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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Broiled Salmon, Lavender Balsamic Reduction, Couscous & The Organic Giveaway!



The extended weekend is over. A dreamy weekend has come to an end and the reality check has begun! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and enjoyed the 3 or 4 days off. San Francisco was a fun city. We stayed in downtown. The sun, wind, and the city carried us away from busy lives. We dined out everyday and I didn't want to come back to the rain. It was a great time for our first anniversary trip although the city has 4% health charge at a restaurant!

Speaking of our anniversary, the date actually fell on a week day. On the day of we decided to stay in, cook dinner, and bake a cake together. Keith doesn't know much about cooking. It was a great opportunity for him to help me (although I wanted to do everything myself as he was so slow!). The man gotta learn how to cook... I picked the dish that was easy and fast. It's light, healthy, and perfect for a busy week day because it can be put together in less than 30 mins. With culinary dried lavender we got from a lavender field in San Juan Island, WA, it added a special scent and flavor to the rub and sauce. The name "lavender" is derived from the Latin word "lavare", and it means to wash. Lavender has become a popular ingredient in cooking for both sweet and savory dishes.

My 2 helpers of the day. Bella was helping Keith cook

Almost everything I used in this recipe was organic that was available at my convenience (you must be proud of me, Lazaro!). I won't say much as I have some exciting news to share. The recipe is at the end of the post.

Now, let's talk business. I've been contacted by Mambosprouts, an online community providing coupons, recipes, and healthy green living information to either review a product or give away the items. I of course wanted to give something back to my readers. I'm giving away an organic Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake & Waffle Mix. It is made with a nutritious blend of organic whole grains, including whole wheat, brown rice, yellow corn, and rye. 

Photo from
You don't need to click like, follow me, or tweet me (if you don't want to). All I need from you is positive attitude on giving back to the community and environment. Going organic is one of the ways that you as a person can do it for yourself and family. As I mentioned in the last article-Go Organic, is it worth the price?, if you're not ready to go entirely organic due to a limited budget, you can start changing little by little by looking at the source of each ingredient.

The rule of this giveaway is real simple. 

Let me know what you have done, or plan to do to give back to your community and environment. This includes charity work for your community/organization, going organic, going green and such. Even little things count: changing some items on a pantry list to organic, separating recycle and wet garbage, or using a disposable water bottle, etc. 

Come on folks you know you can do it, so please share with us. A small step that we all can make the world better. Don't be shy; be proud of yourself! The deadline is Sept 30. The winner will be randomly selected by a computer. Thank you technology!

Unfortunately, I will have to limit to only US residents. When I'm more wealthy, I will offer to ship across the globe (wink).

Broiled Salmon, Lavender Balsamic Reduction, and Couscous
Yield: 4

Ingredients for Salmon
4, 6 oz Salmon fillets, skinned (I used King Salmon from Whole Foods)
1 tsp culinary dried lavender
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
black pepper
Cooking spray 

Ingredients for Lavender Balsamic Reduction
6 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp culinary dried lavender


Ingredients for Tomato-Dill Couscous
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light
1 cup plain flavor couscous from Near East
1 cup plus 2 tbs chicken stock
1 tbs olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 tbs chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion


  • Grind dried lavender to powder. Mix all the seasoning in a bowl.
  • Dry salmon fillets and rub the spice all over on both sides.
  • Heat up a small saucepan. Add balsamic vinegar, sugar, and dried lavender in a pan. Bring it boil and then to low. Simmer it for 5 mins or so. Remove from heat.
  • Heat the broiler to high. Spray oil on a broiler wire rack. Place the fillets on it and broil for 6 mins or to your desire of doneness.
  • While waiting for the fish to cook, let's work on couscous.
  • Heat a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan and stir in 1 cup uncooked couscous; saute for 1 min.
  • Add chicken stock and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat. Let stand for 5 mins.
  • Fluff with a fork. Stir in tomatoes, red onion, and dill.
  • Brush fillets evenly with balsamic reduction. Serve with couscous.
  • Yes, this dish IS as good as it looks - Enjoy!



