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Chef Recipe Videos
Easy, Alluring Nova Lox Appetizers
Three smoked sockeye appetizers you can whip up in minutes

Welcome to Vital Choice at Home!

This series features me, Michelle – a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains – my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.

(Click here to learn more about me, below.)

I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

As we head into the holidays, it's great to have a quick, delicious, – and unusually healthful – appetizer in your back pocket.

Recently, I tested three no-cook appetizers, all featuring Vital Choice Sockeye Salmon Nova Lox, all excellent, and with not a bagel or caper in sight.

I've made many yummy dishes with Vital Choice seafood, but this may have been my tastiest experiment to date.

In the interest of culinary science, I timed myself while making these. I put together all three and got the dishes done in under an hour – not bad!

If you have Vital Choice nova lox on hand, I promise you can whip these up in just minutes and socialize at the same time!

You can either get 4-oz packages of lox, or their large, 26-oz. lox fillets

Appetizer #1 – Cucumber boats with nova lox and tomato
This light and refreshing appetizer is crunchy, fresh and beautiful to look at as well. I used little English cucumbers for this recipe, but regular small pickling-type cucumbers would also work.

One 4 oz. package of sockeye nova lox is enough for four, and this recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

You can serve this with a dab of sour cream and pumpernickel triangles or some other high-fiber bread to catch the extra bits of filling.

4 small English cucumbers
2 tomatoes
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper
8 small slices pumpernickel bread
Sour cream
  1. Halve each small cucumber lengthwise and scrape out the seeds to create small boats.
  2. Cut the salmon into ½ inch squares, seed and dice the tomatoes and finely chop 3-4 few basil leaves.
  3. Gently stir the salmon, tomato and basil with a dash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Fill each boat with the salmon mixture and serve with a dab of sour cream and pumpernickel triangles. My rating: 3½ out of 4 stars 
Appetizer #2 – Nova lox and avocado toasts
If you have time to make toast, you have time to make this delicious appetizer (which would also make a really tasty healthy snack).

This comes together in just minutes and is rich in healthy fats and flavor. I used a spelt and flax high-fiber bread for a little extra nutrition. Pick a sliced bread of your choice!

8 slices whole grain bread
2 avocados
1 lemon
Ground cumin
Salt and pepper
½ red onion
  1. Toast the whole grain bread and thinly slice the red onion.
  2. Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and mash gently with a fork. Season with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dash or two of ground cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Top each toast with mashed avocado and top with a slice of salmon and garnish with thinly sliced red onion and a bit of lemon zest.
My rating: 4+ out of 4 stars

Appetizer #3 – Kettle chips (or sliced veggies) with lemon crème fraîche and nova lox
This creative "recipe” – inspired by a preparation from Bon Appétit magazine – takes 2-3 minutes to make and is remarkably scrumptious.

If you'd rather avoid potato chips – which are really not healthy – you could substitute slices of cucumber or zucchini.

One tip: to prepare the chives, try snipping them with scissors instead of using a chef's knife. I find this is gentler on the chives and quicker and easier.

Sea salt and black pepper
Kettle chips
½ cup crème fraîche
Zest of ½ lemon
4 oz. fresh chives
  1. Combine the crème fraîche and lemon zest.
  2. Gently chop or snip the fresh chives.
  3. Cut the smoked salmon slices into ½-inch to 1-inch pieces. 
  4. Dab a bit of crème fraîche on a chip, top with a piece of salmon and sprinkle on some chives. Enjoy!
My rating: 4 out of 4 stars

A Note from Michelle
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.

While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.

I'm not a professional chef – just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.

I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

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