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Posts Tagged ‘salmon’

Baked Salmon over Pasta with Vegetables

I finally own matching dishware for a service for 12! I was ecstatic the day I brought them home. Hubby, however, just wanted dinner because it was late by the time I brought the new dishes home. I threw dinner together while I washed a couple of my new salad plates to serve it on.

The dinner was incredibly tasty for something so quick and easy. So much so, that I’ll definitely be making it again sometime when we have the kids. They’ll love the pasta and veggies, and they’re always asking when we’ll be having salmon again because it’s one of their favorite foods. Besides, when “my stepmom’s good food” makes one of your kids’ required “things I like” lists for school, how can you not make them what they like?

BAKED SALMON OVER PASTA WITH VEGETABLES
Serves 2; can be doubled easily to serve more

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop
  • Line a baking sheet with foil
  • Place 2 6-ounce salmon steaks on foil, skin side down
  • Drizzle olive oillightly over the salmon, brushing it to coat all of the meat
    • I have rosemary and pink peppercorn infused olive oil my cousin made for Christmas that I love to use on salmon. I think it adds the perfect hint of spiciness and flavor.
  • Season the salmon generously with salt and black pepper
  • Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness; I baked mine for 20 minutes
  • While salmon bakes, add 1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni to the boiling water and cook according to package directions
  • A few minutes before the pasta is done, add 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables to the pasta and continue to boil
  • Once pasta and vegetables are done, drain and toss with 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Divide the pasta with vegetables evenly between two plates
  • Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan and cracked black pepper to taste over each serving of pasta and vegetables
  • When salmon is done baking and easily flakes with a fork, take a metal spatula and carefully remove the steak from the skin and place on top of the pasta with vegetables. I don’t grease the foil specifically so the skin sticks to the foil and the salmon steak slides right off the skin.

Baked Salmon over Pasta with Vegetables

The measurements for the pasta and veggies are an estimate. I had leftovers of already cooked macaroni in my refrigerator that I simply warmed up with some frozen vegetables in the microwave. This meal is incredibly easy and fast to put together. The Parmesan is a must with the pasta and veggies, really adding a punch of flavor. Be sure not to under-season the salmon before baking. You need that seasoning to enhance the flavor of the fish.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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Salmon Spread on cracker

After a morning of:

  • 5 sun salutations (these are the most effective way for me to warm and stretch every muscle before a run),
  • followed by a run of 2.5 miles (still building to the 3-mile mark),
  • then taking the Pup to the dog park for a couple of hours,
  • watering the plants and herbs (which are finally giving up their will to live in this 3-digit weather),
  • and scrubbing the entire downstairs, doing laundry, and vacuuming the whole house,

all I want is one of my favorite, no-cook-on-a-hot-day, quick lunches for a light mid-day meal before tackling the rest of my day.

Salmon

Cream Cheese, Horseradish sauce, Dill

Salmon Spread

CREAMY SALMON SPREAD WITH HORSERADISH
From REAL SIMPLE MAGAZINE’S Dinner Tonight: Done! recipe book

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine:
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I use fat free)
    • 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
    • 4 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly
  • Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices and fresh veggies.

The recipe book calls for salt and pepper to taste, but I never add any. To me, the horseradish and rich flavor of the smoked salmon and the bright, fresh dill are enough.

This is my favorite summer lunch served alongside a bowl of Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup.

Salmon Spread on cracker

This is also a great make-ahead lunch to take to work to change things up a bit from take-out or the daily sandwich. Just be sure to include an ice pack if you don’t have a refrigerator at work to stow your lunch bag.

What’s your favorite no-cook lunch?

Off to sip an espresso latte while figuring out what to make with three large bags of organic carrots . . . any suggestions?

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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Chimichurri

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY, Feb 6: We had my dad and stepmom over for a triple header of dinner, dessert, and the Super Bowl. On the dinner menu: Chimichurri flank steak and salmon (My grocer quit selling the Chimichurri sauce shown above that I used to use, so I had to make my own at home, which is fine – it’s super easy: put the leafy parts of 1 bunch of parsley in a blender with 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 – 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon or so of dried oregano, a dash of crushed red pepper, salt and ground black pepper to taste, and blend with extra virgin olive oil until it comes together. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Place 1 to 1 1/2 pounds flank steak in a large plastic bag, pour chimichurri sauce in, seal, and marinate in refrigerator 4 – 6 hours. Make a second batch of chimichurri sauce and pour over 1 to 1 1/2 pounds salmon and marinate in refrigerator 4 – 6 hours. Line two baking dishes with foil, spray with cooking spray, and place salmon in one and steak in the other. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees – place steak in first and bake for 30 – 40 minutes for medium rare or until desired degree of cooking. After about 10 minutes of cooking steak, add salmon and cook 20 – 30 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork.), roasted garlic mashed potatoes (Peel outer paper off one large bulb of garlic. Cut 1/4 inch of the top off to reveal cut ends of each clove. Drizzle with olive oil to coat. Wrap in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool, then remove the number of cloves needed. I used 5-7 cloves. Mash roasted cloves with a fork, then mash in to potatoes – I use the Ore-Ida brand Steam n’ Mash potatoes from my grocer’s freezer section – with margarine and milk to desired consistency, then season to taste with salt and black pepper.) , and build-your-own-salad (My parents brought the goodies for this: Romaine, 3 different kinds of olives, feta cheese, crumbled plain goat cheese, cucumber, and tomatoes. I set out my mustard vinaigrette for the dressing.)  Dessert will be saved for a separate post 😉
*Workout: NONE. Still hadn’t gotten back in to the workout routine.

