So it’s now the first day of the week in which you promised yourself you would be making your lunches to bring to work.
You are supposed to meet a friend after work. You haven’t seen her in a while and she’s got this great new job that you’re sure she wants to tell you all about. Frankly, you’re not in the mood. It’s now November and you’re freaking out about your work goals for this year and how you are in danger of failing spectacularly to meet them. Your boss is away this week so now you have a chance to catch up. So instead of meeting your friend for a $14 dollar cocktail at a place near her apartment that’s stupidly inconvenient for you, you bail. “Sorry babe, something’s come up at work and I don’t know when I’ll be out of here, ” your email says. You time the sending so it’s just before lunch. That’s convincing, right? And it gives her enough time to make new plans. You immediately wonder why you would have ever made plans on a Monday night anyways. You think about the imaginary project you’re supposed to be staying late for and decide that maybe you should follow through with the lie and stay a bit late to make headway on the actual projects that you’re behind on. This plan lasts until about 4:15, when you’re sure time has stopped moving forward. Forget it, you’re tired and you feel sorry for yourself. You just need a quiet night at home and maybe something really healthy to trick your body into thinking it’s getting enough nutrients, exercise and sleep. Roasted salmon and a healthy beet salad should do the trick.
This sage dressing was an accidental stroke of genius while cleaning out my fridge. It’s now one of my favorites.
Roasted Beet and Sweet Potato Salad with Fried Sage Vinaigrette
Makes 2 portions (Note: If you don’t want to wait an hour for the beets and sweet potato, make them on Sunday and store them in the fridge)
You will need:
2 medium-sized beets
1 sweet potato
3 cups arugula
4 large fresh sage leaves
3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
salt + pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 375. Cover the beets in aluminum foil and poke with a fork several times. Place on a baking sheet on the lower rack of your oven. Place the sweet potato, bare, on the wire rack above. Bake for 60 minutes.
2. At minutes 30, mix your sage leaves and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small bowl. Carefully remove the baking tray from the oven (or just pull it out slightly) and place the sage and oil in a single layer in a corner. Bake for 5-7 minutes until just crispy and then carefully remove from the tray with a spatula.
3. Remove the sage and blend in a food processor with 3 Tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Set aside.
4. After 60 minutes, take the beets and potato out and let them cool. Remove the foil wrap and peel them with a vegetable peeler and then cube. Also cube the sweet potato.
5. Mix 1/2 your arugula, beets and potatoes together in a large bowl with 1/2 of the dressings. Flavor with salt and pepper. Set aside the rest of the arugula, beets and potatoes in a plastic container for lunch the next day. Transport the dressing separately in a small jar.
Makes 2 portions
You will need:
1/2 lb. fresh salmon (I find filets with the skin on have more flavor)
1 teaspoon rock salt or extremely coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pinch Togarishi (Japanese red pepper seasoning) – optional
1 dash olive oil or cooking spray.
1. Preheat your broiler.
2. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a small baking sheet or broiler pan and coat the center very lightly with oil or cooking spray so the fish doesn’t stick.
3. Place your salmon on a plate to season generously with the salt, pepper and Togarishi. Transfer to the baking sheet.
4. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the fish starts to smoke and the edges are black. Turn off the broiler and allow the salmon to keep cooking for 2-3 minutes. Slice in half and reserve the other half for lunch.