So. If this recipe isn't the definition of 'nutrient density', then I honestly don't know what is. (Well I could have slipped in some liver, I guess!) I love, love, love salmon and get excited when I see it in my local market, price falling ever lower as the season progresses and I'm truly incapable of walking by without picking up a long fillet of sockeye! I have to say whenever I eat it (which obviously is an awful lot), I really feel like I'm giving my body an enormous gift. A little over the top in sentiment, yeah ok I agree, but it's true all the same!
It has to be wild salmon though, I stopped eating the farmed stuff when I realised salmon wasn't the only ingredient (please read this and this). I do appreciate the fact that here on the PNW coast we have bountiful supplies of several species of wild salmon and the price is incredible compared to what it was in the UK when we were there, so check the freezer department if you can't source it fresh. And if you do find it fresh, make sure to stock up at the end of the season and store it in your own freezer for future use.
I don't understand anyone not feeling the same way about this finned powerhouse of Omega-3 but as much as I love it, the children feel the polar opposite. If you've been hanging out here for a little while now, you may recall my challenges with the children over the 'dreaded' salmon. My recipe for it baked with gremolata was but a half way house, the gremolata was gobbled up in seconds but then we were back to reminding, encouraging, even cajoling the small people into finishing off the 'dreaded'. Yes they ate it, but it wasn't quite the result I was after. Now, however, I really have well and truly cracked it. Oh yes my friends, my salmon job is all but done and dusted because the food critics love it. I'm still revelling in the deathly silence as they ate their meal and, dare I say it, I even had to slow them down for the sake of their digestion. All that and their empty plates were practically clean enough to veto the dishwasher and go straight back into the cupboard. Yessssss!
With the popularity of oatmeal in our house (see here and here), it's rare not to have a glass container of cooked squash* sitting somewhere in the fridge. I mention glass because I recently relegated all my plastic tupperwares to non-food storage since they contain a not so nice cocktail of nasty chemicals and the BPA free containers aren't exactly pure. As well as being safe when in contact with food, Glass containers aren't that expensive ... particularly if you look out for sets on Amazon or in your local hardware store.
To limit your time in the kitchen, cook a squash in advance, say the night before and keep it covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. See my notes on this post for how to cook your squash and may I suggest you put a portion aside to make this recipe and use the rest for one of the oatmeal recipes here? 🙂
So, scrolling down the ingredient list, can you imagine your inflammation disappearing? Well wait till you've tasted it friends, you're going to be feeling virtuous and that's a fact.
1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
590g wild salmon, skin off and cut into chunks
1 tbsp capers packed in salt, rinsed
1/2 cup (20g) fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60g) cooked squash purée *
1 tbsp solid fat for frying
Print the recipe here
Finely chop the onion in the food processor. Add the salmon, capers, coriander and squash then pulse till mixed thoroughly but not paste-like. Take small handfuls of the mix (I use a 2 tbsp measure), roll into 20 golf ball sized portions and put onto a plate. Refrigerate whilst you make the sauce.
Heat the fat in a large skillet. When it is hot, place the balls around the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. It is probably best to do this in two batches. Turn the heat to medium and leave the balls for at least 3 minutes before attempting to turn them over. If you try to move them too soon, they will stick to the pan. Brown on all sides until cooked through, approx 6-7 minutes. Set to one side.
herby spinach sauce
1 tbsp solid fat (I like duck fat but any will be fine)
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (I use this one)
large bunch (250g) spinach, thoroughly washed
1/4 cup (10g) curly parsley, chopped
1/4 cup (10g) dill, chopped
1/4 cup (10g) coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup (250ml) chicken broth
salt to taste (I use this one)
Melt the fat in a large skillet and sauté the onion for around 5 minutes till softened. Add turmeric and cook a further minute. Put the spinach and herbs in the pan and allow to partially wilt before adding the broth. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and cook 3 minutes. Put the mixture into a blender (probably best done in two batches) making sure to leave the feeder cap open to allow steam to escape, or else it will explode out and upwards! Set aside, keeping warm.
It really doesn't matter which variety you use here. My preference would be for the milder spaghetti squash but I have also made it with butternut and it is equally delicious, just a tad sweeter.
1 small cauliflower
1 cup (250g) cooked squash purée *
2 tbsp solid fat (I like duck fat but any will be fine)
salt to taste
Cut the cauli into florets and put into a large pan, along with an inch worth of water, and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and cook till tender, approx 10 minutes. Drain, then put the cauli back into the pan or alternatively into the food processor with the 'S' blade. Add the squash and the fat and whizz in the processor or with a hand blender for a short time until you have lovely silky mash. Return to the pan and warm through, adding salt to taste.
* I mostly use spaghetti squash here, as that's the one I use for the "oatmeal" recipes. However, I have used butternut squash for this mash and it is equally delicious.
it's time for me to take my health seriously (haha I've been on immunosuppressants since march and in a wheelchair since last september…) and this absolutely delicious looking recipe looks like it might make the process a whole lot more pleasant!