Salmon in marinade

Monday, Feb 7: We had leftovers of the Super Bowl feast for dinner and lazily watched Torchwood while lounging on the couch.
*Workout: NONE. Still hadn’t gotten back in to the workout routine.

Tuesday, Feb 8: I love when I can make up delicious dinners as I cook them – Cashew Shrimp was easy, yummy, and totally worth adding to our rotation. I put 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of peeled shrimp (I love the bags of frozen, peeled shrimp that I can thaw in my refrigerator overnight – see below) in my standard teriyaki marinade of one part hoison sauce, one part honey, two parts teriyaki sauce before going to work so it could marinade all day in the refrigerator. Once I got home, I combined 1 cup brown rice with 2 cups water in a 2-quart microwave safe corningware dish – microwave at 100% for 5 minutes, then 50% for 30 – 35 minutes (I love making rice this way because it frees my stovetop and I have no starchy pans to scrub). When the rice has about 15 minutes remaining, line a 9×13 baking pan with foil, spray lightly with cooking spray, and place the shrimp in the pan – discard the marinade. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until just done. Also, add about 1/2 cup of frozen sugar snap peas to rice and continue cooking in the microwave until rice is done and snap peas are heated through (I had leftover snap peas that I just threw in there, so you could use any veggie you had on hand). Once all is cooked, add the shrimp to the rice, sprinkle with crushed red pepper and soy or tamari sauce to taste, and mix well. Plate, and sprinkle with cashews. YUM!!!
*Workout: Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred, level 2, with 5-pound weights. Finally back in to the groove!

Shrimp

Wednesday, Feb 9: My grocer sells a variety of fish that are preseasoned with flavored crumb toppings. I love them because all I have to do is heat the oven, bake the fish, and serve it with a quick-cooking veggie and voila – dinner. Tonight, we had the Tortilla Crusted Tilapia – a crumb topping with tortilla, chipotle, and lime. Served with broccoli slaw and leftover roasted garlic mashed potatoes, it made for a very quick but healthy and satisfying meal.
*Workout: 35 minutes on the elliptical machine, changing the intensity between levels 3, 5, and 7 every few minutes to double the calories burned. Later in the afternoon I spent 45 minutes practicing one of my favorites – restorative yoga.

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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Salmon with Sauteed Spinach

The ballet was so much fun yesterday.  The girls and I went with my stepmom and my two nieces.  It was called Not Afraid of the Dark, a collaboration between Joe Scruggs and the Austin Ballet.  Scruggs wrote the music, and appeared on stage to sing the last song, and the whole show was about a boy’s night-time bath-to-bed ritual, then his bright glow-in-the-dark dreams.  The glowing costume effects were pretty cool, and the whole thing was so cute.  We all had a great time and it was really fun to hang out downtown with the girls.

As we were leaving, my oldest niece asked if our girls could stay the night at my stepmom’s with them.  She said yes, so we ran home, quickly packed the girls, then ran them back to the grandparents’.  Since we were kid-free, Hubby had a friend over to watch the UT game.  He grilled them each a burger, me a veggie burger, and we watched UT pull off a win against Tech.

After a busy Saturday evening and Sunday morning (buying groceries then going to pick up the kids), it was time for a lazy, easy Sunday afternoon lunch.  What’s easier than salmon and sauteed spinach?  Not much.

Spinach

I got this beautiful bunch of fresh, crisp, organic spinach while at the store today.  I would love to shop at Whole Foods, but since there isn’t one in my neighborhood, I favor the local grocer.  We’re lucky in that our local grocer stocks a lot of fresh organic produce (enough for us), some of my favorite vegetarian foods, an excellent selection of exotic foods, and good quality fresh salmon and other fish.  Plus, I can get locally cultivated pecans, almonds, and walnuts.  Mmmm…

Almonds

My favorite way to make salmon is to marinade it in a tad of olive oil, seasoned with a sprinkle of garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of salt for about an hour.  Then, cook at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes.  This makes the juiciest, flakiest, buttery salmon.  Serve with sauteed spinach with garlic and slivered almonds.

Salmon with Spinach

SALMON WITH SAUTEED SPINACH:

Rinse and set aside to drip dry one bunch organic spinach.

Place 1.5 pounds fresh Atlantic salmon in a baking dish that’s lightly coated with cooking spray (I line mine with foil first to help clean up).
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of salt.
Cover and marinade in refrigerator for one hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place salmon uncovered in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

During last 5 minutes of salmon cooking time, heat a large deep skillet with extra virgin olive oil (1 Tbsp or so).
Add spinach and gently saute for about 30 seconds or so.
Add one clove minced garlic and continue to stir spinach, distributing the garlic.
Sprinkle with slivered almonds and serve with salmon.

