you don’t want to crush them, just squish them a little so that they break up), the rosemary and thyme sprigs and the black peppercorns (if using).

Put the pot of oil over a medium-low heat until very tiny bubbles form around the edges of the fish.  You don’t want the oil to get too hot.  I monitored the temperature of the oil by dipping my (clean!) little finger in it….  My aim was to keep the oil at a temperature where I could bear to do this.  If the heat is getting a bit high, turn the heat down to low.

You are poaching the fish very, very gently in warm rather than hot oil.  And believe me, it DOES cook at this temperature!

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I found that my fish took longer to cook than the 5-8 minutes stated in the original recipe – mine took slightly over 10 minutes.  I am not sure if this is because of altitude (food takes longer to cook at a high altitude) or if it was because my oil was not quite as hot.

Either way, my fish cooked in slightly over 10 minutes.

While the fish was cooking, I made the peach salsa

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All you do is to mix all the ingredients together, adding a little bit of the fish cooking oil.  Chill until the fish is cooked.

Serve the fish with the salsa on top and stir-fried greens such as ruby chard.

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And as I stated above, it was not greasy or oily, it was moist, flavourful and perfectly cooked!

I removed the fish from the oil and served it with a peach salsa and stir-fried ruby chard made using this recipe.

And I strained the oil and used it later in the week to make some homemade mayonnaise!  I also used a little bit of the oil in the peach salsa.