New year new you. Right?
So let's get right down to it: If healthy eating is complicated and time-consuming, we will lose interest before Valentine's day has arrived. That's why sheet-pan salmon suppers are so terrific—they take minutes to make, and yet the healthy fats in salmon are filling. Today's recipe features salmon alongside super-quick-cooking asparagus, which tastes sweet and less grassy when roasted. This incredibly simple recipe will start off the 2017 menu rotation right.
Sheet-pan suppers are perfectly quick for weeknight eating, and versatile enough that you can swap out ingredients to match your tastes and your fridge. Don't have salmon? Use sea bass or cod, no problem. Just pay attention to the cook times, particularly as you swap out veggies—you may need to pre-cook hardier vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. (Tip: you can do a quick microwave steam to par-cook slower-cooking ingredients like potatoes before placing them on the sheet-pan.) You can even use frozen fish fillets for this recipe if you add a little cooking time (use an instant meat thermometer to check for doneness).
Since my daughter is gluten-sensitive, I use almond flour for a bit of bread-less breaded texture on top of the salmon, but feel free to use crunchy panko breadcrumbs if you prefer. Herbes de Provence is my go-to dried herb blend, and it can be found now in most well-stocked grocery stores, and is a worthy little splurge. Otherwise, use a mix of dried oregano, marjoram and thyme and the results will still be delicious.
A final weeknight strategy: you can prep this whole dinner ahead of time on your sheet tray and stick it in the fridge. Then, when you get home, pop the whole thing into the oven for a dinner that is even faster than microwaving a frozen lasagna. You'll save both time and calories, and who couldn't use that in 2017?
EASIEST SHEET PAN SALMON
Start to finish: 20 minutes
4 fillets salmon, skin removed, about 5 ounces each
1/3 cup almond flour or almond meal (can substitute panko bread crumbs)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence (or dried oregano or thyme)
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch of asparagus, cleaned and trimmed, about 1 pound
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
lemon wedges for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pat the salmon dry gently with a paper towel.
On a small plate, mix the almond flour, herbs, garlic, lemon zest, half the salt, and pepper with a fork until well-blended. Sprinkle or brush the lemon juice even on top of the salmon fillets. Dip the top of the salmon fillets into the almond flour crumbs, gently pressing them into the top of the fillets, evenly dividing the almond flour and herb mixture among the fillets. Place the fillets on the sheet pan. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil and remaining salt. Place around the salmon fillets. Cook until salmon reaches 135 internal temperature and asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
Nutrition information per serving: 293 calories; 133 calories from fat; 15 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 78 mg cholesterol; 357 mg sodium; 8 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 33 g protein.
Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."