An Any Day Recipe: A Simple Salmon Recipe

A Simple SalmonDinner with Target  |  The Fresh Exchange

I have always believed in buying food from local markets and places that use a sustainable model that ultimately help – not hurt — the world around us. When I put food into my body, I want to know that it was cared for in the most natural, environmentally friendly way possible.

Growing up in Northern Michigan by the fresh water, we would always have fresh fish on the dinner table. We would get smoked fish from fisherman friends, or my dad would bring fresh fish home after a day on the water. Fish was always abundant and I never had to think about where it was coming from.

As I have gotten older and started cooking for myself, I have found that it is hard to buy quality fish and food. We have grown to love the fact that markets and local options are fairly abundant in Raleigh. On a busy day when I am running errands to find items for a shoot or am on the run for meetings, I don’t always have time to stop at five places to get ingredients for dinner. Even in cities where quality food is  available, it isn’t always as easy as we would like it to be.

A Simple SalmonDinner with Target  |  The Fresh Exchange

When Target shared their recently-launched Sustainable Salmon model with me, I was pretty pumped. I love cooking fish. It is easy and takes little prep on a busy day. I watched the video they created to share their vision of connecting consumers to a great product, and I was really impressed. The ability to connect people who love what they do to a consumer who is looking for a sustainable and quality product made me happy to consider adding this to the menu. By 2015 Target plans to have all their fresh and frozen seafood both 100% sustainable and traceable. Meaning that not only where you will be able to know where your fish was harvested, but also know that it is coming from a source that is not jeopardizing the structure of an ecosystem. This makes me feel good that on days when I am running around doing errands, that even if I cannot make it to my favorite fish market I can still know that because of Target’s commitment, I can have a quality product that is not harming an ecosystem.

To celebrate such a great movement, I wanted to share a favorite salmon recipe that is healthy and easy. Find the full process and ingredients below:

A Simple SalmonDinner with Target  |  The Fresh Exchange

12 ounces of Wild Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
2 cups of Wild Rice
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 lb. green beans
1/2 a medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 large lemon thinly sliced
1 tablespoon local honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small knuckle of ginger
2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

A Simple Salmon Dinner with Target  |  The Fresh Exchange

1. Begin by cooking the rice according to directions.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Prep for baking by layering tinfoil with parchment paper on the pan, and then place the filets onto the foil and paper..

4. Rub coconut oil onto the filets and layer on the sliced lemons to cover the top of the salmon.

5. Place the chopped garlic and half of the chopped onions on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Once the oven reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap the salmon with the parchment and tinfoil, and bake for 30 minutes.

A Simple Salmon Dinner with Target  |  The Fresh Exchange

7. While the salmon cooks, check the rice. When it is done, turn off heat and let it sit.

8. Next, chop the green beans and the cilantro into small pieces. Toss them into the rice along with the rest of the chopped onion.

9. Mix the dressing by blending together the honey, balsamic vinegar, ginger, salt and pepper in a high speed blender.

10. Once the salmon is done cooking, set it aside to cool off.

11. Place the rice, green beans, and onion into a salad bowl and mix with a few dashes of the dressing.

A Simple Salmon Dinner with Target  |  The Fresh Exchange

12. Plate the rice and place one filet (or a half) onto each plate. Lightly drizz le more dressing on  top and squeeze fresh lemon.

13. You are ready to eat.

A Simple Salmon Dinner with Target  |  The Fresh Exchange

I hope you enjoy this simple dish, as well as take the chance to experience what Target is doing to help build a more sustainable company.

This post is brought to you by Target. With helping hands, Target is committed to building healthy and sustainable communities.

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Better

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Better  |  The Fresh Exchange

I will be the first to say that I am not a morning person. I am almost 28 years old, and I still do not have the desire to wake with the sun. For the longest time I felt like a complete failure for not having this desire. Since I was a little thing, I loved staying up late and sleeping in late. Just ask my mom. Instead of making myself feel bad about not being a morning person, I have created ways to make waking at the crack of dawn more desirable. Lately we have been embracing slower mornings until we really feel bright enough to tackle our tasks. Today I am going to share 5 things that I have started doing to help make mornings better and less challenging.

See below for details on each one of the things we have added into our mornings to make them just that much better.

