This morning I found myself in awe. See, I have recently undertaken an attempt at starting a veggie patch. And when I say veggie patch, I really mean I have three green things that I am attempting to grow sitting on my window sill: basil, spinach, and green onions. I once saw on Pinterest that you can grow green onions just by sticking the leftover root-stumps (technical term) into a glass of water and letting them do their thing. I figured “Why Not?”, threw caution in the wind and set those suckers on the ledge overlooking my backyard (hoping that the dogs wouldn’t disturb my feeble attempts at developing a green thumb).
This isn’t the first time that I’ve attempted to harness the power of nature and grow my own food. Let’s see…attempt #1 was back in my late teens. I tried to grow carrots, which never even so much as sprouted in the container; I ended up pitching the container in the trash after three months of fruitless hope and despair. Imagine my surprise when my Dad went to get something out of the side yard and noticed some little stray plants. Thinking they were weeds, he pulled them out, only to discover some monstrous abomination of nature – three nubby carrots and only one carrot top. Like some kind of veggie freak. I was too weirded out to even eat them, so they went to my Uncle Tony’s rabbit instead.
Notable attempt #2 occurred many moons after the mutant carrot adventure, after we’d moved to Texas. I wanted to teach my girls about food, sustainability, yada yada, so I’d purchased what should have been a foolproof herb garden starter kit from Home Depot. So, one sunny afternoon, my girls and I sat in the front yard carefully patting the seeds into the little pockets of soil. We were even joined by three neighbor kids, who up until that point seemed absolutely terrified of me. Now I was feeling pretty cool. I even told the kids how we would meet up to check the progress of the herbs every day. What a cute plan, no? Then I went on a three day business trip, Dallas got a HUGE windstorm, and I returned home to find little herblings (another technical term) strewn about the backyard, along with the hopes and dreams of every child on my street.
But…back to the current veggies. I’m pleased to report that from last week to today, my green onions have in fact regenerated. Wow!
Except for the basil, that poor bastard:
Now, onto today’s recipe. I’ve been craving veggies and salmon for weeks now. Last week, in my co-op share from Urban Acres, I got a huge, honkin’ head ‘o bok choy. It seems only natural to braise it and top it off with some salmon. Bok Choy, of course, is very good in Asian flavored dishes and this particular one is no exception. It is a quick, hearty, healthy meal loaded with vitamins and heart healthy fats.
Just do yourself a favor. If you cannot grow anything like myself, sign up for a co-op or just pick up your veggies from the grocery store. Unless you are into mutant carrots.
Also, I served this with a Basmati rice. I have not included the directions in this post, but simply follow the directions on your package. A good time to start your rice (mine had only a 15 minute cook time) is after you’ve prepared your teriyaki sauce and set your salmon in the fridge to hang out and marinade for 30 minutes. You’ll also want to start your veggies during this time and everything with be ready around the same time. Start to finish this dish took me only 45 minutes, most of that time was spent taking pictures. Ha!
SESAME PANKO CRUSTED SALMON ON BRAISED ASIAN VEGGIES
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup olive oil (I used Texas Olive Ranch’s Meyer Lemon Oil)
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T. sesame seeds
1 tsp. ginger, ground or fresh
1 tsp. minced garlic
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
SESAME PANKO CRUSTED SALMON
4 individual sized Salmon fillets (approx. 5 oz. each)
1/2 recipe Teriyaki Sauce (see above)
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1. Set Salmon fillets in rectangular glass dish.
2. Pour 1/2 recipe of the Teriyaki Sauce over the fish and marinate, in the fridge, for 30 minutes. (THIS IS A GOOD POINT TO START YOUR RICE AND GET WORKING ON YOUR BRAISED VEGGIES!)
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, lightly greased.
5. After marinating time is up, remove your fillets from the marinade and place on prepared sheet. DISCARD USED MARINADE!
6. In a small mixing bowl, combine Panko bread crumbs with olive oil. Divide mixture evenly to the top of salmon fillets, patting down to ensure they stick to the top of the fish.
7. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes, until salmon flakes easily with a fork. See picture below for a visual of what “flaky” fish looks like:
BRAISED ASIAN VEGGIES
1 head Bok Choy, rinsed and sliced into 1/2 inch ribbons
1 cup carrots, sliced on the bias (fancy word for diagonally)
1 sweet bell pepper, diced into large chunks
1 cup edamame, removed from tough outer shell (you can find these shelled in the frozen foods aisle)
1/2 cup water or veggie broth
1. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
2. Pour veggie broth or water into pan and add your veggies. (Using water/broth to braise your veggies saves you from extra fat/calories!)
3. Cook veggies about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the carrots just have a slight bite to them. You still want your veggies to be crispy and not mush.
To tie the dish together:
On a dinner plate, place about a 1/2 cup serving of rice, followed by about 3/4 cup veggie mixture. Drizzle 2 T. of remaining Teriyaki Sauce (NOT used for marinating your fish) over rice and veggies. Top this colorful mound of deliciousness with your crunchy Salmon. Dig in!