Cedar Grilled Salmon


Saturday nights here in the Chef on the Side household are typically reserved for going out to eat, but since we went out last night, and we are going to be on vacation next weekend, my husband and I decided to stay in and cook for ourselves. We really love salmon and eat it about once or twice a week really because it’s so inexpensive and there are so many ways to cook it. (You’ll start seeing more of my salmon recipes on here as the summer carries on.) This method of cooking salmon is my husband’s favorite, I think it’s due to the fact that he gets to grill it, but maybe it’s the flavor those cedar planks put off. If you’ve never cooked anything on a cedar plank, you’ve really been missing out on the incredible smokey flavor that it adds to fish and pork. He also puts this spice rub on the salmon and drizzles honey over it before they hit the grill. The combination of all of these flavors are almost indescribable because they are so delicious. A few simple spices and a seemingly easy method of cooking will make you feel like you’ve just gone to a four-star bistro for dinner. My favorite part of this meal is the price tag. I serve it with some broccoli and rice which cost about $2.50, and the salmon filets cost me a grand total of $7.75. So for about $10 you have a fabulous meal for two, that would easily have cost you $20 per PERSON anywhere else. Let me know if you end up trying this, I’m curious to know what you think!!

Cedar Grilled Salmon


Rub Recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • 2 – 6 ounce salmon filets
  • Honey, to drizzle on salmon
  • 1 Cedar plank, soaked


Soak cedar plank in water for at least 1 hour prior to grilling. Combine rub ingredients in small bowl, then rub over salmon filets. Drizzle honey over filets. Place salmon, skin side down, on cedar plank, then place on grill that has been preheated to medium heat. Grill for about 20 minutes or until fish easily flakes with a fork.


This has quickly become one of my favorite salmon recipes and I hope it becomes one of yours! Have a good weekend everyone! I’m off to give my Netflix a workout!


Grilled Lemon-Herb Zucchini & Oven Roasted French Fries

What day is it? It’s Hump Day!! Yeah! That means I only have two more days until the weekend and that is something to smile about! My husband wanted to grill tonight so I put him on cheeseburger duty to satisfy that “meat-on-fire” urge that I’ve heard men can get. I, in the mean time, decided to work on the sides. I started off by slicing up some potatoes into fry shape so that I could make some oven roasted fries, without the guilt of frying. And I took three fresh zucchini and made this Lemon-Herb mixture that we ended up throwing on the grill too, but it was GOOD. (And thank you to my husband for making sure these zucchini slices had pretty grill marks. They look more delicious that way, right??) In both of these recipes I use spice blends that I buy from a local spice shop and they pretty much make these sides what they are. Without them, neither are as good as they could be. (By the way, any Cincinnati peeps- If you haven’t been to Colonel De’s Spice Shop at Findley Market or Jungle Jim’s, make plans to do that this weekend!) I use a lot of spices from Colonel De’s so feel free to go to their online shop and order some if you really want to spice up your life! (No Spice Girls pun intended there! Promise!)

Grilled Lemon-Herb Zucchini



  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 -2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons Simon & Garfunkle seasoning (blend of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Slice the zucchinis on a diagonal and put in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil, salt, Simon & Garfunkle seasoning,  lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side, and serve warm. The measurements for the lemon zest, lemon juice, and Simon & Garfunkle are between 1 and 2 tablespoons because its all based on your tastes. If you want more tangy from the lemon, then aim to put more in. If you want less, than only add a tablespoon of each.

Hand-cut Oven Roasted Potatoes

Fries 1


  • 2 Russet Potatoes
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tablespoons 513 Seasoning Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt


Wash and scrub the potatoes, and slice into french fry shape. Toss with vegetable oil and place on a baking sheet. Cook at 425 degrees for 30 -35 minutes, flipping once. Once out of the oven, sprinkle 513 Seasoning Salt and Sea Salt over hot fries, and serve.

These are both fabulous sides for burgers, grilled chicken, steak, or anything else that you or your husband wants to cook over fire! The zucchini has this wonderful fresh and tangy flavor that pairs with summer perfectly. The fries are delicious and I usually end up going back for seconds…. and thirds…. and sometimes fourths… I know, I know, it’s bad! But it’s so good at the same time! If you have the chance to try either of these, let me know what you think!

Blackened Tilapia Tacos

ImageToday here in paradise, it was hot. Like, really really hot. When I left work at 5 o’clock this evening, my car’s outside temp reading said 101 degrees. Add that with the 94% humidity rating and you’ve got the recipe for a hot and sticky day. So for dinner tonight, I decided some Blackened Tilapia Tacos with a Cabbage Slaw and a Cilantro Lime Sauce and a homemade Guacamole sounded pretty amazing. Boy, this was fantastic! My husband actually high-fived me after his first bite and he never, and I mean NEVER, gets excited over the food I make. Normally I get a less than enthusiastic “It’s good” when I ask him how something is. These were PERFECT for our hot and humid night and is already something that my husband is asking for me to make again.


For the Fish:

  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • white corn tortillas

Raw Tilapia Filets          IMG_1509

For the Slaw:

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped


For the Cilantro Lime Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded, chopped
  • 1 cup white onion, thinly sliced



For the Cilantro Lime Sauce, combine sour cream, lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into bowl with onions and set aside. For the Slaw, combine cabbage, red cabbage, lime juice, and cilantro in bowl and toss. Set Aside. For the fish, combine cumin, oregano, paprika, red pepper, salt, and garlic powder in small bowl. Cover tilapia filets. Heat vegetable oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until done.

To assemble, place three “forkfulls” of fish on the bottom of the tortilla, cover with a small handful slaw, then with 2 or 3 teaspoons of Cilantro Lime Sauce. Serve with lime wedge.

To make my guacamole, I take two avocados, cubed, and combine with two tablespoons of pico de gallo and mash together with a fork until I get the chunky consistency that I like. This tastes very similar to the guacamole that you can get at Chipotle and it takes only a few minutes to whip up!

By the way, to make sauces like the Cilantro Lime Sauce, I like to use a Ninja Food Processor- these things ROCK! You can get one at Amazon.


So tell me, what do you make for dinner when it’s super hot outside??