This morning after a quick walk and checking out my gardens to see what’s growing.. (the crocuses are having a very lovely Loonnnnnggg season)
I spent some time flipping through my recipe books while having breakfast.
I kept being drawn to recipes requiring ingredients that I didn’t have in the house. Typically i would make a quick trip to pick up those items after work, but…
A) I haven’t been to work in 3 weeks now..
B) I’m doing all I can to stay safe, healthy, #stayhome and
C) I’m trying to use what I have in the house and keep our budget in line. I found a recipe I had clipped out of the Compliments magazine (put out by Sobey’s) a few years ago, but hadn’t tried yet. Here’s a link to their website, where I’ve also picked up some great recipes in the past. Their website is great, you can search for one or two items you may have at hand, and you’ll get great & healthy ideas.
Today’s recipe for One dish Salmon Broccoli au Gratin (<<—link to the original recipe) suggested that it was a good meal to make ahead, freeze, and then either give away to someone you were making a meal for, or save for later. In other words, if you know you’re going away and want to leave some easy meals in the freezer that can be popped straight into the oven.. or in our case, for when I’m back to work, nice to have a few like this that are ready after a long day at work to just pop in the oven. I’m also a part of the meal ministry at church, and always looking for good meal ideas to give away.
Here’s what you need for what I actually made.. (in italics are my changes from the original recipe)
1 5 x 8 baking pan
1 russet potato
garlic clove minced
Handful of sugar snap peas
1 cup frozen broccoli
Clubhouse La Grille Vegetable Seasoning
2 frozen salmon fillets
2 slices of Swiss Cheese
First puncture the potatoes all over with a fork, and microwave for 3-4 min (til soft).. slice and set aside to cool. Once cool, line the bottom of the (sprayed) pan with the potatoes)
Meanwhile, fry up the onion & garlic in oil with S&P, and add the snap peas. (I’m guessing i didn’t need to fry the snap peas, they don’t shed water like the mushrooms that the original recipe called for)
Cool this completely. I put these in the window sill to cool… I needed the window open just to deal with the fried onion smell in the house… woooo weeee!! It smells like a diner in here!
Note the little bowl propping up my plate of fried onions & peas? That’s lettuce I’m growing from a Romaine root. Hoping to pop it in some soil in a week or two once roots form. I have 2 little bowls right now on the window, cut from store bought romaine. So far one little leaf sprout, and more coming.
ok.. back to the recipe.
The frozen broccoli pieces were too big, so i thawed them just enough to cut into smaller pieces, then started layering. First spray the pan, then layer potatoes, peas, fried onions, broccoli.. and here I played with the recipe and added some grated parmesan and the vegetable seasoning.
then the 2 frozen salmon fillets, topped with a slice of swiss cheese each, and wrap in foil with directions on top. Easy peasy! We’ll see how it works out.. if it does well, I may play with this with other vegetables and meat. I’m trying to learn how to cook just enough for 2 ppl one meal, but it’s a struggle somedays. This is a nice small pan that will fit in our toaster oven, saving us from using the big oven.
Directions: Bake uncovered in a preheated 400°F (200°C) oven until the cheese is golden, the salmon flakes with a fork and the vegetables are tender, about 35 min. from frozen or 25 min. if baking from fresh. Let stand 5 min. before serving.
When I pull this out of the freezer sometime soon, I’ll give my grading on whether or not it was a success.
What are you favourite freezer/one pan dinner meals? Do you have tips/tricks? Would love to hear them!
One thing I’m trying to do when I create in the kitchen is start off with a sink full of hot soapy water and clean all my dishes as I go, so I’m not left with a big mess to clean up afterwards. It got me thinking about Forgiveness – a subject our pastor spoke on this past Sunday in “virtual church”. or perhaps Confession is a better analogy.. Keeping close accounts is important.
If we hurt someone, or sin against God, confession and seeking forgiveness RIGHT AWAY is key in order for us to continue on, to be effective in ministry, in relationships, in life. If we keep right on “cooking” and never clean up.. it’s going to get to the point where we have no space or resources left to cook, bake, create, not a pot, pan or measuring spoon to use. All our talents, ministries, relationships, gifts, will be dirty/tainted.. and a lot of work will have to be done before we can start over. And sometimes that pile can be too daunting to look at, and we walk away hoping someone else will clean it up.
Not a perfect analogy, but just one that was going through my mind as I cooked and cleaned this morning.
I’ll leave you with this sweet pic of my mom and aunt, both in their mid eighties having a backyard “social distancing” visit on Sunday afternoon.
This (pandemic) time is very difficult for our seniors, especially those who don’t have access to technology or the know-how to use it. I’m very proud of & thankful for these two, both have Ipads and have “Zoomed” with their families, face-timed, participated in virtual church in the last few weeks, and found ways to still be in touch with loved ones while being safe.
We’ve done a LOT of Zooming & face-timing ourselves, as I’m sure most of you are… so i’m not living in my PJ’s, and still putting makeup on everyday and sometimes attempting to comb my hair. 😏 Pictured is my Guillermo, leading our Life group last night.. These lovely people usually fill our living room on Monday evenings, so instead for now.. we invite them in virtually. Oh! how we miss them, 😥 again thankful for technology that allows us to see each other, study, share and pray together.
How are you adjusting to this time of “social distancing”? Are you sending cards in the mail? ✉️ Making phone calls? ☎️ Face-timing or using Google Hangouts? Zoom meetings? 💻 What can you do? Other ideas? I’d love to hear them!
Oh.. and ps. Nan.. yes, i’d love the rocks. 🙂 Love that you and Pop are going for drives and having window visits too. We look forward to seeing you really soon. xoxo