Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus


IMG_8779.JPGSheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus
with thanks to Natasha’s Kitchen


For the Salmon and Asparagus:

  • 1-1/2 to 2 lb salmon filet
  • 2 lbs asparagus, woody ends snapped or trimmed off
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large lemon, sliced into rings for garnish

For the Butter:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 450˚F with oven rack in top third of oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and trim paper so edges fit the pan.

In a small bowl, mash together all flavored butter ingredients until well combined.

Place salmon filet skin-side-down in the center of the baking sheet. Arrange asparagus around salmon, then drizzle asparagus with olive oil and roll to lightly coat. Sprinkle asparagus and salmon with salt and pepper.

Spoon and spread 3/4 of butter mixture over salmon. Dot asparagus with remaining herb butter. Scatter with slices of lemon and bake for 10 to 12 minutes (a thinner fillet will take a shorter time, check it as it goes), then turn the oven to broil on high and broil for 2 minutes to give the salmon color on top.


This was as awesome as it looks. Easy, decadent, delicious, amazing springtime meal in 20 minutes flat. And it left with me enough for lunch the next day to serve the salmon with bagels and the asparagus with fried egg on top. Dreamy.


Creamy Pasta Tuna Helper



Creamy Pasta Tuna Helper


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 12-ounce package uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 4 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Melt butter in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot, and mushrooms and season with salt, thyme, and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the mushrooms release their water and are brown.

Sprinkle the flour over everything, then add the milk and stock. Stir to combine. Add the noodles. Adjust the heat to a moderate simmer and cook, stirring often, until the noodles are tender and the liquid almost absorbed, about 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to low; add in the tuna, peas, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.


Another delicious, easy, healthier Helper at home meal. It’s funny: Steve and I lived off those when we were first married (er, maybe longer than that) and honestly, I never thought one day I would be the cook I turned out to be nor would it have ever occurred to me at the time to try making those boxed meals from scratch. I’m glad times have changed, to say the least.

Other Homemade Helper Recipes:


Barbecued Mahi-Mahi with Yellow Pepper-Cilantro Pesto

Barbecued Mahi-Mahi with Yellow Pepper-Cilantro Pesto
from Bobby Flay

“Barbecue” Rub
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon chile de arbol powder (I use New Mexican chile powder)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Yellow Pepper-Cilantro Pesto
2 large yellow bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 Mahi-mahi fillets, 8 ounces each
4 teaspoons olive oil
“Barbecue” Rub
Cilantro leaves


Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Place peppers, garlic, pine nuts, cilantro and cheese in a food processor and process until combined. With the motor running, add the oil and process until emulsified and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat grill (or indoor grill pan) to high. Brush each fillet on both sides with oil. Rub 1 side of each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the barbecue rub and place on the grill rub side down and cook until slightly charred and a crust has formed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the fish over and grill for 3 to 4 minutes longer or until cooked to medium doneness. Top each fillet with a few tablespoons of the pesto and garnish with cilantro leaves.


This may seem out of place in winter, but since I have no grill, and instead use an indoor pan or my oven or my broiler, any time of the year is a good time for me to make this.  Heck, you could even just sear this in a regular skillet.  I’ve done that as well.  No biggie.

The highlight of this dish, um, in case it wasn’t apparent, is the yellow pepper pesto.  Phenomenal. So much so that I highly suggest scaling the recipe as follows: 1/2 the rub, 1/2 the fish, keep the pesto amount the same. Trust me, you’ll be eating it off a spoon. It goes great on top of a side of white rice or just heaped on top of each bite of the fish.

I said some time back, when I first posted this, that I had to find other uses for the sauce.  Now, it seems obvious that it would be pretty spectacular on chicken as well, even using the same dry rub for the poultry.  Hm.  Must try that.