Sheet pan dinner: Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans

Sheet pan dinner: Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans | Me & The Moose. This quick dinner is healthy, satisfying, and full of flavor. Supermarket shortcuts make it even easier. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #quickdinner #healthydinner #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #salmon

Happy new year, all! Thanks for reading and cooking along with me this year. I hope you’ll stick around for 2019 too!

Are you all making resolutions this year?

There’s much talk about whether or not resolutions are a good move. I, personally, use my resolutions as a way to punish myself for everything I think is wrong with me. And that feels like a negative way to start the year, no?

So, instead of telling myself, “Eat healthier, you fatty,” I’m going to just make delicious food that happens to be healthy and see what happens. Staaarting….now!

Sheet pan dinner: Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans | Me & The Moose. This quick dinner is healthy, satisfying, and full of flavor. Supermarket shortcuts make it even easier. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #quickdinner #healthydinner #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #salmon
Sheet pan dinner: Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans | Me & The Moose. This quick dinner is healthy, satisfying, and full of flavor. Supermarket shortcuts make it even easier. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #quickdinner #healthydinner #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #salmon

This sheet pan dinner is fast, easy, and requires minimal prep. You can also make it even simpler by using some store-prepped ingredients. I’ve used pre-cooked lentils that are available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and other grocery stores in the refrigerated aisle.

I also opt for haricots vert over of straight green beans because you don’t have to trim the ends. Haricot vert are just a thinner and smaller variety of green beans. They can be more expensive, but if time is the priority, it may be worth the extra $1 or $2.

A couple of notes:

  • There are two cooking times here: The salmon and veggies will be done after about 15 minutes and it is totally acceptable to stop cooking here and enjoy green beans with a little snap leftover and softer, creamy lentils. However, I prefer it when you cook the green beans and lentils for another 10 minutes so that the beans are tender and the lentils are crunchy.

  • If using frozen salmon, thaw it before cooking. If cooking from frozen, the fish releases a lot of water, which affects the final texture of the vegetables and lentils.

Sheet pan dinner: Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans | Me & The Moose. This quick dinner is healthy, satisfying, and full of flavor. Supermarket shortcuts make it even easier. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #quickdinner #healthydinner #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #salmon

Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans

1.5 lbs salmon (about 4 medium fillets)
¾ lb haricot vert or green beans (if using green beans, trim the edges)
1 cup cooked lentils
2 large shallots (or 3-4 smaller ones) , cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp grainy mustard
Zest of 1 medium lemon
1 Tbsp lemon juice (from ½ a lemon, reserve the leftover juice)
1 tsp coriander
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400.

On a large rimmed sheet pan (about 13x18), mix together the green beans, sliced shallots, and cooked lentils. Toss with olive oil and salt and push to the sides of the pan.

Place the salmon fillets skin-side down in the middle of the pan so that the skin is directly on the pan or parchment paper (if using).

In a separate bowl, mix together the mustards, lemon zest, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, coriander, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Cover the flesh side of the fish fillets with 2 Tbsp of the mustard mixture and spread evenly. Reserve the rest of the mixture for later.

Roast the fish and veggies for 12-15 minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

While the fish is roasting, finish the sauce. Add the yogurt and garlic to the remaining mustard mixture and stir well. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper as needed.  

When the fish is done, increase the oven temperature to 450. Remove the fish, spread out the veggies and lentils, and return them to the oven. Cook until the beans begin to wrinkle slightly and the lentils begin to crisp, about 10-15 minutes more.

Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Sheet pan dinner: Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans | Me & The Moose. This quick dinner is healthy, satisfying, and full of flavor. Supermarket shortcuts make it even easier. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #quickdinner #healthydinner #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #salmon
Sheet pan dinner: Mustard salmon with crispy lentils and green beans | Me & The Moose. This quick dinner is healthy, satisfying, and full of flavor. Supermarket shortcuts make it even easier. #meandthemoose #sheetpandinner #quickdinner #healthydinner #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #salmon

How to fill a lunchbox

Chicken and cheese taco with cherry tomatoes, raspberries, blackberries,  Romesco  sauce, guacamole, and flax seed tortilla chips.

Chicken and cheese taco with cherry tomatoes, raspberries, blackberries, Romesco sauce, guacamole, and flax seed tortilla chips.

I spend a lot of time thinking about, planning, and executing M's lunches. And there are days when he eats...none of it. But there are days when he eats tons and I feel utterly triumphant. I wanted to share my top lunchbox tips so that you, too, can declare victory when that lunchbox comes home nearly empty (and you haven't worked that hard to make it happen).

