Friday, March 18, 2011

Healthy Dinners: It's Friday!

Thank goodness it is Friday.  Doesn't it seem like this week has taken FOREVER?  It's been so busy here at our house, so tonight I want to make something quick and healthy.  We've got fresh asparagus and salmon we just picked up last night, so that's dinner tonight!

Do you have ways you like to cook salmon?  I like mine broiled and baked, usually.  I like to par-boil or saute asparagus, both of which are easy, peasy.  Par-boiling is incredibly easy- here's how- Get a pan of water boiling and gently salted.  Toss your trimmed and snapped asparagus in the water when it's a rolling boil for now more than 4 minutes.  Then toss drain and toss with seasonings.  This works well with sweat peas and green beans too.  We'll serve the asparagus over a bed of brown rice, which is infinitely better for you and the family than white rice.

Dessert is going to be some fresh fruit and a bit of ice cream, because after a long week, who doesn't deserve a bit of ice cream!  The great thing about this dinner is that everything has the same seasonings, making it easier to pull together fast.  On a Friday night, who doesn't want a fast but healthy dinner, so that you can all pile onto the couch to watch a movie together?  We love to have Friday nights as family movie night and this weekend, we'll be watching Megamind!

Salmon & Asparagus over Brown Rice
Serves 4 and is easily adaptable for larger amounts

-4 5 oz pieces of salmon or a pound of salmon divided into four pieces
-1 lb of fresh asparagus
-1 bag of instant brown rice
-2 Tbs olive oil
-1 tbs butter
-2 tsp of honey
-A few tsp of Italian seasoning herb blend
-1 1/2 fresh lemons, the lemon squeezed separately from the half lemon, which is for the rice

-The seasonings for the salmon and asparagus-
Mix together two tablespoons of olive oil, a freshly squeezed lemon, a teaspoon of honey, and about 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning blend.  Set aside.
-Trim about a pound of asparagus and snap into inch pieces.  Be sure to trim the tough, woody ends, because nobody enjoys those.  Rinse your salmon and pat dry.  Bring a medium pan of water that has been gently salted to a rolling boil, be sure to put aluminum foil on your broiler pan, then turn on your broiler.
-Take half of your seasoning blend and rub over pieces of salmon.  We usually get 4 5 ounce pieces of salmon or a side of salmon that is about a pound and cut it into 4 pieces.  Set aside.
-We use the boil-in-a-bag instant brown rice, but bags of brown rice with dried beans are very cheap.  Whichever fits your budget better, just pay attention to the cooking instructions.
-When it's time for your asparagus and brown rice to cook, put salmon in the broiler.  Cook the asparagus for 4 minutes, drain immediately and toss with the other half of the seasoning you made.  Set in a warm bowl in the oven while rice and salmon cook.
-While rice cooks, let your salmon broil for 4 minutes, then flip and broil again for 4 more minutes.  It should be tender and pale pink, flaking easily when you gently flake it with a fork.  Set on a warmed plate in the oven until rice is done.
-When rice is done, toss with butter, some more lemon juice and honey, and a bit of Italian seasoning, as well. To serve, divide rice onto four plates, top with asparagus, and the salmon beside that.  Serve with extra lemon wedges if desired. Enjoy your night!

No comments: