My dinner tonight was a hot mess! A tasty hot mess.
Let’s back up, though. After I worked out (35 minutes elliptical, some unenthusiastic ab work- I hate hate hate hate crunches but yeah yeah swimsuit season approaches) they were giving out free mini cliff bars at the gym.
And I do mean mini. 100 calories for something that tiny? I’m also seriously unimpressed by the ingredient list of Clif Bars- the first ingredient is brown rice syrup, also known as SUGAR. I was thinking of just pitching it and having a more substantive snack, but by the time I got back to my apartment after a grocery run it was already like 5:20 and close enough to dinner that I knew I should have something small and not super filling, and hey, it was free.
Honestly, the taste wasn’t very good either. Annoyingly chewy and just… thick. Not getting that again!
Anyway, at Trader Joe’s they were out of tempeh. AGAIN. I’ve been really wanting to buy some, and it just keeps not happening! So I tried to think of a protein source that was non-meat (fish was okay- yeah, we Orthodox can’t have meat but can have fish during Lent, it’s weird, I know, but it does make things easier), not beans (had those for lunch), not tofu (sick of it), and not grossly expensive and/or creepy (Tofurkey). I came up with this:
That blurrific picture is of canned salmon. When I thought canned salmon, I thought pasta, and I thought of a pasta thing that my mom and I threw together over Spring break- she had leftover salmon, and a can of these:
Fire roasted tomatoes are the best. EVER. I know it sounds like a weird combination with salmon, but she was standing over the pot saying “It’s this or tahini!” (my mom goes for the improvisational cooking!) and those looked way less frightening with salmon and pasta than tahini (?! I don’t think she would have done it, but I’m glad I was there to talk her down) and it actually turned out fab.
I also sauteed up some mushrooms and garlic in my cooking pot I was using for tomorrow’s dinner (which you will find out about tomorrow! It is cooking on my back burner right now! GOD I am so organized) and threw those in.
I figured I’d just use brown rice instead of pasta cause it’s a whole grain and I had a refined grain in my Chipotle lunch, plus it was already cooked and I didn’t feel like dirtying up another pot.
Et voila, my hot mess of a dinner! Brown rice, canned salmon, fire roasted tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and garlic, topped with some crushed red pepper flakes and (so inspired!) a squeeze of lemon juice! It was DELICIOUS. NO LIE! I am a fan of simple, hearty food with good flavors, and this dish delivered. All the flavors were good on their own and yes, actually melded together. And the nutrition is also pretty spot on!
On the side, a sweet potato, nuked for 3 minutes on each side. It was a small one, that’s a small plate. Look how it’s making a pretty little heart for me… I love you too, baby.