Friday, July 15, 2011

Easy, Elegant Dinner

Grilled Salmon over Lentil Salad with Winter Squash

I have certain items in my repertory that I always have on hand so I can whip up a dinner quickly and inexpensively.  I had planned to serve peas and grilled cherry tomatoes with my salmon last night when, to my horror, I discovered I was out of cherry tomatoes.  Time for Plan B.

I had frozen winter squash in the freezer and lentil salad in the fridge.  I think salmon and lentils are a great combination.  And the winter squash completes the picture of a delicious dinner that's appealing to the eye.

Winter Squash: My Go-To

Bird's Eye frozen winter squash is my replacement for potatoes.  They're like orange mashed potatoes - and look really good on the plate, not to mention delicious.  A package costs under $2 and I get sides for two dinners out of each package.  I just cut down the middle, take half, and reseal the package and return it to the freezer for future use.  I chop up the half I'm using into small squares, put in a dish and microwave for 4 - 5 minutes.  I stir it up a few times during the 5 minutes.  All microwaves are different so keep an eye on it.  There are 45 calories per 1/2 cup serving and zero fat.  They contain calcium and only 2 grams of sugar.  I have winter squash and packages of frozen peas and spinach in the freezer all the time.  These products are under $2 each and are good for at least two dinners.  (The peas are good for several.)

As always, I pre-heat the cast iron skillet for a good 10  - 12 minutes over a medium flame.  The pan is so well seasoned that I only put extra virgin olive oil on the fish itself along with salt and pepper.  Cook for two minutes each side.

Let the salmon rest for a few minutes under foil

Make a bed of the room temperature Lentil Salad

Perfectly Charred on both sides

At under $10 this salmon dinner is downright elegant - and takes minutes to prepare.  Bon appétit!

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