Sushi is always a favorite and can be filled with WHATEVER your kid likes. See my  Instagram post  for my simple sushi rice recipe.

Sushi is always a favorite and can be filled with WHATEVER your kid likes. See my Instagram post for my simple sushi rice recipe.

1) Repurpose leftovers: Obviously, you can plop a portion of last night's dinner into your kids' lunchbox. (See below for some favorite ways to do this.) But another tactic is to make extras of the proteins and veggies that were dinner's components. Those ingredients, plus a tortilla with some cheese (or vegan cheese) and avocado, become a taco, quesadilla, or roll-up. We're also big fans of the "open face" sandwich with cheese melted on top. Or, cube it all up and make a skewer. Or, if your kid is a pasta eater, add those proteins and veggies to noodles and some jarred sauce. Easy peasy.

Leftover fried rice plus smoked salmon, blueberries, cheese, hummus, and pretzels.

Leftover fried rice plus smoked salmon, blueberries, cheese, hummus, and pretzels.

2) Prep: Every weekend I do these 5 things:

  • Hard boil some eggs

  • Make a white, wheat, rice, or bean pasta

  • Bake mini muffins or doughnuts

  • Make no-bake energy balls or granola bars

  • Roast two veggies that I know M will eat

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3) Send breakfast for lunch: I often make double breakfast and add it to a lunchbox later in the week. For instance, these two-ingredient egg and banana pancakes are a big favorite. Use them as sandwich bread with nut or seed butter and chia jam or rolled them up like little cigars. Savory waffles like veggie or cheese can sub in for sandwich bread. Granola cups are also an easy batch bake that work for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

4) Take inspiration from their classroom learning: I like to theme M's lunches, but that's mostly because I need inspiration and not because I'm trying to win any mom awards. Dinosaurs, Butterflies, and The Ocean were particularly fertile ground. Even if "theme-ing" lunch just means cutting out a sandwich shape, it feels a little special.

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5) Deconstruct something they like: Add the fixings for tacos, nachos, sandwiches, pasta, etc and let them put it together themselves. Like a homemade lunchable.

6) Think about appetizers: Have you considered sending your kids to school with a cheese plate or chicken sausage pigs in a blanket? Half of M's lunch most days is a crudite plate.

See? Basically crudite.

See? Basically crudite.

Double Duty Dinner/Lunch Recipes 

Sweets with oomph

No bake add-ins

Happy lunching everyone!

Sheet pan dinner: Roasted white fish and cabbage tacos

Roasted white fish, cabbage, and scallion tacos that all cook together on a sheet pan.
Roasting the fish, scallions, and cabbage on a sheet pan make an easy weeknight taco night with almost no clean up.

The dog days of summer are here in the Northeast and it. is. sweaty. I'm hankering for things that are raw or minimally cooked, so a sheet pan dinner may seem counterintuitive. But the cooking here is very quick, requires very few dishes, and the end product leaves us feeling satisfied, but not stupified because being really hot and really full is like entering the third ring of hell.

Taco night, but easier, healthier, and more interesting.

(As always, skip to the next photo to avoid the toddler update.)

Speaking of hell (KIDDING), we're in that annoying place where the things our kid does seem SO AWFUL to us, but when I tell others about his behavior, I'm usually met with, "Yeah, that sounds about right for a 3-year-old." For instance, I just about blacked out with rage (though I think I handled it okay), when M aimed his stream directly at the back of the toilet instead of into the bowl, effectively spraying our entire bathroom with pee. He thought this was HILARIOUS, while I floated out of my body and burst into a million pieces. The first person I told about this replied, "If he ever has a brother, they'll probably do it together."

Don't get me wrong, it's VERY comforting when other people are completely unfazed by M's behavior. But I'm still left wondering if I'm the world's least effective parent. It can be hard to process.

But I also get it. When I tell someone else about M's behavior that's driving me crazy, to them, it's an isolated incident. But when I'm asking him to put on his shoes for the 20th time after struggling to get him to do five other things in the past hour, that shoe battle feels so much more intense and difficult.

Basically what I'm saying is that 3 has been a tough age so far and that on exhausting days, the last thing I want to do is fight with dinner too (what a segue, huh?).

The white fish roasts on a bed of lemons and limes.

This dinner is partly steamed and partly roasted. Roasting the fish with the veggies proved counterproductive because a lot of liquid came out of the fish while it cooked, which led to steamed veggies instead of roasted ones. No thanks. 

