Limes, Lemons, and Lemonade

This post is linked to Chelsey’s once-a-month roundup, Flipping Fast Fridays, over at The Crazy Kitchen.

Limes … Salmon for me is a perfect food. It tastes like … hmmm, what’s the highest accolade I can give it? nirvana? heaven? I’d rather eat salmon than chocolate. Seriously. I don’t get it when people say they don’t really care for it. (I know, I know … there are foods on your list I don’t get either. LOL) Not withstanding the outstanding taste, everyone knows that salmon is full of health benefits. Of course, wild salmon is the absolute best. Robin Sue just did a post on the Copper River salmon.  Boy, would I love some of that! (As far as the benefits of wild salmon versus farmed salmon, I’ll refer you to Mark’s Daily Apple for his discussion  on that topic.) I crave salmon and whenever I have some on hand leftover from my own cooking or a restaurant meal (salmon is something most restaurants easily prepare gluten free), I will eat it for every meal until it’s gone. And, I eat every tiny morsel on my plate—it’s way too good to waste. We are told salmon is a brain food because of the Omega-3’s it contains (read more here) and I believe it! I actually feel like my brain has been fed after I eat it. I feel more awake, more alert, and just in a very happy state. :-)

When Elana of Elana’s Pantry posted her Chipotle Lime Salmon recipe, I knew I had to try it. So, I was very pleased to see salmon on sale when I went grocery shopping the following week. Salmon like most fish/seafood can be expensive. It definitely has a higher per pound cost than other main ingredients for entrees that we might eat more frequently (say chicken, for example). However, I’ve found salmon still to be a reasonable value for us because we are well satisfied with small portions. I guess that’s because of the nutritional punch and flavor in each bite.

Elana’s recipe called for very few ingredients besides the salmon itself: olive oil, sea salt, limes, and chipotle powder. Elana’s motto is Simplify. Satisfy. and that she does! The recipe I used is essentially hers—the only changes I made were to replace the chipotle powder with cayenne pepper and to grill the salmon versus baking it. The results were absolutely fabulous! You have the basic goodness of the salmon itself and then the flavors of lime and cayenne. By the way, if you’ve resisted cooking with limes and lime juice (as I had until a few years ago), just give it up. Now. I mean it! You are missing out on flavor that you didn’t know was possible. We’re not talking about an artificial tart lime taste that overpowers all the other flavors. Lime juice from fresh limes is not at all overpowering when used in fish and meat recipes. It adds incredible moisture and depth of flavor to the recipe. (If you’ve ever been in the Caribbean and marveled over the wonderful flavors of the seafood, meat, and vegetables, chances are lime played a main role in the dishes you enjoyed.) The cayenne pepper I used in this recipe, balanced by the fresh lime juice, added just the right amount of flavor and “fire” to the lips and tongue. Cooking it on the grill resulted in a delightful smokiness, which also worked great with the cayenne taste. Even Mr. GFE (one who is usually in the “no-salmon-for-me, thank you” camp) approved. I especially loved this salmon cold for breakfast. (Okay, admittedly, I have a history with dishes eaten cold for breakfast.) I have since purchased some chipotle powder and will make the recipe using that next time. Try this recipe out, either with cayenne pepper or chipotle powder per Elana’s original recipe. It’s an outstanding entrée and the presentation is lovely and fun at the same time!


Cayenne Lime Salmon
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.)

1 pound salmon, cut into smaller filets
2 tbsp olive oil
2 limes, sliced in half
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat grill to medium high.

Rinse salmon, dry, and place on plate.

Rub each fillet with olive oil.

Squeeze the juice from one half-lime onto each filet. (You may use less if your filets are substantially smaller.)

Sprinkle filets with sea salt and cayenne. Place lime pieces on top of each filet.

Grill thicker salmon for about 10 minutes, flipping once. (Per this site, “Salmon fillets and steaks need 4 to 6 minutes grilling time per 1/2 inch of thickness…2 to 3 minutes per side. If the fillets are over one inch thick, give them five minutes per side over direct heat, then move them to a cool part of the grill to finish cooking. When the salmon flesh flakes with a fork, it’s done.”)

