Recipes: Baked Salmon and Vegetables

I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been a huge vegetable fan.  To be honest, I’ve despised everything with even a hint of green in it for the majority of my life.  It’s only been in the last few years, with much encouragement from M, that I’ve even considered trying most vegetables.  Roots were pretty easy, but I’m still hesitant about green things, and broccoli is the final frontier.

Part of the reason that I’m slowly becoming a vegetable convert is surely age – many people’s taste buds change around their mid-20s, as their bodies start craving vitamins along with protein and carbs.  But I’ve also discovered roast vegetables in the last few years.  Everything tastes better roasted in olive oil and covered with gravy or lemon juice.

This is one of my favorite summertime roast vegetable recipes because it’s cheap, easy, and really fast.  I just pick up the ingredients on the way home and stick it in the oven.  If I’m feeling frugal I’ll go to ASDA but this is one of those recipes where high quality ingredients (especially the fish) make a big difference, and I’ll spend the extra pound or two for a really good dinner. 

I’ve chosen to makes this partly because I have lots of cherry tomatoes waiting to be eaten and based the prices of the things I bought on Waitrose (oops!  I love Waitrose).

Baked Salmon with French Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, and Artichokes

Ingredients (for 2)
2 Pieces of Salmon (I like fillets, but whatever)
10-12 cherry tomatoes (or really however many you want)
5 oz French beans, blanched (boil them 3-4 minutes, then plunge into cold water for 10 min)
½ small jar artichoke hearts, drained
1 lemon
olive oil

Put vegetables in a roasting pan.  Coat them in olive oil and the juice of half the lemon, then salt and pepper to taste.  (I will often marinade the salmon in white wine while waiting for the beans to blanch, but only if I have some open).

Put the salmon on top of the vegetables and add a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Bake at 220 for 15 minutes or until the salmon is done.

I serve this with wedges from the other half of the lemon, rice (so cheap), and a bottle of wine.  Enjoy!

COST- salmon: £5.98 (on sale), beans: £1.60, lemon: £0.34, artichoke hearts:£3.29 (on sale)

Total for dinner: £5.61 per person, though this actually makes us meal and a half, so M will have salmon for dinner tomorrow while I’m away.  This makes the cost £.374 per individual meal.  Cheap, healthy and delicious, even from Waitrose.

I also bought a bottle of wine for £6.29, and if you factor that into the 3 meals it comes to £5.81 with wine.  Not bad!

Evening Out: The Candlemaker

One of the hardest things about trying to save money is that it’s much cheaper to stay in than go out.  But I love going out.  I love crowded streets and cozy pubs and the buzz of being surrounded by other people.  I think this technically makes me an extrovert. 

It also means that I want to go to the pub on a Tuesday.  We don’t need to go far or stay too long, but after a day of working alone, I want to be WITH people.

SO, last night M and I tried the Candlemaker – the recently refurbished pub on Battersea High St.  It got the name from the candle factory which (along with a variety of other light industry) used to operate along the river here in south London. 

I was pleasantly surprised – while not packed, the pub had a quiet Tuesday hum, with couples and groups of friends scattered among most of the tables. The décor was 60s chic with pop-art all over the walls, mixed with fun pieces like this suit of armor:

and there is lots of outside seating for those summer nights… oh right.  Well, for the smokers anyway.

Drinks wise, the pub is affordable but not cheap.  I had a small viognier for £4.85 (DO NOT DRINK the house Sauvignon Blanc, awful) and M tried one of the local pints for £4.50 or so.  (Which one – I don’t remember.  Next time.)

All in all, a fun find for less than a fiver each.  Good beer and a fun atmosphere.  Apparently Monday is the night to go, with a comedy quiz and two-for-one burgers.  Maybe next week.

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