Day 20: Healthy Recipes for a Fall Dinner Party
You know that feeling where you are so tired you can't keep your eyes open? Where the thought of unloading the dishwasher or even picking up the living room makes you want to cry? Well that was me last night. After a long day of shooting, I was faced with a trashed apartment: piles of dishes to wash, furniture to rearrange, props to wash and bubble wrap and return. Not to mention piles of laundry to sort through before I can even begin to pack for my trip today.
I had every intention of just powering through and pulling another late night/early morning combo, but my body screamed ENOUGH! So after getting the kitchen cleaned and the props packaged, at 9:30 p.m. I did the unthinkable: I headed to bed. I don't remember the last time I went to bed that early but I woke up this morning feeling like a new woman. Amazing how incredibly healing sleep can be. Who would have guessed?! ;)
Clearly, I'm a slow learner. Early on in this process, I wrote about the importance of rest, and the fact that if I didn't pace myself, I'd burn out. After a crazy last week, a busy weekend, and now another jam-packed week ahead, I'm realizing the truth of those words. (Too bad I'm terrible at taking my own advice!) Can you all relate to feeling burnt out, but unsure where to pare back? And how to slow down? If anyone has achieved any sort of work/life balance I would LOVE to know how you do it. Seriously - send me a comment or an email! Woud love to hear your thoughts on prioritizing rest, and leaving the to-list unfinished.
I'm leaving town in a few hours, but before I go I want to share two of my all-time favorite fall dinner party recipes: Honey-Dijon Roasted Salmon and Red Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Red Onion. These recipes were recently featured in Anthology magazine, and will also be in the cookbook!
This salmon recipe is my go-to when I want to make something super-easy, but still impressive-looking for a dinner party. (I also regularly make a scaled-down version on a weeknight for Brandon and me.) The salmon is SO tender and flavorful - people ask me for this recipe all the time, and I'm almost embarrassed to share it because it's so easy!! The Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash is a beautiful side dish with the salmon, but it's equally delicious on its own. This is similar to a dish I featured on the blog a few years ago, inspired by my good friend Dori Friedman. I love to serve the salmon and the quinoa with Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Endive, to add a pop of color to the table.
I hope you all enjoy these healthy, fall recipes! To complete your dinner party experience, I'll be sharing my favorite flourless bittersweet chocolate cake with raspberry coulis later in the week...stay tuned. And if you feel inspired to cook any of these, post them on Instagram and tag the recipes #theyellowtable so I can see your creations! I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite shots of yours on the blog soon...
Tomorrow: My first-ever Cookbook Diaries podcast, featuring an interview with renowned cookbook author Anne Willan. Woo hoo!
RED QUINOA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH
2 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (1-inch cubes)
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Arrange the butternut squash and onion on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown.
Meanwhile, steam the spinach for 1-2 minutes until bright green and slightly wilted. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.
In a large bowl combine the squash, onion, spinach, dried cranberries, quinoa, and pine nuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the quinoa salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
HONEY-DIJON ROASTED SALMON
1 two-pound whole side of salmon
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons raw honey
8 thyme sprigs (plus more for garnish)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the salmon skinside down on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet (you can also use parchment paper). Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together the Dijon mustard and honey in a small bowl and pour the mixture evenly over the salmon. Cut half of the lemon into thin slices and arrange on top of the salmon. Scatter thyme springs over the salmon. Drizzle with the olive oil.
Roast until the salmon is just opaque in the center and flakes easily, about 12-15 minutes. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the salmon. Cut into 6 portions and serve, garnished with additional thyme springs.