This is a meal my family has enjoyed repeatedly since it was inspired by a chicken recipe more than two years ago. We rarely eat chicken and never cook it at home, so we’ve always made this with canned wild Alaskan salmon. I’ve now made enough changes to the original recipe that I feel this qualifies as a different recipe. You can make this meal for $5 or less if you stock up on canned salmon when it goes on sale, and you choose wisely on the greens and carbohydrate–the recipe is very flexible about those specifics. There are five components to this meal, which picky people may prefer to eat separately: salmon in sauce, greens, dressing, dried cranberries, and a carbohydrate. The way I serve this meal for myself is to put the salmon on top of the carbohydrate, and the dressing and cranberries on top of the greens. To make 4 servings, you will need:
- 15 oz. canned or pre-cooked salmon
- 1 small or 1/2 large onion
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 servings prepared carbohydrate: pasta, rice, baked or mashed potato, toasted hearty bread, etc.
- 4 cups fresh, or 2 cups shredded frozen, dark green leaves: kale, spinach, Swiss chard, etc.
- 1/3 cup olive oil (separately from above oil)
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
The first step is to consider what kind of carb and what kind of greens you are using. If the carb is not yet cooked, start cooking it first. If you’ll be serving toast, wait until last to toast it so it will be warm. If you want to eat the greens raw, all you have to do is rinse them and tear larger leaves into bite-size pieces. If the greens are frozen, or they’re fresh but you want to serve them cooked, start cooking them–I often use frozen kale, just put it in a covered pot with a small amount of water, and poke it with a spoon every few minutes until all the chunks are broken up and it is a slightly less bright green.
Drain the salmon and remove unwanted bones.
Dice the onion. Cook it in 2 Tbsp. oil until it begins to brown.
Stir in broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in yogurt, thyme, and lemon juice. (If you used leftover cooked salmon that was not salted, instead of canned salmon, you may want to add some salt.) Stir for about 2 minutes.
Add the salmon. Break it up into small chunks. Heat for another few minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, make the dressing, either by shaking in a small glass jar or by whisking in a small bowl: Crush the garlic and mix it with 1/3 cup oil and the vinegar and salt.
Serve the salmon, carb, greens, dressing, and cranberries together or separately, as desired.