Quick & Easy

School Night Eats: Salmon & Sweet Kale Salad

by Shawnda on September 12, 2014

in Lighter & Healthier,Quick & Easy,Salads,Salmon,Seafood

Salmon and Sweet Kale Salad

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.

Salmon and Sweet Kale Salad

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.

Salmon and Sweet Kale Salad

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.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Sweet Kale Salad Kit (found at Costco in the cold produce room)
  • 4 servings of the protein of your choice (highly recommend "Spicy" Honey-Glazed Salmon)
  • To extend the dressing:
  • 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
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. 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.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the poppyseed dressing, yogurt, milk, cider vinegar, and a tiny pinch of salt.
  3. Add the dressing to the greens and toss until completely coated.
  4. Let sit 15 minutes and then serve topped with salmon or chicken.
  5. Store leftovers covered, for up to two days.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

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My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

Since I started training for the half marathons on my calendar later this year, I’ve been (mostly) trying(ish) to keep my nutrition in check. That just means aiming for a better balance of calories, eating 6-10 servings of veggies and fruit a day, and eating more chicken breast at lunch than I have in my entire life.

My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

Aside from losing 10lbs in 8 weeks (because let’s be honest – that’s the most important part to me), that’s… actually it. I have nothing more to add to that statement. Like I said – for me, it’s the most important part of running :)

For lunch, I’ve developed a love for chopped salads (picking from the myriad of veggies I now have to keep on hand to make 6-10 servings a day) topped with grilled chicken. But not just plain ol’ grilled chicken – because that *&^% got old on day 3. Instead, I top my salads with Mojo-Brined Chicken.

My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

Now, don’t let the word “brine” scare you. You probably just flashed on an old episode of Good Eats that involved a special bucket or a cooler, loads of ice, and a turkey the size of your 4 year-old.

NOPE.

To brine this chicken, we’re talking about a pie plate, a gallon freezer bag, a cup of water, and a tablespoon of salt. THAT’S IT. It’s a quick and small recipe that yields an insanely not-boring, juicy chicken breast flavored with citrus and garlic inspired by Cuban mojo sauce.

My Favorite Salad Chicken: Mojo Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

I pick up one of those gigantic, 5-6lb value trays of chicken breast that always seem to be on sale, throw the brine together on Saturday night/Sunday morning, and then grill them all at once on Sunday afternoon (when we’re sure to already have the grilled fired up) to have for lunches all week.

It’s by far the best part of every salad I make.

Mojo-Brined Chicken

Grilled, juicy chicken breasts marinated in a mojo-inspired brine of oranges, garlic, and oregano.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 small valencia oranges (juice from both oranges, the zest from 1)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Instructions

  1. Lightly pound the chicken breast to an even thickness.
  2. Place in a gallon zip-top bag with the remaining ingredients: orange juice, orange lest, lime juice, garlic, oregano, water, and salt.
  3. Seal the bag after pressing out the extra air and squeeze it a few times to mix the brine.
  4. Place in a pie plate (or other walled-dish to prevent a fridge disaster should your bag spring a leak) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I typically do it overnight).
  5. Heat your grill to medium-high, remove chicken from marinade, and grill ~6 minutes on each side.
  6. Let stand for ~10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Yields: ~6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 4 hours 30 minutes

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Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

I hope you get a chance to thank a serviceman or woman this Memorial Day weekend. And buy them a drink.

Because there’s no such thing as too much appreciation when it comes to our veterans and service people.
Our freedoms aren’t by any means free. And without those fine folks, life would look a whole lot different to most of us.

Thank you to my cousin Justin, who has retired into a career of protecting and serving the good people of Sulphur Springs, Texas. And thank you to my brother-in-law Chris. And thanks to Jason’s cousin’s husbands (whew!) Scott and Daniel for their current and continued service. And let’s not forget the big, fat, gigantic “I just don’t know how you ladies do it but I’m sure glad you do” to Amanda and Sarah.

And a shout out to the heavens to my Uncle Sam and PaPaw.

We’re spending the early part of our weekend celebrating a PreK-4 soccer season with swimming and some truly (truly truly!) outrageous, fudgey brownies. Then on Monday, we’ll head over and let Landry plant a flag on my PaPaw’s grave.

