Pantry Challenge, Day 26: Marinated Salmon Fillets and Cucumber Parmesan Macaroni

Monday morning I was hoping to wake up energetic and ready to clean up the house and catch up on dishes after a weekend of being sick, but I wasn’t that surprised when instead we still needed another sick day.

For breakfast I fried up a bag of sliced apples I’d found in the freezer, using almost the last of our coconut oil. (This means we’re basically down to olive oil and a  little bit of rice bran oil for fats in the house. Not ideal, but for now I’m going to try to make do with those until my Azure order comes in later this week.)

For lunch we had leftover salmon chowder from Sunday.

Once again the lack of easy snacking food in the afternoon was a bit challenging (no pun intended), especially as we’re now out of crackers. I mixed up some more garlic cream cheese dip and (after my husband definitively determined that it’s NOT good with graham crackers) we ate it with ezekiel toast triangles.

I didn’t have a lot of energy for cooking supper, but I knew it would be easier to throw together that it might sound from the description, besides which, we had very limited options for food in the house if I went off the menu plan at this point in the pantry challenge, and I was also quite curious as to how this particular meal plan would turn out.

I had some flat punch, originally made from cranberry raspberry juice and ginger ale, and I really didn’t want to throw it out, so I decided to use it as a marinade for salmon fillets. Once I’d gotten to that point it was a very small jump to decide to take whatever part of the flat punch I didn’t need for the marinade and boil it down for a reduction sauce to serve with the salmon fillets. (I added a splash of red wine to the reduction sauce also.)

I also had some frozen cucumbers that I really needed to use up, or just decide to throw away, and I opted to at least make the attempt to make them taste good to eat. (Can you tell I really don’t like cucumbers that well?) I was originally just going to sautee the cucumbers and serve the salmon fillets as sandwiches, but since I still haven’t made homemade bread, I opted to serve elbow macaroni as our carb for the meal, and then I decided that if I mixed the sauteed cucumbers with pasta it might be more edible.

Overall the meal turned out pretty well. The salmon was good, the flat punch made a quite good reduction sauce, and with the addition of lots of garlic, some parmesan and touch of olive oil the cucumber pasta was not bad, though not something I’d ever plan to make again.

This was the first of our ‘beige’ meals this week, but the reduction sauce added a nice splash of color and I sprinkled dried parsley over the whole thing, so the overall effect was of a meal that was surprisingly elegant for being eaten curled up on the couch watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 at the end of a sick day.

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