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Good For The Heart Grilled Salmon Pasta & Salmon Swiss Chard Quiche

Spaghetti With Grilled Salmon, Grape Tomatoes & Capers

Real evening off with my honey. Not the kind where I have to scoot off back to my desk to finish one more chapter. Real walk with the pups. Not the kind I quickly run them around the block wishing they wouldn’t play hide and seek for 20 minutes. Real adult conversation with my mother. The kind that leaves me feeling punched to a pulp but hopeful and strong. Real shower. So hot and rejuvenating my fingers get wrinkly and my skin becomes red. All real.

It’s easy to think of everyday things as regular happenings. Amenities, privileges and responsibilities to others. They’re not. I look at my window overlooking the creek and all I see is marsh land gently swayed by the breeze and the incoming tide. I realize then that what we, B. and myself, work so hard to maintain, even when we struggle, is never taken for granted. I am thankful that my feet are grounded into grasping what is important. We enjoy running water and electricity, education, freedom of speech and assembly.

Swiss Chard & Salmon Quiche

I spent pretty much the last two weeks split between the work laid out before me and the TV turned to Egypt. It made everything we were doing, him grading paper and me writing the final chapters of my manuscript, trivial and small. And it was. And it was not at the same time. One more time I was privileged to watch another Berlin wall fall, another Romania do away with dictatorship, another Kosovo say no more to oppression and fear.

And once more I was reminded of the privilege I had to work my passion for a living and to be given the tools and freedom to do it right. So with one eye glued to the television and the other on the computer screen, I buckled down and finished writing the last chapter and appendices. When everything was uploaded to the server around noon, I crashed. We both crashed actually. Wiped out. My brain could not come up with one more proper sentence. My heart was happy for I had exercised one of my fundamental privileges, to be free to write.


We took the rest of the day "off". A luxury these days but we drew the curtain closed, put on old LPs, a sea of pillows down on the floor and just chilled. Bill, who held me figuratively and literally for the past three months I was writing held me one more time as I fell asleep in his arms. All the Valentine’s day commercial things might have gotten to me, but he’s my rock. And we take care of each other.

Even when things are crazy busy, there are a few things I will not make compromises about. Quiet time just the two of us with no radio, no shop talk, not bank/house talk is one of those. The other is food. Nourishing, well prepared and wholesome food. It’s one of the few things we can do to keep us going. Share with friends is even better.


When I made this salmon and Swiss chard quiche, I actually had enough for a second one so I grabbed the phone and told our friends the house was open if they wanted to come and have a bite with us. And then I made a big plate of grilled salmon and spaghetti so I called another set of friends. Before I knew it we were 10 around the dinner table sharing a good meal and a few good laughs. Taking some time off and making sure that we eat well is one of the best thing I did these past few days.

These coming two weeks are going to be packed crazy. Virginia Willis, Angie Mosier, Gena Berry and crew are going to be here this whole week for the second round of her book Basic to Brilliant Ya’ll with Ten Speed Press. I am so excited I can’t stop bopping around. We work hard but at the end of the day we play just as hard…ehehe! The week after that I am starting a photo shoot for a more commercial client and pairing with a dear friend of mine on the project. Details soon but it’s going to be some good grub too!

Anyways…I know tomorrow there is going to be a deluge of sweet things and chocolate on the blogosphere so I thought I’d give you a couple of savory recipes with salmon which we all know is wonderful for the heart… The grilled salmon and pasta dish was so refreshing and light that I made it again the day after!

Swiss Chard & Salmon Quiche

Salmon and Swiss Chard Quiche:

For one quiche (serves 6)

Note: If we don’t wish to make this gluten free, reduce the egg yolks to 1 and use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flours instead of the brown rice, millet, sorghum and cornstarch.

For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 egg yolks
pinch salt
1/2 cup (80gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) corn starch

Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter and mustard on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add all the different flours and cornstarch and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your prefered pie pan. (I went with rectangular this time) If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pan, just patch it with your fingertips. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dy beans and par bake for 15-20 minutes until completely done. Remove the weights and parchment paper. At this point you can refrigerate the baked crust for up to 5 days if not using right away or freeze it for up to 3 months.

