Spicy Candied Salmon Salad with Ginger Honey Dressing

Yesssssss. We booked our trip to Costa Rica! I told you earlier this week that this year was going to be all about travel and I wasn’t lying. As soon as an amazing reader emailed me to tell me about a cool place I might like in Costa Rica, we said f*ck it, and just booked it! We’ll figure out the other details later. For now, we have a trip booked to force us to go on vacation. I asked Brian if we could book another trip for earlier in the year and he told me to pump the breaks. So I’ll just book some trip with my girlfriends instead. I have Austin then Vegas coming up and I still need to book a trip to Portland and Washington.

Ew, it’s suppose to snow in Colorado this weekend. Colorado, I hate you right now. I have new dresses to wear and you’re REALLY CRAMPING MY STYLE!

PaleOMG Spicy Candied Salmon Salad with Ginger Honey Dressing

So you guys, I’m mad at myself. I had braces for a year back in middle school. I wore my retainer for years and also had a metal retainer glued into my bottom teeth. But 4 years ago when I first started dating Brian, my bottom retainer broke and fell out then I stopped wearing my nightly retainer because I was spending the night at his house and not wanting the slurp my spit filled retainer in right before we went to sleep. So you know what happened? My teeth moved. Who woulda thought? So now my teeth keep moving (I can seriously feel them moving together) and I’m not happy with it. And I think I’m ready to get Invisalign. But not that actual brand, trying to find someone who will do the off brand that’s way cheaper. It’s just crazy how expensive it is no matter what brand you use. Why did I have to stop wearing my retainer like a real d*ck!?

Have any of you guys had to do this? I had a friend who did it this year and said it was totally worth it. I just know my teeth will keep moving and get worse over time so I might as well deal with the issue now and fix it before all the money my parents spent on braces goes completely to waste.

PaleOMG Spicy Candied Salmon Salad with Ginger Honey Dressing


Spicy Candied Salmon Salad with Ginger Honey Dressing

  • Yield: 4 1x



For the dressing

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or coconut vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

For the salad

  • head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 23 mandarin oranges, peeled
  • 1 package of cole slaw mix (carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage)
  • 23 green onions, chopped
  • sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

For the salmon

  • 1 pound salmon, cut into 4 filets
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place all ingredients for the dressing in a jar, close and shake well. Place in the fridge while you finish the rest of the salad.
  3. Add all ingredients for the salad in a large serving bowl then set aside.
  4. Lastly, mix together sriracha and honey. Place salmon filets on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Then use a brush to brush on the sriracha/honey mixture onto all the filets. Place in oven to bake for 8-10 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of your filets) to cook until medium.
  5. To make salad: pour dressing onto salad (whatever amount you prefer) and toss, top with salmon, green onions, sliced almonds and black sesame seeds. Easy as that!

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PaleOMG Spicy Candied Salmon Salad with Ginger Honey Dressing


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


36 thoughts on “Spicy Candied Salmon Salad with Ginger Honey Dressing”

  1. OOH! Let us know what you find out about the braces. I literally went through the same thing with my retainers. Also, can we talk about how much of a freakout I had when the damn permanent retainer came out? Uggghhh

  2. I haven’t personally had invisalign but I’m a hygienist and I’ve seen a lot of great results with invisalign. I would go to an actual orthodontist instead of having it done at a general dentist office. With any type of ortho you go with you’ll have to wear a retainer for the rest of your life or your teeth will move again. Good luck!

    1. i’m definitely down to wear a retainer at night for the rest of my life. i’m married now so he has to deal with my retainer face lol!

  3. Do you go through a travel agent when booking your trips out of the country? My husband and I want to go on our honeymoon next winter and I literally don’t even know where to start!

  4. I just did a year and a half in Invisalign and it was worth every penny. Go for a few consultations and you’ll see which of the orthos might give you different timelines and different price breakdowns and ways to pay. I did that and it worked out great. Price cut cause he could do it quicker, and pay in cash to save money! he also hooked me up with a boat load of free retainers to wear now that I’m done.

