topped with simple seared salmon.....some of the best salmon i have ever had!

my apologies, but i really don't have the exact weights/measurements for some of the ingredients in this dish, but will do the best i can.  for the rice salad...
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup rice, i used brown basmati
1 tbsp fresh tarragon* leaves, dried may work too, just use less
2 cups loosely packed pea shoots, rough chop
2 yellow plum tomatoes, small dice, red would work too
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar, white would work too
salt/pepper to taste

bring stock to a boil, add rice, turn to low, cover and cook according to package directions....basmati rice takes about 40 minutes.  fluff up rice with fork and cool in pot for about 15 minutes.  after rice has cooled a bit but is still slightly warm, add tarragon to pot and stir into rice and allow the remaining heat to wilt the tarragon a bit.  let it sit 5 more minutes.  transfer to a mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.  this makes 2 large servings.

For the salmon...super easy!
8 oz salmon fillet
olive oil

season fish with salt and pepper on both sides.  heat a skillet (cast-iron is best) over medium high heat for at least 5 minutes until it is nice and hot.  drizzle in a little olive oil.  add fish and sear on both sides 2-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.  this salmon was sushi grade, so i left the middle a little raw.  remember, if you have a good piece of fish, better to undercook than overcook!   for a "sear" you want the outside to be a little crispy and the inside to be tender. 

place rice salad on 2 plates and top each serving with 4oz salmon.  i would recommend serving this just a tad warm or at room temp rather than piping hot. 

* tarragon has a similar taste to fennel, anise, or licorice.

i also made some chocolate "pudding" last night that was a little different.   ryan tried to guess what was in it, but he failed. 

it was definitely different!  if you think it is going to taste like regular sweet pudding, you will be let down.  BUT....even though it tasted off compared to what we(most people) are used to, every bite it gets better and better and ryan even licked his bowl!  here ya go....
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp instant espresso powder

puree everything in a food processor and top with a little sea salt if desired.  serves 4. 

i am thinking about writing a blog soon about "foods we can actually eat!"   i have been getting a little fed up lately about all the food fads, elimination diets, etc.   some things that get thrown my way for comment are pretty absurd!  i swear some people are going to start eating only 3 or 4 food items, because everything else is BAD for one reason or another!