Nom Nom Paleo

Slim Palate’s Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

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Slim Palate's Pistachio-Crusted Salmon by Michelle Tam

Know what you can get with just six ingredients and twenty minutes? A seriously sophisticated supper.

I wish I could take credit for this elegant and deceptively simple salmon dish, but I actually found it in my pal Joshua Weissman’s The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. At the ripe old age of 18 (yep—Josh wrote his cookbook before graduating from high school), he’s figured out that no one needs a bunch of fussy ingredients or fancy techniques to create flavorful, crowd-pleasing dishes.

Slim Palate's Pistachio-Crusted Salmon by Michelle Tam

Having tried Josh’s Pistachio-Crusted Salmon, I’ve decided to add it to the regular dinner rotation at our house because:

  1. I want my family to eat more fish.
  2. My kids love salmon, I know I won’t hear any complaints at the dinner table.
  3. always have the other ingredients for this recipe on hand—except for the salmon.

Thankfully, I can order sustainable seafood from Siren Fish Co. (via Good Eggs)—including some fantastic wild king salmon. I tweaked Josh’s recipe slightly to accommodate my one-pound fillet, which I divided into three portions. But don’t worry: the magical flavors and textures of this dish are all Josh.

Here’s what to gather to feed 3 people (or—in our case—2 adults and 2 pint-sized boys):

  • 1 (1-pound) wild king salmon fillet, skin on and pin bones removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard (I actually used the whole grain variety)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives or scallions
  • ½ cup shelled salted and dry roasted pistachios, crushed

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Paleo Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms

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Need party food? Bacon-wrapped figs are tasty, but they’re not the only hors d’oeuvres in the Paleosphere, you know. Want to try something different?


I grew up eating Chinese dim sum, but I can no longer tuck into a basket of dumplings without feeling grossed out about the soy, vegetable oil, cornstarch and MSG in every bite. Thankfully, Paleo-friendly dim sum can be whipped up in a hurry. This recipe, from our best-selling Nom Nom Paleo iPad® app, is a great party dish ‘cause it’s simple, crowd-pleasing, and stealthily Whole30-compliant.

Keep reading for the recipe!

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Tuna and Avocado Wraps

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As a rule, I always have cans of tuna in the pantry and limes, ripe avocados, and jalapenos in the fridge. With these items at my fingertips, I can whip up a couple of satisfying wraps whenever I’m hangry. If you don’t have Paleo mayonnaise on hand, a quick guacamole is the best binder for salads like this one.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 (5 oz) can of wild albacore tuna in water
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced small
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 butter lettuce leaves
  • Pure Wraps or toasted nori (optional)

My favorite brand of canned tuna is made by Wild Planet: no BPA, sustainably caught, low mercury, high omega 3, and carried by my local Costco.

Crack open a can of tuna, dump it in a medium-sized bowl, and gently break up the meat with a fork.

After you’ve chopped the scallions and jalapeno…

…toss them on the tuna. Mix in salt, pepper, and a spritz of lime.

In a separate bowl, mash half an avocado with salt, pepper, and the rest of the lime juice.

Scoop up the guacamole, add to the seasoned tuna…

…and stir to combine.

Grab two Pure Wraps or sheets of nori and place a piece of lettuce on each.

Divide the tuna salad onto the lettuce, wrap it up, and chow down.

Softcore Albacore (Tuna Braised in Olive Oil)

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If wrapping albacore steaks in bacon and blasting them under the broiler is hardcore, I suppose slowly poaching them in the oven bathed in olive oil is the softcore version. It’s less in your face and more pleasing to the ladies. 

For this low and slow preparation, I followed David Tanis’s recipe from the New York Times with a few minor tweaks. For those of you out of the foodie gossip loop, he’s the former Chez Panisse chef who raised David Chang's hackles for daring to serve unadorned figs on a plate for dessert. I was on the fence as to who I was cheering for in this squabble because I love David T.’s simple recipes but David C.’s f-bombs make me giggle.

If you’ve got fresh albacore, make this dish ‘cause it’s simple, tasty, and leftovers (which are stored in the braising liquid) keep for a week.

Want to see how I made the Skinemax version of albacore?

Here’s what I gathered to serve four people:

  • 2 pounds skinless albacore fillet
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Tabil seasoning
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • approximately 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Here’s how I made it:

I preheated the oven to 350 F and grabbed my albacore fillet…

…and cut it crosswise into 1-1/2 inch steaks.

I seasoned both sides of the steaks liberally with salt and pepper…

…before putting them in a single layer in a oven-proof dish. I sprinkled the tuna with Tabil seasoning

…chopped the garlic…

…and added it to the fish.

I poured olive oil into the dish until it reached halfway up the tuna steaks…

…covered the dish…

…and put the tuna in the oven for ten minutes.

I removed the dish from the oven and flipped each steak…

…before replacing the lid and baking for another ten minutes. The albacore should be barely cooked through when it’s finished. Don’t overcook it!

Before serving, I let the tuna cool to room temperature with the lid off. At dinnertime, I drizzled the steaks with the olive oil braising liquid and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Broiled Herb-Stuffed Sardines

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Fresh sardines aren’t for the faint of heart. They come whole - with eyes, fins, and tails intact. Plus, you’ve gotta eviscerate them before you cook ‘em.  And when you do eat them, you’ve got to contend with tons of tiny bones. The flesh is firm and has a strong, pronounced briney flavor. It ain’t chicken, folks. But without a doubt, I LOVE them!

They’re sustainable, delicious, easy to prepare, super healthy, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and low in toxins. There are lots of great resources that teach you how to tackle these little fishies. Definitely check out this post and this one to discover the different ways to prepare them. If you see fresh sardines at your fishmonger, snatch them up pronto! 

Follow the jump to see how I made them!

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