Sheet Pan Za’atar Salmon Dinner with Curried Carrots, Rutabaga & Dried Currants

Za'atar Roasted Salmon, Root Vegetables & Dill Rice
Sheet Pan DASH Diet Dinner: Za'atar Roasted Salmon & Curried Root Veggies
Trying the ever-popular sheet pan dinner with za’atar roasted salmon and root veggies with ras el hanout curry powder and dried currants. With dill rice, this was a tasty Middle Eastern-inspired DASH diet dinner!

This sheet pan za’atar salmon dinner was what made me–belatedly–realize why sheet pan dinners are everywhere these days. It’s an amazingly easy way to make a delicious dinner: Once you set everything up in a sheet pan, it’s largely hands-free. Even the setup doesn’t take all that much effort. Chop, season, arrange, and you’re more or less ready to go. Woot! (To keep the salmon juices from seeping into the veggies, I did use a piece of aluminum foil to keep them separate. Oh, so much work! :P) Since sheet pan dinners can be made pretty low fat, I think they are a great technique for DASH diet followers.

For this sheet pan za’atar salmon dinner, I’m using two spice mixes to push the flavors in the Middle Eastern and North African direction: Za’atar and ras el hanout. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix with a complex, savory, green and slightly floral flavor profile. What’s in it can vary depending on who made the mix, but mine has thyme, oregano, sumac and sesame seeds. I used za’atar for the salmon.

Za'atar Roasted Salmon, Root Vegetables & Dill Rice
A DASH diet dinner with a Middle Eastern twist. Making the za’atar roasted salmon and curry-spiked roasted vegetables with currants in the same sheet pan was awesomely easy and hands-off, too!

Ras el hanout, on the other hand, is from North Africa. It’s a pretty versatile “curry” powder, though it usually seems to be not spicy. I tend to detect cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, clove, ginger and other warm, sweetly aromatic spices in this mix; to me, it smells somewhere between an apple pie and a curry. Which is probably why it goes well with roasted vegetables, as in this recipe. To add another dimension or two, I added maple syrup and dried currants for a touch of sweetness and tang to the earthy root vegetables.

Adding a dollop of garlic-spiked Greek yogurt or a cucumber-studded tzaziki sauce on the side might add a refreshing coolness to the otherwise all-warm dish. (I should have thought of that when I made this sheet pan dinner!)

Also! These sweet, aromatic, curry-roasted carrots and rutabaga made a great salad topping a couple of days later. I made a quick garlic lime tahini dressing for that salad, and it was a darn good salad with a lot of contrasting flavors. I’ll post the recipe for the salad in a day or two.

Print Recipe
Sheet Pan Za'atar Salmon Dinner with Curried Carrots, Rutabaga & Dried Currants
DASH Diet considerations: Roasting is one of the low-fat ways of cooking meats and vegetables, and that holds true for the sheet pan za’atar salmon dinner. It’s a good balance between 2 servings of fish and 2-3 servings of fiber-rich root vegetables. You can serve the za’atar salmon and curried root veggies with a whole wheat pita, with dill rice or by itself, if you are already above or close to the DASH diet grain goal.

DASH diet servings:
2-3 vegetables & fruits
2 meats & fish
¼ fat & oil
⅙ sugar & sweets
Za'atar Roasted Salmon, Root Vegetables & Dill Rice
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
dinners, plus 2 leftover veggie portions
Ingredients
For the za'atar salmon
For the curried carrots & rutabaga
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
dinners, plus 2 leftover veggie portions
Ingredients
For the za'atar salmon
For the curried carrots & rutabaga
Za'atar Roasted Salmon, Root Vegetables & Dill Rice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the carrot and rutabaga pieces in a large bowl, along with all the seasoning. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Arrange the salmon fillets on a piece of aluminum foil with folded-up sides to catch all drippings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with a generous sprinkle of za’atar.
  4. Place the foil containing the salmon on one side of a sheet pan. Arrange the root vegetables on the other side of the sheet pan, in a single layer as much as possible.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the root vegetables are cooked through.
Recipe Notes

If your salmon fillets are on the small side, they may finish cooking before the vegetables are done. If so, take them out of the oven and keep them somewhere warm to prevent overcooking.

Sheet Pan Za'atar Salmon Dinner
Sheet pan za’atar salmon dinner, a super-easy DASH diet dinner recipe on DAShnDelish.com

Cauliflower Cod Chowder with Garlic and Thyme

Cauliflower Cod Chowder IngredientsMake this hearty chowder when you end up with a giant head of cauliflower that doesn’t fit in your fridge and you don’t know what to do with, like I did. Cauliflower replaces the potatoes that typically show up in chowders, and it does a surprisingly good job of substituting them. Garlic, thyme and just one strip of bacon give the cod chowder the savory, aromatic backbone it needs. I skipped making the bechamel and left the chowder more on the soupy side, but you can add that at the end if you prefer a thicker chowder.

This may be a weekend meal–it does take a fair amount of chopping, and the somewhat active cooking time is on the long side. The good news is that the chowder will be even better after it sits in the fridge overnight. I made a big pot and plan to eat the rest later in the week.

Serve it with some crusty bread. Go ahead and add an ale, too. (I did!)

Print Recipe
Cauliflower Cod Chowder with Garlic and Thyme
DASH benefits: This filling chowder has loads of vegetables and lean protein without the fat and heaviness from the butter and heavy cream found in a lot of chowders.

DASH servings (if dividing into 8 servings):
2.5-3 vegetables & fruits
0.25 dairy
2 meats & fish
0.75 fat & oil
Prep Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a big pot and add the bacon, onion, shallot and garlic. Turn the heat to medium.
  2. Saute, stirring often to prevent the alliums from burning, for 6-7 minutes, or until they are fragrant and softened.
  3. Strip the thyme leaves off the stem and add to the pot. Saute for another minute until the thyme starts releasing the aroma.
  4. Add the celery, carrots and red pepper to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, or until they start to soften.
  5. Turn the heat to high and add the water to the pot. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are cooked through.
  6. Add the milk and bring the pot to just before a boil. (Try not to let it boil too vigorously, or you’ll get milk scum floating on top--which is not a problem for me, but some people find it unpalatable.) Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Keeping the pot at just below a boil, add the cod. Submerge the pieces gently and add the cauliflower pieces. Let the pot simmer until the cod chunks are cooked through and opaque, for 5 minutes or so.
  8. Stir in the sour cream and add salt and/or pepper if needed. Serve with crusty bread.

The chowder should keep in the fridge for 5-6 days. (Just make sure to reheat it thoroughly every time.) It can also be frozen and reheated later. I turned this into a quick and tasty Jamaican curry soup a few days later and had it over basmati rice. Yum!