Smokey and Sweet Blackened Salmon Power Salad

Smokey and sweet blackened salmon pairs beautifully with protein-charged quinoa and earthy kale.  Topped with fruit, seeds and avocados, these nutrient-packed bowls are a part of our regular meal line up. The colors alone make this dish fun but when you taste the combo of sweet smokey (not too spicy) salmon with the fresh sweet blueberries, chewy golden raisins, crunchy sweet pomegranate arils and creamy, cool yogurt and avocado all elevated by the tangy and sweet dressing and tender kale you’ll wish you made twice as much. It may seem like the quinoa is just along for the ride but it actually Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wa’ is among the least allergenic of all the grains, making it a fantastic wheat-free choice.

Cooked quinoa seeds become fluffy and creamy, yet maintains a slight crunch. It has a delicate and subtly nutty flavor, versatile for breakfast (as a cereal), lunch (as a salad) or dinner (as a side).

What’s all the quinoa hype about? It’s high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which make it potentially beneficial for health in the prevention and treatment of disease. Quinoa contains heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. And, bonus, it’s EASY to make!!

With Paul and Joe both not coming home for the summer my dinner table seems a little lonely.  I knew the day would come when they didn’t come home from college.  I just didn’t think it would happen this soon.  We all want independent kids, right!? Be careful what you wish for.  Hopefully my blog will bring them home in a small way.  With all the recipes here they can bring some home cooking to their respective cities.  Miss you guys!!!

Smokey and Sweet Blackened Salmon Power Salad


  • ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  •  1 bunch kale, roughly chopped, veins removed.
  • 2 Tbsp. pepitas seeds
  •  2 Tbs golden raisins
  •  1 cup blueberries
  •  1 ripe avocado
  •  1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt


  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  •  ½ tsp smoked paprika
  •  ½ tsp chili powder
  •  1 tsp garlic powder
  •  ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  •  Zest of 1 lime
  •  1 lb. wild-caught salmon, sliced into 3 filets
  • 1 Tbs Olive oil


  • 2½ Tbsp. olive oil
  •  1½ Tbsp. honey
  •  1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  Juice of 1 lemon
  •  ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  •  Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


  • Cook quinoa according to package instructions in vegetable broth or water. Set aside.
  • Whisk dressing ingredients together.
    Place kale in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dressing over the Kale. Massage the
    dressing into the kale leaves. This helps to tenderize the kale and infuses the
    flavor. Toss in pepitas, raisins, blueberries and pomegranate arils. Set aside.
  • Combine sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and
    lime zest in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Rub spice mixture evenly on salmon.
  • Heat oil in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add salmon,
    skin side-down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip salmon over and cook 2 to
    3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Place avocado sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding extra
    water in 1 tbsp. increments if needed, until desired consistency is achieved
  • Divide kale salad and quinoa among 3 plates or shallow bowls. Top with sliced
    avocado. Add 1 salmon filet to each bowl. Add a spoonful of greek yogurt and a
    small drizzle on olive oil to the top of each filet. The yogurt adds a cool creamy
    element to the smokey blackened salmon.

This superfood salad is filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

• Salmon: packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins..
• Kale: high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a good source of fiber.
• Berries: packed with antioxidants (s/o to anthocyanin!), fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate.
• Pomegranate: great source of fiber and potassium, and more antioxidant capacity than red wine and green tea.
• Greek yogurt: packed with protein, probiotics and calcium.

This recipe comes together in only 30 minutes and holds up beautifully for next day leftovers.
They’re also very customizable. If you don’t like a particular ingredient, either leave it out or replace it with a different nutrient-dense fruit, vegetable, nut or seed. Consider adding beets, Brussels sprout slaw, sunflower seeds and/or goat cheese.


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