Roast Salmon and Broccoli with Chile-Caper Vinaigrette


Back from vacation and looking forward to cooking up a storm this summer. We had an amazing time in Isla Mujeres, Mexico and I will be posting a recap sometime soon. Such a special little island – the food was spectacular. I had fresh fish almost every day (ceviche – my favorite!) and was so, so happy. But now it’s back to real life and cooking my own food …

Speaking of which, this is one of my favorite ONE PAN meals – everything goes on one pan for easy cooking and clean-up. Got to love that. The vinaigrette makes the dish; it is bright (rice vinegar), salty (capers), and spicy (jalapeno) and all together delicious.


Roast Salmon and Broccoli with Chile-Caper Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Slightly adapted, Bon Appetit
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • S/P
  • 4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds removed, sliced into rings)
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tsp. agave (or honey)
  • 2 tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. drained capers
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss broccoli and 2 tbsp. olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with S/P. Roast broccoli, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 12 minutes.
  2. Rub salmon with 1 tbsp. oil; season with S/P. Push broccoli to edges of the baking sheet and place salmon in the center. Roast until the salmon is opaque and broccoli tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the jalapeno, scallion, agave, and vinegar in a bowl and let sit until jalapeno is slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Mix in the capers and the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil; season with S/P. Serve salmon hot drizzled with the vinaigrette.

Creamy Shells with Tuna & Spinach

A twist on traditional pasta shells – instead of filling with ricotta and baking with marinara, these star spinach and tuna with a creamy sauce and breadcrumbs. Really delicious and go great with a green salad and whole wheat pita bread to dip in the sauce. Because dipping should be mandatory, of course.

Creamy Shells with Tuna & Spinach
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Adapted, Martha Stewart
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 6
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • S/P
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tuna, drained/flaked
  • 12 oz. jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to pkg. instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, and cook until slightly thickened and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Season with S/P and let sauce cool slightly.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and red-pepper flakes in a large bowl. Take out 1/2 of the breadcrumb mixture and set aside. Add the spinach, tuna, and half the white sauce to the breadcrumbs in the large bowl. Season with S/P.
  3. Fill each shell with heaping spoonfuls of the tuna mixture and place in a 4.8 quart baking dish (15×2 inch). Top with the remaining sauce and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 minutes.
Make sure to prep your ingredients for the sauce before you begin – you have to stir constantly so you need all ingredients ready for you.



Mojo de Ajo Seared Scallops with Asparagus


Want to create a special meal? Something extremely delicious that looks beautiful plated? Giant sea scallops are one of my favorite ingredients for doing just that. They are delicate, tender, and sweet, and go with just about anything. Serve them over creamy risotto, pasta, or vegetables. Or just serve them alone with some type of sauce to accompany.

Cooking large sea scallops is actually very easy and super quick. The major mistakes people tend to make are overcooking scallops or fiddling with them so they never brown. I like to use a non-nonstick skillet, such as a cast iron, for almost all my seafood because I’ve found it produces a much better browned, crispy crust on delicate meat and doesn’t stick if you oil it well. But, you can use any skillet or pan to cook scallops – the key is to heat the oil/butter, plop them in and LEAVE them alone. Don’t fiddle or smash down with the spatula – turn once and that’s it. 🙂


Mojo de Ajo Seared Scallops with Asparagus
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Q&DK
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic (about 8 large cloves)
  • Juice from two limes
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, washed & trimmed
  • S/P
  • 1.5 pounds large sea scallops
  • Red pepper or other vegetables to garnish
  1. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook for about 20 minutes until the garlic is soft and pale brown. Add the lime juice and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. This is the mojo de ajo sauce.
  2. Place the asparagus in a large skillet (with a lid) and add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water (depending on the skillet size); alternatively, use a steam basket. Skillet steam the asparagus by bringing the water to a simmer and closing the lid. Steam to your desired degree of doneness – I like my asparagus crisp-tender. Remove from heat and plate.
  3. Rinse and pat dry the scallops. Season with S/P. Add 2 tbsp. of the mojo de ajo oil (not the garlic solids) to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the scallops to the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side, drizzling a little more oil over the scallops if needed. Turn and cook another 2 minutes or until done. Scallops are done when they are just turning opaque in the center and are firm to the touch. Place over asparagus, drizzle with olive oil, season with S/P, and serve immediately.


I just barely add enough water to create steam and then close the lid - cooked to a perfect tender crisp in a few minutes.
I just barely add enough water to create steam and then close the lid – cooked to a perfect tender crisp in a few minutes.



Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets

skillet fish

It can be really easy to overcook fish and really difficult to get a nice brown crust, but once you learn this simple technique you will always cook beautiful fillets. This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated (the cooking geniuses), is complete in under 15 minutes, and will become a go-to technique for delicious fish.

To make this work, you need a thick fillet (thin pieces cook too fast) and a dusting of sugar that quickly produces a brown exterior while maintaining a moist and tender interior.  Don’t worry, the sugar will not sweeten the fish. You will also need an ovenproof skillet – I use my cast-iron skillet.  Thick, meaty fillets like cod, halibut, or red snapper work best.

Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets
Author: Cook’s Illustrated
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4
  • 4 skinless white fish fillets, at least 1 inch thick
  • S/P
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 425 degrees. Dry fish thoroughly with paper towels and season with S/P. Sprinkle a very light dusting of sugar (1/8 tsp.) evenly over 1 side of each fillet.
  2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat until smoking. Place fillets, sugared sides down, and press down lightly to ensure even contact with the pan. Cook until browned, about 1 minute.
  3. Using 2 spatulas carefully flip the fillets and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast fillets until centers are just opaque and register 135 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to serving plates and serve with lemon wedges.



15-minute Coconut Salmon Soft Tacos

coconut salmon tacos

Hello! Meet your new favorite, quick and easy weeknight meal. You might be tired and busy, but with only a handful of ingredients and 15 minutes and you have a bright and tasty dinner on the table. Serve with some rice and beans on the side and!

This recipe doesn’t contain any actual coconut – you simply cook the salmon with coconut oil and you end up with a nice coconut-infused crust. If you don’t dig coconut (oh no!), simply cook with olive or canola oil. I use Earth Balance’s coconut oil blend, but any variety should work fine.

Also, tricks for getting the nice seared crust on a fillet of fish – first, once you plop the fillet in a hot skillet don’t mess with the it until you are ready to flip and don’t use a nonstick skillet if you want a good crust (I always use my cast iron for fish).

salmon tacos1

15-minute Coconut Salmon Soft Tacos
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Q&DK
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 5-6 oz. each), skinless
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (I use an Earth Balance coconut oil blend)
  • Soft taco tortillas
  • Suggested toppings: cilantro, lettuce, scallions, tomatoes, sour cream, lime or lemon for squeezing
  1. Heat a large skillet on high heat and add 2 tbsp. coconut oil/coconut oil blend. Once the oil is hot, swirl it around the pan and add the salmon fillets. Lower the heat to medium-high. Cook for about four minutes until nicely seared – don’t move or mess with the salmon if you want a nice crust – then flip and cook another 4 minutes on that side. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Using a fork, flake the salmon into bite-size pieces and fill tortillas with salmon and your desired toppings.

salmon tacos