Once again, I turned to the Bacon Nation cookbook for dinner, tweaked (a little) their “Crusted Salmon with Avocado and Red Onion Green Salad” and served up this amazing meal to some very grateful plate scrapers–and me. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: fish is not my thing. However, this fish was amazing. Was it the bacon? Avocado? Lime-Dijon dressing? I can’t decide, but YUM!

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad (2)

3 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

sea salt

ground black pepper

8-10 slices bacon (depending on length of salmon fillet)

1-1/4 lb skinless, deboned salmon fillet

4 cups baby spinach

1/2 red onion, quartered and sliced thin

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered, and sliced thin

2 tbsp shaved parmesan (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) In small bowl mix: olive oil, lime juice, and Dijon mustard; lightly season with salt and pepper; refrigerate

3) On a 10″ to 12″ long sheet of aluminum foil, layer bacon strips horizontally, overlapping slightly; center salmon fillet on bacon strips and fold excess left side bacon strips over top of fillet, then right side bacon strips over bacon strips

4) Heat large skillet over medium-high; lift bacon-wrapped salmon fillet by aluminum foil and gently turn into skillet so that loose bacon edges are in bottom of skillet; cook 4 minutes, gently turn (I used 2 spatulas to keep bacon intact) and cook additional 4 minutes; remove from heat

5) Transfer bacon-wrapped salmon fillet to 13″x9″ baking dish and bake in oven 8-10 minutes until salmon is just cooked in center; remove from oven, place on cutting board, and let sit 5 minutes

6) Divide spinach between 4 plates and scatter onion and avocado over top

7) Slice bacon-wrapped salmon fillet into 1″ thick slices and arrange on top of salads; scatter parmesan cheese over top (optional), drizzle with lime-Dijon dressing, and serve

Servings: 4


Though seafood is pretty low on my favorite food list, scallops are an exception–some have been so-so, but most are fabulous. And this scallop salad is on the fabulous end of the scale. Really, the only way you can go slightly wrong is if your scallops don’t achieve a lovely sear, so pat-pat-pat those babies dry before adding them to the skillet. Three guy thumbs and one gal thumb up!

Orange-Red Onion-Green Olive Scallop Salad

3 oranges, peel cut away and discarded; orange quartered and sliced thin

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup pitted and sliced green olives

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1-1/2 lbs large sea scallops, patted very dry (important!)

sea salt

ground black pepper

4 cups fresh baby spinach

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) To a large bowl add oranges, onion, and green olive; add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp) and vinegar and toss to coat; refrigerate

2) To large skillet over medium-high heat add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil; add scallops to pan and cook 2-3 minutes each side until just done in center; lightly season with salt and pepper and remove from heat

3) Divide spinach between 4 plates and top with orange-red onion-green olive mixture; top with scallops and scatter with parsley; serve

Servings: 4


As of this writing, I believe there is no better way to enjoy pork chops than smothered in an apple butter and red onion sauce. Though my waistline certainly wouldn’t appreciate it, I could seriously overindulge in this entree. Oh, and my guys really liked it too.

Apple Butter Pork Loin Chops

1 tbsp olive oil

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 1-1/2 lbs)

sea salt

ground black pepper

1 large red delicious apple, cored and sliced thin

1/2 large red onion, sliced thin

1-1/4 cup apple butter

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add pork loin chops, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill each side 2-3 minutes until nicely browned; remove chops from skillet and set aside

2) Lower skillet heat to medium; add apple and onion to skillet; cook five minutes; stir in apple butter, vinegar, mustard, and cumin; cook 3 minutes, stirring often; push apple-onion sauce to the side and return chops to skillet; spoon apple-onion sauce over chops; put lid on skillet and cook 5-6 minutes until center of chops are no longer pink; plate chops, spoon apple-onion sauce over tops, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4


Though I can’t give an “all thumbs up” to this smoked salmon pizza, it’s only because my guys prefer more traditional pizzas like pepperoni and pineapple-ham. According to Senior, my offering was “too Olive Garden.” But I, for one, am a fan of those lovely restaurants–and was pleasantly surprised by the smoked salmon (not a big seafood fan). So if you enjoy pizza on the un-traditional (AKA exceptional side), this one could be for you.

Smoked Salmon-Red Onion-Cream Cheese Pizza2

PIZZA DOUGH (or you can buy pre-made):

1 cup warm water

1-1/2 tsp yeast

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp oregano

3 tbsp olive oil + 2 tsp olive oil (divided)


1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 large red onion, sliced thin

1-8 oz pkg reduced-fat cream cheese at room temperature

1-1/2 tbsp prepared horseradish

1/4 large red onion, minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 cup julienned baby spinach

5 oz smoked salmon, broken into small pieces

1/2 cup 6-cheese Italian blend

1) PIZZA DOUGH: Add warm water and yeast to small bowl, stir gently, and let sit 10 minutes

2) To large bowl, add flour, salt, oregano and 3 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tsp); stir to combine; pour in water-yeast mixture and stir well to combine; turn dough into lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise 1 hour

3) Preheat oven to 450 degrees

4) PIZZA: To large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and sliced red onion; stirring often, cook 7-8 minutes until onions soften; remove from heat and set aside

5) In medium-sized bowl, mix cream cheese, horseradish, minced red onion, salt, and black pepper; set aside

6) Lightly oil large pizza pan with 1 tsp reserved olive oil (reserving 1 tsp); on floured surface, roll out dough to fit large pizza pan; transfer dough to pan; brush dough with remaining 1 tsp olive oil; bake in oven 8 minutes until lightly golden; remove from oven (do not turn off)

7) Spread cream cheese mixture over pizza crust and scatter with: spinach, red onions, salmon, and 6-cheese Italian blend; bake in oven 4-5 minutes until cheese melts; serve

Servings: 4