    Annnnd I freaking love Costa Ric. We were just there in January and I want to go back, ALL. The Time.! Santa Teresa/Malpais area is our favorite.

  5. Hi Juli, can you share with me what hotel/resort you booked in Costa Rica? My husband and I have been researching Costa Rica for a few months now and we just cannot decide on a hotel. Help! 🙂

  6. linda r (phila burbs)

    Had a similar experience except my dog at the time ate my bloody retainer. Since i had it for many many years, I didn’t really see the rush to go and get a new one immediately. My teeth shifted and I had a gap between them that bothered me quite a bit. So in my mid forties, I decided to get braces again. Ortho said I would only have them for several months and that wasn’t the case. Had them for well over a year and I was very self conscious. So honestly I’d definitely invest in something like invisalign rather than regular braces if I had to do it over again. And keep your dog away from your retainer! Good luck!

  7. Lesley Anderson

    I had to get regular braces because invisalign wouldn’t make as dramatic as a difference as I wanted. I can’t wait for it to be over but I know it will be worth the money. I’ve heard of other companies like smile care club that you can get it for much cheaper if you just need to shift your teeth a little bit. I am determined to wear my retainer for life after shelling out all this moola and living awkwardly for a year and a half. Good luck 🙂

  8. Juli! I did the exact same thing about 3-4 years ago (started dating a guy, stopped wearing them, yadda yadda) and i have this one little snaggly tooth that likes to go back to being snaggly and I noticed it has moved so I dusted off my old disgusting plastic night retainers and forced my teeth into them for a week, and they barely fit on my teeth but now I wear them a couple nights a week and its no big deal! I’m single though again so… maybe that wasn’t a good idea. Good luck either way! 😀

  9. I had a ton of orthodontic work as a kid, and wore my retainers through college, then when I was 25 my wisdom teeth decided to come out of hiding! They slowly started to crowd my two middle bottom teeth and I am a teeth fanatic and I was so bothered. I got all 4 wisdom teeth removed then I did 6 months of invisalign and LOVED IT! I think my treatment had 11 different ‘trays’ and cost $2,000, $1,000 of which insurance paid. I wear my invisalign retainers every night and people always tell me I have perfect teeth 🙂 I highly recommend invisalign for once retainer wearing, now adults who need some teeth perfecting! PS my husband and I were in Costa during your wedding week (why didn’t I go to Jamaica instead and stalk your wedding???) and it was great! I took a surf lesson from a local and he was mad impressed with my fast standing-up skills…I told him I do burpess like every other day at cf so I better be quick to stand up!

  10. Invisalign rocks socks – it’s mildly annoying for a year or 2, but the results are worth it! I had braces as a kid too but had to fix my teeth again as an adult. I rarely go a night without my retainers now, and the beau doesn’t mind (and probably doesn’t even notice, haha)! Also, I actually got mine with a groupon – I paid $50 and got $1000 discount with a well-known local orthodontist, so check for deals like that!

  11. I’m in my 30s and just got braces. I went with clear and honestly they’re not that noticeable. I’m not saying they’re invisible but they’re not bad. If you’re gonna wear Invisalign for a couple of years then it seems like it’d be easier and faster to go the braces route. I just think how annoying Invisalign is every time you eat or drink something that isn’t water. And you can still see them. Either or will require an orthodontist appt – they’ll be able to tell you length etc of both options. Ha, either option will be annoying no matter what.

  12. I am 39 and have braces three times! I had invisalign the last time and while it worked, with Invisalign you are constantly putting in and taking out a retainer (and sometimes it’s hard to be discreet) or trying not to lose the damn things while they aren’t in your mouth. My friend threw hers out by mistake in a restaurant garbage and had dig through to find them. Ew.