Have a safe and thank-filled Memorial Day weekend, friends!

Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

Dense, fudgey, and incredibly rich brownies studded with triple chocolate cookie dough and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • Baking spray
  • 1 18.3 oz brownie mix + required ingredients (oil, eggs, and water) or your favorite brownie recipe that can be baked in a 13x9
  • 1 lb triple chocolate cookie dough (I used Specially Selected brand from Aldi)
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (or the temperature at which your favorite brownie recipe bakes).
  2. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with baking spray.
  3. Mix your brownie recipe according to package/recipe directions.
  4. Add the chocolate chips to the batter.
  5. If pre-formed, chop the cookie dough balls into quarters and run the mixer for 5-10 seconds to distribute into the batter (if spooning from a bowl, drop by small spoonfuls into the batter and then mix well).
  6. Spread the dough evenly into the baking pan and bake until the center is set and a knife inserted into the center comes out with very moist crumbs - this was 10 minutes over the baking time recommended by the mix I used.
  7. Let brownies cool completely to set.
  8. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.

Notes

Yields: 20-24 servings, based on size cut

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

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Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade and Goat Cheese

When I look at The Four Year Old and tell her that we’re having salmon for dinner, she gets this hopeful look on her face and asks: Cooked salmon?

The disappointment is instantaneous when I tell her yes, I will in fact be cooking the salmon first. I was 22 when I had sushi for the first time. Landry? Wielding chopsticks since around 2.

When April’s HEB Primo Picks arrived, I made a beeline for the Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade, a flavorful sauce studded with chunks of red peppers. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it: pour it into a small ramekin, top with a some goat cheese rounds, pop it into the oven until it was bubbly perfection, and call it mine.

(Disclosure: I also made a beeline for the Multigrain Smoked Gouda Chips. Total domination. Those guys didn’t stand a smokey, crunchy chance against me and that bowl of Strawberry Salsa.)

Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade and Goat Cheese

Instead, I opted to share. A cold slab of salmon and crumbly, tangy goat cheese were calling. A 7-minute trip through the broiler was all it took to transform 3 ingredients into a fabulous main dish.

It’s hard for even The Four Year Old to be disappointed in dinner when it’s that delicious.

Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade and Goat Cheese

As for the giveaway, HEB has set aside a collection of their Primo Picks to be delivered to a lucky reader. And I have set aside a $50 gift card (HEB or Amazon, your choice!) to be delivered to that same lucky reader.

The winner is… Heather with comment #88. Thanks for playing!

To enter the giveaway, answer this question in the comments below: What is your favorite way to prepare salmon?

My 4-year-old will answer: sushi.
My husband will answer: sushi.
I will answer: do I really just have to choose one?

You can earn up to 4 extra entries by:
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow us on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow HEB on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow the blog’s Instagram feed.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow HEB on Pinterest.

(Bonus entries must be left as separate comments to count as extra entries – your comment number is your “raffle ticket.”)

The fine print:
– Maximum of four (5) entries per person.
– Giveaway ends at midnight (Texas time, y’all) on Friday, May 2nd.
– Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generator thingies and announced on this post.
– Winners will receive a selection of HEB Primo Picks from HEB.
– Winner will receive their choice of a $50 HEB Gift Card or a $50 Amazon e-Card (maximum retail value of prize = $50).
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Winning “extra entry” comments subject to verification.
– Prize can only be shipped to a US address.
– Official giveaway rules can be found here.

Salmon With Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade & Goat Cheese

Broiled salmon topped with red pepper tapenade and tangy goat cheese - dinner is on the table in 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 4 6-oz salmon filets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • HEB Red Pepper Tapenade
  • Crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler and line a pan with foil.
  2. Lightly spray/drizzle olive oil onto the foil.
  3. Place the salmon filets on the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Lightly spray/drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Broil for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Top each filet with a generous spoonful of tapenade and some goat cheese.
  7. Return to broiler for 1-2 minutes, until cheese begins to brown.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and baby-Elmo-clogged-toilets are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 3 locations within a 5 mile radius.

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