Friday, November 12, 2010

Roasted Salmon Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Ricotta

Roasted Salmon Stuffed with Spinach, Ricotta, and Feta
recipe from Serves 6

1 (2lb)center cut boneless, skinless salmon fillet
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
1TBSP dijon mustard
1 cup baby spinach, divided
extra virgin olive oil
chopped dill
chopped oregano


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Butterfly salmon fillet through the center so that it lays open flat in one large piece like a book. turn salmon over so the gray underside is facing up and arrange on a clean work surface. In a bowl, mash together ricotta and feta until well blended, then season with salt and pepper.

Season salmon with salt and pepper then spread fillet with dijon mustard and arrange half the spinach over the top leaving a 1 inch border around the edges. Evenly spread the cheese mixture on top of the spinach, then top with the remaining spinach. Starting from one of the long sides, gently roll up the salmon and tie snuggly with cooking twine at 1 inch intervals.

Gently transfer salmon to a greased baking sheet then brush the top with olive oil and season the outside with salt and pepper. Scatter the dill and oregano over the top and sides and roast until just cooked through.

Okay so as you can see, I don't follow directions very well. I forgot to buy twine, so I have to do it a different way. I also used a smaller fillet and thus a smaller amount of all of the ingredients. I also used reduced fat ricotta and feta. Salmon is fatty enough by itself, and last time I checked, there is not any reduced fat salmon on the market. Salmon does however have the omega 3 fatty acids so it is still a healthy food. And really yummy!

End Result: It was really yummy! I may have overcooked it a tad. I am not a professional chef. Did I mention that? But it wasn't too too overcooked. It was still quite good. I served mine with some brown rice and broccoli because my 5 year old will eat rice, and my 3 year old picked out the broccoli at the store. So really you can serve this with whatever you want.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Minestrone Stir Fry

One of my goals for this "deployment" is to try a new recipe each week. My criteria for the weekly recipe is that it must be healthy and something I would not typically make. I also aim to only use fresh produce and herbs when possible. Hopefully after 52 weeks of this I will have a handful of healthy meals that we have discovered we actually like!
Week 1: Minestrone Stir Fry (found on serves 4
~The Recipe~
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped, peeled eggplant
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp dried italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato juice or vegetable broth
1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta
1 cup chopped spinach
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/2 tsp salt

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add eggplant, celery, bell peppers, onions, carrots, italian seasoning, fennel seeds, chile flakes, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes adding a little water to prevent sticking. Add tomatoes and tomato juice and continue to cook for 3 minutes longer. Add pasta, basil, and spinach and salt and cook 1-2 minutes longer to heat through.

***My thoughts***
I gave my youngest a plastic kids knife and my 5 year old a butter knife to help chop the veggies. They love helping me cook and when there is actual prep work involved like preparing veggies instead of just dumping a box of macaroni in a pot, it can create a really nice experience of working together and cameraderie in the kitchen.
I told my girls that all great "cookers" (Shea's term) taste test their food. I was shocked when my girls who tend to be insanely picky, taste tested each vegetable! My kids are seriously the pickiest kids I have EVER met. Most foods that people consider kid friendly are not MY kid friendly. Thats how picky they are. So just having them taste test each of the raw veggies they were chopping made tonight a success.
I then followed the recipe and it was very easy and fast to make! Once it was cooked, Bethany wanted no part of it, but Shea actually ate a few spoonfuls of it. It didn't taste bad at all. The flavor was just fine. I didn't love it, but I may just need to get used to this healthier fare.