As semi-vegetarians, we eat meat about 2-3 times per week. One of my family’s favorite treats is salmon. We only eat it twice a month, the rest of the time, our fish allowance is in tuna and tilapia with the occasional cod or other whitefish.

The expert cooks out there may cringe at my method, as it does not fit with cookbook ‘suggestions’. But, it works most of the time. (Yes, there was once that the fish dried out so bad, it was, um, chewy… it was a demoralizing experience. I learned from it though. No more than 20 minutes in the oven with this method.)

As with the MyPlate, and serving size suggestions per the USDA, the Salmon fillets that we get from the meat department, I have cut in 2 inch strips. Depending on the size of the fish, sometimes we get extra… Salmon is not cheap, so this is one of our more expensive meals and partly why it is only twice a month.

I have begun figuring meals by cost. I don’t recall if I mention it in the book, as it is a fairly new practice. The bad news is that this meal cost $26:

  • Salmon = $16
  • Mixed bag of potatoes = $5
  • Bag of fresh Brussel sprouts = $3.50
  • 2 large carrots (1/3 of 1 lb bag) = $.50
  • Miscellaneous oil/herbs/condiments = $.50

The good news is that it was enough for 6 people. The final cost per person was $4.33 each. My husband and daughter used the extras for lunch the next day.

Here’s how it went…

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You know that you have crossed over to healthy-food-land when the sight of this makes your mouth water. Move over Pavlov… physiology is in charge now.

This is the first time I have used ‘colored’ potatoes. I am refraining from making any jokes regarding color bias, so I will painfully move on to say that color bias does exist. I recently discovered multi-colored carrots too. And from a quick internet search, surmised that there have always been such things, but that sellers noticed that we (the people) have a tendency to gravitate towards certain colored fruits and vegetables… and started planting only the orange carrots and brownish potatoes. Needless to say, the potatoes were delicious and we will be buying them again, in the hopes that eventually the price will go down and we can enjoy them more often.

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This is a trick I picked up from my Rachel Ray watching days… put some olive oil in the bottom of the bowl, add whatever seasoning you like, drop your cut up veggies in and use two spoons to toss them to coat. I have this strange method I developed when I started cooking at age 14. I often add herbs and spices by smell. This particular day, cilantro and basil, with a sprinkle of garlic powder smelled appealing. (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each).

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I usually roast fresh Brussel sprouts, but this time, since the potatoes were roasted, opted for steaming. I don’t use any seasoning. Some of us add salt and pepper at the table, others think it tastes fine on its’ own… especially when it is fresh.

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This is proof that I don’t cook salmon right… what? she’s putting it on a flat pan! Argh! But, as I said, it works. Most of the time. And turned out delicious this time. 375 degrees, 18-20 minutes.

The strange caviar-looking concoction in the bowl is a tablespoon of mustard seed, 1/2 tablespoon of yellow mustard, and a tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise. I had a nagging fear that putting vegan mayonnaise on salmon would upset the balance of the universe, but whatever ripple effects must have been small. And besides… it tasted wonderful!

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The final product. If it looks sparse to you, give it time, and remember that a big part of the diet that helps control cholesterol is controlling blood sugar. Small meals, with intermittent, sensible, snacks.

An important note is this final picture of my 11 year old’s plate. I think that often, as grown ups, we forget (yes I was guilty too) that our stomachs are really not much bigger than our own fists. And kids are given too large of portions. The picture below is of portions altered for a child of 11… It is similar, but the fish portion is almost halved, and the potatoes and veggies are about a half to a whole spoon less.

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Comments are welcome…