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

Salmon Burger With Avocado Spread


By Nancy Smorch

You would think that being back in West Michigan for the season and having access to some pretty fresh and high-quality ingredients would inspire me to get creative with cooking.  Oddly, this past month has seen few new creations in my kitchen.  I think my family is getting a little nervous.  Quite honestly there are times I get a little nervous too - have I lost my passion and inspiration?  If I can’t get inspired here, then there may be no hope…

Well, tonight I realized that cooking great meals isn’t going to happen by me just thinking about them and wondering why it’s not happening!  It made me realize that cooking, just like everything else in life is a series of “muscles” that need to be worked.  Yes, sometimes these muscles need a rest, but they aren’t going to get stronger and reinforced without actually doing the activity of cooking!

And sometimes it’s hard... until it’s not.  Until you just do it and quit thinking about how hard it is.  And, sometimes, things may not go as smoothly as you like and things may not turn out the way you had hoped, but that doesn’t mean you give up and stop trying.  You push yourself through this resistance.

So it was tonight.

Lindsey and I went grocery shopping at the health food store and came home with three bags of groceries.  Then I looked at everything I had in our pantry, the refrigerator and the freezer, and I thought - there is definitely many great meals just waiting to be prepared here already.  I don’t need any more ingredients.  I don’t need the next great cookbook (although I do love a good cookbook!).  I don’t need to go to the store again.  And I don’t need to go out to dinner again.  Everything I need is right in front of me - and more importantly, inside of me!

So, I put my big girl panties on, and started thinking like the chef I know I am (as a friend once said to me:  You must make a decision about your life not from where you are, but from where you want to be)!

I looked around at what ingredients we had, and rather than trying to find a recipe (one more way of procrastinating), I just started thinking like a chef.  I totally forgot that I had some salmon burgers thawed out in the refrigerator, waiting to be incorporated into a meal.  I bought them the other day from U.S. Wellness Meats while I was ordering the pasture butter that was back in stock.  I normally wouldn’t buy salmon burgers, but I do trust U.S. Wellness Meats.


Here is the list of ingredients: Wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon, water, Organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, Organic arrowroot, Organic onion powder, Organic spices and herbs, Organic vinegar powder, Organic garlic powder.

Nothing scary, so I had to give them a try.

I decided to make salmon burgers on top of green bamboo rice (which gets its color from bamboo juice), topped with avocado spread and sautéed onions and red peppers, with a side of sautéed kale.  It was delicious and very satisfying.

That was the other thing I realized - I needed better meals because I needed better nutrition!  I had been feeling tired these last few days, and although not getting a ton of sleep may have played a part in that, I know the bigger issue was that I wasn’t eating enough and enough of a variety, for my body to function as best it could.  I knew my family needed better nutrition as well.  That was what really got me going!

So here’s what I made:

Salmon Burgers:


3 Pre-made salmon burgers from U.S. Wellness Meats (or any trusted source you have)


Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 cups of cooked bamboo rice (or any rice of your choice)

Instructions: Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and about 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the salmon burgers and cook - flipping about 3-4 minutes adding salt and pepper to both sides as it cooks.  When almost done pour a little lemon juice on both sides and finish cooking.

Avocado Spread:


1 large avocado

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. lemon juice

Instructions: Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until it’s at your desired consistency.  I like mine a little chunky.

Sauteed Onions and Red Pepper


1 large red pepper, finely diced

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

2 Tbps. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and then add the red peppers and onions and saute until the onions are translucent, seasoning halfway through with salt and pepper.

Sauteed Kale


1 medium bunch of kale, deveined and chopped

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chopped kale salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes or so.

To plate, put some of the rice on the plate first and top with the salmon burger.  Arrange the avocado spread and sautéed onions and peppers on top of the burger.  Put the kale as a side.  Optional touch:  sprinkle some chopped cilantro to top it off.

It really wasn’t anything too fancy, but it had a lot of color (so lots of different nutrients), had some good fats from the butter, olive oil, and avocado, and had some good protein from the salmon.  I must say, I’m feeling better already!

One of things I hope you get out of tonight's post, besides a good recipe, is that sometimes cooking can be challenging.  And sometimes you may be tempted to live a life of going out to dinner so you don’t have to think about cooking.  That’s perfectly OK to feel that way - everyone goes through it.  And my hope is that with a little nudge, either from me, your family, or yourself, you can rise above the resistance, strengthen your cooking muscles, and start creating and cooking again.  The world needs more people making and sharing home cooked meals!