salmon lettuce wraps

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so good and good for you

We eat salmon at least once or twice a week and it’s usually pan fried to get a bit of a caramelized crust on the fish, seasoned with just a bit of salt & pepper.  This time instead of serving it alongside stir fried veggies, I decided to try it in a lettuce wrap. Creamy avocado, crunchy tangy cucumbers and carrots, and warm caramelized salmon, all wrapped up in a tender lettuce leaf – pretty delicious! I think this might be my new favourite!  Boston bib lettuce is not a lettuce I normally buy (it’s in a huge plastic clamshell and I always think it’s expensive!) – but it really does make a difference to use this type of lettuce because it is soft and pliable but still has a nice crunch along the middle stem part. It does make for a very nice vessel for the ingredients inside and holds up without ripping or tearing mid-bite.

If your kids are like mine, they like to see what they are eating! (Especially piepie, no mixing for her…) – this meal is easy for that and suits the kiddie divided plates perfectly.

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after seeing me take a picture of the above wrap…piepie reminds me “I don’t want mine all mixed up together mom”

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of course once piepie wanted it separate…so did boss…

You can definitely use store bought pickles or pickled veggies, but it honestly takes one minute to make your own quick pickled veggies and they still maintain a vibrant raw vegetable appearance. These homemade leftover pickled veggies are great to top off salads or other dishes for another day – it will stay good in the fridge for about a week.

prep: 15 min    cook: 15 min    yield: 4

what you need:

  • salmon filet (enough to serve 4, about 12 ounces)
  • grapeseed oil
  • 3 mini cucumbers
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 cup or so white vinegar
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 jalapeno *optional
  • salt and pepper
  • small handful of cilantro
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 avocados
  • boston bibb lettuce
  • 1 lemon

what to do:

  1. Carefully remove one large lettuce leaf at a time, wash and allow to dry on a clean dish towel or paper towels.  Set aside.
  2. Wash carrots, cucumbers and jalapeno. Peel carrots, then cut all these veggies into bite size pieces. Remove seeds from jalapeno if you want it to be less spicy.
  3. Place carrots, cucumbers, and jalapeno slices into a mason jar and add vinegar and sugar, shaking it slightly until sugar crystals dissolve. There should be enough vinegar to cover almost all the veggies. 15 minutes should be enough time to get some pickled flavour into the veggies.
  4. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
  5. In a non-stick pan on medium heat, add 1/2 tbsp grape seed oil, then carefully place the salmon in the pan. Cover with a lid and fry for about 5-7 minutes – once the salmon is crusted and caramelized on the bottom side, flip it gently to cook on the other side – about another 5-7 minutes. (This will depend on the thickness of your fish. You can easily check the doneness by breaking it apart a bit at the thickest part of the fish and make sure it is solid pink and not opaque pink. Although some people prefer their salmon slightly medium or medium rare in the middle – it’s your preference).
  6. Remove salmon from pan and set on a serving dish to rest while you cut up your avocado into long slices.  The easiest way to do this is cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, then use a spoon and scoop out long lengthwise slices.
  7. Wash and roughly chop green onions and cilantro. Cut lemon into wedges (to squeeze on top of fish).
  8. Lay out all the ingredients and let your hungry eaters build their own wraps. Enjoy!

pecan crusted chicken fingers

 

nutty & crunchy with a honey dijon dipping sauce

When I looked into my pantry this afternoon and realized I didn’t have panko (Japanese bread crumbs) – I knew there was no way I was leaving the house again with pie-pie and the boss. We had just spent the whole morning at mommy baby yoga, braving a Costco shopping trip (super fun loading and unloading that with the two of them!), and our weekly visit to the library.  It seems like our Monday mornings are jammed packed (I can’t help it! I just want to get everything done in one shot) but then I just love getting to chill, bake, and play at home all afternoon with them. So with the no panko situation, I considered blending up some bread to make breadcrumbs, but then I saw a bag of pecans in our pantry and thought it might be pretty delicious to coat chicken with this buttery and rich nut.  Actually – I guess this makes this recipe gluten free (again, I’m not on the train but hey, cutting refined wheat and subbing in something with more nutrition is always a win). They really turned out and the kids got to help out by smashing the pecans into little bits:)  We will definitely be making these again, and will probably buy less panko!

juicy and tender inside

prep time:  30 minutes   bake time: 15 minutes   yield:  serves 4

what you need:

  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
  • 3 large eggs, plus a splash of milk
  • 1 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 2 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tbsp raw honey
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard

what to do:

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor (I used my ninja) – blend oats and 1 1/2 cup pecans, until fine. It might stick together a little bit due to the fat in the pecans, sort of clumpy. Just use your fingers to break it apart a little and it will be okay.
  3. Place 2 1/2 cup pecans in a ziplock bag and smash it up roughly into smaller pieces – use a rolling pin or heavy pan (be careful don’t smash your tile!). You could use your food processor and pulse just 1-2x, but make sure you have nice good sized pieces for crunch and a chunky texture.
  4. Set up your prep station – you’ll need 3 shallow dishes.  One for the fine pecan mixture, one for 3 eggs (beaten well with a fork, with the milk), and one for the bigger pecan pieces.  Place your lined baking sheets near this.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 F (or 400 F if you have a convection oven).
  6. Cut up your chicken into long strips – about 4 per chicken breast. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  7. Keep in mind you want one “dry” hand and one “wet” hand. This will prevent your fingers from getting coated themselves with the mixtures.
  8. Using your “wet” hand, place one piece of chicken into the fine pecan mixture. Use your “dry” hand to coat all over, then drop into the egg mixture. Use your “wet” hand to roll it around, making sure it’s coated well with the egg. Drop it into the larger pecan pieces. Use your “dry” hand to roll it around and pat the pecans into the chicken to make it stick. Place coated chicken strip onto the baking sheet.
  9. Repeat step 8 until all your chicken fingers are coated and ready to bake.
  10. Bake in the centre rack for 15 minutes (timing may depend on how thick your chicken is). While this is baking – mix the honey and mustard together to make a quick dipping sauce.
  11. Remove from oven and serve immediately with honey dijon sauce.  Enjoy!

    photo credit – by piepie

 

 

we ate it over baby spinach tonight, to get some greens into our bellies