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

Toasted Buckwheat Bowl with Wilted Kale, Roasted Sweet Potato, Currants and Pecans

Buckwheat Bowl with Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale IngredientsLike every other hipster foodie (riiiight), I’ve come to love the grain bowl format. It’s pretty fast to put together (even faster if I have the cooked grain waiting in the fridge), accommodates basically whatever vegetables I have on hand, and takes on the personality of the dressing to morph into any pseudo-ethnic meal I’m in the mood for. I’ve made grain bowls with a lot of different grains: Quinoa, farro, wild rice, even Israeli couscous, which is really a pasta rather than a grain. This week, I had a half-used bag of buckwheat groats in the pantry, and decided to try using buckwheat in this format.

Buckwheat Bowl with Roasted Sweet Potato & KaleThe last time I used buckwheat groats, I simply boiled them and dressed them in a mushroom cream sauce that was kind of sort of Russian in my imagination. It was okay, but a tad too heavy and too one-note to my liking. The groats came out starchy-sticky, too, which I thought might be a problem in the grain bowl format. To avoid the one-note boredom and excessive starchiness, I toasted the buckwheat before boiling the groats, and rinsed them thoroughly under cold water after boiling in order to wash off the starch that leaked out during the cooking process. This seemed to work well.

I topped the buckwheat bowl with half a salmon burger (frozen from Costco) each, but you can keep it vegetarian, or top it with a boiled egg or grilled chicken for an additional protein kick.

Print Recipe
Toasted Buckwheat Bowl with Wilted Kale, Roasted Sweet Potato, Currants and Pecans
DASH benefits: The buckwheat bowl provides 1 serving of whole grain and 2-3 servings of vegetables and fruits without a lot of added sugar or oil. Dried currants do double duty here: They provide the sweetness without being sugary, and they count as fruits. Win!

DASH servings:
1 grain
2.25 vegetables & fruits
1.5 fat & oil
0.5 nuts & beans
0.25 sweets
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet and toast the buckwheat groats over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the groats take on some golden brown color.
  2. Add the buckwheat groats and water to a pot and boil for 12 minutes (or follow the direction on the bag).
  3. While the buckwheat cooks, add the dried currants to apple cider vinegar to rehydrate.
  4. Blanch the kale in a separate pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, just enough to wilt the tough leaves. Drain thoroughly.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the shiitake mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Rinse the buckwheat groats quickly under cold running water when done cooking, and drain thoroughly.
  7. In a large bowl, mix the buckwheat, kale, roasted sweet potato, shiitake, pecans and currants along with the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe Notes

*I happened to have some roasted sweet potato chunks I needed to use up. If you are roasting the sweet potato from scratch, cooking time will be longer.