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Almost 4 years ago, I went to a sports bar to meet some friends for Monday Night Football.  Cowboys vs the Giants and the Giants killed the Cowboys.  Killed.  I went to spend time with friends, but someone had invited this really cute guy.  Really cute quiet shy guy.  He thought I was cute too.  We decided a date was in order.  A couple days later I called him to finalize date details.  I kept hearing little voices in the background.  “What is that I hear?  Who’s talking?”  “Those are my little girls.  I have two little girls.”  I was sold.  Then and there.  Within two months, I had met the girls, the youngest had asked, “when are you just going to move in so you can stay here all the time?,” prompting me to move in – to a house nearly 60  miles from where I worked, with a guy, his two daughters, his crazy chocolate lab, two cats, two dwarf hamsters, and a fish.

And today was one of those magically awesome days that just make me smile at that split second decision in October 2006 to just jump in to a whole new world.

Today held everything.  Exercising, grocery buying, frustrate-ing, house cleaning, relaxing, laughing.  Hubby needed to take the girls to get hair cuts, so he did that while I bought groceries.  I made lunch while I put the groceries away so it would be ready when they walked in the door.  I chose one of the girls’ favorites:

Lunch

I mix green peas into the shells with cheese, and my kids love the veggie chikn nuggets.

Chikn Nuggets with Mac and Cheese

The girls devoured every last bite.  Then split a gala apple, and then had a mini cupcake each.  They were hungry!

Hubby was frustrated he had so many chores today.  He was on floor duty.  This is what floor duty looks like while he’s taking a break to play his video game.

Floor Duty

I was on bathroom-cleaning duty.  Finally, the whole house was cleaned!

Clean House

Hubby went to run some errands while I relaxed with some cooking shows and reading.  Before I knew it, it was time to start making dinner!  Where’d the day go?

Earlier, while lunch was cooking, I put about 1/3 cup of Chimichurri sauce over about 1.25 pounds of salmon to marinade.

Chimichurri
Salmon in marinade
Preheat oven to 425 and place the salmon in a parchment lined baking dish; bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness – I baked mine for 20 minutes.
Ready for the oven

Time for the side dish:
Quinoa, Squash & Zucchini Salad
In a saucepan, place 2 cups water with 1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Quinoa

While that cooks, heat a medium, deep skillet and add a tablespoon or so of oil.  Dice one yellow squash and one zucchini; add to hot skillet.  Cook for about 10 minutes, then add one clove pressed garlic and cook a few more minutes.

Squash & Zucchini

The quinoa should be ready; add it to the squash mixture in the skillet, along with  1/4 – 1/3 cup chopped green onion.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, about 1 Tbsp dried parsley, and 1/4 tsp dried cilantro, plus 1 tsp of the chimichurri sauce.  Stir to mix well.

Quinoa, Squash, and Zucchini Salad

And serve alongside the salmon.

Dinner

Chimichurri Salmon

  • Marinade 1 – 1.5 pounds salmon in 1/3 – 1/2 cups bottled chimichurri sauce for at least 30 minutes or up to 5 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place salmon in a parchment lined baking dish.
  • Bake 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Quinoa, Squash, and Zucchini Salad

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water with 1 cup quinoa.
  • Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 – 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  • While that cooks, dice one yellow squash and one zucchini.
  • Heat a medium, deep skillet with a Tbsp or so of oil.
  • Add the squash and zucchini to the skillet; cook about 10 minutes over medium to medium-high heat.
  • While that cooks, finely chop about 1/4- 1/3 cup green onions and peel and mince one clove garlic.
  • After the squash and zucchini have cooked about 10 minutes, add the minced garlic and cook a few more minutes.
  • The quinoa should be ready; pour it into the squash mixture.
  • Add 1 Tsp dried parsley, 1/4 tsp dried cilantro, 1 tsp chimichurri sauce, and the green onions.  Mix well.
  • Serve alongside the salmon.

Yum!  I had two very happy girls and one really happy hubby after this meal.  Did I mention my stepdaughters love salmon?  They beg for it.  And this salmon was so, so good – the chimichurri sauce is the perfect marinade to keep the salmon moist and delectable during cooking.  The final flavor is so buttery and full of herbs, with a slight kick.  Fresh chimichurri sauce would be better, but due to being ill all summer, I didn’t keep up with my herb garden so it’s no longer, unfortunately.

Later in the evening one of my friends came over and she got to experience my goofy children who were dancing around, playing “actresses,” and being plain silly.  She’s known my kids for a while, they’ve slept over at her house numerous times, and tonight was the first time she really saw them let loose and be goofs.  We laughed so hard, they had a great time, and I was so very proud to watch two ecstatically happy girls laughing and being themselves at home with their stepmom whose life they jumped into with open hearts and sweet hugs.  It was the perfect end to a day in the life of a marriage that I jumped into without a second thought.

What was your “just jump in” decision you made without a second thought that changed your life?

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