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Sweet and spicy blackened salmon pairs perfectly with cool, fresh avocado crema. Extra points for caramelized lime slices.

With all the diet-centric cookbooks out these days, can’t we all just have a little fat and carbs and leave it all behind? Yes, we can! Grab a copy of food writer and blogger Andie Mitchell’s Eating in the Middle and redefine what a balanced diet means. Besides, it’s not a really good recipe if you’re still hungry afterward, right? 

Do you ever make a meal and just know — I mean know, with absolute certainty — that somewhere in the Hamptons, Ina Garten would be, like, super-proud of you? That even if she were completely absorbed in splitting vanilla beans for homemade extract, she would totally side-eye your dish and smile?

This is that meal. It’s got caramelized lime slices, for heaven’s sake! Ina would be positively smitten. What I love about it, and what I think you (and Ina) will, too, is that the brown sugar–chili rub gives the salmon a spicy-sweet quality, and a smokiness when it’s nearly blackened in a hot pan. The crema — a silky blend of avocado, sour cream, lime juice, parsley, and garlic — is a nice, cooling balance.

Reprinted with permission from Eating in the Middle