Cajun Salmon and Sauteed Kale

I really hate it when I am looking for recipes, and I click on one which looks really delicious, but the list of ingredients is a mile long. At this point in my cooking, I have accumulated a lot of spices, and all the different kinds of vinegar. This is quite a cooking accomplishment, and it’s a small victory when I make my shopping list for the week, and I already have so many of the things I need. But, for many people, long lists of ingredients, many of which they don’t have, means there is no way on earth they are making that dish. Am I right? It seems daunting to go out and buy things like Garam Masala, or fish sauce, or adobo chiles (note: not to be used together!!) for a recipe you might not even like. In my recipes, I really try to keep it simple. Cooking should be fun—yes! Fun! Not daunting. So, sometimes I use short cuts. This is totally allowed and not considered cheating at all. I promise. And nobody will know the difference…

This meal is so simple—like, crazy simple—and super healthy. Yes, you could actually make your own Cajun seasoning with, maybe, 10 ingredients. Or, you could buy a Cajun seasoning pre-made and use that. But, if you have a Trader Joe’s (my happy place) near you, you can have a nice salmon dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. You’re welcome.

Simple Salmon and Kale

Serves 2 (BIG portions) or 4 (smaller portions)

1 package Cajun Salmon from Trader Joe’s (comes with 2 large fillets)

1 bag organic Tuscan kale from Trader Joe’s

Olive oil


Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook salmon about 5 minutes per side—check to see if done if you are not sure. When cooked, put salmon on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to let rest. Meanwhile put the entire bag of kale in the same pan that you used for the salmon. Cook kale about 5 minutes, stirring frequently with tongs.

No need to add any seasoning to the kale! It does not take salt well, and the small amount of seasoning left in the pan is nice. If you’d like, you could drizzle a bit of honey as the kale is cooking and the juice of half a lime. Or, you could just do the simple kale! The salmon is so flavorful; the simple kale works well with it.

Serve the kale and salmon with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc and you have a great mid-week dinner! And a romantic one at that.