Spring Break Blues
We skied our hearts out (or at least got in some cruiser half days) and enjoyed soaking up the mountain air and blue skies. Now it’s time to focus on the last couple months of school and plan summer activities. This will be a busy week paying for the relaxation of last week!
I’m making a sheet pan salmon recipe with a grainy Dijon topping. I’ll follow this recipe, but instead of lemon and dill on top, I’ll slather a Dijon sauce on top of the salmon before it bakes. For a whole side of salmon, combine about 1/3 cup grainy or Dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 cup minced parsley (dill would also be delicious here) and a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. If you’re just cooking a couple filets, cut the sauce recipe in half. Serve with a kale salad or mixed green salad and maybe some roasted Brussels or broccoli.
Back to school! And my workout! And work! We have an exciting delivery today — a Peloton! Please send favorite classes and instructor recommendations my way. Tonight I’m making Instant Pot Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. It doesn’t fit into my meatless Monday theme, but I want something that can be prepped ahead and will come together quickly.
It’s my husband’s birthday! Dinner is weeknight Caesar and grilled ribeyes. He asked for smashed potatoes, which are SO GOOD if you haven’t made them. Need to get these on my site, but here’s the recipe. He requested no cake! But I might serve him up a scoop of ice cream instead.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes Serves 4-6
- 1 lb. new or other small waxy potatoes
- 1/2 cup Diamond Crystal or ½ cup Morton kosher salt, plus more
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup sour cream
- Garnish: Tender herbs, such as parsley, dill, chives or cilantro
- Lemon wedges (for serving)
- Place a rack in the center of oven; preheat to 450°. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add kosher salt and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are just cooked through and pierced easily with a fork, about 15 minutes (time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes; be careful not to overcook as they’ll fall apart when smashed). Drain well (I like to let them sit for a few minutes to really make sure they’re dry) and transfer potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet. Let cool slightly.
- Place another rimmed baking sheet on top, then push down firmly to smash potatoes. You could also use the bottom of a mug or measuring cup to smash each one individually. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes, then slide potatoes around on the pan to make sure they are coated; season lightly with salt and black pepper. Roast potatoes until crispy and golden brown, 35–40 minutes.
- Spread sour cream on a large plate or platter. Top with potatoes. Scatter herbs over and serve with lemon wedges.
It’s a busy day cooking and teaching! I’m doing an Instagram Live for a private Facebook called ARC (All Ready Currated). It’s a positive and supportive online community with awesome recommendations for everything and anything — I highly recommend you check it out. And if you join before Wednesday, you can view my free sheet pan dinners class!
Speaking of which, I have a SMART SHEET PAN SUPPERS class the last week of March, check it out! If you’re tired of dishes and too much time and energy spent cooking, this class (with over 20 new recipes) is for you. It will save you during the busy spring season!
Dinner is black bean soup! In the highlights section of my Instagram, I have a step-by-step tutorial for this.
Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other neutral flavored oil, or olive oil will work great too
- ½ onion (any color), chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ tsp coriander
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3 14.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock or water to keep vegetarian)
- 1 4-ounce can mild chopped green chilies
- ½ teaspoon (heaping) chipotle chili paste (or powder), or one chipotle chili from a can (you can freeze the remaining)
- Optional garnishes: Plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, cilantro, radish slices, pickled or fresh jalapeno slices, pico de gallo, salsa or hot sauce.
- In a medium Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and dry spices and stir to combine.
- In a colander, drain and rinse the black beans and shake to remove excess water. Add the beans, tomatoes and their juices and chicken stock to the pot. Add the green chilies and chipotle paste or powder and stir to combine. Let simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Use a handheld immersion blender to thicken the soup (in quick on/off bursts) in a few spots. Stir to combine. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
By the end of the week I’m usually worn out and want a sheet pan dinner to make life (and clean up) extra easy. I’ve been craving my lamb meatballs with herbed yogurt sauce (add some grated and strained cucumber to make it into tzatziki). Add green beans, drained and well-dried garbanzos and cherry tomatoes to the pan for a one-pan wonder! If you don’t feel like mixing up the meatballs, you could use chicken cutlets in this sheet pan dinner and just toss them with a little olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano and salt. Bake until internal temp of the chicken is 165 degrees.
I’m working on some new recipe development today, I love creative days in the kitchen. Let me know if there are any specific types of recipes you’d like to see! For dinner, it’s “come and take it” night. Which is basically leftovers night.
Sunday I have a cooking class with my Smart in the Kitchen School students and we’re making some of my favorite breakfast recipes, including this homemade vanilla almond milk to use in smoothies and my chia seed pudding.
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