Sheet Pan Garlic Salmon with Brussels Sprouts (and Broccoli)

The “work” part of my “work-dinner-family” trifecta has been crazy busy lately. We’re heading into a large conference, which just makes it normal work crazy times 500 (at least). So to maintain a semblance of balance in busy times, my solution is to really amp up my meal planning focus on quick and easy. Fish tends to be an easy and quick meal anyway, but pair it with one-pan magic? DING! DING! I planned to pair this garlicky salmon with just Brussels sprouts, but kiddo isn’t (YET) a b. sprouts fan, so I added a head of broccoli that I knew she would eat. After a long and tiring day, a fresh and bold simple meal was just what I needed–and my family loved it too! No leftovers! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1.5lbs brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
* 1 head of broccoli, broken down into florets (optional)
* 4T olive oil, divided
* 1t salt, divided
* 1/4t fresh ground black pepper
* 4 6oz portions salmon, skin removed
* 4t minced garlic cloves
* 1T dried oregano

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 450F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Put your Brussels sprouts (and broccoli, if you’re using it) in a large bowl, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, and the black pepper, and mix until the veggies are well coated. Pour them onto the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes.

While that’s cooking, drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the salmon. Spread the minced garlic evenly over the fillets, and then season evenly with oregano and the remaining 1/2-teaspoon of salt.

After 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Move the sprouts (and broccoli) to the edge, making room for the salmon. Place the salmon on the pan and bake for 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

Meatless Monday: Broccoli Lasagna

We’ve hit the part of winter when I just want deep, heavy, rich comfort food all the time. Chicago has this terrible sweet spot at this point in the season when it’s just grey all the time. Like, grey-grey. And indulgent comfort food seems like the only proper response. Except that, sigh, it’s not (isn’t it?).

This lasagna kind of turned out to be the best of both worlds. It’s lasagna, and if that’s not comforting, I don’t know what is. But it’s fresh and much lighter than a traditional lasagna, so you can feel better about the third and fourth helpings you’re definitely going to want. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 15oz package part-skim ricotta cheese
* 1 egg
* 1t salt
* 1/2t ground black pepper
* 1T oregano
* 1 small head broccoli, broken down into tiny florets
* precooked lasagna noodles
* 1 jar your favorite marinara sauce
* 1 8oz package shredded cheese (mozzarella or an Italian blend)
* garlic powder

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, oregano, and broccoli florets.

Spoon a bit of the marinara sauce into the bottom of an 8X11 to just cover the bottom.

Place a layer of noodles over the sauce. Spoon half of the ricotta mixture into a layer over the noodles. Pour half the marinara sauce over the mixture. Sprinkle garlic powder generously over the sauce, and then add half of the cheese on top. Repeat.

Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, until the cheese melts and begins to brown, 30-49 minutes or so. Allow to sit/cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Scallop Tacos with Smashed Avocado Salad

How fancy does that title sound?? Would you believe this is a 15-minute dinner? Maybe 20? SERIOUSLY. And so easy. And holy moly my best Taco Tuesday yet! (Not to pat myself on the back or anything… oops!)

Scallops are a special treat, but since they’re also a fan favorite in this house, I decided we were due. And you are too! Scallops sound and look and feel like a fancy-schmancy meal, but they’re so simple and you just have to try these tacos. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1lb bay scallops (the little ones)
* 2T olive oil, divided
* 1/2t freshly ground black pepper
* 1t Kosher salt, divided
* 1C frozen sweet corn kernels
* 4 green onions, chopped
* 1 ripe avocado
* crumbled feta cheese
* fresh cilantro, chopped
* fresh lime
* corn tortillas
* 1 whole, ripe avocado

WHAT TO DO
Place the scallops in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the black pepper, and 1/2 a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Carefully mix until the scallops are well-coated.

In a saute pan over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the corn and green onions, and 1/2 a teaspoon of Kosher salt until the corn and inions become slightly charred. Remove from heat.

Cut the avocado in half and use your hands to squeeze/smash the flesh into a bowl. Add the charred corn and green onions. Add some crumbled salty feta (as much as it looks like your salad needs). Squeeze some fresh lime over the bowl, and mix well.

Heat a nonstick pan over high heat. Add the scallops and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, getting a good sear on ’em. Remove from heat.

Spread the avocado salad onto a warm tortilla, add 3 or 4 scallops on top, sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime. BOOM!

Note My Recipe: One-Pan Cashew Chicken and Veggies

Tonight’s Not My Recipe is The Salty Marshmallow‘s easy cashew chicken. I stumbled on this recipe somehow and I love it! It ticks all the boxes: easy? yep. quick? less than 30 minutes. crazy delicious? Wait until you taste the sauce! And double bonus: one-pan magic AND healthier than the original without sacrificing any flavor (see ‘crazy delicious’ above). I did make one deviation from the original recipe in my version–I didn’t realize I was out of sesame oil before I started cooking, so I left it out and then sprinkled toasted sesame seeds as a garnish for serving. Mmmmmm…

This is not my recipe, but I sure do wish it was, and I sure will be making this again and again!