A 10-Yr Reunion, Julia Child, and a Roasted Salmon Filet Walks into a Bar…

Here we are. Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I’ve officially experienced 29 Thanksgiving’s in my lifetime. I guess I don’t technically remember much of the first 10. So I’ve officially experienced 19 cognizant Thanksgivings. There. Now I don’t feel so old. I’m 19 cognizant Thanksgivings old.

I do realize 29 is not old. But I like to be self-aware that I am also not 22. You know there is a huge difference between 29 and 22. Which is strange because you think you’d be somewhat the same. Which perhaps I am – the same – that is, but I’d like to think I’m mostly different.

38373_1192449614270_5613587_n.jpg(Everyone come and see how fun and natural I look at 22!!! Er wait.. Maybe I’m 21? Who knows.)

Over the Thanksgiving “break” (aka PTO) I celebrated my 10-year High School Reunion. It made me realize how “different but same” I am compared to the 18-year-old version of me. The 18-year-old version of myself was VERY confident, self-assured, and probably a slight bit of an asshole. Absolutely NO self-awareness and very much in my own world. Also known as immaturity. Or just being a teenager. You know.

197696_1008802623210_6174_n(Just me and my best gals. Still friends today. Missing a few!)

I think as you become more mature, you become a bit unsure of yourself. The magical dust of adolescence wears off and you must re-learn how to be vibrant, confident and self-assured again- but in a non-asshole way. That’s where I spent much of my early 20’s: figuring things out, being uncertain most of the time, and a plethora of life lessons.

I imagine we go through these waves of uncertainty and certainty, different but same, through each stage of our lives. Each decade requires a new version of ourselves. Each milestone, a new responsibility.

Speaking of different but same, last night, I watched Julie and Julia. The movie where Meryl Streep plays Julia Child and Amy Adams plays a food-blogger that cooks all of Julia Child’s recipes in 365 days. I take umbrage with the movie because:


Source: http://www.secretsofstory.com/2011/02/meddler-5-some-problems-with-julie-and.html

  1. Amy Adams grocery bill had to have been $500 / week,
  2. Amy Adams haircut in the movie just really freaks my brain out, and
  3. The couple played by Amy Adams and Chris Messina is the same couple in HBO’s horrifying mini-series, Sharp Objects. This little tidbit alone nearly ruined the whole movie for me because I hate-watched Sharp Objects for a 8 full weeks of my life.
amy adams
Omg this HAIR. (Source: Amy Adams as Julie Powell in Julie and Julia (2009), Columbia Pictures)

In sum, do I just hate Amy Adams? Oh, and sorry if you liked her haircut.

The movie goes back and forth between historical Julia Child and present day Julie making Julia Child’s recipes. (Apologies in advance for summarizing this 10 year old movie – most people have probably seen it by now). After watching I was inspired to want to learn how to really cook. Like a French chef. So needless to say, Volumes I and II of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French cooking are currently sitting in my Amazon shopping cart.

My favorite parts of the movie were all the Julia Child flashbacks. I’m not sure how historically accurate the whole thing is – but she seemed like a cool broad. A bit of a square peg trying to figure out her interests and where she fit in a world of petite women, French culture, and a male dominated culinary education. A tall, boisterous woman with wild hair and distinctive voice eventually finds her knack and carves out her own place in this world is a story I can really get behind. I can’t believe it took me this long to even appreciate Julia Child. But Julia, you’re a boss.

All this talking about Thanksgiving and cooking and watching movies made me realize that Matt and I’s wedding is in less than ONE YEAR. Yes. That means lots of lean meats, veggies, and healthy foods in my future. And not much Julia Child butter infused recipes. I’ve been keeping things light, fresh and easy in the kitchen (although the holiday’s do make it hard!). But I wanted To share my Coconut Amino Roasted Salmon Filet. I made this dish more times than I can count when I was doing Whole 30 back in January. In fact, Grace and I took these photos back in January – which just gives you a taste of where I’m at in life.
food gal al roasted salmon filet coconut aminos whole30

I love this dish because it’s easy, healthy, bakes right in the oven, and it looks gourmet as hell. This is a delicious dish to serve when friends are over so you can impress them with the presentation, but still stick to your healthy diet. I served mine with steamed, salted zucchini and squash, but it would be lovely over a bed of massaged kale, lemony arugula, or even some spiced carrots!

food gal al blog food blogger writer

All you need for this dish is some coconut aminos, garlic powder, onion powder, a squeeze of fresh lemon, a dabble of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt to taste. It’s so simple but the flavor is powerful. The sweet coconut aminos almost caramelize a bit in the hot oven and the spices mixed with the sour lemon juice and the bitter dijon mustard creates the most wonderful, well-rounded flavor.

food gal al roasted salmon filet coconut aminos whole30 blog recipe

Here’s what you need:


  • 2 pounds of salmon (you can leave skin on or remove, your choice)
  • ½ cup coconut aminos
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, pour in ½ cup coconut aminos, seasonings, lemon juice, mustard, and salt.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow dish or plastic bag. Salt the salmon to preference and pour the marinade over the top. Allow this to rest in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Once the oven is hot. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the marinated salmon to the pan.
  4. Bake the salmon for 25 minutes, or until fully cooked and flakes with a fork.
  5. Slice the salmon into desired portions, and serve with your choice of side. Enjoy!

food gal al roasted salmon filet coconut aminos whole30


Food Gal Al


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kylee Nelson says:

    Wait. This is my favorite post. I actually laughed out loud more than once. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Alex says:

      OMGSH thank you. I feel so proud!!

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