Salmon Stirfry with Pineapple, Avocado and Cashews

You know that feeling you get right before going on vacation? That “oh my gaaahhh I can’t believe I’m gonna be there in 48 hours / it’s gonna be the freaking best / holy crap I gotta pack!” excitement?

Actually, I’m not talking about that feeling.

I mean the one where you need to eat dinner, but there’s not much left in the house. And going out is a no-no, because you know you’ll be spending lots of money, eating all your meals out, soon enough. And buying anything new that you know you won’t finish and will possibly spoil would also be a bad move.

That’s what I was dealing with prior to leaving for our vacation. The fridge was beyond bare, except for half of an avocado begging to be used up. There were some frozen salmon burgers and I could have used the avocado as a topping, but with no fresh veggies around, I had no potential side dish.

On to the chest freezer. A-ha! A wholesale club sized bag of Asian-style mixed veggies. I had insisted we needed that for some reason, even though I’m not crazy about most frozen vegetables. But they’re perfect for nights like this! Stir-fry frenzy struck, and I pulled out a salmon filet to thaw. (Yes, there were salmon filets and salmon burgers – I suppose we do have quite the variety!) Avocado can go in stir fry too, right?

And then, later in the day, my excitement began to waiver. Stir-fried frozen vegetables just sounded so blahh, even with avocado. (What was wrong with me today?) I’ll be honest: I’m a shopper and a planner, so when I haven’t planned a meal ahead of time, the thought of making something half-decent without buying anything brings on a mini anxiety attack.

As soon as I got home I checked the cabinets. Something nutty, maybe? How about something sweet? Check, check. Stir-fry excitement was back on.

This stir-fry turned out much better than decent. Any old stir fry should have a good mix of flavors, but using a variety of textures really brings it up a notch. Cool, creamy avocado, crunchy cashews, and chewy dried pineapple in every bite make a truly savorable stir fry. The sauce ingredients were minimal (remember, I didn’t have much to work with!) but that was fine because it allowed us to really taste all of the other ingredients.
The lesson here? Dig deep in that freezer and those cupboards – there’s probably a treasure or two in there.

Salmon Stir-fry with Pineapple, Cashews and Avocado
Printable Recipe

1 6oz boneless, skinless salmon filet
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cups frozen Asian-style mixed vegetables, slightly thawed (or fresh, but the goal tonight was to not buy anything new!)
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
20gm Trader Joe’s Thai Lime & Chili Cashews, chopped (or regular cashews)
1oz dried pineapple, preferably Megafruit
1/2 of an avocado, diced
4oz pasta*, cooked and drained

Heat a large nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Cut the salmon into bite-size pieces, season with salt and pepper, and add to the hot wok. Sear on all sides. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for another minute.

Raise heat to medium-high and add the frozen vegetables. Cook, stirring, for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are heated through. Add the chili garlic sauce, ponzu sauce, cashews and pineapple, and stir to combine.

Finally add the hot, cooked pasta to the wok and toss evenly. Divide among two plates and top with the diced avocado.

*I use Carba-Nada, a delicious and healthy alternative to regular pasta with 12 grams of protein and just 140 calories per serving.

Nutritional Info
(Calculated without pasta, so you can factor in whatever kind you use)
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 460.6
Total Fat: 25.8 g
Cholesterol: 47.0 mg
Sodium: 952.7 mg
Total Carbs: 30.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.4 g
Protein: 23.6 g

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18 Responses to “Salmon Stirfry with Pineapple, Avocado and Cashews”

  1. 1

    Dawn — June 21, 2010 @ 1:32 pm Reply

    Great job on digging out of your freezer! I did that recently (well it was the pantry) with my garden veggies pasta. I felt so frugal.

  2. 2

    Joanne — June 21, 2010 @ 1:58 pm Reply

    asian cultures do a really good job of trying to include all sorts of textures and flavors in their food and this meal really embodies that! I would never know it was a clean-out-your-fridge meal! I love the sound of the lime chili cashews mixed in…I love those!

