Monday, August 30, 2010

Weeknight Meal: Rainbow Trout, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Steamed Kale

I think that women get the raw end of the deal in terms of relationship responsibilities.  Not only do we work our long hour jobs, but, we also magically become responsible for all household tasks.  In addition to working 40+ hours at an amazing job, I get to be responsible for putting solid healthy food on the table, cleaning and straightening the apartment, keeping track of our familial obligations and schedules, and doing other major cleaning tasks such as vacuuming and doing laundry.  Now, granted, my husband DOES pitch in when I ask him to, and he does do laundry when he "has time."  This does not mean, however, that I am no longer seen as responsible for these items.  I feel guilty when I don't meet them all!

Is that mostly my fault?  Yes, maybe it is.  I'll admit that!  I thoroughly enjoy cooking.  I love preparing meals, coming up with new things, and putting really tasty and healthy food into my body and the bodies of those I care about.  It is amazing to realize that people are being nourished, mind/body/soul, by your food.

To keep everything in balance and to ensure that I don't burn out, I need quick week night meals.  Quick meals that don't involve pasta every night.  I really do not like boxed dry pasta.  I wish I did.  It makes fast meals much, much easier.  But, I don't.  I would rather do quick baked potatoes, 5 minute cous cous (any type can be done this quickly - boil water, add cous cous, let sit 5 mins with the lid on, fluff with fork - ta da!), bread, or cook rice in advance.

I'm also trying to plan my meals out over the weekend.  This way, I can ensure that I have everything on hand for cooking this week.  It also means I make less trips to the grocery store, which helps stop me from running out to pick something up...and spend more it is a very thrifty endeavor as well!

Tonight's quick meal, brought to you courtesy of 7:30 am - 4:30 pm work shift, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm yoga class, and picking the husband up from law school at 7:15 pm, was fish.

Fish is my go to quick protein.  That, and a can of low sodium black beans or chick peas!  Fish cooks in a matter of minutes and you can use your typical pantry staples to make it taste delicious.  Try any type of vinegar - red wine, cider, or balsamic - a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you're good to go.

Tonight's fish was 2 rainbow trout fillets (on sale, of course), farm fresh from Canada...mashed sweet potatoes...and steamed kale.

I boiled the sliced sweet potatoes before I picked him up.  I cut up the kale and put it in the pot.  I cut up some onion and put it in my cast iron pan.  Once I got home, I simply put the heat on the kale.  The water from washing it made a sort of steamed kale.  I added a bit of s and p and called it good.  While the kale cooked down, I heated up some sesame seed oil in the case iron pan, and then added the two fillets (skin side down).  While these were going, I made a quick blueberry grunt on the stove top!

Blueberry Grunt
Take about 1 cup of blueberries, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon of honey.  While this cooks for 2-5 mins, make standard sweet dumplings.  I made up a recipe:

1/2 cup buckwheat flour (milled and grown in Massachusetts!)
1/8 t salt
1 T sugar
1 T butter
1 t baking powder

Mix the dry ingredients.  Cut the butter in with your fingers until you have small crumbs.  Then, add just enough milk to make it a moist batter (roughly 1/3 cup).  Drop the dumplings onto the top of the blueberry mix.  Cover with the pan's lid and cook on low/warm for 15 mins.  Serve with a bit of vanilla ice cream!

To the fish, I added black pepper and a few splashes of soy sauce.  Once the kale was mostly done, I flipped the fish (about 5 mins each side).  Then I drained the sweet potatoes and mashed them with a bit of sour cream.  And ta da!  Dinner is served, plus, dessert!

The dessert was added because I had delicious farmer's market blueberries.  I wasn't about to turn on the stove in this heat and humidity.  It was delicious.  The buckwheat flour by itself gave it a nutty texture that was fantastic with the smooshed blueberries and the melting ice cream.  Yum.  


  1. Just found your blog (when you signed up for the Women of HR group on LinkedIn). You are speaking my language! I can relate to having the feeling like I have to accomplish a full days work then come home and cook a nutritious meal for my family. Oh, and add in laundry, kids' homework, baths, etc. I get it. Love the recipes and I may just try the dessert tonight!!

    I'd love to have you guest post on Women of HR sometime.

  2. Hi Trisha! I'm so sorry I just now saw your comment...I need to renable the email reminders. I'm so glad I'm not the only one! And, I cannot imagine adding kids into the mix, I'm fairly certain that requires superwoman abilities. Thank you for the compliments! Let me know if you test something out! I would be honored to post on Women of HR.