For the filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (I used 1/2 of a giant sweet Vidalia), sliced thin
1 cup packed Swiss chard (red – green rainbow – your choice), washed and patted dry
One 4-oz salmon fillet, raw and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup whole milk
salt and pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley

Prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
Heat the oil in a large sautee pan over medium high heat and cook the onion until translucent (about 3-4 minutes), add the Swiss chard and cooked until wilted. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme and parsley. Layer the onion and Swiss chard at the bottom of the crust, top with the pieces of salmon and slowly pour the egg mixture over it.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the tart starts getting golden brown and the custard is cooked.

Grilled Salmon Spaghetti with Grape Tomatoes and Capers:

Serves 2

One 6 oz salmon fillet
3 oz dry gluten free spaghetti (we go with quinoa pasta usually)
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
2 teaspoons capers
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh oregano

Pan grill or grill the salmon until cooked to your liking. Let it cool and chop it roughly or just shred it apart with your fingertips. Place it in a large bowl.
In the meantime, boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Once cooked, drain, and mix it in with the salmon, halved grape tomatoes and capers. Mix and adjust seasoning if necessary. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and prinkle with a few fresh leaves of oregano.

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Irene February 13, 2011 um 5:49 pm

oh, these two dishes look amazing!

Michelle Stiles February 13, 2011 um 6:17 pm

Follow your passion. You are going full speed ahead and turning out some amazing work.

muppy February 13, 2011 um 8:45 pm

I know how you feel, it's often way too long in between those 'real' times.
Your salmon looks delicious.

"pose"gourmande February 13, 2011 um 9:48 pm


Rice Bowl Tales 有碗話碗 February 13, 2011 um 9:53 pm

You're an inspirational and compasssionate person. it's so nice to read about what you write and what you cook each time when I visit your blog. Wish you every success in everything you do.

Ilke February 13, 2011 um 10:17 pm

You are right, there are so many things going on the world that might make our daily effort here insignificant… but on the other hand, every small act is very significant in somebody else's world. The only thing we can do is to lead a honest life.

Hope everything goes well with the book. As soon as it is done, I am sure you will say that you would have done it again and again! 🙂

Elly February 13, 2011 um 10:34 pm

Love the look of that salmon pasta – sometimes the simplest things are the tastiest.

Anonymous February 13, 2011 um 11:17 pm

Such a lovely meal to share with friends!

Helene February 14, 2011 um 12:08 am

Ilke: I am sure of it. I have not so far ever said otherwise though.

peachkins February 14, 2011 um 1:10 am

the pasta looks so amazing!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Alyson February 14, 2011 um 3:13 am

That quiche! Oh my lord! That looks to die for.

Linda – Nutrition to Invigorate Mind, Body & Spirit February 14, 2011 um 5:18 am


Your blog is so unbelievably beautiful. I love your style, it's so clean, yet it has a little bit of that fabulous chick-country style, does that even make sense?!

Anyway, I love your blog! I have a nutrition blog and just hope that I could someday bring my photography up to your level! I just started using a DSLR camera two months ago so I have a long way to go!!

You're awesome, keep up the amazing work!


Jessica F February 14, 2011 um 5:53 am

How wonderful to spend an afternoon with friends and relax with each other. That just sounds amazing! Your dishes sound just as wonderful too. I wonder if I could get my husband to eat that quiche 🙂 I am just starting to turn him on to salmon, so it might be a bit of a push… 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous February 14, 2011 um 7:04 am

These photos are beautiful and vibrant and the quiche looks so delicious! I'm going to have to copy down that recipe!

Anna ♥ Sugarized February 14, 2011 um 1:29 pm

More than the scrumptious food you make, I love reading your your blog for the well-written stories you share. They are always an inspiration. I know exactly what you mean when you said that your husband is like a rock to you. I feel the same way about the love of my life. 🙂 Happy Valentine's Day to you and your husband, Helene!

