Guest post by Dana Angelo White, MS RD ATC
I truly never get tired of cooking for my family but weeknights can be CRAZY so I rely on a few quick tactics to help ensure there are no hangry folks under my roof. When I plan out dinners for the week, one night is always designated for seafood and these 5 recipe hacks help me get a healthy, delicious, and not-at-all-boring meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.
#1 Make Ahead Sheet Pan Salmon
Preparing salmon only seems intimidating. Lay a piece (or pieces) skin side down on a sheet pan and surround with vegetables – I suggest cauliflower and broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms or carrots and radishes. Drizzle with olive and season with salt and pepper and bake at 400-degrees for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, brush salmon with a little sauce – honey mustard, BBQ, pesto, or teriyaki – and return to the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and veggies are slightly tender. Team up with a loaf of crusty bread or a side of quinoa and it will be high fives all around.
#2 Shrimp To The Rescue
Nothing saves dinner for me more often than shrimp. I keep bags of frozen (peeled and deveined) shrimp at the ready. Place in a strainer and run under cool water for 6 to 8 minutes to thaw and they are headed for the grill, sauté pan, oven, and Instant Pot.
#3 Toast Up Some Tuna Melts
It took some time to get my kids to go for canned tuna but now they’re hooked (this Tuna Pasta Salad was very helpful). Take tuna salad (mixed with chopped pickles) pile high on English muffins and top with cheese. A quick trip to the toaster oven and dinner is done! Serve with soup or a sensible portion of potato chips.
#4 Instant Soup
Ok – shrimp again, but this Instant Pot Shrimp Curry Chowder is worth another mention. It’s filled with exotic flavors and comes together in minutes using my most beloved kitchen appliance. Prep the ingredients ahead of time (just some minor chopping) and toss them all in the Instant Pot when you walk in the door.
#5 Pizza Night
No one ever complains when pizza is for dinner, including me because it’s so darn easy. You can pick up the dough at your local grocer or pizza shop or bake atop pita or flatbread instead.
Clam on pizza may sound a little odd but this recipe is a keeper.
It may sound bizarre but a pizza joint in my home state of Connecticut is known for their white… clam…pizza! Here’s my take on a New England treasure – and I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t swoon for this pizza. This recipe makes a large batch of dough, freeze whatever you don’t need for a future pizza night. For a make-ahead meal, make the dough and clam mixture the night before.
Makes 8 slices
For the dough (makes enough for 3 pizzas)
1 packet dry active yeast
1 tsp honey or granulated sugar
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3 strips bacon, roughly chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 pound frozen shucked clams, thawed
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- To make the dough, combine 2 cups of warm water with yeast and honey (or sugar), whisk gently, and set aside for 15 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- Place flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, turn on, and mix the flour and salt.
- With the machine running on low add yeast mixture and olive oil. Turn speed to medium and continue to the mixture until dough comes together in a ball, about 3 minutes.
- Turn off the machine and place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for at least one hour.
- Add bacon to a hot skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the fat is rendered, add garlic, clams, and oregano and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1/3 of the dough and transfer to a pizza pan or pizza stone.
- Top dough with clam mixture, followed by mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, stopping halfway through to turn the pan.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Nutritional information (8 slices – per slice)
247 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 294mg sodium, 27g carbohydrates (0g sugar, 1g fiber), 16g protein