Adapted from Elana’s Pantry

Lemons … My friend, Steve of Gluten Free Steve, posted a recipe for lemon sponge cake that he made for Passover. I made his cake for our April support group meeting. It was a nice, light dessert that everyone enjoyed. (In fact, our members were still talking about this cake at our May meeting!) Sometimes you want dessert to round out a meal, but you don’t want anything heavy … this sponge cake is the perfect answer solution for those times. The original recipe called for potato starch, which I don’t use, so I substituted cornstarch, and that worked just fine. His recipe didn’t call for greasing the pan (and other similar recipes I found online didn’t either), but I recommend greasing the pan as my cake stuck quite a bit. (Maybe when made with lemon or orange oil, which was an option in his original recipe, the cake would have been easy to remove from the pan.) Luckily for me, one of our very kind support group members, Angie, patiently extracted it from the pan while I continued preparing another dish for our meeting. I had found a glaze recipe online and wanted to dress the cake up a little because of the signs of extraction (LOL). I hadn’t been sure I’d use the glaze recipe, but was glad I had it and the ingredients on hand for Angie to mix up and pour over my slightly battered cake. A little whipped cream would also make a great topping. Plus, I think this cake would be lovely served with some fresh fruit (like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries).


Lemon Sponge Cake
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.)

7 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon rind
3/4 cup cornstarch, sifted
dash of salt

Separate six of the eggs. Beat the six yolks with the one whole egg until frothy.

Gradually add in the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon rind and beat thoroughly until all ingredients are incorporated. Gradually add the cornstarch, stirring constantly to ensure all is mixed through.

Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff, but not dry (Steve notes that if you have a free standing mixer, you can have the egg whites beating while you mix the yolk mixture, as a timesaver).

Fold the egg white mixture gently and throroughly into the egg yolk mixture. (Folding is not my forte, but I managed. LOL)

Pour into a greased 10-ince tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched.

Invert pan and cool thoroughly before removing cake.

Adapted from Gluten Free Steve

Lemon Glaze

If you want to use a lemon glaze, mix together powdered sugar with lemon juice and cornstarch until you get a good consistency. The amounts shown below work pretty well.

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch (plus more if needed for thickness)
3 tsp lemon juice
water to desired consistency

Drizzle over the cake and let harden before serving.

Adapted from Claire at Gluten Freedom

Lemonade … I’ve mentioned the Lemonade Stand award, the award for great attitude and gratitude, that sweet “Z” of Gluten Free from A to Z (two-for-one reviews of gf products, recipes, and more) and From This Point. Forward. (Z’s other compelling blog about dealing with RA and life in general) bestowed upon me a while back. Then, dynamo Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang also gave me this same award (simply called the Attitude and Gratitude award at her site)  recently. I feel much gratitude indeed to these wonderful bloggers for this honor and their extremely kind words. In fact, the kindness and generosity of my fellow bloggers and my readers has me constantly at a loss for appropriate words of thanks, so I’ll offer another simple one to you all now—thank you.


With summer here (unofficially) and our youngest support group members talking about setting up a real lemonade stand at our new farmers market, now is finally the time to pass that award on to others. The rules say that the award should be passed on to five blogs that demonstrate “great attitude and gratitude.” Here are my latest five (in no particular order), and these awards are also guilt free easily. That’s another gfe and a phrase my friend, Nance, coined … no need to display the award or anything else—just thanks for your great blog! Note: Not all of these blogs listed below are gluten free, but they are all terrific and provide great value in some form. And, FYI, I highlighted 15 other worthy blogs earlier. You can check those out here.

Gluten-Free Girl—I haven’t given Shauna an award before, because I feel a bit silly doing so. She already gets a lot of awards and press from bigger fish in the sea than me—all of which she totally deserves. For many of us, hers was the first gluten-free blog we discovered and we’ve since been loyal readers. Her current book (which has the same name as her blog) conveys the very message of great attitude and gratitude. Shauna is an excellent writer who shares stories that speak to us all. Her current post, “the best we can,” is a fine example. Likewise, her recent post on her sister blog, Gluten-Free Girl Recommends, discussing the controversies regarding Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book, The G-Free Diet, and Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes cookbook, is also worth a read. Incidentally, I met Shauna a few years ago and she’s every bit as lovely and “real” in person as she is on her blogs. 

