If you are what you eat, I’m a large bag of shredded broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and dried cranberries coated in a sweet & tangy poppyseed dressing. And a half-empty bottle of Sauza.
Because life is all about balance.
Now that school and soccer practice is back, I’m finding myself short on time and energy in the evenings and have been putting some of our favorite quick & easy dinners back into heavy rotation and relying on the “cook once-eat three dinners” method. We’ll be sharing some of those new quick & healthy recipes with y’all in the next few weeks.
Because it only takes, like, 9.37 minutes to make, “Spicy” Honey-Glazed Salmon shoots to the top of the list, as does anything I can make with the two bags of Salad Chicken (or Purse Chicken, if you’re Erica) I always have in the fridge.
Both of those are excellent candidates to top the bag of my latest obsession, the Sweet Kale Salad that my friend Shannon introduced me to from Costco.
And it’s a legit obsession. I bought 3 bags yesterday. Each bag will expire inside of a week. And there’s absolutely zero chance that they even last that long.
The poppyseed salad dressing that comes in the salad kit is too high fat/high sugar for my 1500-calorie, 45-30-25 half-marathon nutrition plan so I extend the dressing with some skim milk, fat-free Greek yogurt, and some cider vinegar (as noted in the recipe below). The dressing goes farther and I can use more.
But most importantly: dinner is on the table in 14.68 minutes.
Salmon & Sweet Kale Salad
A quick, halfway homemade dinner starring the Sweet Kale Salad Mix from Costco.
1 bag Sweet Kale Salad Kit (found at Costco in the cold produce room)
1 pack of poppyseed dressing from the salad kit (it comes with 2)
1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Open the salad kit and empty the greens and the packet of cranberries and pumpkin seeds into a very large bowl. (If you are going to eat all 4 servings within the next 48 hours, make the entire salad. If not, make half now, half later.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the poppyseed dressing, yogurt, milk, cider vinegar, and a tiny pinch of salt.
Add the dressing to the greens and toss until completely coated.
Let sit 15 minutes and then serve topped with salmon or chicken.
10 years ago, if you’d told me that I’d move to the far west, cookie-cutter suburbs of Houston and judge most of the restaurants frequent-visit list by the quality of their playground and not necessarily the food, I might have laughed in your face.
Probably would have, actually. All those margaritas I made with Mrs Ts neon-green bottled mix would have no-doubt left me pretty giggly.
But here we are 10 years later. In the far west, cookie-cutter suburbs of Houston. And we judge most of the restaurants that we frequently visit by the presence of a playground, the quality of said playground, and lastly: the food.
One of those restaurants shoots to the top of that list simply because of the playground. Because why else would anyone pay more for average TexMex when you can get better, for less?
But we have a 4 year old with endless amounts of squeals and climb-up-the-slide energy. And they have free ice cream and a covered playground smack-dab in the middle of the cookie-cutter suburbs. They are, as you can imagine, raging successful.
And sometimes being able to talk over a bowl of chips and green sauce on a patio while The Little plays 20 feet away is totally worth it. So you pick your battles. And I made peace with it once I discovered their Fish Tacos with double Cucumber-Mango salsa. Because the fresh, crunchy, and sweet salsa has been the best thing I’ve tasted there.
At home, we ditch the oily coleslaw and heavy chipotle mayo that comes on the restaurant version in favor of keeping it light and simple: chile-lime grilled fish, thin slices of avocado, cucumber-mango salsa, and whatever crumbled cheese I have (queso fresco or goat cheese).
Fresh, bright, light, and flavorful. And if we had a rocking playground like that our backyard, we’d never have to go back.
Grilled Chile-Lime Fish Tacos with Cucumber-Mango Salsa
Flaky white fish seasoned with chile and lime is topped with a sweet, fresh scoop of cucumber and mango salsa and queso fresco.
For the fish:
1 lb tilapia
1 lime, cut into wedges
Chile powder (I used chipotle)
1/2 cup diced mango
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Crumbled cheese (queso fresco or goat cheese)
Preheat your grill to medium-high.
Squeeze a couple of lime wedges over the fish and then season both sides with salt, pepper, and dust with chile powder.
When the grill is heated, lightly spray/brush the filets with olive oil and cook for ~4 minutes each side.
In a medium bowl, stir together the mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno with a pinch of salt and the juice from 1-2 lime wedges (to taste).
Squeeze the remaining limes over the fish when it comes off the grill.
Flake the fish into large bite-sized pieces and serve on tortillas topped with a generous scoop of salsa and crumbled cheese.
I have lost track of the number of pineapples we’ve grilled in the last two months. But that number shot up last week when they were .99 each. Because you know me and how I love to hoard a good produce sale.
If you’ve never grilled a pineapple, let me tell you what you’re missing out on. First, a fresh pineapple is so much more flavorful, vibrantly-colored, and crisper than canned pineapple. Give a sweet, yellow round to the grill and you get back a round of caramelized, lightly charred, smokey perfection that you can do anything with.
Sweet, smokey pineapple. Spicy salmon and weapons-grade jalapenos. Crunchy kale and red onions. A supposed-to-be-cooling-but-not-really-because-that-jalapeno-was-just-way-too-&^%$#@!-hot dollop of Greek yogurt.
A healthy, satisfying lunch… or at least it will be when my face stops burning.
Spicy Salmon and Grilled Pineapple Wrap
Leftover salmon goes lunch with smokey, grilled pineapple and cool, crunchy veggies.