On another note:

My organic reishi pomegranate iced tea won a tea challenge at Marx Foods -Yeah (smile)

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Lazaro Cooks! said...


Really fantastic dish that I would be happy eating in any fine dining establishment. The use of lavender with the balsamic reduction is inspired. The salmon looks cooked to perfection. Finally, the couscous pairs awesomely. Just a wonderful dish.

I am so impressed with your passionate support of organics and the enviornment. I wish there were more bloggers out there like yourself. I make it an effort everyday to live my life in a sustainable way. Eating sustinable, seasonal organic food, supporting sustainable fish.

You are a blogging rock star.

~Lisa~ said...

Great dish. Lavender on salmon sounds fragrant and delicious.

mysimplefood said...

The Salmon looks delicious...

Pacheco Patty said...

Hi Tanantha, I'm happy you enjoyed a fun weekend with your hubby in SF:)
Your salmon dish looks so fresh and healthy, love the lavender balsamic syrup, sounds so unique and is such an interesting compliment to your dish. I spend the extra money to buy organic because I feel it is worth it to support the environment. I don't buy junk food which is also expensive so that's a one way to justify the cost of going organic. Keep up the good work, you are a passionate blogger and it is apparent in all that you do:)

Anonymous said...

A beautiful elegant dish! The lavender balsamic reduction sounds absolutely fantastic! 5 Stars!

foodies at home said...

I am glad you had such a fun vacay in SF...I lived there for quite a while and loved it...although it is a pricey little city!

Your lavender reduction looks amazing It sounds like the perfect pair for fresh salmon!

Spicie Foodie said...

Tanantha, you had me at broiled salmon :) That looks like I would want seconds maybe even thirds, hehe. Happy anniversary and looks like you had a beautiful celebration. I know your giveaway is only for the US but I just had to comment on the amazing looking salmon.

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I love the perfect crust on your fish! And that lavender balsamic reduction sounds absolutely gourmet :)

Angie's Recipes said...

I think I have found the perfect salmon dish! Excellent shot!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tanantha!

Great post! Your pictures are always gorgeous. I have seriously missed the boat and have never (gasp) used culinary lavender in my cooking! Where have I been? I must step up and do it immediately. This salmon looks amazing.

Since moving to OR from CA, I have tried to simplify my life, and live more sustainably. I now religiously recycle, have two huge barrel composters in the back (which has helped us cut down our household garbage output by 75 percent!) I also volunteer at our local community garden, have a share in a local CSA, buy locally harvested, organic, cage free eggs, and buy as much produce from the local farm stands as possible. It was my new year's resolution last year to only use reusable canvas grocery bags. (I am a caterer, so you can imagine that I shop A LOT and was going through quite a few bags) And now when I am in the store and find that I have forgotten my bags I punish myself by still not using any of their paper or plastic bags. I think as long as you take little baby steps change is not that difficult. And in the end it feels really rewarding. It becomes like a fun game to see how little we can fill our trash can every week.

Thanks for the reminder to do our part! =)

Foodessa said...

Tanantha...first off, congrats on the tea challenge as well as putting together such a fabulously appetizing and healthful dish.

Too bad we don't live closer...I'd have my liitle Sushi play with your Bella so that we could then cook together ;o)

Ciao for now,

Stella said...

Hey Tanantha, your salmon sounds so wonderful. You know, I think salmon might be my favorite fish, and I wish I could eat it at your place since this looks so good (smile). Oh, and I would want play with Bella too while visiting!

I probably shouldn't enter this giveaway, since I have two full bags of that exact mix in my cabinet;). However, I will go ahead and say that I keep an organic kitchen to help both the environment and animals. Oh, and I have also recently switched from things like bleach and ammonia to all natural cleaners, so that I am not harming local water ways...
p.s. I recycle everything too! Well, almost...

Marisa said...