Anonymous February 14, 2011 um 1:49 pm

Beautiful words, I totally agree.
As always your recipes are delicious.
Love for everybody!

Shelby February 14, 2011 um 5:43 pm

It is definitely those little things in life that are so important to recognize and appreciate just as much as the bigger, monumental, more worldly matters. Thank you for sharing your humility, gratitude, and lovely recipes once again, I look forward to giving them a try! Happy Valentine's Day and Congratulations on the completion of your book, I can't wait for it's release!!!!

Gen February 14, 2011 um 8:35 pm

J'aime beaucoup la fore de la quiche, et les photos sont merveilleuses, comme d'habitude!

The InTolerant Chef ™ February 14, 2011 um 10:32 pm

One of the main things I try to teach my girls is Gattitude. Not for just the big things, but all the little things to. Once they appreciate those, the rest naturally seem to fall into line,things like respect, and not taking things for granted. It's a big lesson.
Sharing time and food with friends is important too, and those meals look lovely.

Tori February 15, 2011 um 1:05 am

I am not sure which looks more amazing, this recipe or your photos. Thank you for sharing, bookmarking this one for sure!

Baking Monster February 15, 2011 um 3:19 am

I think I defiently use to take things for granted, but recently something happend and now I'm complelety thankful for everything. I hope to someday run a blog like yours.

féenoménale February 15, 2011 um 8:29 am

This recipes seems so delicious, thanks

alyce February 15, 2011 um 3:17 pm

Beautiful food photos.

Rocky Mountain Woman February 15, 2011 um 4:53 pm

Congratulations on the book…

What an amazing accomplishment..

Your photos literally blow me away…

Nat February 15, 2011 um 10:00 pm

Bonjour Hélène
Gonna speak in French for once.
C'est toujours aussi bon et aussi beau. La France a perdu une perle de son collier 😉
So sweet, so beautiful, so elegant.
Kisses from Paris

sara February 16, 2011 um 2:07 am

beautifully written – hugh and i say the same things every morning. How did we get so lucky to be doing what we're doing, where we are… it seems too good. You are so talented and have a sweet heart – good things will always come to you.
Oh, and please fed ex me a quiche 🙂

TheInnKeepersDaughter February 16, 2011 um 3:08 am

Wow, I don't know which I want to try first, but leading toward the quiche, what a great combo, thanks. And by the way, the pix of the rainbow chard is gorgeous! Thanks again, Yolande.

Rachel | the newbie kitchen February 16, 2011 um 3:40 am

What a surprise when I came by to see not only a couple tasty recipes (I MUST try that pasta) and gorgeous photographs to boot, but you also write beautifully.

You have an instant follower in me!

marla February 16, 2011 um 5:32 am

My eyes are half closed as I write this comment. Fun and tiring to read all you have been up to as I lye in bed and make the rounds to say 'hi" Beautiful salmon – my favorite food of all time. Happy food. Your friends are lucky they could share this with you 🙂 goodnight….xo

Hannah @ Pickled Sweets February 16, 2011 um 9:35 am

mmm that salmon pasta looks so yum!

oneordinaryday February 16, 2011 um 3:38 pm

What a wonderfully written post.

susan February 16, 2011 um 6:53 pm

oh my goodness! this looks delicious. not only does the food look delicious, but your photos put me in the greatest of moods. i love your depth, you consciousness to those struggling, your empathy towards others. Yet, most of all, I love the way you love your man! Happy belated V-day! You deserve all that is being given to you!

Ruth February 17, 2011 um 7:34 am

Ummm!!! just the perfect recipes for us… we eat a lot of salmon here in Finland..
Warm wishes from the North

Rut February 17, 2011 um 10:42 am

Continuo ad ammirare le foto,ma il contenuto della foto dev'essere anche molto buono. Ho imparato a fare la sfoglia grezza senza glutine, la sua tart è un ottima ispirazione. Dio ti benedica Helene

Binnie February 17, 2011 um 1:43 pm

What a beautiful blog/website! And it's such a treat to find excellent gluten-free recipes. Thank you for these; I'll enjoy browsing through the index.

