When will dinner be ready?

That was Josh’s question.

“10 minutes” was my response.

The conversation went on:
J: you haven’t started yet
D: I know, but it’ll be ready in 10 minutes
J: **stares at me**

You better believe it – I made a tasty salmon filet and zucchini salad for dinner… added brown rice with chopped mushrooms for a side.  If you thought my under 30 minutes preps were amazing, you’ll be blown away at this dish. I found this recipe in the Cooking Light magazine, created by Chef Michael Symon.  I love this guy, he’s so goofy and quirky. I won’t hold it against him that he’s from Cleveland, Ohio. (this is a Steelers household after all)

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If you’ve ever seen ‘The Chew’ he’s known for being challenged to cook a 5 minute meal and they seem to turn out great (I don’t have a smell-o-vision or taste-o-vision so I can only go off of visuals). This guy is an iron chef after all, he’s used to cooking under pressure … c’mon, cooking a 5 course meal in one hour? I wonder if he complains about “not having enough time”… hmm. That’s some food for thought.

On to dinner – I actually started the rice 5 minutes ahead of the salmon because it takes 15 minutes … ok ok, you got me, I lied.  The meal still took 15 minutes (Josh also couldn’t see that I had started the rice yet 😉 ) I chopped 2 large mushrooms and added them to the rice for some extra flavors and textures.  5 minutes in and I started the salmon. While the salmon was cooking I ‘mandolin-ed’ the zucchini, grated a lemon/squeezed juice. Ok, dinner’s set up! In that 10 minutes, everything was done and ready to go.  I wasn’t sure what uncooked zucchini would taste like but it was actually really good! Just be sure to slice it pretty thin, if too thick they’ll have a spongy texture. Top everything with sliced almonds for a nice crunch.

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Advice for cooking salmon with skin on:
I’ve done it twice now, the first time turned out better.  I used … ready for this? MY COOKIE COOLING TRAY! It was dirty last night and I didn’t feel like cleaning it, so I used a pan on the stove.  The salmon cooked perfectly but the skin wasn’t as easy to pull off.  I also forgot that with skin: bake … no skin: stove top or grill. My bad!!

My suggestion is to bake it for 5-10 minutes to your liking, on a cookie cooling tray though. It just helps circulate heat evenly. I always spray a little non-stick to whatever I cook on for safe measure. If you prefer something more “natural” use EVOO. Also, talk to the seafood guys at your grocery store – they’ll help you with cooking advice and other things (what sauces to use, etc.).  They’re pretty knowledgeable and if you talk to them enough, they’ll start coming to YOU and offering the freshest cuts that just came in.

You can easily cook a HEALTHY and FILLING meal in 15 minutes.  Need more food than this? Add a side salad. Those are easy too!

Sorry, no blog for Monday … I made spaghetti. You don’t need instructions for that, do you?  This was actually supposed to be Thursday’s dinner and I wanted to make meatballs but my weekly menu had to be flipped around due to some last minute changes (a.k.a. people showing up 2 hours late for things…).  Anyway, if you don’t care for whole wheat pasta, try Dreamfields pasta – it’s a white pasta but only has 5 carbs your body absorbs. A great option for diabetics or anyone who wants to eat a little bit healthier, leaving the cardboard texture of whole wheat behind.

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