    Also, not sure if you are planning to have kids, but I was told when I was pregnant that teeth are more susceptible to moving (because all other things are shifting , might as well have teeth move as well ). So yeah. Had my braces removed during my pregnancy and then had Invisalign three years later…..

    I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never see a retainer free night ever again.

    On the bright side – my dentist office totally made a HUGE mistake and misquoted the cost. The error wasn’t discovered until near the end of my treatment so I got straight teeth for HALF PRICE!

  13. My parents got my twin and I braces in 6th grade… needless to say that by the time they came off in 8th grade we were NOT responsible or caring enough to wear our retainer. We wore it for a short while but quickly stopped. As we grew up (and taller) my teeth shifted a LOT. I had snaggle teeth in the front and it was just not pretty. How disappointing.. wasted money! My twin’s teeth moved but only by a little. Her teeth still look really good. The orthodontist said it was because I grew slightly taller than her and that caused my jaw to move more and therefore my teeth moved more.. weird dentist fact.

    Anyway, so I got invisalign when I was a Junior in college. I had to get two teeth removed to make room to move my teeth back, then had to get actual brackets for a few months and THEN finally I got my invisalign retainer. That sh** hurts, especially when you switch retainers but it works really well and now my teeth look awesome. It was annoying (and sometimes awkward when you are out to a nice dinner) to remove them every time you ate and you are supposed to remove them when you drink anything but clear liquids which I didn’t always do. It did help me stop snacking so much though (bonus).

    I would definitely do the process over again though. Part of me thinks traditional braces would have been faster (and definitely was the cheaper option) but I really didn’t want braces in my college graduation pictures. I definitely wear my retainer now!

    1. i can’t believe you had to remove teeth, that’s crazy! hoping that doesn’t happen to me! 2 consultations next week to start figuring out prices, excited to get started!!

  14. I got my braces off in high school and wear my retainers pretty religiously still (like 10 years later). I even got new ones a few years ago that are the invisalign ones since my other ones were old metal ones. My boyfriend still wears his from high school too so it’s safe to say we don’t really care haha. I would def say it’s worth the investment. Teeth are so noticeable!

  15. I used to have braces in middle school and I still wear a retainer ever since the end of 8th grade! HATE IT. But I know I have to wear it so my teeth doesn’t relocate themselves! BUT, is it a coincidence that I’ve been having SO much salmon lately? My mother makes the most delicious baked salmon that is sweet, teriyaki-flavored, flaky, crispy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery! SO SO good. This recipe totally reminds me of it! Fabulous!

  16. Juli – Re: Invisalign, DO IT. The sooner you do it, the easier/cheaper/faster it will hopefully be for you. My story is the saaame as yours and I kept putting off doing something about it because, well, I’m lazy and was in denial. BUT last December I was finally sick of feeling self-conscious about smiling with my teeth, so I finally got my act together. I got a handful of different quotes from both dentists and orthos which were all over the place. One was as much as $11k – insane. I ended up going with my regular dentist because he’s a rockstar and quoted me $5k with a free zoom whitening at the end, estimating about a year-long treatment.

    I’m four months in now and am thrilled I finally did it. Was super self-conscious about the retainers (“aligners”) at first and the (temporary) lisp that came with it, but most people didn’t even notice and my lisp went away after a few weeks. You quickly adjust to the routine and on the plus side it forces you to drink more water since you can’t eat/drink anything else while they’re in. Those first few weeks were a bit of an adjustment, I felt like an awkward teenager again and it provided my fiance with ample ammunition for teasing, BUT I got used to it all pretty quickly and now it’s NBD. Can’t recommend it highly enough. Good luck!

