Salmon En Papillote
and the secret (dark) life of influencers
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday, and paid subscribers receive even more every Thursday! You can also try a week for free! PAID TIER IS CURRENTLY ON HIATUS UNTIL OCTOBER.
I have been on social media in the wellness space for almost 10 years now, which means I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go… and some come right back again. I’ve been noticing, especially on TikTok, a lot more aesthetic wellness — slender girls, mostly white women, drinking smoothies, doing yoga, body checking, nitpicking specific ingredients, etc. It feels like a regression to me, back to the early days of Instagram where “perfection” reigned — or at least the illusion of it.
There’s a whole new generation of girls ushering in some dangerous mindsets, and I think it’s only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down. I say this because we have seen it happen already.
If you were on Instagram in mid-2010s, I’m sure you remember Lee From America. She had gorgeous images of her beautiful recipes and plant-filled apartment, and to an outsider, she appeared to live the ideal, wellness-filled life. She did yoga, she meditated, she ate foods to balance her hormones — you get the gist. But she ended up abruptly leaving social media a few years later, and she recently went on the Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast to talk about what was really going on during that time. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t pretty.
On the outside, everything looked immaculate, but on the inside, she was addicted to her phone, craving external validation, exhausting herself to live and portray a perfect life. I’ll let you listen yourself to hear all the details, but her obsession with wellness, although beautiful on the outside, was deeply dark and damaging on the inside, and it cost her her mental health.
I highly recommend everyone listen to this podcast episode and keep it in mind when you see people on social media who are projecting a certain image. So often, it is a facade, and even the best of us can get caught up in believing it.
I’m not saying everyone who claims to live a happy, healthy life is faking it, but as someone who has been a part of social media for this long, I know the work it takes to capture everything just right. So much is staged, and even things that are authentically happening in real time require a pause to capture them, which again, is curated by design. Nothing is by accident, everything is intentional, and quite frankly, it can get exhausting.
I don’t think people go into these posts intending to mislead, but in a world where algorithms favor aesthetics, repetition, and aspiration, it’s easy to fall into that trap, especially when you have an income that depends on how your posts perform. It requires a lot of mental work to stay on track and not lose yourself in the process.
Just a reminder that looking perfect takes a lot of work. We can still look to these people and posts to inspire, but take it with a grain of salt.
THINGS I’M LOVING
I have been seeing Graza Olive Oil ALL over my feed — that signature green squeeze bottle, you know what I’m talking about. I finally got to try it, and I can confidently say it is worth the hype. I love how much control you have with the squeeze bottle, and the olive oil is actually GOOD. As a girl who lives to drizzle, this olive oil is hitting the spot.
I’m back atcha with another pair of sunnies! I’ve been in the mood to wear colorful sunglasses recently, and I loved how this pair came with a fun green and a more neutral peach/nude. And it’s only $15 for the pair, although you would NEVER know based on the quality! They are very sturdy, and I brought the green ones to my trip to Costa Rica!
The best way to find a good book is to get recommendations from a friend whose taste you trust. My friend Raven recently gave me a list of books to read, and The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante was first on my list. I will say, because this book is translated, it took me a quick moment to get used to the writing style, but as I was reading it, I found that I just couldn’t put it down. I love a book that delves into the relationships between people, especially the small nuances. I also love a book that doesn’t rely on a wild plot (although this book does have some juicy moments), and this one really hit the spot for me in capturing the complexities of human nature.
If you want more book recs, you can also check out my favorites here!
Salmon En Papillote
Cooking “en papillote,” which translates to “in paper” in French, is a technique that uses built-up steam inside a folded piece of parchment paper to cook your fish. It’s an easy “one pot/pan” dish that cooks everything at once, and there’s a lot of room to get creative!
This one relies on the simple but delicate flavors of cherry tomatoes, butter, white wine, and herbs to create a flaky salmon dish that’s veggie heavy while lightly decadent at the same time. This recipe would also work really well with a white fish too!
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 salmon filets (about 1-1 1/2 lbs)
2 tbsp butter
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 tbsp white wine
Crushed red pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, and add your filets. Top with 1 tbsp butter on each filet, and add the cherry tomatoes, red onion, and lemon slices to the salmon.
2. Drizzle on some olive oil, pour on the white wine, and sprinkle on a pinch of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Fold the parchment paper up tightly and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flaky.
3. When salmon is done cooking, top with a sprinkle of fresh dill and parsley, and serve! I recommend using the other lemon half to squeeze over the salmon!