Thursday, March 1, 2012

Simple Salmon Dinner

I've been told that I was a very picky eater as a child.  My staples were cereal, hot dogs (until the food poisoning incident at Disney World) and grilled cheese sandwiches.  My family still jokes about how they'd have to special order me a grilled cheese sandwich at McDonald's (cheese burger hold the burger).  To this day, I still won't eat hamburgers.  I tried one when I was in college and it just confirmed why I don't care for them.  Ground meat grosses me out!  I realize hot dogs are basically random meat pieces smashed together but until the Disney incident, I didn't mind them.

As I have gotten older my tastes have changed for the better. I have found that I like a lot of healthy foods.  I try to be conscious about what I eat and what I feed my family.  Tim and I have been trying to eat more fish lately.  The great thing about this meal is that it's super easy to prepare and I don't dirty up a single pot or pan!

Here are the ingredients you'll need:
  • 2 6-8 oz portions of fish (I chose fresh salmon because it was on sale.  Also, see my note below the ingredients)
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • Whole grain bread (optional)
  • My mother-in-law sent me a link to this helpful pocket guide to buying seafood from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Click here and then click "Download Pocket Guides" then click on the area of the map where you're located.  I keep this in my purse to reference when I'm grocery shopping.
  • At least two hours before dinner, wash the sweet potatoes and poke holes in them with a fork or knife.  Double wrap each sweet potato in foil (if you don't double wrap, the sweet potatoes will likely leak out all over your oven.  Bake the sweet potatoes at 450 degrees for 2 hours (or more, you really can't over cook a sweet potato).
  • About 30 minutes before dinner, reduce the oven heat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with foil.
  • Wash and dry the asparagus and cut the ends off.  Place the asparagus in a plastic bag with 2 tsp of olive oil and salt and ground pepper to taste.   Seal the bag and shake up the asparagus to coat it. 
  • Spread the asparagus over the foil-lined baking sheet so there are no overlapping pieces.
  • Wash the salmon and pat dry with paper towels.  Place the salmon on the foil-lined baking sheet and rub 1 tsp of olive oil on each piece of salmon - just use your hands.
  • Wash the lemon and slice it into thin slices.  Place the lemon slices over the salmon.
  • Slice your bread and wrap it in foil.  I love the Seeduction bread from Whole Foods!
  • Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and place the salmon on the top rack.  Cook for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees depending on the thickness of your salmon.  I usually take the salmon out after 15 minutes and cut into the middle to see if it's ready.
  • With about 10 minutes of cook time left on the salmon, place the asparagus and bread in the oven and cook for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  The asparagus should be crisp.  If you have thin asparagus, you may only need to cook them for 5 minutes.  They cook fast.
  • Serve the bread with olive oil and vinegar and enjoy!
Now if only I could get my kids to start eating salmon!  Let me know if you have any suggestions.

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