Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Salmon Chimichurri Salad

A year ago when I was pregnant with Hadley, Max made our favorite salmon dish. I loved that meal, I couldn't wait, I took one bite of it and that bite came right back up. Salmon officially repulsed me from that time on. When I was pregnant with Hudson I didn't really have many food aversions, fish certainly didn't bother me, and we always had salmon once a week for those omega 3's.

After Fishgate 2016, I honestly didn't know if I'd want to eat salmon again. Once Hadley was born, it took a while for me to want to eat fish at all. It didn't sound appealing until more recently. I started slowly with sushi and then one day, I really wanted salmon. Maybe it has to do with springtime and gravitating towards fresh greens and fish, but I'm loving this salad and we are making it weekly. It is filling enough for both of us and a quick/easy make!

Yields two servings

For Salad

  • 2.5 cups of Hearts of Romaine lettuce, chopped  
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • Zoe's Salad dressing - I used to make my own red wine vinaigrette and that was great and all but for ease, my favorite salad dressing is from Zoe's. Pick up a bottle and use it on everything!!!  I toss just the lettuce in about 2 tbsp. of it. 
For Salmon Chimichurri

  • 2 salmon fillets (I like 4 oz, Max likes 6 oz or more)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (I like a hearty sprinkle, it plays well off the red wine vinegar!)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2-ish cup of olive oil (pour yourself 1/2 cup, you may not need to use it all)
1) We like to cook our salmon on our Green Egg but I will defer to you on how you cook it. Either on a grill (grill 3-4 minutes on each side), a Green Egg (get to 350 degrees and cook for 15 minutes, do not flip), in the oven (400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, do not flip), on a skillet (high heat, cook on each side for 3-5 minutes). So we will call step one, MYOS (make your own salmon). I don't do anything to it, don't put anything on it, just let it cook naked. I also love to cook my halved cherry tomatoes. I make a little "roasting pan" out of foil and throw them on the Green Egg as well. 

2) While the salmon is cooking on your designated method, make the chimichurri by combining all ingredients except for the olive oil, in a mini food processor. Pulse, pulse, pulse it and then add in the olive oil a little at a time between pulses. Using the full 1/2 cup will give you a pretty runny chimichurri but some people prefer that. Use however much olive oil to reach your desired consistency. 

3) Once chimichurri is done, assemble your salad with the lettuce, red onion and feta. If you roasted your tomatoes, keep them set aside for now. If they are going in raw, add them to the salad. Pour 2 tbsp. of dressing and toss. Plate the salad. If you did roast your tomatoes, add to the plate once salad has been tossed in dressing.

4) When salmon has reached its desired doneness, when pairing it with a salad, we like to remove the shiny/scaley side. So using the spatula, just run it slightly above the bottom scaley side, lifting the fillet up off of it. Set on your bed of greens then using a spoon, top the salmon with the chimichurri. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter People

Our babies on Easter Sunday

Last Easter, March 27, was 10 months from the day we met and said goodbye to our son. Last year on Maundy Thursday my mom sent me an article with the theme that we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world and that hit home to me. This year, I saw many more articles and interpretations of this message, but the one I read specifically pertained to a grieving audience. I wrote Hudson's 10 month letter with that on my heart.

"Sweet boy, we've experienced our own Good Friday in losing you. It has been dark and sad, we were angry and in deep pain. However, God's promise allows us to be hopeful Easter people. Hopeful of new life and that our sorrow will be resurrected. Today, we are Good Friday people, but we are also Easter people who are hopeful. We will celebrate new life and everlasting life with the promise that we will be reunited again someday in Heaven."

Last Easter was a somber time and it hit me much harder than I expected it to. I remember sitting in church and all around us were little ones who would be close to Hudson's age. My heart hurt and I yearned for my own son who should have been sitting in our lap, fidgeting, too. While my heart was heavy, it was also full of hope because we were 8 weeks pregnant with Hadley. I had bought the softest little stuffed baby chick and it was part of my first "belly pic" that morning. After church, we shared that news with family, which was also my parent's 34th wedding anniversary.

After church, we went to their house for brunch and before extended family arrived, we gave them their "anniversary gift" presented in an Easter Basket. There were three large plastic eggs filled with different candies and a message in each. Egg 1 wished them a Happy Anniversary and said "We are EGGcited", with chocolate eggs as the candy. Egg 2 said "To spill the beans" filled with jelly beans. Then egg 3 was filled with skittles and a picture of our 8 week sonogram taken a few days prior with a message that our Rainbow Baby would arrive October 2016.

What was really special and unique is that the traditional anniversary gift for 34 years is an opal and the opal happens to be the October birthstone. So in essence, we gave them their opal for their 34 year anniversary! 

This year Hadley turned 6 months on Easter weekend. I saved that stuffed chick and it was in her Easter basket. She wore the same dress that I wore for my first Easter. We were 22 weeks with Hudson for Easter 2015. We were 8 weeks pregnant with Hadley, missing our baby boy who would have been 10 months old for Easter 2016. This Easter, we have a precious 6 month old baby in our arms and a 22 month old in our hearts. We know that because He died for us, we will live eternally in the kingdom of Heaven. We are missing a piece of our family, but we will reunite again when our time on this earth has come to an end.

As I stood in that pew yesterday and recited the Apostles Creed along with the rest of the congregation, I knew this is the way we would teach the Easter story to our children and that message started yesterday with Hadley when we visited Hudson after church. Jesus died for us, he rose from he dead, he is seated at the right hand of the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead. It is through Him and Him alone that we have eternal life. It is because of Him we will see our Hudson again, and it will be a glorious reunion when that time comes.