“Cultivating the art of a well lived life…naturally"

Lake Michigan Salmon, Quinoa, and Vegetable Salad


By Nancy Smorch

My nephew, Brian Crowley, absolutely loves fishing... which works out great for me because I love fresh-caught salmon. Brian and some friends recently went fishing out on Lake Michigan near Frankfurt, Michigan, and caught a few nice-sized salmon.


He brought some fish to our family party in Flint so we could throw it on the grill... but after the grill had to be extinguished while cooking some burgers, the plan of cooking up the salmon was abandoned for the day.

Fortunately, Brian had smoked some of his salmon (probably the best smoked salmon I’ve ever had), so I got my fix for the day. He also sent us home with two gorgeous fillets.


I had recently purchased a Le Creuset enameled Cast Iron Skinny Grill from William Sonoma (half off!), and was excited to try it out with the salmon. In our family, I’m usually the most excited about fresh salmon, so when I made dinner the other day, I made a Quinoa Salad with fresh vegetables and decided to cook up one of the salmon fillets so I could put it on top of my salad. I figured I would have most of the salmon for myself.

It was amazing!


Unfortunately, everyone else thought it was amazing too, and I ended up having to share it with all of them - except for our daughter Frankie, who’s a vegetarian (although she was eyeing it for her cats, who were already surrounding the dinner table and getting a little pushy about hand-outs).

Try it for yourself!

Ingredients for Salad:

2 cups red quinoa

1 tsp. sea salt

5 ears fresh corn on the cob, cooked and cut off the cob

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup finely chopped red cabbage

2 cups chopped pickling cucumbers

1 salmon fillet

Ingredients for Dressing:

1/2 cup good-quality olive oil

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp. maple syrup (Grade B)

1 tsp. salt

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until needed. Cover and refrigerate unused dressing.


Prepare the quinoa according to the directions on the package.

Cook the salmon in your preferred method. I grilled it on my new stove top grill by heating the grill over medium heat, and brushed olive oil over the hot grill surface before placing the salmon on.

Season the salmon with sea salt and pepper and lay it, skin side up, on the grill (or broiler)

My grill cooks quickly, so I just needed to do about 5 minutes on each side. Remember that the salmon will continue to cook for a bit after you take it off the grill, so don’t overcook it.

Put cooked quinoa into a bowl with the corn, cucumbers, cabbage and salad dressing. Mix well and put in a serving dish.  

Cut up the salmon and gently mix it into the salad, then serve and enjoy your healthy, protein-packed gluten-free meal!