One & Done Dinner- Salmon, Sprouts, & Sweet Potato

Hey Cats!

I hope everyone is having a good week! I’ve got a few projects coming up at work, so it has been a busy week, and it’s only Wednesday! When life gets busy, it can be really easy to eat whatever’s fast and doesn’t require a sink full of dishes. So basically Chick-Fil-A, pasta, or anything else that’s probably fried and severely lacking in nutritional value. However, I’ve found that eating crap when you’re busy makes you feel even worse and slows you down when you don’t have time to be slowed down. Lately, I’ve been experimenting to come up with healthy dinners that are more exciting than my usual chicken-quinoa-roasted brussels sprouts combo, and require less clean up. I crafted this little trio last week and it’s already made a repeat appearance! Pecan-crusted salmon, a baked sweet potato, and roasted Brussels sprouts (lol if you thought I could stray from this) with goat cheese- sounds pretty involved, right? False. Let me show you how it’s done.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 small sweet potato

-1 portion of salmon (I either get the 4oz serving from the fish counter or get a large piece and cut it in 3rds and freeze the rest!)

-1 tablespoon of butter

-1 tablespoon chopped pecans

-1 tablespoon grated parmesan

-1 tsp dry ranch dressing mix

-1/2 cup brussels sprouts,  quartered

-olive oil

-honey

-goat cheese crumbles

-almond butter (optional but HIGHLY recommended. Highly)

Here’s what you do:

1.First, you’ll need to bake the sweet potato by itself for a bit. Wash your sweet potato and poke holes all over with a fork- just don’t stab yourself (I have done this. Raise your hand if you’re not surprised). Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your tuber. You can just place it on the middle rack of your oven, no pan needed!

2. While your sweet potato is baking, do what you need to do. Live your life. Unload your dishwasher. Throw a load of laundry on. Do your workout for the day. Sit on the couch and watch trash tv. Neglect to write a blog post. It’s up to you. This is your time.

3. When your timer has about 15 minutes left, prepare the rest of your dinner for baking. Cover a baking sheet with foil whilst rejoicing that this is the only thing you will have to wash.

4. Prepare the salmon by following steps 1-4 of this recipe. Yes, I’ve made this before, but it was solo. This time it has friends. If you’re not feeling fancy, you can always simply season your salmon with salt, pepper, and dill!

5. Next, prepare your sprouts. Here’s my process: chop off the hard stem on the bottom, hopefully taking the outer leaves with it. Peel off a few layers of leaves until it looks clean. (always wash them first, by the way) Chop the little sprout in half, then in quarters. If the quarters are still large, I’ll chop them again! Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper- this can be done on the pan!

6. Then, assemble the pan. Place the salmon on one side, sprouts on the other, and the sweet potato in the middle. Fits perfectly!

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7. Increase the heat to 425, and bake everything for another 20 minutes, until the salmon is cooked thoroughly and the sprouts are crispy!

8. Next, dress it up! I drizzled honey and crumbled goat cheese on the brussels sprouts, thanks to Bites of Bri. Ugh, so good I nearly cried. Then, instead of cinnamon and sugar on my sweet potato, I put a dollop of almond butter on top after a recommendation from my coworker (thanks, Natalie!). Changed. My. Life. It’s so creamy and delicious. I was afraid it would be too sweet but it is excellent. You will die. And then come back to life to thank me profusely.

9. Enjoy your gourmet dinner and then enjoy only washing one pan!

Side note: when I told my mom about this, I kept going on about how “it only took one pan!”. Eventually she asked me, “Is that because you only have one pan?”. No, it’s because I’m lazy. But honestly, I’m not even surprised, because I also told her that day that I had made toast in my oven in a loaf pan. Because I’m resourceful. And I’m not married so people don’t think I need/want nice kitchen appliances such as a toaster. I digress.

Do you have any one-and-done dinners? Please share, I hate washing dishes!

That’s all for meow!
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Recipe- Tangy Summer Salad with Salmon

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday! This week is both flying and crawling at the same time, if that’s possible. I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately, but it’s also SO HOT in Houston that just the thought of turning the stove on makes me sweat. I typically make a pizza or other fun dinner for myself on the weekend, but after laying out at the pool all day Saturday, I needed something light, but obviously still delicious and filling. So I decided to combine a citrus salmon recipe that I love with a homemade version of my favorite Salata salad. And it was so good I made it without the salmon for lunch until I ran out of kale.

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Okay first we need to address this MASSIVE salmon plank. I asked for 4oz, and the little fishmonger just haphazardly whacked off a chunk, weighed it to get the price, and wrapped it up without noticing that it was 6oz. I’m fine with more fish, but I also had to pay more for it, which I wasn’t too pleased about. Also, it was so large that it just fell apart when I tried to plate it, so that’s why it looks kind of sad. But hey, I did the best I could and it’s delicious so that’s all that matters, right?

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 serving of Honey Garlic Lemon Salmon– this recipe from The Whisking Kitchen is SO good!

-1 cup kale, rinsed and chopped

-1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped

-3-4 large brussels sprouts, grated or finely chopped

-1 small granny smith apple, thinly sliced or diced

-1/4 cup cooked quinoa

-2 tbsp pine nuts

-2-3 tbsp goat cheese (feel free to go crazy here, I sure did)

-lemon vinaigrette dressing- I used Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Lemon, in the refrigerated section.

