Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Mighty Salad / A Tragic Loss

I put Adam and myself on a meat-reduced diet.

We are chicken, pork, and steak folk up in here. In that order too. We have chicken the most. Followed by pork, and then the occasional steak or beef stew. We are also hardcore into a serving of veggies and a starch with this meat. It works for us.

However in an effort to expand our culinary horizons, I decided that for at least three days each week - we will not have meat with our dinner. At least not the trifecta of meat we are used to. In my mind sometimes one of these meals can be pasta, or sometimes fish, and then something vegetarian-y or vegan-y and that rounds out our three meatless dinners a week.

Last night, since they had some GORGEOUS salmon at Stop and Shop. And I love love love salmon. Guess what we had for dinner?

Wanting to experiment with different ways of serving it, and using a Sandra Lee recipe as a jumping off point, I decided to serve it atop a delicious and hearty salad. You see, dinner is my main meal of the day. For breakfast I usually have a Fiber One bar and maybe some yogurt. And I cannot abide a "real" lunch during the work day. I am usually too busy to go out and am never hungry enough to have leftovers from dinner the night before. So lately I have been getting a multigrain bagel from Dunks in the morning with my coffee and having that for lunch. Or a slim fast meal replacement bar and some almonds. So dinner is my big meal of the day and it needs to be a good one!

Anywho, this is a salad for non -salad eaters. It is super hearty, super tasty and as all salads are easy to throw together.

Spicy Salmon and Rice Salad
1 lb salmon
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning (or whatever spicy seasoning you like!)
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
a few roasted red peppers (from a jar), chopped
1/2 a can of black beans, rinsed and drained.
balsamic vinegar and olive oil (or whatever dressing you like)

It's easy enough - just brush some oil on both sides of your salmon filet, sprinkle the seasoning on and grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes a side or until it flakes easily. Chop roughly and set aside to cool

Combine the lettuce, rice, peppers and black beans in a bowl. Toss with dressing. Throw salmon on top. Et voila!

The rice mixed in gives the salad a nice hearty quality and the perky peppers and smoky black beans really compliment the spicy salmon. It was a homerun in our house!

On a somber note: last night we lost a good friend. Living in an apartment does not lend itself to grilling. And Adm and I both love to grill but we resigned ourselves to a grill free existence in our apartment building. Sigh.

Five years ago, something came into our life that fixed our grill-less living situation and we were better people for it.

The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill.

With this, we were able to enjoy all of our favorite grilled foods from the comforts of our apartment and with little to no smoke (and fat).

It's handy dial made it virtually impossible to overcook dinner.

We used it quite often - sometimes every day in the summer. And it was nice in the winter to get the taste and fun of cooking out even while the snow was blowing outside.

But alas our time with the grill, as all good things, came to an end abruptly last night. When I went to plug in the grill and one of the prongs came off in my hand.

RIP Buddy. We will be replacing this weekend but know that our new grill will never have the same place in our hearts that you did.

(Cue the song "Through the Years")

Through the years, you've never let me down

You turned my life around, the sweetest days Ive found

I've found with you ... through the years

Ive never been afraid, Ive loved the life we've made

And I'm so glad Ive stayed, right here with you

Through the years


Suz said...

Salad looks great, tear for the grill. I experienced similar pangs when my blender finally bit it this summer. RIP fabulous kitchen appliances . . .

Dan said...

My is a vegetarian, so I cook lots of meat-free meals. There's lots of great recipes to choose from. Online 101 Cookbooks is great resource.

Also, the sweet potato is your friend.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for a good salmon recipe - think I will make this salad over the weekend. Thanks! (PS My sympathies for your grilling loss)

J said...

My condolences.

My BF and I are trying to eat less meat too and at least one meal with beans this week. So far it's much easier than I thought, although it's tough not to fall into a pasta rut.

Sarah said...

SUZ - I killed a blender last summer. Apparently they are not supposed to smell like smoke while you blend!

Dan - Thanks for the heads up about 101 cookbooks. And I love sweet potatoes!

Steph - enjoy!

J - I know, pasta is just so easy and available!!

Mandy said...

As in, the part that actually plugs into the outlet? If so, you can replace that. Just buy a new plug at the hardware store--you can cut the old plug off and splice the new one on. I did it with a lamp. Directions here:

Sarah said...

Wow I didnt know that could be done!

Unfortunately the prong that broke off was the prong on the grill itself, not the one on the end of the cord that plugs into the wall. Thanks for trying to help though!

didi lala said...

Glad I really had 'through the years' in my head as i looked at all that glorious meat! lol