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: Spaghetti Squash and Veggie Skillet

One pan, 30 minutes, totally comforting and warm and delicious. And healthy! This one started with this recipe, and then I did a little adjusting here and there (you know, amping up the garlic, etc.). The end dish was perfection. It’s lovely as-is for a simple weeknight vegetarian dinner, but would also be amazing with shrimp or sausage, or a fried egg (ooh!). Basically, it wins. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 large spaghetti squash (~3-3.5lb.)
* olive oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
* 4-6t minced garlic
* 1t (heaping) dried oregano
* 1/2t black pepper
* 1/4t salt
* 1 1/2C marinara sauce
* 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
* 1/4C ¼ flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
* 1/3C grated Parmesan cheese

WHAT TO DO
Pierce the spaghetti squash several times with a sharp knife, and the place it into the microwave in a glass baking dish. Cook for 15 minutes on high. Of course, if you have time to properly roast it, go right ahead!

While thats cooking, chop the onion, slice the mushrooms, chop the parsely, and prep the remaining ingredients.

Let the squash stand for 10 minutes, and then cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Use a fork and twist out/scrape strands of the spaghetti squash flesh and place them into a bowl.

Heat some olive oil in a large nonstick, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften and brown.

Add the garlic, oregano, pepper and salt, and cook for 1 minute more. Then add the spaghetti squash, marinara sauce, chickpeas, and parsley. Mix well, then spread the mixture out evenly in the pan. Top with the Parmesan cheese.

Place the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately with some warm crusty bread.

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Farro Bake

I’ve been collecting farro recipe ideas since I discovered this wonderful ancient grain. It’s got loads of heath benefits, it’s hearty and filling, and it’s got a lovely nuttiness that makes it great on its own or with other ingredients. I found this lovely idea over on the wonderful Smells Like Home blog, and her recipe was adapted from another fan favorite blogger, Smitten Kitchen‘s pasta version. I’ve been cooking a lot of mushrooms lately, so I adapted it myself, using the basic recipe as a jumping off point. And if ONE PAN MAGIC + Kid-FRIENDLY + NO LEFTOVERS isn’t a selling point, I don’t know what to tell ya! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* ½ cup dry farro
* olive oil
* 1 small cauliflower, broken down into small florets
* 1 small sweet onion, chopped
* 2t minced garlic
* salt
* freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4C cooking sherry
* 2T unsalted butter
* 3T flour
* 1 1/2C vegetable broth (chicken broth us fine, too)
* a few sprigs fresh rosemary
* 1/2C grated Parmesan cheese
* 4 oz mozzarella, cubed small
* handful thinly sliced fresh basil
* crushed red pepper flakes, optional

WHAT TO DO
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat a few glugs of oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the florets begin to soften amd brown. Add the onions an garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper, then cook until the onions soften and become somewhat translucent.

Add in the sherry to the pan and stir to scrape any bits up from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 minute. Add the butter, and when it’s melted, sprinkle the flour over the pan and stir it in so everything gets a little coat. Add the broth slowly, stirring as you go, then add in the rosemary.

Simmer 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the farro and cheeses.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the edges are bubbly. Remove the rosemary sprigs and sprinkle with the fresh-cut basil. serve immediately with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

Perfectly Simple and Simply Perfect Italian Meatballs

My Tiny Sous Chef has been getting more involved in meal planning lately and has asked to choose one meal per week. This week she asked for “meatballs made with meat (meat = beef) and salad.” Since she asked for it in such a straightforward way, I thought we’d go basic and straightforward without frills on the meatballs.

A few years ago Food Network Magazine did a special feature on meatballs. It had all kinds of variations and how to prepare them if you want to bake them vs fry them vs broil them, etc. the basic foundations recipe for each style included in the feature have become the basics for all of my meatball creations. This recipe is adapted from the Italian meatball basic recipe in that feature. It’s simple, easy, and fool-proof perfection. It will not fail you. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
makes about 24 1.5-in meatballs
* 1 1/2-1 3/4lbs lean ground beef
* 3/4C grated Parmesan cheese
* 3/8C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
* 3/8C milk
* 3/8C fresh parsley, chopped
* 3t minced garlic
* 1 1/2t kosher salt
* 2 eggs

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl by hand until combined. Form the mixture into balls, about 1.5-2 inches each. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a large pot. Add your favorite store bought or homemade tomato sauce and simmer on low for about 10 minutes until the sauce is warmed through. Serve over pasta or rice or your favorite veggie noodles, in a sub roll, over a salad, or just as-is.