Salmon with Cilantro Sauce and Cauliflower "Rice"

Grilled Salmon with Cilantro JalapeƱo Sauce and Cauliflower "Rice"

I don't know what other people's experience is caring for someone with cancer but mine has been a surprise. I think I expected Mike to be pensive while the two of us have misty-eyed meaningful discussions. But our actual conversations have been kind of one-sided with Mike being, frankly, crabby, demanding and not necessarily um...linear in his thinking.

"I need this water be room temperature when I take my pills. Where are my blue shorts? They're gone! Can you fix that fan, it's making a clicking noise and", SQUIRREL!, "if my dad brings up Steve Jobs one more time, I'm gonna lose it. You need to get Avery's skates sharpened, it's been two months." 

All in one breath.

Take my advice if you ever find yourself in my shoes. Keep your face as neutral as possible and try to fulfill these requests. Do not. Do NOT challenge anything your loved one says unless it will harm their health in which case you need to steel yourself and be prepared to get loud. To puff yourself up and make yourself authoritative and unbending and demand that they drink the water, eat the soup, take the pills, stay in bed, get out of bed and walk, etc.

This is hard because they look so sad and torn apart. Weak, sick, angry and baffled that this is happening. And you'll feel all these same things to a lesser or greater degree but that's easy because you're healthy. So now you truly get the simple equation that health = freedom. Money, democracy, education, the perfect pair of J Crew pumps at half-off are all good and well but without your health, it's nothing.

So stand your body up straight and tall. Jump up and down. Fill your lungs with fresh clean air, exhale and be thankful. You don't know what you've got until it's gone.

In the spirit of maintaining good health here's a dish with lots of flavor that requires very little effort. Cauliflower that mimics rice, catches sauce and satisfies your starch craving. Grilled salmon. Fresh cilantro sauce with jalapeno and lime juice that's fresh and flavorful and not too spicy. I like this grilling technique for salmon too. Skin side up first. Seems to keep it intact better and you get nice grill marks.

Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce and Cauliflower "Rice"

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets
1 head cauliflower

Cilantro Sauce
1 bunch cilantro, chopped coarsely
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno chili, thinly sliced, seeds discarded
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
Juice from one lime (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat grill to medium-hot.

Roughly chop cauliflower, trimming and discarding tough stems and leaves. 

Process in batches in a food processor until the size of rice grains. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a large flat pan over medium heat and saute cauliflower until softened, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes).

Put all sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush grill with a little canola oil. Place salmon skin side up for 2-3 minutes (until it pulls away on it's own). Flip, turn grill down to low and cover for 4-5 minutes until cooked through (firm to the touch). Remove from grill, plate with cauliflower and fresh tomatoes if you have them. Drizzle with sauce.


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