This Meatless Monday thing is turning out to be kind of tricky—specifically, the protein part. We frequently end up relying on pasta and a lot of cheese. Last week I made stuffed shells, which was only lukewarmly received—turns out I am the only fan of ricotta in this family, and I'm not even a big fan.
I haven't yet won over any family members to the wonderful world of beans. Only Pete and Andy like eggs just as eggs, although we all like eggs cooked in something, like a frittata (more pasta and cheese!). We've had success with soy "crumbles" (faux ground meat), but they are all texture and no flavor, so they invariably end up being used in—you guessed it—those same pasta and cheese dishes.
So, last night I ignored the purists and made salmon. It is not meat, at least to my way of thinking. It turned out great, and I will definitely make it again.
Both recipes follow, for the ricotta lovers and the salmon lovers out there.
1 box (8 oz.) uncooked manicotti (I used large shells instead.)
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (8 oz.)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (I omitted this.)
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1 box (10 oz.) cut spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 jar (25.5 oz.) tomato sauce
Heat oven to 375°. Cook manicotti shells as directed on box. Rinse with cool water; drain well. In medium bowl, stir together 1½ cups of the Italian cheese blend, the red pepper, ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic, and egg.
In bottom of ungreased 13x9" baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti shells; place over sauce in dish. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti shells. Cover tightly with foil.
Bake about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Uncover dish; sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons honey
4 salmon steaks (each 8 to 10 ounces and 1 inch thick) (I used salmon fillets instead.)
Heat broiler. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, hoisin sauce, and honey.
Rinse salmon and pat dry. (Oops, do you need to rinse fillets? I didn't.) Season both sides with coarse salt and pepper. Place salmon on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush generously with glaze.
Broil salmon about 4 inches from the heat source, brushing with the remaining glaze after about 5 minutes, until opaque in center, 10 to 13 minutes total. (The fillets took only 10 minutes.)