Monthly Archives: December 2015

{Paleo Pantry} Quick and Easy Salmon Burger Recipe

I’m sitting here in an ice storm (it finally feels like winter! it finally feels like winter!) listening to ice tink on the windows and know I won’t be going anywhere today.


It’s these days that make me grateful for a strategically stocked pantry and freezer. I have a few meals that are my go-to quick meals (hello taco salad!) and these salmon burgers have definitely become a staple on days when I need a quick meal, or when I can’t drive the 20 minutes to the grocery store.

Paleo Salmon Burgers

First, let’s talk salmon burgers. How many times have you ordered a salmon burger and gotten a bland, dry, lame excuse of a burger? Salmon burgers, like turkey burgers, can be really awful if the cook doesn’t take the time to add some serious flavor to them. You’ve got to go big or go home with seasoning. I’ve become a big fan of salmon burgers in the last year because they’re a great way to get all the nutrition that comes from wild Alaskan salmon without the price tag. For health and sustainability purposes, we only eat wild Alaskan salmon (as I read somewhere “there are no salmon left in the Atlantic”), but it can run you $10-20/lb, which makes it a treat, not an everyday meal. I discovered canned wild Alaskan salmon and buy it in bulk. It’s pink salmon, not the fancy sockeye or king salmon, but is affordable, healthy, and works great for salmon burgers. I buy it once a month at Costco. As an FYI, you could also call these salmon cakes, like crab cakes, if that makes you feel better.


Second, let’s talk Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. This book was one of my first purchases (also from Costco, are you sensing a theme here?) when we went paleo more than a year ago and it’s been a lifesaver. It does a great job of outlining the different versions of paleo and offers options for what your restrictions are (FODMAP, nightshade, or egg free). It makes it easy and delicious to cut out all grains and dairy. I use her base for salmon burgers and then throw in whatever tasty ingredients we have on hand.


Third, let’s talk cookbook notes. I am a huge fan of writing in cookbooks because, as TimTheFarmer will attest to, I have an awful memory. This is a great way of remembering if a recipe was good and what changes I made to the recipe. Your cookbooks are not library books kids – mark them up!


I’d highly recommend adding canned wild salmon (and coconut flour) to your pantry – you’ll have the rest of the ingredients in your pantry and will have another easy, go-to meal in your dinner (or lunch) arsenal. 


  • Use some sort of onion/garlic flavor. Depending on the season I use garlic scapes, green onions/scallions, red onions, garlic, or some combo of the above.
  • Use a zesty sauce. Or not. I love horseradish, so I often use that, but dijon mustard or siracha would work. If you’re not into heat, just add a bit of mayonnaise to add a little creaminess. 
  • Use fresh (or dried) herbs. Again, depending on the season I’ll add chopped parsley or dill.
  • Add lemon juice or zest. I love the freshness this adds.
  • Make a dipping sauce. I love a dipping sauce. I usually just mix homemade mayonnaise with a bit of horseradish or lemon and garlic to spread on top of the burgers.

IMG_8998Let me know if you try these – I’d love to hear what you think!

Paleo Salmon Burgers
Serves 2
A quick and easy paleo pantry recipe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
For the salmon burgers
  1. 2 6 oz cans of wild salmon, drained
  2. 2 eggs, beaten
  3. 3-5 tbsp minced onion (green onions, scapes, shallots, red onions)
  4. 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/8 tsp pepper
  7. 1/4 smoked paprika
  8. 2 tsp sauce (dijon mustard, horseradish etc.)
  9. 1-2 tsp of coconut flour
  10. coconut oil or butter for frying
For the sauce
  1. 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  2. 1 tsp horseradish OR 1 minced garlic clove
  3. 1 tsp lemon juice
For the salmon burgers
  1. Combine all ingredients except coconut flour in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the coconut flour over the mixture and mix in.
  3. Form the mixture into four equal sized patties.
  4. Heat the oil/butter in a large pan over medium heat. You need enough oil to create a 1/4 inch layer on the pan.
  5. Place the patties into the pan and allow to brown on one side before flipping. Brown both sides and cook through. Serve with sauce or a lemon wedge.
For the sauce
  1. Combine mayonnaise with horseradish or lemon juice and garlic. Yep, it's that easy.
  1. I'll serve this on a bed of greens, wrapped in butter lettuce, with avocado, or on an actual bun for non-paleo peeps.
Adapted from Practical Paleo
Adapted from Practical Paleo
Isn't That Grand?

Happiest of Holidays!

We hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas!

This was our first Christmas in our new home and we loved every minute of it! It was fun to decorate a new home and figure out where everything would go. This year was also a year for new Christmas traditions.IMG_9198Traditionally, TimTheFarmer’s parents have hosted a Christmas Eve dinner for his father’s family, but with the addition of lots of grandchildren, that tradition gave way to us hosting TimTheFarmer’s parents on Christmas Eve. Back in Colorado, our good family friends have hosted a Christmas Eve open house for 30 years that I attended throughout my childhood and until I moved to New York. This year, we thought we would combine all those family traditions to host our own Christmas Eve open house/potluck in our new home. We invited all our local friends and family and had no idea who would show up, or how Otis would handle the influx of people.

