Healthy Weeknight Recipes: Chile Crunch Salmon with Coconut Rice and Kale

Professional recipe developers and food photographers Emily Farris and Jeff Akin design dishes to beat the clock. They run the gamut from fancy to fanciful.

Recipes, styling and photography by Emily Farris and Jeff Akin

Emily Farris and Jeff Akin spend most of their days in the kitchen of their studio experimenting on dishes and drinks for clients of their business, Feed Me Creative, a culinary creative and marketing agency based in the West Bottoms.

The dishes Farris and Akin concoct when they’re on the clock run the gamut from fancy to fanciful, depending on the day and the client.

“Sometimes, we’re using an immersion circulator to sous vide beef tongue, and other times we’re recreating a Wendy’s Frosty. Yep, we actually did that,” Farris says.

So when we asked them to put together some healthy recipes to help you end the year right, they jumped at the opportunity to showcase a few of their favorites.

“These are the flavorful, easy weeknight meals we make for our own families,” says Farris “You won’t find any schtick here—unless you count using as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible. They’re just simple recipes that result in substantial dinners. Most are pretty much one-pot meals, four out of five are naturally gluten free and they all feature whole foods that are good and good for you.”

Chile Crunch Salmon with Coconut Rice and Kale

This gluten-free, Asian-inspired salmon is our newest go-to weeknight dinner. Flavorful salmon is served over crispy kale and fluffy coconut rice. The real star of this dish, however, is our new favorite condiment, Chile Crunch. We’re obsessed with it. It’s a blend of fresh roasted chiles, garlic, onion and spices that can be found at Season + Square in Brookside.

Since we like crispy salmon skin, we cook it skin side up. But if that’s not your thing, feel free to cook it skin side down and remove the skin before serving.

Active time: 20 minutes  |  Total time: 45 minutes  |  Serves: 4


  • 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Season + Square Chile Crunch
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, with stems removed and sliced into strips
  • 1 to 11⁄2 pounds salmon, sliced into 4 fillets (we used Bakkafrost salmon from Broadway Butcher)


Rinse the rice in cold water. Once well drained, add it to a medium saucepan with the coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring it to a boil and stir. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. With the lid still on, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve.

While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 400°F.

To make the dressing, combine the melted coconut oil, sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, and Chile Crunch in a small mixing bowl or measuring cup, and whisk until it’s well incorporated.

Evenly distribute the kale on a baking sheet. Drizzle with about 2⁄3 of the dressing, and then toss the kale until it’s coated.

Drizzle each side of the salmon filets with the remaining dressing and place on top of the kale, skin side up. Bake the salmon and coconut kale mixture, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Serve the kale and salmon over the coconut rice. Garnish with shaved scallions and more Chile Crunch.