Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

I’ve gone back and forth over the years on smoked salmon. We enjoyed it weekly for a while, but then I learned about all of the additives and nitrate issues. Ugh. That knowledge ruins so many awesome-tasting foods, doesn’t it? We were still enjoying some once in a while, but when I discovered the “salmon trimmings” at our local grocer, it was back on!

Not only do they only use hickory smoke and salt to cure their salmon, no other ingredients, but they also sell the “trimmings” for just $8 a lb (basically the leftovers when they cut pretty squares of the salmon). And let me tell you, a half a pound of salty smoked salmon goes a long ways. In fact, we find their salmon to be a bit too strong, so I’ve had to tone down the amount I use per serving.

My husband really liked the following pasta salad recipe, stating that the salmon added a nice flavor, but didn’t overpower the dish at all. One thing I did discover though, vegan mayo doesn’t work quite as well in pasta salads from an overnight standpoint. It was beautiful on the first day, but unlike “regular” mayo-based pasta salads, it didn’t improve with age. The dressing got a bit thick. This was easy to remedy with a touch of added oil, and the dish did heighten in flavor by the next day.

If you want to keep the dish vegetarian / vegan, try using chickpeas in the mix instead of salmon. While it won’t have that fishy flavor, the mixture of vegetables, pasta, mayo, and old bay is quite nice on its own!

Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad - Dairy-Free


Recipe: Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad


  • 8 Ounces Pasta, wheat-based or gluten-free (I used this Barilla Piccolini Penne; for gluten-free, we like TJ’s corn-based penne)
  • 1/3 Cup Mayo, vegan or regular (I used Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 6 Ounces Smoked Salmon or Lox, diced into little flavorful morsels
  • 1 Cup Peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
  • 1 Green Onion, sliced
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced (about 3/4 cup)


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and rinse it with cool water.
  2. Whisk together the mayo, lemon, old bay, and pepper in a small dish.
  3. Add the mayo mixture and all of the remaining ingredients to the pasta in a large bowl.
  4. Serve, or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet tags: Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free, Peanut free, Sugar free, optionally Egg free, and optionally Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Addictive Chocolate Granola Bar Treats

Today, you’re going to love me and you’re going to hate me.

I’m sharing my recipe for what we call “Chocolate Crack Bars.”

Easy Healthy Recipe: Dairy-Free Double Chocolate Granola Bars

See, look what they do to the gnome! Everyone gets excited when I pop these out of the freezer, which is far too often since they literally take minutes to make.

The recipe is being featured on Attune Foods today, so “crack bars” seemed slightly inappropriate for the title. You will find them labeled as Addictive Double Chocolate Granola Bars.

Go, check out the recipe here!

Cajun-Roasted Root “Chips”

I see it all the time. The perfect baked “french fry” that the author swears is the method to make them crisp, followed by mixed reviews of “these were amazing!” and “they didn’t work, not crisp at all!” And you know what, both sets of reviewers are right.

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that there are a lot of things that can affect a recipe, and this goes well beyond the ingredients and the oven temperature. Yes, there are methods … soaking, rinsing, coating, or none of the above … but the single most important factor, in my opinion, is climate. I’ve lived and recipe tested in them all. Dry as a bone deserts, high altitude, rusty towns by the sea, fertile valleys … and while some recipes will work pretty well everywhere, there is always at least a slight variance in the results.

Right now, we are in that rusty seaside town, and my nemesis is those darn crispy root vegetables. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that roasting could only be done at very high temperatures, and even then, they just get a nice firm exterior with browning. There is just too much darned humidity!

So this simple little recipe may yield “chips” for you, but for me, they were soft and just roasted. I can’t remember in what magazine I saw this “perfect chip” idea. They used some other root vegetable, but a similar one, and I wrote down the temp and cooking time, eager to give it a go. But alas, there was no crisping for me, not even a little bit.

Fortunately, whether or not these roots crisp up for you, they are darn tasty. I was lazy, I use a pre-mix of Cajun spices to make it even easier. So this is more like a recipe idea than a real recipe. But I’m all about sharing ideas, particularly when they use vegetables …

Low Fat Roasted Rutabaga "Chips


Recipe: Cajun-Roasted Root “Chips”

Summary: I used rutabaga, which has it’s own unique taste. I’m experimenting more with this root, since it is fairly high in non-dairy calcium (14% for 10 ounces!). That said, it has a stronger flavor than some roots. I find parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes to have mellower and sweeter flavors, so you may want to start with those.


  • 12 Ounces (3/4 lb) Root Vegetables, peeled or unpeeled (your choice)
  • 1 Teaspoon Melted Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning (mine had salt in it)


  1. Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
  2. Slice the root veggies 1/8-inch thick or thinner if possible. This is a good time to own a mandoline (alas, I don’t).
  3. Toss the chips with the oil and coat them with the seasoning.
  4. Spread them out on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan, and place them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Quick notes

Keep a close eye on these, particularly if you cut them by hand. Thinner parts may start to burn a little quickly and should be removed early.

If you have wire cookie racks or similar, you can place them on top of the baking sheet to allow the air to circulate under the chips, allowing for a more even cook/roast, and helping to prevent the moisture from locking in.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, Sugar free, Low fat

Number of servings (yield): 2

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.