The Celiac Husband—H.Peter started his blog to publicize his wife’s, Victoria’s, gluten-free bakery in Calgary, Alberta—GF Patisserie. Their daughter, Lauren, also creates and bakes there with Victoria. H. Peter posts frequently, often briefly (a skill I sometimes envy!), and one never knows exactly what he’ll be writing about. Of course, he writes about the GF Patisserie, but he also writes about restaurants, markets, travel, gluten-free news, and items of particular interest to him—like chocolate (one of his passions!) and antiques. I entered the Frommer’s sweepstakes each day in May trying to win a free trip to Calgary, but since it’s now early June and I haven’t heard I guess I didn’t win—rats!!! I’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to eat one of those decadent GF Patisserie cream puffs. If you visit Calgary, stop by and enjoy some of GF Patisserie’s wonderful gluten-free baked goods. (BTW, Calgary is an area I highly recommend for a visit—I even know the perfect tour guide there—Paul Armstrong of Lone Wolf Tours.) In the interim though, you can visit H.Peter’s blog.

IrrEATable—Like many of us, Matt is on his own quest to find good health. His blog’s name is a take-off on the digestive issues he’s experienced and his knowledge and passion for quality food. He found my blog online and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Ironically, we discovered after chatting via email that Matt used to live about 15 miles away from me when he attended my alma mater. However, Matt lives in New England now. His blog highlights various concerns related to our food as well as the positives of growing one’s own. I always learn something when I visit his site and, similarly, his posts make me think about things.

Anali’s First Amendment—Anali gave me my first award, the Premio Dardos award. I had found her blog via my friend, Nance (at one of her blogs—my fave is The Brian Williams Tie Report). Anali and her blog are a lot of fun. She is both an attorney and a freelance writer. Her sweet, outgoing personality comes through in her great recipes, photos, restaurant reviews, a love of her Quincy community (outside Boston), info on national and local events, etc. Her blog is a very enjoyable and informative read and often that’s just what I am looking for! She also has a sister blog, Anali Says, where she critiques products (sometimes sharing recipes made with food products … not necessarily gf, but adaptable).

Big Red Kitchen—Robin Sue is just a delight! She’s a great cook and clearly, per her blog’s name, great food is usually what she’s focused on. There’s always more neat stuff that’s worth checking out on her blog, too. But, I’ve particularly enjoyed a couple of her food-related series, like Car Picnics and Eating a Rainbow. The Car Picnics series was initiated by a plea from a mother whose family was being run ragged by after school sports and academic activities. (Can anyone relate?) This mom wanted some real help with preparing healthy meals under those circumstances. That request inspired Robin Sue to do a six-part series on the topic. While the series was not focused on gluten-free options, there was still a lot of information that would be work or could easily be adapted for everyone. Check out the initial Car Picnics post here with additional links to the other posts in the series below.

Finally, in an unrelated, but still delicious, note, Ali at Whole Life Nutrition just posted a recipe for a fabulous chocolate cake using pumpkin seed flour. How cool is that? Well, it gets better … in conjunction with Omega Nutrition, the manufacturer, Ali is hosting a giveaway of this flour. The product is not yet on the market, so this is a real opportunity for some lucky reader. Don’t wait … go read the rules and post a comment, etc. to enter. Hmmm, I wonder what pumpkin bread made with pumpkin seed flour would taste like …

If you are wondering, this is the longest, most “linked” post I will ever write … I promise!

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


29 Responses to “Limes, Lemons, and Lemonade”

  1. H.Peter on June 9th, 2009 10:22 pm


    I am very happy. Thanks for the award, but even more so for the truly kind words.

    As to my brevity in posting, it simply is a lack of vocabulary….or the challenge to put mind into words.
    So far people got my ideas and maybe you can be my ghost writer?
    But then, you already got your hands full.

    Calgary. Let me call those peeps at Frommers. If not with them, I know one day you will revisit Calgary and spend some great time in Victoria’s bakery.

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 7:01 am

      H.Peter–Good morning! You are so welcome. :-) And, speaking of “welcoming”, you are one of the most welcoming bloggers around—always taking the time to respond warmly to your readers who comment. I forgot to mention that in my write-up on The Celiac Husband, but it really means a lot!

      No, you don’t need me as a ghost writer … LOL … you do just fine!! There’s probably some measurement (“posts per month”—ppm) or something and you’re way ahead of the game. LOL

      Yeah, maybe Frommers original winner will back out. ;-) I do need to check those flight prices again. It’s hard to beat Calgary and the “outskirts” with the likes of Banff, Jasper, etc. calling, not to mention GF Patisserie!