  17. Merrr yeah the braces thing SUCKS! I stopped wearing mine altogether and didn’t have the one glued to the back of my teeth. Yeah, my teeth moved like a mother. My only saving grace was my mouth guard since I grind my teeth (yay…) and I barely wear that as it is. Totally wasting my parents hard earned money…. just some like 20 years later though.

    side note… reading your blog and this amazing salmon is making this deployment haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard!!! I can’t wait to get cooking again and not being subjected to dry chicken 🙁

  18. Like everyone else commenting, I wore braces in high school and when they were taken off I had a built in retainer for about 3 years until I broke it off by accident and never got it put back on.
    Almost 15 years after that retainer broke my teeth started to move. I don’t know if it has anything to do with pregnancy but man I am so annoyed with my crooked teeth.

  19. I am 32 and need invisalign! I suck for not wearing my retainers after high school. What area of Costa Rica are you going to? I am going with my husband and 2 sons in July- we are so excited!

  20. Yes! This happened to me and I ended up with Clear Correct (similar to Invisalign) and regular braces on the bottom. It is definitely worth it and trust me….I will never go more than one night without the retainer! My teeth want to move every night dammit!!! I say go for it!

  21. So, this question may be a little unrelated to your wonderful recipe here, okay, totally unrelated but I was not sure where to ask this question. I have been seeing a lot about drinking bone broth as a supplement lately. What are your thoughts on bone broth-beneficial or not really?

  22. Hi Juli-

    We are thinking of going to Costa Rica, too – wondering if you might share the recommended location? I’ve never been.

    Thanks and love your blog! I was in Denver this week for work and was thinking of you, ha! 🙂


  23. Hi! Longtime reader first time commentor! Some thoughts on Invisalign from 8-weeks in :

    1) Hope you’re not a snacker. This has quickly turned me into a 3-square meals person since you have to take them out and clean them and then floss and brush after every meal. it can be SO annoying BUT my teeth are always super clean

    2) Definitely talk to your dentist about Full vs Partial cases and what’s included in each
    I have a “full” case- meaning that it requires more than 10 trays (@ 2 weeks per tray) to get my teeth straight, Make sure to ask your dentist about full and “accelerated” cases because there are different results and different terms with each, For example: an accelerated case with my Dentist was $3k and wouldnt get my teeth totally straight (i never had braces). a Full case was $6k (seems like other people paid 5, but i live in NYC and my dentist is in my office building at Rockefeller Center so the premium is annoying but understandable). However, with the Full case, i’m guaranteed to be happy with my results for 5 years. That means as many trays as i want (so when i reach the end of my prescribed 18 trays if im still not happy, BOOM, more trays) as well as if i forgot to wear my nighttime trays and my teeth moved…..i have 5 years of touch up trays if necessary (sounds like you could have used this). It’s my understanding that the partial case does not come with these guarantees.
    2a) Find out what additional little bonuses your dentist will give you for a full case- they might include free cleanings during the treatment timeframe, free whitening gels (the best way to whiten is with custom trays and invisilign is …..a custom tray!) and other bonuses

    3) since you dont have dental insurance, i recommend negotiating your $ amount. my dental insurance covered exactly $0 of my treatment, but i did two things: 1. Maxed out this years FSA (or HSA if you have it) to pay for the first $2500 of it and 2) negotiated that i will pay the last $2500 of it on the first day of 2017 (so i can use next year’s FSA) so that totally $5000 of the cost is coming from pre-tax money, making it essentially $3500 of my “real” income (30% tax rate assumed on the $5000 pretax payment). The last grand i am paying in quarterly payments throughout the duration of the treatment.

    Hope that’s helpful!

  24. Juli, I made this salad last night for dinner and it was KILLER. My fiance and I both loved it! The whole thing came together super quickly and was just perfect for eating outside on our patio. We have leftover salmon, but between the two of us, we ate the entire salad because that dressing is so damn good. Whoops. BTW I seriously adore your snaps and your outfit posts and your precious dog. You are wonderful!

  25. So I am not a salmon fan, BUT I do love all of the recipes that you create. So I decided to try salmon (again). Oh my gosh, my boyfriend and I LOVED it. Thank you!

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