J February 17, 2011 um 5:51 pm

Hello! This quiche looked so delicious, I wanted to make it right away!

I didn't want to make the recipe gluten free, and I noticed you wrote, "reduce the egg yolks to 1" in order to do so. Did you mean reduce by 1 or use a total of two egg yolks?

I tried to make it last night, but my dough just didn't have enough moisture. What is the texture of the dough supposed to be like?

Thanks for your help!

Helene February 17, 2011 um 11:59 pm

i am jess: I meant reduce to one egg yolk. Depending on your flour is measured and packed in the cup, you might need some water or cream added to the dough. It is fairly dry to begin with.

Nicole@The Dirty Oven via twitter @ovenloving February 18, 2011 um 2:19 am

All of my favorite things wraped into one lovely package! Just a joy! Thanks for sharing. Love you blog.

heather jacobsen February 18, 2011 um 6:05 pm

i don't know which sounds better, the quiche or the pasta! can i have a serving of each, please? your photography is stunning.

Restaurante Valerie February 18, 2011 um 11:13 pm

This quiche looks delicious! Just like all your bakings anyway! I really had a good time watching you blog, i'll keep watching you.


Bren February 21, 2011 um 7:39 pm

i love Swiss chard and the quiche sounds sooo good. the pic with the diff herbs. And passions are what drives our lives, so go for it! 🙂

vanessa joie February 21, 2011 um 10:58 pm

I loved reading this. not just for the yummy dishes 🙂

Jenny February 21, 2011 um 11:36 pm

Wow this looks amazing!! I love the long pastry, it makes it stand out. Beautiful!

AnneSo Ohmiroir February 21, 2011 um 11:48 pm

Tres vrai le on oublie souvent la chance qu'on a.. juste quand je me remettais en question, ca abien aidé! Merci!
La quiche a l'air trop bonne, je dois essayer!

Eileen @ Passions to Pastry February 24, 2011 um 2:52 am

I can always make room in my baking schedule for another tart!

Lesley February 26, 2011 um 4:36 am

Your words on counting your blessings were moving and thought-provoking and I kept thinking of them for some time after. Now even more so…I live in New Zealand (near Auckland) but the city of Christchurch has been hit by an earthquake resulting in loss of lives, injuries, no homes or broken homes, no water, no power, etc. Yes, count our blessings – so true and I thank you and wish you all the best for your book.

inga February 26, 2011 um 9:51 am

lovely blog u have! 🙂 looks so tasty!

isabel February 26, 2011 um 9:26 pm

Wow! looks yummie. visit my blog to see tips and other inspiration.

Unknown February 28, 2011 um 4:05 am

I am really enjoying your blog very much! I have spent the weekend perfecting the macaron. I must admit… they were hard but once you've figured it out, I think it will be easier the next time. Thank you for all of the advice that I found on your site. I will definitely be following!

Unknown March 1, 2011 um 7:50 am

your blog makes me so hungry. best food photos ever. you have inspired me to cook again!

emiglia March 8, 2011 um 11:26 am

The quiche looks lovely, but I was mostly struck by the very intimate image of your relationship with your husband. Thank you for sharing your private moments with us; I can think of nothing more romantic than a day with your SO listening to records. You're both very lucky, and even luckier in knowing just how lucky you are.

Unknown March 15, 2011 um 1:06 am

This is such a lovely blog; perhaps the most pleasing I have come across thus far. Great photos and recipes that are enticing. Thanks

Budoh April 11, 2011 um 12:29 am

I discovered your blog through Truly Smitten… Your passion for food & love of photography show through with each blog. I am so thrilled to have been introduced to your blog!

Anonymous June 26, 2011 um 12:27 pm

That would be a perfect dish! Healthy, good for the heart and sooo yummy!! And your pictures, they're just beutiful…

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