Meals: Four to Add to Your Rep

When it comes to meals, what I have found is that all of us need a few simple, easy recipes in our repertoire. Recipes that require no thought, almost no preparation, and deliver a good nutritional punch. These are four standby meals from my kitchen; I always vary the side vegetable depending on the season. Sometimes I add a whole grain like wild rice or a risotto, depending on how hungry we all are, but the basic meal is here.

 

Salmon with Green Beans and Almonds

Salmon

  • Rinse salmon fillet in water and pat dry with paper towel
  • Place salmon (skin side down) in frying pan
  • Squeeze lemon juice on top (or skip it if you don’t have any)
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Cover with lid and turn heat to medium.
  • Set timer for 15 minutes.

Beans

While that is cooking,

  • place 2 inches water in a medium saucepan
  • Turn heat to high
  • Rinse green beans
  • Add to water when boiling
  • Cover with lid and set timer for 4 minutes

In the meantime, open package of sliced or slivered almonds.* Plate salmon when cooked. Drain beans and return to pan. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, and salt to taste. Toss with almonds.

*If you’re really feeling fancy, you can toast the almonds: just place them in a small frying pan without oil on medium heat and toss regularly till lightly toasted. Toasting really brings out the flavor. 

 

Cod Fillet with Spinach

I like either Italian breadcrumbs or Panko for my cod. They both produce a nice thin crust that fancies up the fish just enough.

Cod

  • Place a pat of butter or oil (peanut and olive are nice) in frying pan over low-medium heat.
  • Rinse cod fillet in water and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Place fillet in breadcrumbs and turn to coat well.
  • Place fillet in frying pan and set timer for 3 minutes.
  • Flip cod and reset timer to 3 minutes.

Spinach

  • Place another pat of butter or oil in a saute pan.
  • When melted, add prewashed baby spinach.
  • Toss until all is wilted.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

The cod can be eaten as is or with a spritz of lemon juice or ketchup or even tartar sauce if that’s how you like it.

Salads

Meals don’t have to be on plates with separate components; sometimes our evening meal is a giant salad in a bowl. It’s a good idea to always have some salad or leafy greens in your fridge for just this purpose. I like the prewashed ones because… it’s easy! If you’re hungry for more, there are some great boxed soups out there these days that can be heated up in a few minutes. Here is one of my favorites.

Protein-Packed Salad Bowl – version 1

First, toast pumpkin seeds (and/or walnuts) in small frying pan on low-medium heat

Then,

  • Place prewashed salad greens (or baby kale, baby spinach, arugula, whatever) in large bowl
  • Add chopped tomatoes
  • Drain and add canned cannellini beans
  • Add leftover grains from fridge (quinoa and any rice works great in a cold salad)
  • Add raisins or dried cherries
  • Crumble blue cheese over top
  • Add toasted seeds/nuts
  • Toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Protein-Packed Salad Bowl – version 2

  • Place prewashed salad greens (or baby kale, baby spinach, arugula, whatever) in large bowl
  • Add drained canned tuna
  • Add leftover grains from fridge (quinoa and any rice works great in a cold salad)
  • Add chopped cherry tomatoes
  • Add kalamata olives (buy them pitted)
  • Add chopped cucumber
  • Crumble feta cheese over salad
  • Toss with red wine vinegar and olive oil
  • Add a pinch of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

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