Glad you had a nice time in SF. Happy Anniversary! By the way, I think it's great that you are promoting organic.

Love this dish! I really enjoy the lavender. Something so simple and natural just kicks things up to another level!

PS. Bella is such a cute helper!

Monet said...

Happy Anniversary...I love celebrating special days by cooking with Ryan and it looks like you and sweetheart had a wonderful time. Your giveaway is great, by the way, and I loved what you asked us to do. I've been giving back to my community by volunteering my time at a writing center for youth and by buying organic, local produce.

Baking Barrister said...

Happy Anniversary! Your salmon looks perfectly glazed ad just...delicious. I'm really impressed--I never am able to get my salmon to caramelize like that. EVER.

As for my community, I volunteer my legal skills at clinics. In terms of the environment, we obviously recycle, but we also use reusable bags, have energy saving light bulbs, recently added some green improvements to the house, etc. It's a CA thing ;)

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

An inspired and beautiful dish Tanantha! I love the lavender balsamic vinegar reduction and the couscous looks so light! I am very happy when beautiful meets healthy meets scrumptious :)

kitchen flavours said...

Happy Anniversary! Your salmon looks gorgeous! Must include lavender in my dishes too! Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe.

Liv Wan said...

Hello Tanantha,
That lavender balsamic reduction sounds so so so cool. I love use flower to make dish and it's first time I saw a recipe use lavender in balsamic reduction. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Anonymous said...

That couscous looks so tasty! I love dill and the addition of the herb to couscous sounds great!

Chefs Resources said...

This is a wonderful recipe. I am a fan of lavender in cooking and a big fan of Salmon. I really like the idea of infusing lavender into the balsamic reduction. Looks delicious!

Magic of Spice said...

Love your use of lavender here, wonderful :) Again, Happy Anniversary to you both...did Bella get a bite?
I am pretty much an all organic baby already and grow all of my own herbs.
Most of our volunteer work is with food banks especially during the Holidays, we do it as a family :)
Have a great weekend!

Biren said...

The couscous and salmon sounds like a fabulous combo! I should make coucous a little more often.

I buy mostly organic (including Arrowhead Mills products) unless the price is a little over my budget, use shopping bags (I forget sometimes :)), reuse & recycle, and pack lunch with containers (not baggies).

Happy Anniversary!

Kate said...

Amazing - the salmon looks incredible. And, Happy Anniversary!!! We've done a lot to go green: recyclable bags, cf lightbulbs, set back thermostat, driving to work together as often as possible, composting, recycling...

Anonymous said...

What a great anniversary meal! I love cooking with my husband :) Simple nights in together are some of my favorite. That pancake mix looks wonderful! I am working on a community involvement committee at my school, providing opportunities for teenagers to do community service.

The Prickly Pinecone said...

We now recycle around 60%of all our waste. Hopefully we can buy more organic foods in the next few years!


Mary said...

Fabulous dish! That salmon looks divine!

Great blog; happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

Emily said...

Hi Tanantha,
What's your secret of getting your man in the kitchen? I have trouble with mine - he is avoiding the kitchen like a plague! :P
Anyway, lavender and salmon - very interesting and unique combination and I must say the dishes you made are fine dining quality. Amazing!

Stella said...

Yes, Tanantha! GOSH, I'll send you some magic soon! Okaaaay? Nag, nag, nag...
Always Yours, Stella
p.s. this is a joke-just in case its meaning gets lost in bloggie translation.

Chef Dennis said...

That salmon looks spectacular! what a picture perfect dish you have created, the balance of flavors, and textures is worthy of any 5 star restaurant! Your commitment to organic products is inspiring!
Thank you so much for being one of my favorite blogs, you never fail to inspire!

Juliana said...

Happy anniversary...and what a lovely meal to celebrate such an occasion :-) The salmon looks fabulous with the lavender balsamic...would love to try it.

Patrick @ appetiteforgood said...

This looks delicious! It's really hard making a juicy fish dish and this one looks perfect!

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