You know, the thing about making food at home is that recipes sometimes just barely have a place. I know. I’ll leave right now that I’ve shared my blasphemous opinion. But really, aside from baking, where recipes really do support the science that is occurring, I feel like most of the time recipes are just… inspiration. Or templates. or a general guideline that in no way one should feel guilty about straying away from. Don’t like a certain ingredient? Cool, keep it out, you know what you need. Want to know how this combination of flavors will really taste? No better time than the present moment, my chickadees. It’s TRES CLICHE, BUT: you never know until you try.
A tale of two seasons
Although this is a recipe site, rarely do I want people to follow these recipes point blank. If anything, they’re here as an opinion, a thought. Maybe it’s because that’s how I end up cooking in the kitchen–deciding I don’t want anything more than to just play, and to hey, lemme just BE right now ok cool thank you thank you.
During the early winter and spring of 2017, I one day was in the kitchen and found myself not wanting to be in there.
Cue the horror music.
What had happened? Where had my happy kitchen escape gone? I was the same human in the same kitchen with the same rotation of ingredients and yet I could not bear the idea of making one more dish. And that WORRIED me. What the heck do I do if I stop loving food, I fretted? Why wasn’t I diggin’ on the idea of the impending semi-awkward farmer’s markets encounters, and green shoots popping out of the ground and making something out of assorted end-of-the-week refrigerator stragglers?
I had gone full stress mode, and I didn’t even know it until it hit me HARD.
In that full-blown stress mode, my digestion was delightfully trying to do me a favor 9 out of 10 times by saying “eh, nah, listen Lucia, you’ve got bigger fish to fry right now and while we’re not really sure what those ARE even, we’re gonna keep you at-the-ready for those bigger fish, so please, no need to focus on this meal right now” This was the stuff I was teaching in my group classes at the time, the stuff I knew like the back of my hand and yet with as many deep breaths as I could take during meals (taking a deep, relaxed breath can help signal to the body it’s in a safe location to focus on providing more bodily resources towards fuller digestion), it wasn’t until that kitchen moment that I realized I could either keep assuaging my stress with little hacks, or I could embrace it full-on and change it.
The rest of 2017 was spent changing it, and lemme tell you–it’s a quiet process. It’s like any other change in that there can be big moments, but mostly the change is composed of small, little moments of quietness and, at least for me, when I wasn’t sure about a change, I’d ask myself “aight body, is this a parasympathetic or a sympathetic change, and not just in the short-term.” That alone tended to clear up any confusion internally.
Anyway. This is the dish that is barely a recipe that I made up one day later in the spring and I remember it well because I was struck by just how happy and excited I was to both make it and eat it. I legit was so excited when I realized I was drooling. Do you know what mode drooling occurs under? In parasympathetic rest and digest.
So I guess the thought of the day is, the general question is–do you drool over your meals? Even the most simple of them? Why or why not? If not, is it the food you’re not excited about… or something else?
Everything Bagel Crusted Salmon Sheet Bake
- 1 fillet salmon skin on (wild-caught preferred)
- 2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel seasoning blend or see note below for a recipe to make your own
- 3 cups brussels sprouts ends chopped off and sliced in half (or in quarters if large)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 400.
Toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil directly on the baking tray, then season with sea salt. Flip brussels sprouts so all cut sides are flat on the tray for maximum roasty goodness. Move brussels sprouts towards the ends of the baking tray to make room for the salmon fillet.
Coat the salmon fillet all over in a bit of additional olive oil, then place skin side down on the baking tray. Generously sprinkle the bagel blend seasoning on top of the salmon, patting it down so it adheres nicely. Don't be afraid to totally pack it on.
Place the tray in the oven, and roast for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes briefly, then serve. Eat the salmon's skin if you desire--it's awesome.
Serve with sliced lemon wedges.
Tasty Yummies has a wonderful Bagel Blend seasoning recipe!