Lentils:  daal, llentia, čočka, linse, linzen, lentille, adasha, lencse, linsubaun, lenticchia, adas, soczewica, lenteja, mercimek.  No matter what you call them, whether they are green, black, or red - lentils are high in iron and a great source of protein. This is a healthy, easy, and delicious meal perfect to feed the family on any weeknight.

Lentil Salad (printable recipe)

  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Grilled Salmon (printable recipe)

  • 1 1/2 lbs wild salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Rinse lentils with water while you bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add lentils and let boil for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are cooked through. Strain lentils and set in a large bowl.

In a medium skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat and add carrots, celery, shallots and sauté until they soften, approximately 4-6 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Add vegetable mixture to bowl with the cooked and strained lentils.

Add in the remaining ingredients: lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper and fold everything together to combine. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve alongside grilled salmon.

For the salmon: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat grill pan on medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and season with salt and pepper.  Place salmon on hot grill pan flesh side down for 2-3 minutes, or until grill marks have been made.

Flip par-cooked salmon onto a sheet pan skin side down and place in oven to finish cooking. Bake until salmon is just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes depending on thickness. Once salmon comes out of the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and serve with lentils.

Serves 4

AuthorAmy Koch

  • Bagels - check
  • Cream Cheese - check
  • Toaster or Toaster Oven - check
  • Capers - check
  • Onion - check
  • Heaps of Black Pepper - check

What do we need to make this go completely over the top?  Hmm,

  • Leftover Salmon? - check


Bagels and cream cheese are pretty much staples in our house, as are onions; and well, capers never go bad - do they?  These are things that we literally always have on hand.  On occasion, there is some salmon from the night before and with very little coaxing this can become more delicious than it ever was in a dimly lit restaurant du jour.

Seriously, do capers go bad?

Everyone should have onions on hand.  Amy: "Why are you buying onions? We have onions."  Me: "What is this?  Sour Cream?  No, it's an onion.  If we keep it long enough, it'll grow another one."  I stockpile onions like it were

Authordavid koch

Salmon Burgers with Roasted Asparagus & Crispy Penne photo by Matt Haas

This meal shouldn't take more than 30 minutes from start to finish.  If it does, it means your kind of a hack.  That's ok.  Keep practicing and you'll be whipping up meals like this in no time.  
Serves 2



2 Trident Brand Salmon Burgers (available at Costco, as well as Smart & Final if you don't have the card!).  Any brand will do, but these are the best I've ever tasted, by far.

20 Asparagus Spears

1.5 C Uncooked Penne (whole wheat, if that's your thing. Yes, it's my thing)

Spices from the Pantry: Lemon Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper, Dried Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Seasoning Salt)

Parmesean Cheese, grated



Preheat oven to 450 degrees F  

1: Boil water for the penne (don't forget to salt it)

2: While the water boils, prep & peel the asparagus (first snap the asparagus 1-2 inches from the non-fancy end. Then peel the bottom 2/3's of each spear, which gives the asparagus a much more tender texture and reduces the cooking time a little. Skip the peeling part if you are lazy)


photo by Matt Haas

3: Arrange the asparagus spears on a roasting pan and brush with a little olive oil and season with Salt & Pepper. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until tender but al dente.

4: Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook until done (8-10 minutes)

5: While the pasta and asparagus cooks, lightly season the salmon burgers with lemon pepper or seasoning salt and cook 4 minutes per side in a hot skillet. 

6: While the pasta and burgers are cooking (don't forget to use timers, people), heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in another skillet.


photo by Matt Haas

7: When the pasta is done, drain and add to the hot pan with olive oil. While it gets crispy on the bottom, season generously with dried oregano, red pepper flakes, seasoning salt, pepper and parm. Toss then let it continue to crisp while the burgers and asparagus finish cooking.

8: Plate and enjoy!    


Notes: If you've never roasted asparagus before, this is by far the best way to cook it. Roasting it caramelizes the natural sugars and the end result is heavenly.

I switched to whole wheat pasta 2 years ago and haven't looked back, especially for this dish. I think you can buy salmon burgers in a variety of places, but the Trident brand is killer. If you don't use this brand and this dish flops, don't blame me.

Finally, as far as the seasoning salt, I use Jamaica Me Crazy brand from Seattle. My mother-in-law brings it to us in bulk and it's the best. I'm sure there are other brands out there that are almost as good.


AuthorMatt Haas