I prepared my nana’s traditional Christmas morning treat—chimichangas—and made bacon-wrapped dates and curried squash, Chinese five spice chicken wings, and a crudité with a spicy pumpkin dip and we crossed our fingers that we’d have enough food. Our open house ended up being a perfect mix of friends and family and we had about 25 people throughout the course of the evening. We can’t wait to host again next year, and I’m happy to report that Otis was the most chill party-puppy ever. He was so sweet with the kids who attended and even let Penny give him a cuddle. The sweetest!IMG_4284Tim’s dad and brother returned bright and early (although not early enough for the kiddo) for Christmas morning presents.IMG_4306The kiddo received his annual nutcracker.IMG_4307Uncle Jeff rocked an amazing Christmas sweater and tried out the 3D elf glasses. IMG_4311Otis learned that the chickens have no problem coming up to our front door.IMG_4314Taz wasn’t sure how he felt the pig sign holder being almost as big as him. IMG_4320

After the kiddo was picked up to spend the day with his mom, we enjoyed a low-key day with my FIL and BIL watching basketball, napping, picking at leftovers, walking the dogs, and trying out golf clubs. By the end of the day, the doggies were worn out and picked beds appropriately sized for them. Every time Otis gets in that purple bed, I sing “big dog in a little bed” to the tune of “fat man in a little coat” from Tommy Boy. TimTheFarmer also tried on all his new Christmas clothes which included camo long underwear, a MF Doom flat brim hat, insulated flannel plaid shirt, Darn Tough socks, and Birkenstocks. I’d get voted off the island if I posted a picture, but I think you can imagine how amazing his outfit was. IMG_4326

This has been a year of significant loss and big changes for our family. We struggled to redefine the holiday season in the heartbreaking absence of my mother-in-law, but we pulled together as a family to create new traditions in our new home, knowing she was with us throughout our celebrations. Whether this was a year of ups or downs or both for you, we wish you the best as we wrap up 2015 and can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store!

He Ate A Glass Ornament

We are so excited to introduce the newest member of our family, Otis! 

Meet Otis

TimTheFarmer brought up the idea of getting the kiddo a dog for Christmas about a month ago. We’ve always talked about a second dog once we had a bigger house, but I still thought he was crazy with timing. I’m busy with work, he’s starting a new job (more on that later), and it’s winter – the thought of house training a dog in the snow sounded like a nightmare. It slowly started to appear that the El Niño predictions they’d made for this region were playing out as expected … 69 degrees and raining on Christmas?? Really?!? So, for the short term, the winter concerns weren’t really an issue. 


We debated adoption vs. finding the kind of dog we wanted (both of which we had very different opinions about) and agreed that we’d start looking, but wouldn’t rush it for Christmas. Then, I was scheduled to be in NYC for work two weekends ago and noticed on Facebook that Best Friends Animal Society was hosting a holiday adoption event when I was supposed to be there. My coworker and I took an earlier train to the city and went to check out to all the doggies. The Super Adoption event brought in shelters from around the greater NYC region and there were lots of dogs to meet. A former student of mine runs marketing for Best Friends and she immediately directed me towards Otis (formerly known as Christopher). I sent TimTheFarmer a few pics of Otis, a black lab mix who was super floppy, very lovable, and loved to play. We decided he was supposed to be ours.

Otis Kennel

Since I couldn’t take him home on the train with me, we worked out a plan to pick him up on Sunday in Brooklyn. During the week, I received some pictures and videos from the foster home where he was already living a with a pug #meanttobe?? This video is really what sold us on him.

TimTheFarmer told the kiddo he needed pick up something for work in Brooklyn and they headed to the city. Even as they walked into PetSmart, the kiddo had no idea that they were there for Otis. It wasn’t until TimTheFarmer asked if he wanted to take Otis home, that the kiddo learned the surprise. By all accounts, he was super surprised and excited – perfect! I got the following selfie-text which was the sweetest.


Taz and Otis got along immediately and have been alternately wrestling, napping, and humping since Otis arrived. 

OtisTaz OtisTaz1

The best part? We’d hoped Otis would really be the kiddo’s dog and they bonded instantly. They slept in the backseat the whole ride home and the kiddo is Otis’ favorite. He’s wild most of the day, but when the kiddo goes to bed, Otis climbs into bed with him and stays there all night #sosweet.


We’ve only had a few minor mishaps in the first 48 hours. Otis had to get used to country life and the fact that dogs pee outside around here – luckily he’s only had a couple accidents on the wood floor, but when he does, it literally sounds like a horse is peeing in our house. TMI? The other primary issue is that he likes to chew things all.the.time … which pretty much makes him a normal puppy … until you leave him at home for the first time for two hours and you come home a half chewed glass ornament. WTF?? I couldn’t believe we me might already have a huge vet bill within 18 hours of bringing him home. I consulted the vet (who’s not even Otis’ vet yet) and they said to feed him lots of bread and keep an eye on him. He also ate Paddington’s legs off, which may have helped cushion the glass in his tummy, because he seems fine. 


So, welcome to the family Otis! It totally feels like you were supposed to be ours. No more glass ornaments though, please.

P.S. Using my dog breed expertise (which would also decide that my puggle (pug-beagle mix) is actually a mini boxer, which is totally a breed), I have concluded that Otis is a mix of black lab and great dane and maybe something else. The adoption sheet says chow chow, but once I looked up what the heck that is, I decided they must have been smoking something. Originally we thought pit bull, but when you study him, you’ll notice a huge head that looks like a great dane, giant paws, a very long skinny tale, a slopey backside with his hips lower than shoulders, and super narrow shoulders/hips. He also walks like a horse, which I associate with great danes. He’s not huge, luckily, but is lanky enough to stand with Taz completely underneath him, which I hope to capture on camera soon. Just in case you wondering what kind of dog I think he is. 🙂