  2. Anali on June 9th, 2009 10:57 pm

    Thank you so much for the award!! I’ll be doing a post and passing it on! ; )

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 7:05 am

      Hi, Anali–You are so welcome! I will look forward to your post to discover some great new blogs—blog awards are such a fun and easy way to find them. :-)


  3. Elana on June 9th, 2009 11:29 pm

    Hi There :-)

    The salmon looks yummy and your lemon sponge cake looks absolutely amazing!

    xo Elana

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 7:10 am

      Elana–Welcome to gfe! It’s so nice to have you stop by. :-) Thanks so much for your very kind words on my version of your salmon and Steve’s sponge cake—both make lovely presentations and are very yummy indeed!


  4. Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) on June 10th, 2009 1:06 am

    Shirley –

    Yes this is a long, linked post…but great! I actually made chipotle salmon tonight for dinner. I sprinkle plenty of Herbamare and freshly ground black pepper on the salmon first, then chipotle powder. Then a drizzle of olive oil and finally I spread sliced limes over the entire fillet. I bake mine in the oven at 425 degrees. I love chipotle chili powder! I will often make roasted chipotle potatoes to go along with the salmon but instead boiled them tonight.

    Oh, and I do have a pumpkin bread recipe in the works made with the pumpkin seed flour! A vegan bread this time!

    I guess this counts as three entries now for you! Better go close the drawing, its 10pm now!

    -Ali :)

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 7:15 am

      Ali–Thank you, my dear! Your salmon sounds fantastic, too, not to mention the roasted chipotle potatoes. I’m so glad I picked up some chipotle powder recently. :-)

      Too funny on the pumpkin bread recipe … great minds! ;-) So many will appreciate your vegan take on it though—it’s a much needed approach for the folks who can’t tolerate eggs. I’m just sorry I was a little late on writing about your pumpkin seed flour giveaway in a post. I sure hope some folks got to read about it in comments here the other day and were able to enter. I can’t wait to try it!

      Thanks so much!

  5. Matt on June 10th, 2009 9:03 am

    Wow, thanks for the shoutout! I hope I can live up to those expectations.

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 8:23 pm

      Hi, Matt–You’re quite welcome. I know everyone will enjoy your blog as much as I do. :-)


  6. Gluten Free Steve on June 10th, 2009 9:14 am

    Oh hindsight – that old hindsight. I definitely recommend greasing the pan, as mine stuck quite a bit as well! It’s a great recipe!

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 8:28 pm

      Hi, Steve–Well, I’m really sorry your cake stuck, too, but I’m glad the problem wasn’t unique to me. ;-) I just hate it when that happens. LOL It is a wonderful recipe—thanks again!


  7. glutenfreeforgood on June 10th, 2009 9:35 am

    Wow, I love counting on you for sorting out good blogs and giving me a list of where to visit. Plus, linking to all of them sure makes my blog surfing easy! All I have to do is point and click. I love it.

    Thanks, Shirley. You provide such a good service to the celiac and gluten sensitive community, you’re the lemonade girl! Making a sweet drink out of sour lemons.

    P.S. I’d rather eat salmon than chocolate, too. At least most of the time — I do have my moments though, when nothing else will do other than a chunk of dark chocolate with cherries and almonds.

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 8:42 pm

      Melissa–Okay, I feel better now for inserting all those links! I’m really glad there’s no link limit in WordPress. (Boy, I’d hate that!) Seriously, I’m glad to share these great blogs and link to some of their posts. :-)

      I completely understand your position. Truth be told, if you presented me with salmon and chocolate, I’d probably eat some of the salmon first and then some of the chocolate … ;-) I’m still remembering that post you did on the benefits of dark chocolate.

      Thanks so much for the comment and your very nice words! You are always so generous. BTW, Mr. GFE often says, “gimme lemons and I’ll make lemonade.”


  8. CoconutGal on June 10th, 2009 9:48 am

    So funny I made Elana’s salmon for dinner last night!!!! We tried grilling it for the first time last night too. Ever since she posted that recipe, I make it almost once weekly (I would say I love salmon ALMOST as much as you– but would go for chocolate if I had the choice!). Her oven method is divine because the salmon comes out SO moist and delicious. It was too warm to turn on the oven yesterday so we grilled it and again- delicious!
    That lemon sponge cake looks soooo good with that glaze!
    Hope you have a lovely day, friend!

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 8:50 pm

      Hi CoconutGal–That is funny! We’re on the same wavelength it seems. :-) Elana’s recipe is excellent. Grilling gives Mr. GFE something “to do” in support of dinner AND keeps the heat out of the kitchen. Come cold weather, I’m all about using the oven though.

