Cool and savory, these smoked salmon and herbed cheese pinwheels are the perfect nutrient-dense bites to whip up for a holiday party.  Served on a simple cracker these hors d’oeuvres give a balanced contrast of crunch from the seeds to the velvety texture of the cheese and salmon swirled together.  I have also always been drawn to the color salmon, so I love this dish for it’s beautiful presentation of the pinkish-orange against the green and white, all sitting atop a crisp square.

Of course, anything nutrient dense is always excellent for little growing bodies, or for mamas who can find a quiet moment during lunch to sit and enjoy a few of these morsels.  So when I made these for my boys tonight I knew that we would not only be enjoying our weekly seafood, but also a moment of nourishment knowing this food is clean and Plus smoked salmon has a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein.  I love recipes like this are made from solid, clean ingredients.  Those dishes translate to high brow affairs as easily as the snack table.

These pinwheels are not strictly GAPS-legal, but I find that we do not have trouble digesting cream cheese.  Goat cheese can be used as well, but it depends on how long it has been cultured.  Here is an excerpt of frequently asked questions addressing various cheeses and their digestion:

The list of allowed cheeses has been provided by Elaine Gottschall, who researched this subject, measuring lactose levels in cheeses. However, that was many years ago; cheese production methods change all the time and new varieties of cheese come to the market. So, if the cheese is not listed, find out how the cheese has been made. You want to know if it was fermented in a traditional way and no other ingredients have been added after fermentation. It is best to get mature cheeses, which have been fermented long enough to remove all lactose and to pre-digest protein. You have to be sure that your body is ready for this cheese, so try a tiny piece first and see what happens; you body will let you know if you are ready for it.

To simplify, you can make your own cheese from a starter (buy a cheese starter here) making sure that you culture the cheese long enough to reduce lactose amounts significantly.  If you have been on GAPS (buy Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) here) for a long time, you will be adept at deciphering whether or not your body can handle different kinds of cheeses.

I have made these with cream cheese and with goat cheese, and I cannot honestly say which is better.  I have had excellent results both ways.  My older son prefers the goat cheese, but I prefer the cream cheese.  Either way, these are a crowd-pleaser and simple to make!

Smoked Salmon & Herb Cheese Pinwheels
serves four

3/4 cup cream cheese or goat cheese, softened (buy cheese starters here)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste (buy unrefined sea salt here)
juice of half a lemon
8 ounces smoked salmon, preferably wild-caught (buy wild-caught fish here)

  1. In a medium bowl, place the softened cream cheese in the bottom and mix in dill, parsley, and chives until completely incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Lay individual pieces of smoked salmon out on a cutting board.  Spread the cheese mixture in a thin layer onto the smoked salmon.  Roll up tightly.  Place all the rolls onto a plate, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. After completely chilled, remove rolls from the refrigerator and slice about 1/4 to 1/2 rounds.  Place on crackers (you can even make grain-free crackers) and garnish with a little more chopped fresh herbs if desired.  Eat while still chilled to provide the best flavor.