Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dinner #2

Ok so as many of you know...I don't know how to cook. Ok maybe it's not that I don't know HOW to cook. I have cooked before. It's more that I don't have the patience to cook. I would rather bake and I would rather run a mile and I'd rather just have ice cream for dinner :-)

Either way, I realize I NEED to cook. I want Ty & Tabor to enjoy my cooking and I want to eat healthy meals. SO...I asked Sarah to help me out.

I am currently enrolled in the Sanders Institute of Culinary Arts or SICA ha

Anyway, Sarah has given me a few assignments and I've currently completed 2 out of 4. I'll blog about #1 as soon as I get the pics uploaded.

For now I'll update everyone on meal #2 and await my grade under the comments. Yes you will all know my grade...gulp.

Ok for meal #2 I made Pesto Salmon with rice & asparagus and thank you Flo for the fruit plate that served as our yummy dessert.

Makes: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1 fillet and 1/3 c rice
Note: This recipe assumes rice is already cooked

2 c fresh spinach leaves
1/2 c basil leaves
1/4 c fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Cooking spray
2 (6 oz) salmon fillets, skinned
2/3 c hot cooked brown rice

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process until the mixture is smooth. Spoon 3 tablespoons pesto into bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with salmon fillets, and spread fillets with remaining pesto.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.

Ok the challenges:
- I have no idea how to skin salmon
- I tripled the recipe because I cooked for 5 adults and wanted 1 leftover for Ty's lunch. SO I needed a LOT of Basil and my mom's basil plant has seen better days so my dad went to the store (thanks dad!) and bought 2 more basil plants. :-) I completely destroyed one (looking back I probably should've taken leaves from both instead of just one) Anyway, I am going to water them both and see if they grow.

The sad little Basil plant:

- Dad also had to go get more Spinach because mine had wilted and I had only bought enough for 1 recipe.
- I used white rice instead of brown
- I made my own asaparagus concoction. I put them in foil and added butter, olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper and baked them alongside the salmon for about 30min.

The verdict:
- Everyone loved it!

Ok Chef Sarah grade me!


  1. Looks great!
    OK here's how I score it...
    (-1) If you're trying to eat healthy, I recommend a little less rice (and I see bread = empty carbs!). Carbs are good in small portions. If you need more food, try extra protein and veggies (aka fish and asparagus).
    (+1) Adding a fruit plate. Yum!
    (-1) Needing to go back to the store for more ingredients.
    (+1) Using plants instead of buying loose leaf which is super expensive.
    (+1) You tried something new.
    (+1) Everyone liked it!

    So the final score? You get an A!!
    I can't wait to "grade" your next assignments. :) Good job!

  2. good job danielle. if you are in LA.... do you remember the beautiful fish shop?

  3. Ok, so I have come to the conclusion that SICA is a healthy culinary academy (which is awesome - I'm going to steal the recipes) but you could have added a "little" Parmesan cheese to the pesto (it is a hard cheese therefore, lower in fat) and a few pine nuts (which would add some fiber). I know, that may defeat the purpose of making a "healthy" meal but I guess I'm a pesto purist!! :)

    All kidding aside, I give you an A+++ (I know you well so anytime you prepare something besides cake and ice cream for dinner you deserve A LOT of credit) Yay for Chef Danielle!! (and teacher Sarah - I love you both!)

  4. I am with Marlene, I was so confused how that is pesto without the nuts and the cheese...hmmmm....have fun cooking though! Good for you! Oh, and in case you are out of spinach, zucchini works really well as a filler in pesto if you don't have enough basil. I miss you!