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Plans Gone Awry…And A Perfect Salmon Dinner

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Sometimes best laid plans go awry.  More than often, that is the case in our house.  Over the years, I have learned that my Virgo-induced need to always have the perfect plan, usually lends to disappointment that things did not go as expected.  Recently, I have started to follow the lead of my overly laid back husband and am starting to get pretty good at just “going with the flow”.

A perfect example would be the events leading up to a couple of nights ago.  I had a list about a mile long of things I wanted to get done.  On it were ALL the usual house chores, of course, but also included on this invisible list was an article I needed to finish writing for a magazine, some individual cherry crumbles I had all the ingredients out for just waiting for assembly, and a Pistachio Pesto crusted salmon recipe I had come up with and was eager to try out.   On top of that, I had two boys with a major case of the “antsy pants” and a dog who kept throwing up all over the floor.

Then, poof!!! We became a home unplugged …. literally!  Our entire neighborhood lost power on one of the hottest days we have had so far – 110 degrees, and the temps were still climbing!  All of a sudden we had no air conditioning, no fans, no power for vacuuming, laundry, or dishwashers, no internet, and no working ovens!

Now the old me would have felt the immediate rush of anxiety building in my chest.  But, this day was a true milestone for me!  I did not feel that old friend “Ms. Panic” making her visit.  Instead, I quickly shifted gears! The chores went un-done, the article did not get finished that night, the crumble never got made (but the cherries ALL got eaten), and the Pistachio Pesto Salmon that I had planned on making in the oven, instead got a few tweaks, and made it’s way onto the grill!

We ended up having an impromptu block party and the neighbors came over to wallow in the heat with us.  Dinner was prepared over propane instead of inside an oven, the boys swam out all of those ants in their swim trunks while splashing with their neighbor buds in the pool, the dog stopped throwing up in the house and instead contributed his stomach contents to my garden (just hoping it can count as fertilizer), and we all enjoyed a wonderful salmon recipe that came to be because I had to switch gears and come up with another “plan”. (This is a recipe similar to one that I recently saw in an Eating Well Magazine issue that I cannot find to save the life of me).

Five hours later, our house popped back to life.  We got the bedrooms cooled down just in time for bed, and the boys drifted off with out as much as a whimper of complaint.  And as I sat down after all were asleep, I reflected on what a wonderful evening this had been.  Sometimes, things happen just to show us that when we slow down and take the time to appreciate life, without the worries of what is next on our “to-do” list, we find exactly what we were needing.  This is just what happened for me.  Knowing that I could not accomplish what I had planned, allowed me the opportunity to instead be present in the moment.  And the next morning, when the laundry and dishes still needed to be done and my article still loomed before me, I was actually able to tackle it all with a renewed attitude!

So I truly hope that you enjoy this recipe that came to be from this evening.  It simply involves a few fresh ingredients, a spoon, some foil, and about ten minutes on the grill.

Gluten Free Salmon Tomato Basil

Wild Salmon with Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Soy Free)


  • 2 pounds Wild Salmon Fillet
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste, divided
  • 1 cup fresh basil, divided (1/2 cup chopped fine; other 1/2 very thinly slivered)
  • 2 organic heirloom tomatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black or white pepper


1.  Preheat your grill to medium high.

2.  In a bowl, mash your minced garlic,  1 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 cup finely chopped basil (reserving the slivered basil for the end) with the back of a spoon until you get a nice paste (I was just trying to create a pseudo pesto since I could not use my food processor).  Then add in the olive oil and blend together.

3.  Lightly oil a heavy piece of aluminum foil that is slightly larger than your salmon fillet.  Place the salmon on it, skin side down,  and then spread your garlic basil paste all over the top of the fish.  Then, on top of the paste, layer your thinly sliced heirlooms to cover the entire salmon.

4.  Sprinkle with the remaining sea salt and fresh pepper and then transfer salmon, on the foil, to the grill.  Cook for about 10 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

5.  When fish is done, slide off the foil onto your serving platter and top with the reserved slivered basil.

I served this with some roasted golden beets (that were also done on the grill in some foil) and a huge salad with tons of raw vegetables.  It was a perfect dinner for a HOT summer night!

Have you ever had to switch gears and come up with a new idea in a flash?  What are some of your favorite (or not-so-favorite) creations?

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop AND Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!

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  1. On July 12, 2010 glutenfreeforgood said

    Wow, what an entertaining post! From antsy-pants boys to dog throw up to lights out to perfect salmon. What a great story and full of all the appropriate angst, humor and drama! Salmon, basil and tomatoes are 3 of my favorite ingredients. Wonder why I never thought to put them together?! Thanks for the inspiration! Love your blog, by the way. Nice to “meet” you, Kim!
    Peace, love and fresh basil!

    • On July 12, 2010 Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free said

      Thank you so much, Melissa!! Hope you like the recipe! Sometimes I feel like my house is a comedy act (in a good way, of course). At least I will always remember how this recipe came about!
      Nice to “meet” you too! Now just can’t wait to “see” you in August! ;0)
      Peace, love, and fresh basil (too funny)! Love it!

  2. On July 12, 2010 Tinsley said

    Since I don’t have a grill, what temp and how long would I cook the salmon for in the oven?

    Looks awesome, btw!

    • On July 12, 2010 Kim @ Cook IT Allergy Free said

      Hey Tinsley, I was planning on making it in the oven originally. I would cook it at 450 for 10 minutes in the oven, or until flaky (prepared the same way as for on the grill on the foil).
      Thanks, by the way!! ;0)

  3. On July 12, 2010 Megan said

    This looks really delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  4. On July 13, 2010 Rhiannon said

    Mmmm! I definitely have to give this one a try. I love salmon. Also, another fantastic pink fish is steelhead trout!

    • On July 13, 2010 Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free said

      Rhiannon, I LOVE steelhead trout too! We used to eat that a lot when we were growing up! Good idea! Bet it would be great with this recipe.

  5. On July 13, 2010 Celiacs in the House said

    I just love a good salmon recipe and stories with happy endings. I also love my best friend and my son who are also orderly, organized Virgos who hang out with me for a little chaos and melodrama. We need each other for balance.
    Great post-Wendy

    • On July 13, 2010 Kim @ Cook IT Allergy Free said

      Wendy, one of my best friends is also the total opposite of me and we tease each other all of the time! And my husband is one of the most laid back people I know. We totally balance each other out. 😛 I love spending time with my fam and friends that tend to just go with the flow – makes me slow down a bit (and try to be more like them).
      Thanks for the sweet words!

  6. On July 19, 2010 Amy @ SS&GF said

    What a fun way to have dinner….sometimes those are the best dishes ever. It’s seriously too hot to even grill in TX but I’m bookmarking this for the next cool(er) evening. Joe and I took some time to slow down this weekend and unplugged – but not because we were forced to. It was fabulous to do things that don’t involve the TV or the internet.

  7. On July 19, 2010 Kim said

    Amy, I hear you! With this heat (and now even some humidity over here) I am getting some of those very “antsy pants” that the boys have! Ugh! I do not even want to go outside to do much of anything. So glad you and Joe got to unplug a little yourselves. You sound like you have been so busy lately! Good to just regroup every now and then to re-gain your momentum!

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