Smoked Salmon Snow Peas

Smokes Salmon Snow Peas

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Trader Joe’s? Roughly 3000 times you say? Well, brace yourself, here’s yet another reason why TJ’s is my favorite starving artist go-to. I love me some smoked salmon. In heaven I will eat a toasted bagel with cream cheese and lox every single day of eternity. Unfortunately, back in the mortal realm, smoked salmon is one of those pricey pay day items that requires a paycheck and some serious convincing. At least that’s what I thought until I discovered Trader Joe’s smoked sockeye salmon in a single pack for $4.99. At around 100 calories for the entire pack, it’s small enough to eat as the star of one’s dinner, but big enough that you could stretch it out for a tray of appetizers for a few friends.

For me I would just eat it straight from the package for an afternoon snack or throw it into some scrambled eggs for a light and protein-filled dinner. As an appetizer my default would be to reach for the Carr’s table water crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese, and capers… but I am far more conscious of my health these days and am always looking for ways to snack without too much danger (i.e. dairy and wheat). So, when I discovered that I had a bag of snow peas (also from TJ’s) in my fridge I thought, yes: crunch, flavor, nutrition, zero guilt, done. I simply took one or two peas and wrapped them in one of the thinly sliced pieces of fish. Cheap elegance. Now of course you very well could smear some cream cheese on these bad boys and no one would be upset. Or you could skip the cream cheese and dip them into soy sauce just like sushi…. or both…. mmmm….. And the good news is if you have more than a few friends to feed, it’s only $5 to buy a second pack. How could you go wrong? This is all yet more evidence that Trader Joe’s is likely a front for human trafficking or giant drug empire, but it’s so fantastic and affordable that we’re all just not questioning it.

Any other quick healthy snack ideas out there?

**Disclaimer: TJ’s is notorious for randomly not having items for indiscriminate spans of time (at least at the location near me). I’ve definitely gone for weeks without seeing the single, but it always comes back. The price may also go as high as $5.99 – still a bargain in my book.

Cool Smoked Salmon and Edamame Salad

So I had a bunch of ingredients left over from the salad I made earlier this week. It’s still no-cooking kind of weather, so I wanted to make another salad that could be served cool, but I didn’t want to make the same one – come on, where would be in the fun in that? One of my favorite activities in the kitchen is using leftover ingredients as inspiration for an entirely new dish. I know, I’m a nerd…

The first thing I considered was the fresh dill. Fresh dill makes me think of two things: Tzatziki sauce and salmon. Now I can already hear your chiding, unamused thoughts: how does the starving artist afford smoked salmon? It’s quite simple – I paid a visit to my dear friend Trader Joe. He sells a wonderful Sockeye Salmon in a two-serving pouch for only $4.99. Though I didn’t want or need to make tzatziki, I did have cucumbers in my fridge. One of my favorite combinations is smoked salmon and cream cheese (on a bagel), but I can’t very well toss a salad with cream cheese and retain any kind of self respect. Instead I felt like Greek yogurt would be a good substitute. It gives that same creaminess as cream cheese but with far more nutritional value. Besides, what a perfect match for cucumber and dill. Here’s the full list:

  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced finely
  • 1 cup of cooked and shelled edamame
  • 2 very thin slices of red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 2 scoops of Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Basically I tossed together the cucumber, edamame, onion, and dill, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. Then I tossed in the yogurt, olive oil, and lemon, and stirred it to combine. Fold in your salmon at the end and voila. A gorgeous and satisfying summer salad.

Now if you happen to be on a pay day (or if you’re not a starving artist), using a fresh grilled filet of salmon would be outstanding. I also thought that topping it with some salmon roe would be really elegant, but let’s not kid ourselves, I will not be in possession of salmon roe for quite some time.

Happy Friday!