Green and red cabbage are perfect for roasting with fish because they cook fast and get both melty and crispy.

Instead, you're going to wrap up the fish on a bed of lemon and lime in parchment bundles and let them steam on top of the cabbage and scallions to achieve the best of both cooking methods while still only using one pan. Because, it's hot. Here is a handy illustration of my favorite folding method:

So! Wrap up the fish and let it steam in the citrus. Chop the cabbage and scallions, toss with some olive oil, and throw the whole mess into the oven. While it's cooking, heat some taco shells, whizz some avocado crema in the blender, and prep any other toppings you might want (cheese, tomatoes, jicama, beans, etc). Tonight's dinner can be ready in about 30 minutes and is a nice departure from the usual taco night.

Wrapping the white fish in parchment packages helps retain their moisture while also letting the cabbage and scallions get roasted and crispy. It also decreases the mess even more.
Parchment contains the moisture so that the fish steams while the veggies roast.

Roasted cabbage fish tacos with avocado chipotle crema  

½ small head of red cabbage, roughly chopped
½ small head of napa cabbage, roughly chopped (about 6 cups total cabbage)
8 scallions, trimmed and cut in half width-wise
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large lemon
3 large limes, divided
1 ¼ lb cod or other firm white fish (four medium fillets)
1 Tbsp mayo
1 large avocado
Juice of 1 lime (about 1-2 Tbsp)
4-6 Tbsp water
1 small clove garlic
1-2 tsp chipotles in adobo or chipotle hot sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt
12 corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss the cabbage and scallions with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and salt and spread onto a baking sheet. Set aside.

Slice the lemon and one of the limes. Spread out four sheets of parchment paper or tin foil on your countertop. Place 2 or 3 slices of the lemon and lime in the middle of the parchment. Place one fish filet onto the citrus bed and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To fold the bundles, bring the edges of the two longest sides of the parchment together and fold over three or four times until you can’t fold anymore without hitting the fish inside. Next, fold the sides toward the middle until you’ve made a tight rectangle around the fish. Place on top of the veggies, making sure to move the scallions out from beneath the fish and toward the edges of the sheet pan.

Roast until the veggies are wilted and lightly browned and the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 15 minutes. If desired, carefully remove the fish bundles, being aware of steam that might escape, and roast the veggies for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the chipotle avocado crema. Combine the mayo, avocado, lime juice, water, garlic, chipotles or hot sauce, and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If too thick, scrape down the sides and add more water a little bit at a time and blend again until you've reached the right consistency. 

Toast the corn tortillas and prep any other fixings you might want with your tacos (cheese, more avocado, beans, tomatoes, etc). Squeeze some more lime juice over the assembled tortillas and serve.

Yield: 4 servings of three tacos and 1 fish fillet each

Taco night and sheetpan dinner night in one! No mess!
Colorful and healthy family taco night.
Roasted cabbage and scallions are mellow enough for toddlers and picky eaters.

Sheet pan dinner: Miso fish with edamame and corn succotash

Miso fish with edamame and corn succotash is maybe the easiest, fastest, heathiest, and cleanest meal I know how to make.

This might actually be the fastest dinner I know how to make. These are white fish steaks, but if you go for flatter, thinner fillets, it's even quicker! Either way, this dish is certainly faster than ordering bad-for-you takeout.

And this week, we definitely needed some easy, healthy dinners to help avoid the end-of-day, burned-out, bad decisions that sometimes happen at dinner time. I've been home with a super sick kid for the past few days and after just two weeks of M being in preschool, I forgot how exhausting it is to take care of a small person all day.

Miso marinade is a simple mixture of garlic, ginger, sesame oil, neutral oil, and rice vinegar. Whizzing the whole mess in a food processor means that you don’t have to chop anything.

What I love about this dish is that it tastes kind of subtle. It's tangy and salty and certainly flavorful enough for the adults and older kids, but mild enough for the younger set if they don't love strong flavors.

Miso, ginger, garlic, oil, sesame, and vinegar make for a tangy, sweet, flavorful marinate that perks up the bland white fish.

The sauce really makes this dish. It requires miso paste, which you might not have on hand, but is super easy to find at the grocery store or Japanese specialty store. If needs must, you can order it on amazon. I used a red miso paste, but red or white would work fine in this recipe.

Add some butter mid-way through cooking this sheetpan dinner for some added richness.

Because miso tends to be really salty, I don't add any extra sodium to this dish, but feel free to add a pinch at the end if that suits your taste.

