I picked up a bag of frozen salmon burgers form Costco a while ago. They are a decent alternative to a freshly made salmon burgers, though a little weirdly spongy-chewy. The nice thing about them for DASH diet followers is that the sodium content is relatively under control at about 10% of the daily limit. I used those frozen salmon burgers to put together this quick DASH dinner.
In this recipe, frozen salmon burgers are topped with crunchy, vibrant Asian coleslaw and served on a whole wheat roll. The slaw is scented with just a bit of sesame oil and works like a sauce on the burger. This means you don’t need mayo and other fat- and sodium-heavy sauces to make the salmon burger interesting. On the side, I added “green French fries,” a.k.a. green beans. Freshly grated ginger to the green beans goes well with the vaguely Asian theme, and spices things up without a lot of salt–another DASH diet win.
Salmon Burger with Asian Coleslaw & Ginger Butter Green Beans
DASH considerations: This salmon burger meal is the straight A student of DASH diet. The salmon burger on a whole wheat bun provides lean protein and whole grains, while the abundant Asian slaw, lightly dressed with sesame oil and sushi vinegar, adds a crunchy, vibrant supply of vegetables. Ginger-spiked green beans with just a little bit of butter seals the deal with one solid serving of vegetables without adding a ton of sodium or butter. Skip buttering the rolls to reduce the amount of fat in the meal. (It doesn’t really need the butter or mayo.)
4 vegetables & fruits
2-3 meats & fish (depending on the size of the patties)
2 fat & oil
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the salmon burger patties, according to the package instructions. Mine took 3-4 minutes per side, cooking from frozen.
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add a small pinch of salt once boiling.
While the salmon burgers cook, sprinkle the shredded cabbage with a pinch of salt and toss to mix in a bowl. Knead the cabbage with your hand to help the salt penetrate the cells. Let sit for a few minutes.
Add the green beans to the boiling water and blanch briefly. Drain thoroughly once the green beans turn bright green.
In the same saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat and add the green beans back in. Add the grated ginger. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Turn the heat off so the green beans don’t overcook.
Squeeze as much water as you can from the shredded cabbage. Drizzle the sesame oil and sushi vinegar. Add the scallions and toss to combine.
Cut the kaiser rolls in half horizontally and toast the pieces lightly.
On the bottom pieces of the rolls, arrange the sliced cucumber.
Once the salmon patties are cooked through, top the rolls with the salmon patties.
Pile as much of the cabbage slaw on top of the salmon patties. You’ll be surprised how much you can put on!
Place the top pieces of the rolls on top of the slaw. Serve with the green beans on the side.
Oh man, I hit a jackpot with this one! Pairing fresh spinach with spinach gnocchi seemed a bit silly, but I went ahead anyway because I had a bunch of spinach that I needed to use up. It was a resounding success! The spinach gnocchi came out wonderfully spinachy (well, no surprise there) and much lighter than your typical creamy gnocchi dish. It’s almost as if the spinach act as a sauce–a spinach lover’s dream gnocchi!
It’s in a toasty brown butter sauce, but there isn’t a lot of butter, just a quarter tablespoon per serving. The rest of the oil is olive oil (and not a ton of that, either). Thyme, garlic and amontillado (a sweet, aged sherry) give it a satisfying depth without weighing it down like heavy cream would. Earthy shiitake mushrooms add even more complexity. Try this quick Italian meal when you have a big bunch of fresh, sturdy spinach. (You want the fully grown spinach for this recipe, not the baby ones. Baby spinach doesn’t have enough flavor and gets limp too fast.)
Very Spinachy Spinach Gnocchi with Shiitake & Thyme Brown Butter Sauce
DASH benefits: This spinach gnocchi in thyme butter sauce is a rare gnocchi dish that brings a lot of veggies (half a bunch of spinach in each serving) and not a lot of dairy or oil--relatively speaking. It can be made vegetarian easily, if you skip the butter and Parmigiano Reggiano.
2.5 vegetables & fruits
2 fat & oil
Put a big pot of water on high.
Heat the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold everything. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté on medium heat until softened and fragrant.
Add the shiitake and sauté until the shiitake takes on some brown color. Scrape the thyme leaves off the sprigs and add to the pan.
Add the butter to the pan and let it brown for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
Add the spinach to the pan. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid, and let it cook for a few minutes, until the spinach is deep green and cooked through.
Add the sherry and let its alcohol cook off, with the lid off.
While the spinach cooks, add a generous pinch of salt to the pot of boiling water and add the gnocchi.
Stir occasionally to prevent the gnocchi from sticking to the bottom of the pot (and to each other). Cook, according to the package instruction. (If using fresh gnocchi, it should be about 3-4 minutes.)
Add the gnocchi to the pan of spinach, along with a splash or two of the cooking liquid. Stir to combine. Add more of the gnocchi cooking liquid if the pan is dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate and top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Like many other gnocchi and butter-based pasta dishes, this probably won't reheat well. I'd stick to making just enough to finish in one sitting, rather than try to make enough for leftovers.
With all that said… I do have a soft spot for gnocchi in cream sauce. This recipe from Salt & Lavender, which combines similar ingredients (spinach and mushroom) in a cream-based sauce spiked with Italian herbs, Dijon mustard and white wine, sounds loooovely. I might try this someday.