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Better  |  The Fresh Exchange1. Begin with a good Stretch:
I learned from a friend who is a yoga instructor that you should always wake up and do 15 minutes of stretching. It helps stimulate your nervous system and muscles, which results in you becoming aware more quickly. After a long day of travel or a really tough workout, it shakes out any tension that settled into your body during sleep.

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Better  |  The Fresh Exchange2. Make the Bed:
When I was young, I hated making my bed. Now I love beginning the day with this simple task. Sure it takes about 10 minutes, but there is something about the process of making my bed in the morning that makes me feel more put together. When I return to my bedroom at the end of the day and see the crisp bed, I feel a sense of accomplishment after a tough day. I can pull down the sheets, slide into my clean bed, and release my day. This feeling makes that 10 minutes in the morning 100% worth it.

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Better  |  The Fresh Exchange3. Drink Warm Lemon water:
I started doing this when I was cleansing, and now I love beginning my day with this warm, simple drink. After 6-8 hours of no water, I always wake up parched. So, drinking water before I grab the coffee makes me remember the importance of hydration. It also keeps me from guzzling more coffee than I should.

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Better  |  The Fresh Exchange4. Add Almond Milk into your daily smoothie:
Somedays when I want a little something extra in my smoothie I add Almond Milk. Though I love making my own, I don’t always have time with travel and work so I will usually pickup Silk Almond Milk that is unsweetened and without added flavor. It adds the just that little extra treat even though I am consuming a lot of antioxidants, greens, and protein, but goodness does it taste good.

What I put in my smoothie from the video:
1/2 cup Silk Almond Milk Unsweetened
1 tbsp fresh ground Almond butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 banana
1 cup wild organic blueberries
1 tbsp local wildflower honey
3 cups fresh spinach

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Better  |  The Fresh Exchange5. Allow time for inspiration:
Mornings are not about emails and tasks to me. They are about putting on my game face to create great work. So, I love beginning my day by giving myself anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to find inspiration. Typically this is while I enjoy my smoothie and coffee (after my lemon water of course). I will look through Pinterest or Feedly to see what is happening in the world and what new trends are surfacing. I always walk away from that time ready to tackle the day’s tasks.

I would love to hear how each of you make your mornings better. What are your morning rituals? Do you do any of the things I do?


Thank you to Silk for sponsoring this post and asking us to share what makes our mornings better. The opinions and text are all mine.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

What are you thinking about lately?

What's going on in my head lately  |  The Fresh Exchange

Every week there is something that is swimming around in my mind. Actually it’s probably more like half a dozen or more things swimming around. From meeting deadlines to creating new pitch ideas to finding furniture for our house, my thoughts are an endless creative swirl. We all have things that wander and swirl through our minds: things that makes us smile when we wake up. So, today I wanted to share a few things I have been thinking about this week.

The Desert: 
I know I have talked a lot about the desert, but this topic isn’t going away anytime soon. I was so inspired while we were driving in the desert heat that I am now wondering what the desert looks like in other places within the United States. The more I travel within our country the more I want to explore. That being said, I saw this awesome post from Travel Mindset about New Mexico. The photo I found of White Sands National Monument struck me. It is so gorgeous. I cannot stop thinking about visiting one day. I hope it’s sooner than later!

Pretty Tablescapes:
As holiday season approaches, I have a lot of shoots that involve food (Forget the presents. Let’s party with family and friends!). The stream of shoots begins next week. I am feeling a little anxious about how to make this all happen especially since we only have an outdoor table. When I have a vision in my head, I always worry that the photo content won’t come out how I imagine. With our resources being scattered due to the move, I am trying to wrap my brain around what is possible to capture. I will say that Mike and I are getting better with translating our vision through the camera’s lens with limited resources. I know the stress is natural because it is my work. I know that everyone has these feelings. The great thing about working with scattered resources is that I get to discover new, beautiful things for looks and ideas. I am really loving the linens from notPerfect Linen Company. So dreamy!!

I know this seems out of the blue, but I have been thinking about getting a board. Maybe Mike and I will treat ourselves at Christmas. I had a board in college and got rid of it because my soccer coach found out. He gave me a lecture about my scholarship and my responsibility to the team. He was totally right, but I have always had dreams of boarding. Lately this desire has been a lot stronger. I am blaming it on our recent trip to the West Coast. Do any of you board? I have been so obsessed with the idea that I even started a Pinterest board. Out of control, right?!