Here’s what you do:

1. First, prepare the salmon. It has to marinate for at least 30 minutes, so plan for that. ALSO cook it on a foil-lined pan, because I cannot tell you how long it took me to scrub the burnt honey off my pan.

2. Finely chop the kale and spinach and add to a very large mixing bowl.

3. Add the brussels sprouts, apple, and quinoa and toss.

4. Next, add the pine nuts, cheese, and dressing. Toss until everything is fully coated with dressing. I usually just pour my dressing over the top, but tossing your salad ensures every bite is tasty!

5. Serve your salad with your salmon on top, and enjoy!

What’s your favorite light summer meal? Let me know!

 

That’s all for meow!

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Parmesan Pecan-Crusted Salmon

Hey Cats!

I know I usually do “Wednesday Pins-Day” on Wednesday, but I haven’t been too active on Pinterest lately, so I’ve decided to skip a week! But hopefully once you try this recipe, you’ll forgive me! When I was in middle school, my family would frequent Rockfish, a seafood restaurant, and I would order pecan-crusted trout, which was a bold choice for an 11-year-old, but I was obsessed with it.

These days, salmon is a staple in my diet, and I’m constantly looking for new recipes. I remembered how much I loved the trout, and decided to see if I could make it myself. The first try, I made it with bread crumbs instead of butter, and it was good, but I told my sister about it, and she said she wanted to try the recipe once I posted it. She has celiac, so I had to find a way to make it gluten free, which was great because I actually like this way better!  Also, this recipe, like most of mine, are just for one serving. However, for two or three servings, just double or triple the recipe!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-One serving of salmon (mine was about 4 oz)

-One tablespoon of butter

-One tablespoon of chopped pecans (I used pre-packaged cookie bits)

-One tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

-1 tsp dry ranch dressing mix

-Salt & Pepper

Here’s what you do:

1. First, soften the butter, but don’t melt it. You can do this by microwaving it in 15-second intervals.

2. Next, add in the pecans, parmesan cheese, and ranch. Smoosh with a fork until thoroughly combined.

3. Place the salmon in a baking dish, prepared with cooking spray. Season it lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Then, spread the butter mixture evenly over the top of the salmon, making sure it’s not too thick.

5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. I know that sounds like a long time, but I recently had an unfortunate encounter with some undercooked salmon, so I didn’t want to risk it again!

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I made rice and a salad to go with this, but I made minute rice in the microwave and cooked it until it was a solid rice cake, so it wasn’t fit for photography…oops!(Slash it’s kind of hilarious that I can cook everything EXCEPT rice). If you’re looking for a new, healthy dinner idea, you should definitely try this out! Let me know how you like it!

That’s all for meow!

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Simply Delicious Salmon + Asparagus

Hey Cats!

The past couple of weeks have been super busy. Between school, meetings, Aggie football, and other weekend shenanigans, I’ve been neglecting Sweet Cats! a bit…sorry! I have so many ideas, but so little time to blog!

One of the things that has been eating my time is cooking dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking for myself, but it can definitely be a challenge to not only come up with meals for just one person, but to also come up with recipes using what I have on hand! One of my current favorite meals is salmon. I recently came across a package of frozen salmon with 4 pieces for $10- a steal when it comes to salmon! I snatched it up, excited to see how many different recipes I could try.

Tonight, I made a very simple recipe from my culinary hero, Ree Drummond the Pioneer Woman. You can find her recipe here, but I altered it a bit, so I’ll go ahead and share what I did.

You will need:

-1 serving of salmon (about 4 oz), thawed

-2 tbsp olive oil

-sea salt

-ground pepper

-dill weed

Here’s what you do:

First, brush 1 tbsp of olive oil onto one side of the salmon. Sprinkle liberally with salt, black pepper, and dill weed.

-Flip it over and repeat on the other side

-Place the pan in a cold oven, and then turn to 400 degrees.

-Cook for 25 minutes, or until salmon is flaky and opaque.

That’s it! It doesn’t get any more simple than that, ladies and gents. I really like this, because it is so simple. The salt and pepper give it a bit of flavor without overpowering the salmon itself, and the dill adds a little variety. SO. GOOD.

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I paired mine with rice and blanched asparagus. This has become my new go-to meal, and it makes me feel like I’m really healthy when I eat this. I didn’t really like asparagus, until I tried it blanched- I tried doing a cleanse where you ate salmon and blanched asparagus once, and that’s when I discovered this lovely combination (without the rice, obviously). And no, I did not finish the cleanse. I lasted about 16 hours and then I was dramatically hungry. Anyways, here’s how you blanch asparagus:

You will need:

-Fresh asparagus spears, ends snapped off

-Water

Here’s what you do:

-Bring a giant pot of water to a boil. It doesn’t matter how much, as long as all your spears will fit inside and be completely submerged.

-Once boiling, drop in your asparagus and let boil for 2-3 minutes.

-Remove asparagus from boiling water and immediately transfer to a bowl filled with ice water. This will cool the asparagus while preserving its bright green color.

I serve mine with a “dipping sauce” of Greek yogurt mixed with brown mustard, and I eat it with my fingers. Julia Child says this is perfectly acceptable.

So there you have it- a very simple and very healthy weeknight meal!

That’s all for meow!