Grilled Balsamic Salmon | Caesar Salad

I decided to add the Asparagus and Heirloom Tomato Pasta that I didn't make last week, since I had all the ingredients sitting around. We had a busy day at the pool and I knew everyone was going to be pretty hungry. 

Grilled Balsamic Salmon
  • Salmon 
  • Balsamic vinaigrette 
    • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 3 tsp of your favorite dried herbs (I use an herb blend called herbal delight)
    • Sea Salt and Cracked pepper to taste
In a gallon sized ziplock mix together the ingredients for the balsamic vinaigrette. Rinse salmon and pat dry, then add to the ziplock bag. Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to and hour. 

Grill on Med-high for 10 minutes or until fish is done.

Homemade Croutons for the Caesar salad
I didn't make the dressing from scratch tonight I opted for TJ's Caesar dressing, which is pretty good. I spruce it up with a dash of hot sauce, cracked pepper, a little garlic powder and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

But what makes this easy salad great is the homemade croutons. If you haven't made croutons before you are missing out! I save the ends of the fresh artisan bread, have you made this yet? I put all the ends in a ziplock throughout the week. I make bread crumbs and store in the freezer or croutons with the ends of the bread. Make them, you won't be sorry. 

Okay enough talk, here's how I make them:
  • Old bread pieces cut into cubes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • cracked pepper
  • dried herbs (your favorite)
Heat oven to 275 degrees. Now this is not an exact science so no measurements. Grab a cookie sheet and put the cubes on the pan. Drizzle the olive oil on top of the cubes, not too much you don't want them drenched. Toss the cubes around to incorporate the olive oil. Now sprinkle all the seasonings on to taste, toss the cubes again. Put the sheet in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, it should start to smell really yummy. Open the oven and toss the cubes again and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until crunchy.

Asparagus, mushroom, tomato and whatever you have on hand pasta
  • Half a package of whole wheat Spaghetti, cooked 'al dente' and drained, reserve about a 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1 slice of nitrate free bacon, you can omit this and make it veggie friendly
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed (or you can use the frozen garlic-2 cubes)
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch steamed asparagus, cut into pieces
  • 1-2 tomatoes chopped or halved cherry tomatoes
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, cracked pepper and sea salt
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cut bacon into strips, I use kitchen scissors. Add bacon to pan and cooked until it starts to turn brown. Add olive oil, garlic and mushrooms. Let cook for about 2 minutes until mushrooms are starting to brown. Add asparagus and tomatoes, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add pasta to the skillet and toss with the veggies. Add pasta water and let cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add parmesan cheese toss and then serve warm.

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