Salmon Florentine

Salmon Florentine with Cashew Cream & Quinoa

On Thursday Mindbody FitPro posted this recipe. I LOVE ❤❤❤❤ salmon so of course this looked amazing! I read the recipe and acknowledged the simplicity of it. I can whip up a restaurant worthy salmon dinner in less than 30 minutes. Most fish is easy, only a few minutes in the broiler. You just need your goto marinade / seasoning and you can throw it together in your sleep. Seriously, I’m not a culinary wizard. Self taught through trial and error (I hate reading recipes)

I was happy to see that this would be no exception…the only snag was the ricotta cheese. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not that pure. I do love milk and I like cheese. Dairy is not off my list of things I won’t eat. I do limit how much though. Although often nagged at by my skin care therapist and health conscious daughter to remove dairy in order to clear up my teenage acne, I just can’t. I’m not ready to say “I don’t do dairy”. I will however embrace the idea to slowly reduce it from my diet.

I’m embracing. First by completing a 7 day detox with my Studio friends, removing dairy for 7 days. Challenge accepted. So how do I make this recipe with no cheese when it’s cheesy goodness it what seems so damn mouthwatering about it? My best friend, Google, offered me an array of vegan substitutes for ricotta cheese, but the one I cozied up to was the cashew creme.

I’ve never made it before but I will try anything. Recipe? Whole raw cashews and water. Oh, and you need a really good blender or food processor of some kind.

Off to the farmers market, I needed some supplies. Our new little Dos Vientos Farmer’s Market was kicking off its first day so why not check it out? I could always go to Sprouts later. Happy me, they was a booth with raw organic nuts. I got me a bag of whole raw cashews, some fresh spinach and a piece of fruit I’d never heard of but got to sample and couldn’t resist.

Ready to cook.

First the cashew creme. You will need some time for this one, but it takes 2 minutes to get it going. I told you you would need a high powered blender. I have a Ninja Master so I dumped the whole bag into the prep bowl, added enough water to just cover the cashews, put the lid on it and popped it in the fridge and went about my day. That was 1:00pm

At precisely 6:50pm my culinary guinea pig, Georgie arrived, so I pulled out all the ingredients and assembled the meal. I don’t measure anything when I cook. It takes all the fun out of it, so my recipes are estimates.

Cashew creme, blended until the consistency was like ricotta cheese, about 2 minutes. The directions I found all said to leave them in the fridge overnight. I was really happy that the cashews absorbed much of the water and plumped up nicely after only 5+ hours.

In my wok pan:
Olive oil 
Minced Garlic
Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes
Cooked these on low for a couple of minutes, just to heat the garlic. Then I completely filled the pan with the fresh organic spinach from the Farmer’s Market and let it wilt down.
Threw in the cashew creme and stirred it up, removed from heat. I probably should have used only half the cashew creme, but I added it all. My bad. I had lots left over.

I drizzled the salmon with olive oil and lightly salt & peppered it then placed it under the broiler on high for about 3 minutes. (This will vary dependent on the thickness of your salmon.) For a thick cut I might go 4 or 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and put the Florentine on top. It was delish.

I seasoned the quinoa with a little salt, pepper, garlic and cut up some sun dried tomatoes in it.

My piece was about 3 ounces. I put about 2 tbsp of the Florentine on top. My estimate was around 400 calories including 1/3 cup of Quinoa, which I didn’t finish. Although this is a higher fat dish, the fats were lots of Omega 3s and Monounsaturated fats which I I’m not going to get crazy over. It was a very healthy, easy, and delicious dish.

I had chicken with some of the topping on it for lunch today too. So good.

What would I try next time? I think I might add a little lemon to the cashew creme. If anyone tries this variation, let me know.

Happy Eats!

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