Like the title of this blog post suggests, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite quick and easy dinners. Most of you know by now that I love seafood. Love really doesn’t even cover it actually. So when frozen fish is on sale at the grocery store- I am ALL over that like white on rice.
Speaking of rice, alongside the salmon I made last night, I also cooked up my own brown rice pilaf. Sounds complicated. Totally not.
If you’re the type who questions their cooking abilities and thinks you can’t handle the heat of the kitchen- you need to tune in to Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America. I watched a little bit of it on Sunday (mainly just to gaze at Bobby Flay) and MAN were these people just really not with it. I understand that cooking isn’t for everyone but how do you go through your whole life without learning the very basics of not just cooking, but food and being in a kitchen? Anyway, watching the show for a couple minutes will definitely boost your kitchen confidence. My heart goes out to these people.
One of my favorite fishes of the deep blue sea is salmon. Salmon is not only yummy, but it’s also awesome for your health. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a wicked solid source of protein, a powerful way to prevent inflammation, a player in cancer prevention, a promoter of eye, cardiovascular, skin, and hair health, AND it’s good for your brain and cognitive abilities. If I can’t convince you of how great salmon is, a mere Google search about the health benefits of salmon hopefully will.
And one of the best things about salmon is that is it SO easy to make. I bought two frozen salmon fillets at the grocery store (both about 6 oz. or so) when they were cheap and cooked them up last night. There are a lot of flavor combinations you can try with salmon but my favorite tends to be basic salt and pepper plus lemon juice, dill, and garlic. A couple weeks ago I added dill to my pantry and I will say, its been a great addition to my shelves.
The quick way in which I cooked my salmon went a little something like this:
- Heat up a tbl. of olive oil in a pan on high heat
- When the oil is warm, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the salmon fillets skin side down
- Squeeze some lemon juice over the salmon and sprinkle on a combination of dill, garlic powder, salt, and pepper (or whatever seasonings you prefer)
- Cook the salmon on one side for about seven minutes (look at the side of the salmon- you want it to be cooked 3/4 of the way through)
- Flip the fillets and cook it on the other side for about four minutes.
- Done. Yep. Done (well make sure it’s light pink all the way through).
As part of my R.D. meal plan, she wants me to eat 6 oz. of protein, 1 cup of whole grains, and 1 cup of vegetables. When I was at Trader Joes on Friday I picked up these convenient frozen brown rice microwaveable packets. Each one contains two cups of rice- perfect for dinner and having leftovers! Or, if Will was home, it would be perfect for two people… but alas.
To me, plain brown rice is just boring. It’s why I tend not to buy it. And I mean, usually I like my carbs to come from something I love like sweet potatoes. Because I want to eat things I actually enjoy and not just eat to consume, I decided to flavor up the brown rice. To have something to add to my brown rice (instead of just throwing a slab of butter on top of it), I chopped up some mushrooms and onions and sauteed them in a little bit of olive oil with salt, pepper, and some minced garlic.
When the rice was done cooking in the microwave (hooray for 3 minute microwavable brown rice!), all I did was mix it together with the mushroom and onion combination. It was a quick and easy way to make rice pilaf. It reminded me of rice pilaf that my Mom used to make for us growing up. I’m pretty sure that it came from a prepared store mix, but it was SO good and it had a distinct mushroom flavor. I used to love meals where we had that pilaf as a side dish. For some reason that mushroom flavor was alright even though I was convinced I HATED mushrooms in my early days- go figure. Kids are the weirdest. But now that I know I actually love mushrooms, I can say they are a fabulous addition to any rice.
While I was cooking the salmon and rice pilaf, I had brussels roastin’ in the oven! My go-to brussels roasting method is: 1 lb. of brussels cut in half, tossed in 1 tbl. of olive oil with salt and pepper (and whatever other seasonings you’re feeling), roasted in the oven for 25 minutes at 425 degrees (tossing halfway through), and then broiled for five minutes to add an extra crispy layer.
To me they always come out perfect! I think brussels are best roasted when they have some burnt edges. I’m convinced that if everyone tried brussel sprouts for their first time cooked like this- everyone would love them and they wouldn’t be a lame vegetable.
Simple but delicious dinner. Not only was it not time consuming in the slightest (it all came together in about a half hour), but it was 1) healthy 2) delicious and 3) WICKED easy. It requires very little preparation and skill. I think maybe even the worst cooks in America could handle this one. Maybe. But even if they can’t- YOU can. I promise.
And the best part of it all? Leftovers for lunch today 🙂
Everyone at work is going to be jealous of what I got going on. I secretly love bringing my home cooked meal leftovers to lunch because they totally kick the crap out of everyone’s sandwiches and bags of baby carrots. I feel extra special if they ask where the leftovers are from (as if I got what I’m eating from a restaurant) and I get to say- my kitchen SUCKERS! I leave out that last part but you get the picture. This meal is semi-impressive and fully tasty- perfect to make anyone jealous of your eats.
Today is a busy day at work- gotta make up for the day we missed yesterday! And I can’t lie, I was a total idiot last night and stayed up late to finish catching up on Season 2 of Girls so I’m also a little on the tired side. But I’m all caught up now and I feel accomplished and in the loop so that’s all that matters, right?
Keep it wicked healthy xoxo