  3. 3

    Chelsey — June 21, 2010 @ 2:21 pm Reply

    I'm totally a planner too… Not so good at using what I've got (cause I'd rather buy something fresh!). With three kids our fresh stuff doesn't spoil too often. Rarely do I make a meal on the fly when the fridge is on the bare side….When I do though, I'm always surprised at how good it tastes and I didn't have to spend a penny extra to make it! Your stir fry sounds super yummy, I would never have guessed it wasn't planned if it weren't for your story. Bravo! I hope you have an awesome vacation. :)

  4. 4

    Kelly — June 21, 2010 @ 3:12 pm Reply

    Enjoy the vaca! I love pineapple and cashews in stir fry, although I've never had it with avocado or salmon. Sounds amazing!

  5. 5

    Tasha — June 21, 2010 @ 4:44 pm Reply

    I'm impressed with your creativity. Normally right before a trip, I've checked out already. We're more likely to be eating scrambled eggs or sandwiches. Your make-do recipe sounds wonderful- love all of the flavors you have going on!

  6. 6

    Alexandra London-Gross — June 21, 2010 @ 9:24 pm Reply

    Seriously, this looks amazing. Will you please have me over for dinner? And then allow me to come back each night? Because that totally beats whatever I would've come up with.Alex @ IEatAsphalt

  7. 7

    preventionrd.com — June 21, 2010 @ 9:41 pm Reply

    I wish I were half that creative! It looks WONDERFUL, Cara!!

  8. 8

    Rice Palette — June 21, 2010 @ 9:45 pm Reply

    This looks amazing! Salmon is one of my favorites. I haven't done much stir-fry with salmon because I'm always worried that it'll break into too many tiny pieces, but I think I'll have to try it now! :0)

  9. 9

    Tyler — June 21, 2010 @ 11:37 pm Reply

    what a great use of random ingredients! if i were in your position, i probably would have eaten a grilled cheese or something not so creative…

  10. 10

    katiehealthforthewholeself — June 22, 2010 @ 12:57 am Reply

    My mouth is watering right now!!! Just bookmarked this! :)

  11. 11

    grace — June 22, 2010 @ 8:59 am Reply

    i almost get angry when i see something as tasty-looking as this made with salmon. ick! also contributing to the anger-factor is the realization that it's only a picture of food and not actual food. :)

  12. 12

    Barbara — June 22, 2010 @ 11:42 am Reply

    Love your stir fry! Great job using what you've got!Have a marvelous vacation!

  13. 13

    Vicky — June 22, 2010 @ 2:39 pm Reply

    That looks great! Going to try it as soon as I get back to the States!

  14. 14

    Elina — June 23, 2010 @ 7:59 pm Reply

    I definitely know that feeling. I think that's going to be me on Friday afternoon, trying to figure something out for lunch (which we were supposed to have on the go but our plans changed). I'm going to be working with next to nothing, that's for sure!Great idea for a stir-fry. I often go for that as well :)

  15. 15

    Vicky — April 5, 2011 @ 1:16 am Reply

    That looks great! Going to try it as soon as I get back to the States!

  16. 16

    Rice Palette — April 5, 2011 @ 1:16 am Reply

    This looks amazing! Salmon is one of my favorites. I haven't done much stir-fry with salmon because I'm always worried that it'll break into too many tiny pieces, but I think I'll have to try it now! :0)

  17. 17

    Alexandra London-Gross — April 5, 2011 @ 1:16 am Reply

    Seriously, this looks amazing. Will you please have me over for dinner? And then allow me to come back each night? Because that totally beats whatever I would've come up with.Alex @ IEatAsphalt

  18. 18

    Kelly — April 5, 2011 @ 1:16 am Reply

    Enjoy the vaca! I love pineapple and cashews in stir fry, although I've never had it with avocado or salmon. Sounds amazing!

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