Our Studio:
This space gets me out of bed every morning. I dream of what it is going to become over the next 6-8 months as we bring it to life. Currently, it looks like this, but this month we are beginning the planning process with our friends at In Situ Studio in Raleigh to devise natural light solutions, functionality, and exterior aesthetics. Mike and I have been pinning like crazy to our studio board as we begin to narrow down what we need this space to offer. Hard work and patience are going to come in handy as we move toward completing this part of our business.

What have you been thinking and dreaming about this week? I have a list a mile long. It includes hiring a contractor to sister beams in our basement. It’s not super exciting or worthy of an image for the above graphic, but it does keep me up some nights thinking about the beams under our bed…haha. I would love to hear what you are up to this week and what is keeping you awake at night or making you get up in the morning.

Hope your week is going well my friends!

Images via: Desert from Travel Mindset  |  Table Setting from notPerfect Linens  |  Skate boarder from Tarafirma  |  Clothes Rack from Wide Eyed Legless

PS. I am working on a post about our house buying experience as two business owners. If you have any specific questions or thoughts please let me know! I plan to be as open as possible about everything we went through when purchasing our home. I feel like there is so much out there that no one tells you, so I want to shed some light and give you a look at our before photos of the house.

Megan Styled: The Jogger

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Every season I try to add a few pieces to my closet that bring depth to my wardrobe. This season I have become obsessed (just ask Mike) with wearing joggers. Can we all admit that similar to when we realized we could pull off a long shirt or an oversized sweater with leggings to a client meeting, we have once again been given a gift from the fashion gods to enjoy more comfort by wearing sweatpants outside the house and gym? With the number of pins we saw during Fashion Week (a few faves here and here) of ladies wearing joggers and loose fitting trousers, I think we can agree that comfort has met fashion once again.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

For me joggers are the perfect Fall piece. The fleece joggers are insulated and ready for an evening of chill and brisk winds. It is not always easy to make this look come together, though. I have had to learn the hard way (yes I made the mistake of looking more like I was wearing pajamas than real pants when I went to Whole Foods a few weeks ago). I am a lady who has shorter legs so it is important to make sure to rock these in a way that not only embraces my sense of style, but also my figure. I found that a loose fitting pant, especially made of sweatshirt material, was far more flattering than I thought.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Over the years I have learned that finding the right heel can make all the difference in helping to elongate in all the right ways. Even though I am not a huge heel fan (especially the REALLY high ones…no way), I have come to accept that I sometimes need to embrace it for fashion’s sake. What I look for are heels that stay on my feet and form a great line, which helps to create an elongated illusion. These heels I picked up really hit the mark. They are perfect to pair with my joggers for a night out or for a meeting with a brand or a client.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Last year I made a light investment in a leather jacket and this year I am thanking myself. I couldn’t afford to drop a ton, but I found a great quality vegan leather jacket that hasn’t steered me wrong. Now that joggers are on the scene, I have found the jacket to be the perfect piece to pair with them. A t-shirt and joggers with flat street shoes can have the tendency to be a little boring and too close to pajamas. Toss on a leather jacket or blazer and the look has a level of edge you would never expect when wearing sweatshirt material below the waist.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

I found these joggers at Old Navy. I have a few pairs but these fit really well! When choosing the right joggers, make sure they fit well around the waist band, offer the right combination of snug and slack around your butt and hips, and have a good give in the inseam. You want to make sure that the joggers are tight around the bottom of your legs in order to make the pants look sleek. After trying various styles, I really love the ones that have a wide band around the ankles.  They tend to lay better and offer a chic look.

Megan Styled: The Jogger  |  The Fresh Exchange

I have already discovered hundreds of ways to make these joggers pay their dues in my wardrobe. I would love to hear if you have tried any joggers. If so, I would love to hear how you style your joggers?

Find all items at the below links:
Leather Jacket from Zara (last year…see similar)
Black v-neck tee from Madewell
Jogger Pant from Old Navy
Bag from Madewell (least season…
see similar)
Heels from Calvin Klein
Ring from Torchlight Jewelry

This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy‘s latest fashion lineup in store or online at