Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Working Woman Weeknight Dinner

For the past few years, I have been slowly migrating towards something close to a Mediterranean diet. It wasn't intentional in the sense that I read up on the Mediterranean diet and decided we were going there. Rather, it grew out of our experience with the CSA farm in San Juan Capistrano, when we were living at Aspen Meadows. Suddenly, I had a big basket of produce every two weeks...and it was wonderfully fresh and full of flavor. I started cutting down on meat and amping up the vegetables. Somewhere along the way I also fell in love with olive oil.

Brett and I love fish so I've been cooking it at least once a week for a number of years. I used to cook a lot of beef, pork and lamb. I still enjoy it -- once in awhile. Since I've had my gallbladder out, I've had to modify my diet even further. I have trouble digesting meat-and-potatoes type meals. Fried food is out completely. Bread, which I dearly love, isn't a happy thing. Fruits, vegetables and grains are much easier to digest. Small portions work better than large.

The other day on NPR, I heard about the results of a study done, watching a group of women, and what they ate. I think the study started in the 1950s. The women who ate mostly vegetables (with a bit of meat here and there) had a 40% decreased rate of dementia and Alzheimers. Sign me up!

And, of course, there is the whole issue of humanely raised meat. I'm not going to go there in this post, but it is something Brett and I both feel strongly about. We don't want to eat meat (or eggs) from animals who have spent their life in a cage or on a feed lot.

Back to dinner. Fish is a fast and easy weeknight dinner. I stop at a market with a good selection of fresh fish on my way home. I look at what they have and choose something that strikes my fancy -- and looks fresh. This week it was salmon; wild caught King salmon. The salmon season ended recently and the selection is still excellent. For these salmon steaks, I seasoned them with Old Bay and put them under the broiler for three or four minutes per side. I put a piece of foil under them, on the broiler pan, for easy clean up. I put together a salad with field greens, Fuji apple, and blue cheese. A baguette (from the same market) rounded out the meal. I can have this dinner on the table in 20 minutes. Or less.

Bon Appetit!


  1. These posts are great and your eating choices are very smart. Isn't it nice having time to make dinner after work? We eat a lot less meat than we used to and have always been into veggies. Our eggs come from the chickens across the street and we are very much into organic everything. Missed the boat on making our own jam this year...everything at the store is full of corn syrup. Also want to grow organic potatoes next year. Love the new pasture set up. That is quite some property you have!

  2. That's a good looking dinner !

  3. Ah Broiled Salmon - why havent i ever thought of broiling before? I will have to try that! And the whole presentation looks exactly like artwork!

    And you are right, when you move to different locations, it sometimes becomes difficult not only to find fresh food, but to find food that has been organically grown. Sometimes its just finding out the little 'secret' places lol... Humanely raised does happens out here in SE Montana - everything is free range and I can meet the cow before purchase even, yikes...Theres even a rancher that raises organic, grass-only beef...but you need to be able to purchase before they are sent on to the feedlot in Belle Foursche and parts unknown (grass only, no feedlot corn = better for your heart) We only have beef once a week (makes a half last longer in the freezer too :), otherwise its chicken, fish, wild game or veggie - I love using spinach as a subsitute for meat for its protein level. Mike is one of those skinny guys who can eat anything, and in huge quantities, even at age 56. And we both are phyically active daily - so i get frustrated sometimes of making dinners that will fill him up, but keep me heart healthy - thats why I love when you post your "artwork" of dinners !

    We started gardening again this year (use to in WI), and was surprised at what we could grow here with a little spring water - our annual avg. precip is only 18-20 inches, including snow...

    Anyhow, Thank you, Annette! You gave me inspiration for Broiled SALMON!! dinner that can be made quickly and have a nice presentation even if you have been on your feet all day - and its good for you!

  4. I LOVE salmon I love it fresh but it is hard to get here in the middle of Canada when the oceans are so far away but I try my best to find it.
    That feral sure is smart:)
    Your dinner plate does look like art. Hug B

  5. Looks great and I love your way of thinking. You are also blessed to live where you truly can get fresh fish.

  6. Looks delicious Annette! And who doesn't appreciate a quick meal after working all day. I sure do. I'm still getting those fruit/veggie deliveries every other week. I stopped over the summer, but have resumed it again. We eat a lot more fresh produce when we get it in a big bunch and I find I get a lot more creative with things I would normally pass over in the grocery. We did buy a 1/4 beef this year, first time in 17 years and it's very unusual to have so much red meat on hand. The beef was humanely raised, on a grass pasture and is organic. We purchased from friends of ours, so we know their methods. I'm always saddened by the fact that so many people have no idea how those poor animals spend their lives before reaching the dinner table. It just breaks my heart! But like you, I try really hard to eat primarily fresh produce, and limit the meat. But fish, I always forget about that for some reason! Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Good for you , I know you will benefit from this food. Since I choked on a piece of meat at the age of 10, I have never liked to eat it. My husband sometimes cooks meat and I will eat a small piece, just because I appreciate his cooking so much, but we are mostly eating fish because we both like it better. We love olive oil and spinach salads. And I have met a family with chickens here in the canyon, so now we get eggs from them.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.