Sheet pan dinner: white fish with miso, edamame, and corn succotash

Miso fish with edamame and corn succotash

For the sauce:
4 Tbsp miso
2 large garlic cloves
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 Tbsp avocado or other neutral oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/8- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1½-1¾ lb white fish (about 4-5 medium steaks)
2 cups frozen edamame (shelled)
1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
1 Tbsp salted butter, cubed

For serving:
2-3 large scallions, sliced
2-3 large zucchini, spiralized into noodles –or-
1 package of soba noodles, cooked according to directions –or-
4-5 cups brown rice, cooked according to directions

Preheat oven to 375. Make your sauce by placing all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitzing until the sauce resembles chunky peanut butter. Set aside.

Scatter the frozen edamame and corn over the sheet pan. Place your fish on top of the veggies and spread a scant tablespoon of the sauce over each filet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the fish starts to flake fairly easily with a fork. 

Remove the pan and scatter small cubes of butter around the veggies. Return to the heat and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and top with sliced scallions.

Mix half of the leftover sauce with your zoodles, noodles, or rice and then add more to taste. Top each serving of zoodles, noodles, or rice with one fish filet and a portion of the veggies.

Yield: 4-5 servings, depending on how many fish steaks you use.

Eat this roasted fish with edamame and corn over zucchini noodles or soba noodles.
Sheet pan dinner: Miso fish with edamame and corn. Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious.

 

 

Green curry fish stew

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes

Guys, Friday happened. I'm still in denial and I can't have wine for 6 MORE DAYS. Why did I do a Whole 30 now? I'm talking about the inauguration of DJT, obviously. A more thoughtful post is in the works, but I couldn't write about food without mentioning the thing that has occupied my brain for the past week.

For me, one of the things I like about having a child is that his needs are so immediate that caring for him forces me to be in the moment much more than I ever was pre-parenthood. That required compartmentalizing has gotten me through the past few days. I feel this way about cooking too. It's an activity that forces me to pay attention and helps me to block out the worry that can sometimes drag me into its vortex.

So, it'll be an active four years in my kitchen.

No doubt, I'll be making this Thai green curry fish stew A LOT. It's a very delicious vehicle for vegetables and while not technically "hiding" them, the vegetables become part of a whole and don't taste like themselves necessarily. When M was a baby, one of his favorite purees from Baby Foode was chicken, carrots, mango, and Thai red curry paste, so he's always liked these flavors.

This version of Thai curry is not at all traditional and is also technically more of a soup than a stew because there's a lot of sauce. But to me, that's the best part, so I'm not complaining. If you're doing a Whole 30 or are just curious about what's in your food, check your labels because not all Thai curry pastes are created equal. Thai Kitchen brand is definitely Whole 30 compliant.

And don't be scared of kohlrabi. If you can't find it, cabbage or broccoli stalks are the closest substitutes and also the closest in taste. You can eat kohlrabi raw, sauteed, boiled, or roasted and it's available in most grocery stores and farmer's markets. Here is a great description of what kohlrabi is and some suggestions about what to do with it.

A note about stock: Read carefully because we've only found one brand that is Whole 30 compliant. We could make it ourselves, but stock is one food prep area where I get REALLY lazy, largely because we have a store around the corner that makes homemade stock that is cheap, Whole 30 compliant, and really really good. And then I don't have to handle a whole raw chicken again. Bully for me.

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes

Green curry fish stew

½ large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup fish stock (or chicken/vegetable stock or water if you can't find a Whole 30 compliant stock)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
5 Tbsp Thai green curry paste (or just go ahead and use the entire little bottle)
1 pint mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch baby broccoli (if using regular broccoli, use 6 oz or about 2 cups)
1 medium kohlrabi bulb, chopped
2 cups raw baby spinach (1 cup frozen)
1 lb white fish (thawed, if frozen)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
Cilantro for garnish

Heat oil over a medium flame and add onion and garlic, cooking until the onions are opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they start to wilt a bit, about 5 more minutes. Add the baby broccoli and cook for one minute. (I removed the long stems because they didn’t fit into my pot, but you can absolutely leave them on or cut them up into chunks.)

Add the coconut milk and the fish stock and bring to a boil. Add the spinach, kohlrabi, and fish and bring back to a boil (this only takes a minute). Push the fish down to make sure it's covered by the cooking liquid.

When the pot is back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer until the fish is flaky. I had extremely thin slices of cod, so this only took about 8 minutes, but if your fish is thicker, it will take longer. When the fish is cooked, stir in the fish sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 7-8 cups, which was about 4 adult servings and 2 toddler servings

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes