I give Martha a lot of flack sometimes because I feel like her dishes are a little too sanitized and lacking in chutzpah (particularly the “healthy” ones). Well, I’m an idiot, and you shouldn’t listen to me.
Wait, listen to me for just a couple of more minutes while I go on this aside. All of these cooking magazines tout the benefits (in a “Did you know??????” kind of way) of a diet that involves very little meat, yet their non-dessert recipes are probably 85% meat-based. Eating meat is all well and good, but, personally, I feel it should be saved for special occasions, just like I feel like eating an entire bag of miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups should be saved for a special occasion (like a breakup or a friend’s breakup or hearing about a friend of a friend’s breakup via Facebook.) Yet, how can we do this without healthier recipes in the food magazines from which some of us base our meal planning? Luckily, I get so many dang magazines now that I’m able to cobble together enough nourishment from their “Oh look, we’ve included a couple of token healthy recipes” sections, but it just seems like a no-brainer that Martha and co. should consider fixing. Don’t just do it for us, Martha, do it for the environment. Meat farming is not sustainable. This is as obvious as replacing our light bulbs with CFLs and getting rid of paper towels.
Anyway! I made something delicious out of the March issue of Living that I think you should all try: Sesame Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pea Shoots (the link says it’s from Whole Living, but it’s not. March Living. I promise.) If you don’t have pea shoots at your local grocer, heaven forbid, you can just add any green you like. Arugula, watercress, whatever the crap you want! It’s America!
Basically, you make a dressing by mixing a few things together, toss it with mushrooms, stick it on parchment, and gingerly lay the salmon on top of it. Wrap it, bake it, top it with the shoots, eat!
Oh, I recommend cooking up some brown rice according to the following foolproof and slightly unconventional directions (crassly adapted from Saveur, but it will work more perfectly than you have ever had any brown rice anything work before):
- Put some brown rice in a pot
- Cover with a lot of water
- Simmer UNCOVERED for thirty minutes
- Drain, return to pan (OFF the heat)
- Cover tightly
- Let sit to steam for ten minutes
- Fluff with fork
- Marvel at the separate, non-sticky grains
Don’t know how to wrap things in parchment?? Fear not, I have located a helpful video for your entertainment and edification. The benefits of parchment baking are severalfold: healthier (it’s basically steaming), easy (mains and sides are altogether), and fun (if you like that sort of thing, nerd).