I found you via Pinterest from your peach and ginger oatmeal recipe but had to explore further! I'm hoping the fact that your food critics are taken with this means that my smallest most severe critic (6) might also find something to like - I have one that would catch salmon and just simply cook it on a fire beside the stream (8) but the other, well I'm hoping she'll just think they're meatballs so that she at least gets a smidgeon in her mouth..
Hello Ema, I’m so pleased you popped by and are ready to take control of your health. I also feel honoured that you've been inspired by this recipe. I wish you well on your journey to better health and my fingers are tightly crossed for when you serve up these fishballs to your discerning little diner. I'm now wondering what she’ll make of liver 😉
This looks like a new version of 'comfort food.' I found you by way of Pinterest and your Pear Porridge recipe. I've perused your recipes and am enjoying your humor.
I'm getting back on track to my Paleo eating ways and even dialed it back a little to start an AIP Phase 1 'cleanse'. Time to figure out what exactly is effecting my gut besides gluten. Fortunately, my boyfriend will eat just about anything...except cauliflower, so I'll make a spaghetti squash/butternut combo that I think will fit the bill.
I don't really care for eating, and I'm not creative in my approach too often, so having these easy recipes available to me, that look so appetizing, is really appreciated.
Hi Denise, I'm so pleased you popped over to say hello and glad you like the look of my recipes, I hope you enjoy them. Welcome to the world of AIP and better health! 🙂
Wow what a full and comprehensive meal. I too love salmon but am not good at cooking it, which is why I tend to have tinned salmon a lot. Tthese balls though look easy to make and nice to have in fridge ready for a couple of lunches. A lovely AIP meal which I will be trying as soon as I get the salmon.
Hello Veronica, good to hear you approve of the salmon recipe. It's a great idea to have some in reserve for your lunch, makes life so much easier. You could also freeze the balls, either raw or cooked, of course! Do hope you enjoy 🙂
Paleo Granny says
Hi, Just found your site through The Paleo Mom. I would be interested to know where you get duck fat in Vancouver. Thanks.
Hi there, thanks for popping over, it's good to see you here. I get my duck fat from Oyama, on Granville Island but I've heard they also have it at Home on the Range, 235 E Broadway. Have you been there? It's a great shop.
My husband has been struggling with his health for some time now, and even after having already been gluten/dairy/corn/soy free among other things, AIP has still been a tough transition. Only on day 4, but I made this recipe tonight, and it was amazing!! We have a 3 year old who also turns her nose up at salmon every time... I just called them "meatballs" tonight, so she didn't automatically say no, and she scarfed them down and asked for more. Thank you so much for posting these recipes!! I look forward to trying many more.
Oh Erica, that is just the best story. Not the bit about your husband obviously, I do sympathise with you both there, but I'm smiling as I imagine your little girl chomping away and little does she know its 'salmon'. Priceless! I'm so happy it was enjoyed .. and thanks so much for letting me know 🙂
Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing recipe. I just recently started using AIP to help heal from a recent UC flare. My mother made this for me yesterday and we were blown away. We used butternut squash in the salmon balls and spaghetti squash puree in the cauli mash... excellent! And my mom said the herby sauce was so delicious before she pureed it that she is going to make again like that. We sent the recipe on to my aunt with celiac and cousin with thyroid problems and we will be trying more of your work. Thank you!!!
Katelyn you put a big smile on my face today, thank you for telling your story. This is the food I'm feeding to my family on our own healing journey and it's comments like this that make it all the more worthwhile! Best of luck with your AIP journey.
I made this recipe exactly as printed last night. It was so incredibly delicious!! Many of the AIP recipes start to taste the same. It was so nice to eat something with unique flavorings. Thank you for sharing!
Kim, what a lovely thing to say. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I do appreciate it. Delighted you loved the recipe 🙂
Do you think these could be baked? I've got a mental block against pan frying but would love to try this recipe. Hubby and I are just beginning an AIP/Wahls lifestyle in attempt to give him some relief from progressive MS and I'm trying to compile recipes that are relatively easy to have in my "back pocket" for dinners and/or make-ahead meals!
You could do but I don't think they'd be anywhere near as tasty as pan fried. They will take only minutes to cook, so I imagine won't take on any colour but you could certainly give it a go. I would be tempted to seize a moment when you have some free time, cook a batch up and freeze some for another time. Then all you need do is defrost them and warm them through. Alternatively make the mixture up into larger 'cakes' so pan frying will be less time consuming. Good luck to your husband on his recovery 🙂
Made this tonight and it was just scrumptious. My food processor is on the blink, so used my vitamix blender and it pretty much puréed the salmon mixture, but I have to say they were still incredibly light and delicious . It's ingenious to use squash to leaven the fish balls! I had used onion in the past, but the addition of squash is genius. Btw, I used pork lard and that worked very well. Thank you for this recipe!
So pleased you enjoyed them Sylvie. I often make the mixture into larger patties and that works really well too. Oh and my favourite fat is lard these days!
Thank you so much for this excellent recipe.. . It was a joy to make and to eat 🙂
So pleased you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me know 🙂