Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Staple Dinners: Salmon

If I could suggest one thing to people who are trying to cook healthful balanced meals at home more often, I would say - Have Some Staples. If I cook at home 4 nights a week, at least 2 of those I am cooking staples, or go-to's.

As much as I advocate food being an enjoyable adventure, I do understand that eating is something we all have to do multiple times a day for an entire lifetime. Usually I would look at eating as a "get to" type activity but I know that there are those nights where 30 minutes is all you have time for and eating begins to feel like an obligation. But we all know that even on those nights where time is short, or where we're just a little lazy, in the end we'll feel much better about ourselves if we whip up something a little healthful as opposed to throwing 20 bucks down the drain on fattening take out.

To me a staple is a meal or dish that can be replicated easily and has elements that can also be easily substituted. It is something that you WANT to eat on a regular basis and it is something that you can prepare confidently.

With this I share with you one of my staples. This meal happens once a week in my apartment and with various twists depending on my mood, what I have in my kitchen, or what I may have been inspired by on Pinterest earlier that day.

Oven Roasted Salmon w/steamed Greens & Sweet Potato:

The Salmon:
Usually I take the easy & low calorie route by drizzling my salmon filet with a tid bit of olive oil, the juice from a large lemon, and a liberal sprinkle of lemon pepper. I let it marinate in the fridge for 20-30 minutes and I pop it in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. It is so easy and I know that I am getting so much healthful goodness out of it. Salmon is my absolute go to for seafood because it's hearty and never fishy. I also love that it pairs perfectly with a healthful starch that I rarely feel guilty about... sweet potato!


The Sweet Potato:
Generally I bake these guys, but last night (Typical Tuesday) I whipped them! Yep - easy as that, it was a last minute decision and it worked beautifully. I took the two large sweet potatoes I planned on baking and instead I cut them in half long ways and then into even sized large chunks. I left the skin on and threw them in a pot, covering them in water. I put it on the stove and let it come to a boil until the potatoes were fork tender. I fished them out and easily slid the skins off (they really just fall right off). Then I whipped the potatoes with a little pad of butter, salt to taste, and the juice from half of a Cutie. Yep. My mom makes a sweet potato dish at Thanksgiving that includes the zest/juice from an orange and I happened to have a big bag of cuties on hand so I just cut one in half and gave it a squeeze. It added a nice acidic sweetness!

Whipped with a fork
The Greens:
Seriously you could put anything in this category. For me it is usually asparagus or broccolini. Those just happen to be easy favorites of mine. They're quick to steam with a squeeze of lemon or saute with a little olive oil/garlic/salt/pepper.


Anywho, this dinner may not be the MOST exciting thing in the world but let's face it people, we are busy, and occasionally a bit lazy. This is the perfect go-to/staple meal to have once a week, just make sure you grab these things at the grocery store - salmon fillets,  sweet potatoes, greens, lemon. Boom - easy as that.

Hope this inspires some of you to come up with a good weekly staple meal that's satisfying, healthful, & Dahlicious!

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