Tag Archives: salmon

Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Green Cabbage, and Shiitakes

DSC_4627Life is a mixed bag.  We will all have our fair share of joy as well as pain and suffering in our lifetimes, but our perception of the world is key.  The universe is never at one time or another conspiring against us or working in our favor, although it can appear that way at times.  It’s simply how we choose to see things.  Labels are powerful, and as we go throughout our day we assign labels, and therefore meaning, to things.  Someone criticized your work.  What kind of significance are you going to give that?  You can either start beating yourself up because you know the criticism is accurate, or you can decide to let the criticism float away like a balloon because you know the criticism is simply a reflection of that person’s view of the world.
DSC_4605My husband left for Switzerland a few nights ago.  The last time he went on a trip was when my intense depressive episode hit.  I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to not let that happen again.  It’s extremely helpful for me to stay busy when I am alone.  Right after he left Tuesday night, I immediately washed the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, paid bills, and organized some files simply so as to avoid watching television and feeling sad.  It worked!  I went to bed that night determined to enjoy my solo time while he is away.  I will pretend to be a tourist this weekend in NYC!  I will go to the Met!  I will get a manicure!  Maybe I’ll even get a facial!
My positive outlook was cut a bit short yesterday.  I woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I decided to skip the gym and told myself doing laundry was more important.  I felt like a zombie at work, but really made an effort to display a cheerful attitude and focused on doing a good job.  By the time I got home, my brain was swirling with lots of useless thoughts.  I told myself that I did my best to make the day a productive and favorable one despite the fact that I was exhausted.  I really wanted to medicate myself with a carb-heavy dinner but I knew it was only a short-term solution to numbing the pain.  I opted for some hard-boiled eggs, dried figs and Manchego cheese, and an apple with peanut butter instead.  After dinner, I immediately felt more relaxed knowing that the day was almost over and that I did the best I could with where I was mentally.  Tomorrow will be a fresh start, and getting a good night’s sleep will fire up those neurons.
DSC_4607I love everything about this dish.  I haven’t had salmon in a while, and it was a nice way to be reminded of how much I enjoy it.  I love pairing asian flavors with salmon.  Something about the fattiness of the fish marries nicely with the umami and spices found in Asian cuisine.  I couldn’t find baby bok choy at my local market so I used the larger size.  The wasabi mayo packs a nice punch, so use it conservatively if your eyes tend to water when you take a big bite like I mistakenly did.
DSC_4622Wasabi Salmon with Bok Choy, Green Cabbage, and Shiitakes
Adapted from Bon Appétit 

Yield:  4 servings

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish paste)
1 1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
4 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 lb. baby bok choy, halved
2 cups (packed) finely shredded green cabbage (about 5 oz.)
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced if large
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Heat a large rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and wasabi in a small bowl.  Stir in half of ginger and half of garlic; set aside.
3.  Season fish all over with salt and pepper.  Place bok choy, cabbage, and mushrooms in a large bowl.  Drizzle with oil and add remaining ginger and garlic.  Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.
4.  Scatter vegetables across one side of baking sheet.  Arrange salmon on other side.  Roast , stirring vegetables occasionally, until salmon is coked through, 12-15 minutes.
5.  Divide vegetables among plates; top with salmon.  Serve wasabi mayonnaise alongside.


Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce


I am getting better at confronting the negative voices in my head, but some days it still takes all of my energy to challenge those thoughts and force the rational side of my brain to take the wheel.  Living with chronic depression is no walk in the park, but my therapist has been extremely helpful in teaching me how to manage it.  I am also an anxious person and I admittedly care too much about what others think of me.   Oh, and did I mention I have social anxiety?  I will often cancel on people if I’m not in a good headspace.  My thinking is, “Why should I have dinner with Theresa if I’m not going to be good company?”  This usually snowballs into beating myself up for allowing my state of mind to determine my social life.

I invited my mom and stepdad to come out for a visit while my husband was away for a couple of weeks.  The first few days without him went ok, but after awhile the days seemed to be getting longer instead of shorter.  But you know what helped?   Watching season one of Designing Women.  Ordering a Petey Melt.  Going to see Maria Bamford perform with a girlfriend.  Eating Ethiopian food.  Counting the days until my mom arrived.  There is something so innately comforting about having my mom around.  She was the first person to ever show me unconditional love, and I can’t remember her ever criticizing me.  Ever.  And I’ve made plenty of bad decisions in my life.  She has always been extremely supportive and is always sitting in the front row of my cheering section.  Having my mom here while my husband was in Europe kept the darkness at bay.  We ate lots of fantastic food, saw The Rockettes, and did a lot of walking around the city.
DSCF2831My parents left earlier this week and my husband has returned.  Seeing that he was in Geneva part of the time, he plied me with Swiss chocolates, naturally.   There were pralines, chocolate-covered almonds, marzipan, and bon bons to boot.  Oh how I love my husband.  Now back to reality.

I often make this salmon dish when I want something quick and easy.  I love mustard and I think it complements salmon beautifully.  The sauce is nice and tangy with a hint of spice from the mustard and garlic, which is the perfect foil for a fatty piece of fish.


Salmon with Mustard-Dill Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appétit

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

1 cup 2% greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4- 6 oz. salmon fillets with skin
1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk yogurt, dill, onion, mustard, salt and pepper in small bowl to blend.  Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place parchment paper on baking sheet.  Place salmon, skin side down, on prepared sheet.  Sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper; spread with 1/3 cup sauce.  Bake salmon until just opaque in center, about 20 minutes.  Serve with remaining sauce.