      See my further explanatory statement on salmon and chocolate in my reply to Melissa. ;-)

      The lemon sponge cake is delightfully light and great for lemon lovers.

      Thank you, dear. Hope you had a good day as well. Wednesdays are like my Thursdays, because I don’t work on Fridays. So tomorrow is my “Friday”—yippee!


  9. Nance on June 10th, 2009 10:29 am

    Thanks for the blog mention, Shirley. Hate to crash the Salmon Party here, but I am one of “those” people–I hate salmon. Just don’t like fish of any kind. I do love lime, though, and I used one and made a killer guacamole last night. I’m assuming that avocados, onion, garlic, cilantro…all gf? :-)

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 8:57 pm

      Hi, Nance–Thanks for commenting! Now, I knew you didn’t like salmon, but hate is such a strong word, Nance. But, if you don’t like fish, certainly you wouldn’t like salmon. In contrast, I am a fish lover from childhood.

      Now, that fresh quacamole you made … yum!! We could share that together. All the ingredients are gf. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats (unless they are certified gf)—so all those ingredients are naturally gf. Gluten is not something you’d find in a raw food that you’d eat, if that makes sense.

      Okay, I need to go check out The Tie Report now. :-)


  10. RobinSue on June 11th, 2009 8:44 am

    Shirley the lemon sponge cake looks so light and heavenly. Thank you for the award and the kind words you wrote about my blog! I appreciate it! Have a great weekend!

    PS- pumpkin seed flour? Wow I have never heard of that one! Sounds so flavorful.

    • Shirley on June 11th, 2009 6:31 pm

      Hi Robin Sue!–You’re very welcome! I definitely appreciate your blog, and I know others will, also. :-) It’s hard to beat eggs, lemon juice and rind, sugar, and cornstarch (or potato starch) for a simply delicious cake.

      I’m anxious to try that pumpkin seed flour myself. It’s actually green in color per Ali’s post and photo—how cool is that? ;-)

      Have a great weekend and summer now that school is out for you!!


  11. Alisa - Frugal Foodie on June 12th, 2009 8:16 pm

    Wow, both recipes look incredible! I wish my husband was more of a salmon fan.

    • Shirley on June 12th, 2009 9:27 pm

      Hey, Alisa!–Thanks so much! They really are delicious. Seems like we’re both in the same boat with our hubbies. Even though my husband approved of this recipe, he will probably still frown if I make it again because he is just not a big salmon fan either. He’d much rather eat anything else. Often I cook two fish dishes at the same time, so he’ll be happy. That’s one reason I often eat salmon out … because I don’t cook it at home that often.


  12. Jessie on June 15th, 2009 6:23 pm

    I DO love salmon and limes. I usually do lemon on the fish but will try with lime next time and a little cilantro garnish! Mmmm
    Congrats on the lemonade stand award.

    • Shirley on June 15th, 2009 11:59 pm

      Hi, Jessie!–Thanks for stopping by gfe. :-) The lime is terrific. Cilantro makes a great garnish. I made an impromptu pico de gallo with cilantro the other day for mahi. It was great. Good luck with your next fish!

      I need to see what’s up with you and all your young’uns and critters, too. ;-)


  13. Chelsey on December 8th, 2009 11:30 am

    Shirley! Thanks for linking up, your salmon looks delicious. I think I love salmon as much as you do too, the taste, texture, and overall feeling is to die for. And that sponge cake looks amazing! I wonder if I can make it with coconut flour? I’m going grain free for awhile, I feel very good this way.

    • Shirley on December 8th, 2009 9:04 pm

      Hi Chelsey–I’m happy to participate in your monthly blog carnival. Will just have to think of meals that are 30 minutes or less, which is always what one wants anyway. Just thinking about salmon makes me want some right now! Glad we are of like mind. Maybe we’ll share a salmon meal one day! :-)

      I might follow your lead on that grain-free thing. One reason I use the rice flour/cornstarch mix is because I don’t do well with many other gf grains. However, I seem to be bothered by rice flour if I have too much of that, too. I have yet to try coconut flour, but I really want to. I adore coconut and know the health benefits, so it’s just a matter of time before I start experimenting with it. I did a google search on sponge cake with coconut flour and a bunch of things came up, like this recipe. It calls for some regular flour in this particular one, but I’m betting you could just play with the recipe some and make it work with just coconut flour or perhaps another non-grain item … maybe even some coconut. ;-)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!


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