Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sneaking in the Vegetables

During the winter, B and I, like most northerners, tend to go for comforting, cold weather meals- lots of starches and hearty dishes.  When spring rolls around, I get inspired to eat healthier and try to incorporate better ingredients into my cooking.  I love fruits and vegetables, especially when they are fresh, so this isn’t much of a challenge for me.  B tends to be a bit more difficult to please.  He likes when I hide vegetables (especially spinach) in meals- he usually doesn’t like to eat veggies when they’re sitting on the plate beside the more appetizing main course.  It tends to be a challenge to get him to eat, let alone enjoy, a vegetable other than a potato or corn, so I seek out ways to disguise them or sneak them into meals.  Unfortunately it tends to decrease the healthiness factor significantly, but sometimes you lose some to gain some.  This recipe incorporates spinach and heart healthy salmon, and I use nonfat cream cheese so as to not completely negate the nutrition quotient.  B loved it and even commented I could add more spinach next time, if that’s not success, I don’t know what is!  Next challenge- getting him to like zucchini and squash without frying it or coating it with cheese.  Check back later for progress on that one!
Spring Salmon Packets
Serves 2

1 salmon filet (big enough for 2 people)
4 sheets of phyllo dough (or 1 sheet puff pastry)
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
2 tsp. nonfat cream cheese
1 c. fresh spinach
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Remove skin from the salmon filet and cut in half.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley.  Coat the top of each filet with 1 tsp. cream cheese.  Lay out the phyllo dough (or puff pastry), brushing each sheet with olive oil before layering on the next sheet (skip this step if using puff pastry).  Cut the pastry in 2 equal pieces, then place the salmon filets on each.  Top each with ½ cup spinach, then wrap each in the dough/puff pastry.  Cut off any extra pastry, and then fold the ends under like a package.  Wisk the egg to make an egg wash, then brush it on the top of each packet.  Place on a baking sheet (coated with a little nonstick spray) and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Serve with rice. 


  1. Yum! Can I move in with you guys so you can cook this for me? I like to hide the veggies too. That's the main reason I like "one dish" where everything is mixed together.

    BTW K is going to email B about B-day festivities. Also how was the show? Where did you end up eating?

  2. I have to try your salmon recipe. It's sounds delicious. I just bought salmon yesterday. Maybe I'll go get some puffed pastry so I can make it tonight. Don't forget your pasta and spinach recipe - you got the whole family to eat spinach with that one, and that's pretty amazing in itself.

  3. J, I just cooked your salmon wrapped in pastry for dinner - it was a huge success! The spinach just sort of blended with the other flavors and the thin layer of cream cheese was great. Even the Grand B himself said he liked the salmon better this way than on the grill. I had a little trouble separating the skin but figured it out. I didn't realize the box of pastry sheets only contained two sheets, so I improvised a bit because I was making enough for 4 servings. I cut the pastry in half and rolled them a little so my larger pieces of salmon would fit. Then I crimped the pastry more like a pie crust (albeit rectangular) rather than trying to fold the pie crust under.I cooked it about 10 minutes longer and it was soooo good. It was such an easy recipe. If I had the pastry sheets on hand, I would have put them in the refrig to thaw - that was the longest part of the process.When I served it, I cut each of the pieces in half to get the four servings. A very filling, satisfying meal.

  4. After posting this recipe I realized from your comments that I accidentally listed puff pastry rather than phyllo dough in the ingredients. It's great with puff pastry as well, but if you use it, you only need 1 sheet and can skip the layering step! Sorry for the oversight!