It’s been a while since my last food post, but it’s a new year and we have some new plans for healthy eating in 2014! I’m not sure what it is about the holiday season, but a lot of good intentions often take a back seat among holiday parties, family gatherings, travel, and the longer days we put in at the office to take a little more time off work-free at the end of the year. But that’s what makes the holidays fun, right?!
On January 1, we started a couple of new year projects: 1) to do a modified version of the pantry challenge, 2) eat dinner at home at least 5 days per week, and 3) see how much money we can save by doing the above two things. We purchase a lot of our bulk staples at Costco (eggs, coffee, chicken breasts, produce), and plan to fill in between those and what’s typically in our pantry with a few items from the grocery store on a weekly basis. Additionally, we’ve each taken our lunches every day for the last week, and we only ate out twice in the last week – not too shocking that both were local pizza places, including Urban Pi! Seven days in and I think we’ve done REALLY well.
Tonight’s dinner is one that enters the rotation every few weeks because I love salmon, and it’s heart healthy. Win-win, right? Add in roasted red potatoes that I whipped up a couple of months ago on a whim and quickly became one of G’s favorite sides, and our friends Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and you’ve got a delicious and well-balanced meal.
Roasted Red Potatoes
Honestly, developing a delicious dinner is often all about seasonings. I love using herbs and spices in every meal in some way. Thyme adds a lot of flavor to the aforementioned roasted red potatoes. Preheat the oven – with the empty baking sheet inside – to 425 degrees (this works perfectly since I often roast my Brussels sprouts at the same temperature, and the two dishes can share the oven). I start by cutting up red potatoes into small chunks and combining them with a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon of minced garlic, and as much thyme as I want in a large bowl.
Once the oven is pre-heated, remove the baking sheet and pour the potatoes onto it and then shake it a bit to ensure the potatoes spread out. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, flipping them every 10 minutes for even cooking/browning.
Cooking salmon is fairly straightforward for most, especially if you have a grill. Since we live in an apartment, and don’t have a grill, I use our panini maker as a makeshift grill and it works AMAZINGLY well. Other uses include grilling my Spinach-Turkey Sliders and tilapia for fish tacos. For salmon, I simply pre-heat the grill and spray it lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Then I season the fish with salt and pepper, and cook it for about 4 minutes on each side on the grill until is is flaky and cooked through in the middle.
Overall, this meal takes about 10 minutes prep (to cut up the potatoes and brussels sprouts), and then about 30 minutes simultaneous cook time.
Week 2 of our new food plan is shaping up to be just as rewarding as Week 1. I’m pretty sure this challenge will inspire me in the recipe creation department, and we’ll be sure to share the best of those with you!
G’s sister and brother-in-law gave us The Runner’s World Cookbook for Christmas, and we’re excited to try out some of the recipes in it, as well! If you have this cookbook, we’d love to hear what your favorite recipes are!