Quick Eats: Pan-Roasted Salmon and Vegetables

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by salmon recipes that didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped. Everyone have their hands up? Okay, great- because I have good news. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, filling and tasty recipe that isn’t loaded with harmful or artificial ingredients- and don’t want the salmon included in it to be overcooked or, worse- undercooked and rubbery- then you’ve got to give this one a try! It’s pretty much impossible to mess up!

The asparagus in this recipe can actually be swapped out for different types of vegetables. Originally, I saw the salmon and potatoes combined with romaine lettuce- but since I had devoured a pretty big salad in the hours leading up to my making this- I thought the asparagus would be a nice change. I’ve also tried this with carrots and zucchini on two separate occasions and it came out just as good!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or other bite-sized)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Four 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Your preference of asparagus spears

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.

3. Roast the potatoes in the oven until slightly golden and fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While the potatoes roast, rub the asparagus spears with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon juice. (*SIDE NOTE: you can steam the spears to soften them prior to roasting!*) Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. Brush the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season each fillet with paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Arrange the asparagus spears and salmon on the baking sheet with the potatoes. Continue roasting for 5 to 7 minutes more, until the lettuce is tender and the fish is cooked through.

7. To serve, divide the potatoes, romaine and salmon among four plates.

8 Enjoy!

I love the flavors in this dish. They all tasted so wonderful together and the meal was filling without making me feel like I was weighed down or like I’d eaten too much of a good thing. Most importantly- the salmon was cooked to perfection. It was flaky and juicy- not dried out or overtly crisp!

If you’re looking for something that tastes great and is loaded with nutrients- then this is a go-to dish for sure!

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xx

Quick Eats: Harvest Chicken Skillet

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We’ve officially reached uncomfortably cold temperatures here in New England- which has prompted me to go seeking out warmer comfort foods to chow down on while I bundle up in as many layers as possible and crawl under every fleece blanket I own. I stumbled upon this recipe from Well Plated– a seasonal dish similar to one I used to order from a small, family-owned restaurant in my hometown a few years ago during lunch breaks at one of my former jobs- and one I haven’t had in a while (but have always wanted to try and replicate at home!)

This recipe takes less than an hour to prepare and cook (and serves four) which is perfect for people like me who want something warm and filling in a hurry- and really- who ISN’T super busy this time of year?

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high, until hot and shimmering. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels.

2. Reduce skillet heat to medium low. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp and brown and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan.

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3. Increase skillet heat back to medium high. Add Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, onion, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and the onions begin to look translucent, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the apples, garlic, thyme, and cinnamon. Cook 30 seconds, then pour in 1/2 cup of the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.

5. Add the reserved chicken and remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved bacon and serve warm.

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There are so many flavors in this dish and all of them are fantastic- the chicken and the bacon are salty and crisp, the vegetables are sweet and soft- and the cinnamon and garlic just melt in your mouth and bring everything together so, so perfectly. I had a lot of this left over after getting my fill at dinner- and it tasted just as incredible re-heated for lunch at work the following day.

I’d like to try this recipe again but maybe incorporate some other ingredients, as well- like Yukon gold potatoes or zucchini. It’s such a versatile dish and it definitely helped keep me warm while I ate it!

xx

Quick Eats: Cheesy Cauliflower Bread

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It’s been a short while since I’ve shared a recipe post, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped experimenting with new ideas and ingredients in my kitchen. My current “flavor of the month” is cauliflower. When I’m not eating it raw or mixed in as part of a vegetable stir fry- I’m researching the ways I can include it in my diet with new and tasty dishes I wouldn’t have thought to try before.

I love garlic bread, and I definitely love cheesy bread- so finding a recipe that combined both, but without the actual “bread” part- pretty much made my week. This low-fat, low-carb, healthier-with-cauliflower-substituted-for-dough combination takes just under an hour to prepare and cook- and the results are so good- you’ll never guess that this isn’t really bread at all!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 4 cups of riced cauliflower (about 1 large head of cauliflower)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (1-2 cups will be used for topping)
  • 3 teaspoons of oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dipping sauce(s) of your choice

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F degrees. While the oven is heating, prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Make sure your cauliflower is chopped in florets. Add the florets to your food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.

3. Place the cauliflower in a microwavable container and cover with lid. Microwave for 10 minutes. From there, place the microwaved cauliflower in a large bowl and add the 4 eggs, 2 cups of mozzarella, oregano, garlic and salt & pepper. Mix everything together.

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4. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into a rectangle for the bread sticks.

5. Bake the crust (no topping yet) for about 25 minutes or until golden. Once done, sprinkle the top of the “bread” with the remaining mozzarella cheese and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes- or until cheese has melted.

6. Slice and serve with dipping sauce of your choosing.

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I can’t stress how good these things taste (without making you feel bloated or gross the way typical bread sticks can.) If I hadn’t prepared them myself, I would have just assumed they were a thinner, crispier bread instead of a vegetable. They were crunchy and cheesy with just the right amount of garlic- and when topped with marinara or ranch- I could have eaten the entire pan all on my own (for the record: I shared these!)

I’m thinking this recipe may make another appearance at Thanksgiving if I have the time to bake them before my family gets here. I’d like to see how many of my relatives would be able to tell if these were actually made out of cauliflower or not!

xx

Beach Bum.

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Just a few shots (one including my strange looking toes) from a drive to Hampton Beach I took this past Sunday afternoon. When I wasn’t perusing the surfboards, the shoes, and the bohemian style tops at Cinnamon Rainbows (my favorite surf shop), I was perched on one of the concrete walls by the water- taking in the sound of the waves, the salty air, and the sun on my face. Heavenly.

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Also, it’s not so much a “Quick Eats” recipe post, but I just wanted to share that I absolutely love cooking the above-pictured spinach penne, chicken, and vegetables dish. It’s delicious, good for you- and so easy and fast to make.

You just need:

One package/box of spinach penne pasta

1/2 pound of chicken (cut into pieces)

1 thinly sliced yellow squash

A handful of fresh snap pea pods

And as much broccoli as you want.

While you’re boiling the spinach pasta, you simply sauté the cut chicken pieces, the thinly sliced pieces of yellow squash, the snap pea pods, and the broccoli in some olive oil until everything is cooked and crisp.

Strain the pasta, mix all the ingrediants together into your sauté pan, and voilà!

The dish I prepared was served with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and garlic toast.

So yummy.