Quick Meal: Honey-Lime Salmon

If you’re looking for healthy, easy and quick to prepare weeknight fare, salmon is one of the best choices you can make. It’s one of the most nutritional fishes you can eat, and it’s chock full of all the good stuff: antioxidants, healthy fats and oils and omega-3s, and a boatload of other vitamins. It’s also incredibly easy to prepare, totally versatile, and FAST. And the fast part is actually what I’m selling here, because I’m not a nutritionist or a health expert by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. This quick little preparation will not disappoint. It’s light and delicate, but drops the flavor and could pair well with a whole variety of veggies or pastas or whatever you want. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 4 6oz (fresh) salmon fillets
* 2T olive oil, divided
* 1/2T honey
* zest and juice of 1 large lime
* 1t minced garlic
* 1/2t salt
* 1/2t black pepper

WHAT TO DO
Place your fillets into a large shallow baking dish and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the honey, the zest and lime juice, the garlic, and the salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the salmon, and flip it over a few times to make sure it gets on both sides of each piece. Allow it to set a minute or two to absorb some of the flavors (you can also truly marinade your fish in this mixture, up to four hours if you want, and then cook, but for a busy weeknight, which is what I’m working with, that’s not likely going to work).

Heat the second tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Place the salmon in the hot pan, skin side down, and pour the additional honey-lime mixture in as well.

Cook the fish until it’s pink 3/4 of the way up, about 4 minutes or so. Then flip it over and cook it about 2 minutes more to finish.

Beautiful crust on the outside, soft, delicious, flaky perfection on the inside thanks to 5 minutes of prep followed by 6 minutes or so of cooking. I’d say that’s a pretty solid weeknight dinner win, wouldn’t you? And btw, it’s a kid-friendly win, too. Not too strong of flavors, easy

, flaky texture, and so so good for them, but they don’t even know it!

Pink Pesto

This is a good one for all of you parents struggling with picky non-veggie eaters. I found a while ago that cooking with color worked wonders. “Ooh! Look at this purple spiky thing! What do you think purple tastes like?” And then, boom, kid’s eating purple cauliflower and dipping it in hummus and I’m high-fiving myself. I also find that involving the kiddo in meal planning for the week helps too. I usually try to get her help selecting at least one meal or all the sides or something like that. I find that encourages her to at least taste some things she might not otherwise taste, and discover she actually likes a wider variety of options (thus allowing me to grow our weekly rotation). A few weeks ago we were looking at food blogs together, and came across this post. And those two things came together – color + involving her in planning. PINK! This Tiny Sous Chef loves pink like nothing else – we HAD to try it. So tonight we finally did, with some tweaks and modifications, and it is a SERIOUS winner. Unlike traditional basil pesto, the bite is softened dramatically by the beets, which offer a gentle, luscious, flavor and texture. Still, it holds its own and satisfied all the eaters – no leftovers at all! Note, this recipe makes about 4X what you need for a Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 3 small to medium-sized beets, washed
* 3t minced garlic
* zest and juice of 1 lemon
* 1/2C pinenuts
* 2T red wine vinegar
* 1/3C olive oil, plus more if needed for consistency
* 1/2-1t fine sea salt
* 1/2C grated Parmesan cheese

WHAT TO DOpinkpesto1
Bring a pot of water to boil and then add the beets to it. Cook about 30-45 minutes, fork-testing the beets for tenderness after 30. Remove from heat and run under cold water. The skin should peel back just with a little rubbing by hand.

Cut the beets into small pieces and add to a blender or food processor. Add the rest of the pesto ingredients, leaving the olive oil and Parmesan cheese aside. Blend until well combined. Then add the Parmesan and blend again. With the machine on, stream in the olive oil until you reach the consistency and texture you like for your pesto. Taste and add more salt or olive oil if necessary.

Add your beautiful bright pink pesto to pasta, serve it as a dipping sauce for garlic bread, or in a cold pasta and veggie or potato salad for your next summer potluck barbecue. And save the extra — if you’re not going to use the rest within the next week, it’ll freeze well, too, so you can pull it out when you need a fix! Enjoy!

Panko-Parmesan Chicken Over Simple Salad with Burrata

True story: the only reason I didn’t post our Meatless Monday dinner last night was that I fell asleep early. Like, early-early. That literally never happens and I’m still wondering if maybe I’m suddenly narcoleptic. But anyway, you’ll just have to wait a week for that one. Onwards.

This dinner sounds and presents fancy, but takes no time to pull together. It is simple, quick, beautiful, and undeniably delicious. Just a few ingredients and a little prep and you can plate this light, simple, lovely dinner for your family, even at the end of a busy day. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEEDPankParmChxwSal5
for the salad
* arugula and baby spinach
* 1 1/2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
* handful of grape tomatoes, halved
* juice of half a lemon
* olive oil
* salt
* lemon pepper
* 1 ball burrata

for the chicken
* 1-1 1/2lb thin-sliced chicken breasts (or regular chicken breasts pounded thin by hand)
* 2 eggs, beaten
* ~1/4C+ Panko breadcrumbs
* ~1/4C+ grated Parmesan cheese
* olive oil
* lemon wedges for serving

WHAT TO DO
Prepare your salad by adding all of the ingredients besides the burrata to a bowl and mixing to combine. Place the burrata in the center of the bowl for serving. Set aside.

PankParmChxwSal3

Heat about 2 tablespoons or so of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Prepare your beaten eggs in a bowl, and in a shallow dish mix together some Panko with some Parmesan cheese – about equal parts. I completely eyeball this, but I’d guess about 1/4 cup or so of each. Better to underestimate and have to add more than to overestimate and have to waste any Panko and Parmesan.

Coat each chicken breast first in the egg and then in the Panko-Parmesan mixture, then place into the oil to fry lightly, about 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. With thin-cut breasts, really watch your time. They’ll cook quickly and you don’t want the meat to become dry, but you do want the crust to be golden, which is why I keep the stove temp no higher than medium.

When your chicken is done, slice each breast into strips.

Serve a nice helping of salad, breaking the burrata up as you serve, then top with the sliced chicken breast. Squeeze a little lemon over the top and you’re done. Faux fancy!

PankParmChxwSal4

Burst Tomato, Fennel, and Burrata Spring Salad

I have no intro for this one. It’s just the perfect spring salad. And also, I’m officially obsessed with working with burrata and so expect a billion burrata-including recipes coming at you! Anyway, this salad just says spring. It’s light and fresh and bright and springy and perfect and here you go.tomfenbu1

WHAT YOU NEED

* 1 pint grape or cherry or other little tomatoes
* olive oil
* 1 large bulb of fennel
* juice of 1 lemon
* sea salt
* 1 ball burrata

WHAT TO DO
Add the tomatoes to a pan over medium heat with about a tablespoon or two of olive oil and cook them until they soften and burst. Remove from heat.

Cut the bottom nubby part off of the fennel and slice the bulb into thin rings. Save a few of the fronds and chop them up for later. Add the sliced fennel to a large bowl and squeeze a whole lemon over the bowl. Sprinkle a healthy pinch of sea salt over that and then add the tomatoes straight out of the pan, oil included, then toss to combine, gently so you don’t squish the tomatoes. Before serving, cut or rip the burrata into small pieces and add it to the salad bowl. Mix carefully, top with those chopped fennel fronds, and serve.

Watch out that your eyes don’t roll all the way back in your head – this is that good. Happy spring!