Today we have a gift idea!
A gift idea that was gifted to us once, in fact. Once, long ago, while I was pregnant with Beck, Jay broke his leg in three places on the first day of vacation. It was horrendous, and he still is dealing with pain from the injury and planning to have a third surgery to do some more correcting of what can only be described as a crappy first attempt at fixing him.
In those early weeks of healing, one of my yoga students at the Y brought this meal to me one day at the gym. It was SO good and one of the most thoughtful things she could have done. The end result was a salmon salad with orzo, but she packaged everything separately and cooked the components perfectly so that the salad was great cold and we could mix and match to make plates exactly the way we wanted. I created a version and love this idea for a gift for someone who needs it, but it’s also great to prep on the weekend and have for lunches and dinners all week. The salmon DOES get slightly fishy when eaten cold, so you could definitely cook the salmon right at the last minute or even sub chicken, but I don’t mind the cold salmon flavor at all.
The first thing to do is roast the salmon. Preheat the oven to 350F and sprinkle it with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and dill. I love this combination of dried spices and use them on EVERYTHING. Not gross on roasted potatoes either.
The salmon gets roasted for 25 minutes or so until it’s cooked through, then it comes out of the oven to rest. While the salmon is cooking, boil some orzo, then toss it with salt, pepper, and olive oil so it doesn’t get too clumpy.
When the salmon is cool enough to handle, take off the skin and break the fish into large chunks, then set it aside.
The dressing is super simple – lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper. I shake it up in a jar so it doesn’t spill when I transport it, and it lasts forever in the fridge.
Now, the rest of the work is just prepping any ingredients you’d like for the salad. I went with super crunchy romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and the salmon and orzo. You could add any other veggies you want, though, or swap out the cheese, even add some nuts or croutons.
And that’s it! You can store everything separately, or have this for lunch on the day you make it an enjoy the leftovers, which is what we did.
Jay ate his low carb.
I did not.
We both loved ours.
I seriously adore this, whether hot or cold, and find that the dill + feta + citrus flavors work so well with the salmon and crunchy veggies.
I definitely hope you don’t know anyone who plans to break their leg any time soon, but highly recommend making this asap for someone who needs a little food love. Enjoy!
- 2/3 pound salmon filet
- ½ teaspoon EACH salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 cups cooked orzo pasta
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon EACH salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the salmon on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and dill.
Roast the salmon for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven to cool slightly.
While the salmon cools, toss the cooked orzo with a few drizzles of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Taste, and add more salt and pepper until the orzo is very flavorful.
Make the dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and taste; add more salt and pepper to your preference.
When the salmon has cooled, remove the skin and cut into large chunks.
To go: Package the salmon, orzo, dressing, veggies, and cheese in separate plastic containers and bags.
To serve: assemble salads with a bed of lettuce, some orzo and salmon, and veggies and feta. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
I like to package this with a few extras as a gift: some dessert, a loaf of bread, bottle of wine, etc. It’s a great gift or a make-ahead meal to make on a Sunday and eat throughout the week!