Hooray – the kids are back to school! It’s that time of the year when many parents have grown weary of the unstructured days of summer and are ready for a little more routine in their lives. But we all know what comes with this – tighter schedules, more activities, more carpooling, and the age-old question: what’s for dinner?
This month, I present to you a back-to-school special! A dinner that is healthy, big on flavor, and short on time and cleanup. Just what we need to help during our adjustment to the school year.
I like this recipe because it utilizes basic pantry staples that most of us already have or are easy to find, and it’s packed with fresh, crunchy vegetables. The apple and the honey give it a touch of sweetness – just enough to counter the heat in the curry and hold the attention of kids.
And, what’s more, this dish doesn’t need to be served hot, making it flexible for busy weeknights. Add to that, the ease of prep and cleanup and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Add this one to your weekly rotation and own back-to-school dinner time. And if you are lucky enough to have any left, it makes for a great lunch the next day!
Red Curry Salmon with Sweet & Tangy Slaw
4 ea. 4-6 oz. salmon filets
2 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the red curry paste, mayonnaise and soy sauce and whisk until well combined.
- Place salmon filets on a sheet pan and season well with salt.
- Brush or spoon a generous and equal amount of the red curry mixture onto each salmon filet.
- Bake for 8 minutes and then raise the temperature of the oven to Broil. Move the sheet pan to the highest rack in the oven right under the broiler, and broil for a few minutes until the salmon glaze turns nice and caramelized.
- While salmon is baking, make slaw – see recipe below.
- To serve, place a nice pile of slaw on a plate and top with salmon filet. Garnish with torn cilantro and lime wedges. ENJOY!
Sweet & Tangy Slaw
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
¼ c. olive oil
½ head Napa cabbage
1 red pepper
2 large carrots
1 Fuji apple
3 spring onions
½ bunch of cilantro
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- To make the dressing, combine the zest and juice of the lemon and lime, finely chopped garlic, soy sauce, honey and olive oil and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- To prepare the slaw, start by cutting the head of cabbage in half. Place one half, flat side down, on your cutting board and slice crosswise into thin slices.
- Cut the pepper into thin strips and add them to the cabbage.
- Peel the carrots and then shred them on the large holes of a box grater. Add them to the cabbage.
- Do not peel the apple. Thinly slice it. Then stack those slices and cut them into long matchsticks. Add them to the cabbage.
- Thinly slice the spring onions and roughly chop the cilantro, and then add them to the cabbage mixture.
- Season all of the slaw vegetables with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- Whisk the dressing again and pour it over all of the vegetables. Toss everything well with tongs.
- Don’t want to use salmon? This recipe is easy enough to swap in another protein – just adjust the cook time accordingly:
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: about 20 minutes at 425 degrees
- Shrimp: about 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees
- Tofu: about 25-30 minutes at 400-425 degrees
- Don’t forget to use parchment paper on your sheet pan if you have it – makes cleanup a breeze!
- Don’t have napa cabbage, but do you have green or red cabbage? Go for it – that works too.
Hello, I’m Natalie! I’m a professionally-trained chef and culinary instructor living in Ann Arbor. A career change, a trip through culinary school 20 years ago, and being a lifelong Julia Child enthusiast has led me to a career doing my very favorite thing: making food and cooking approachable to home cooks of all ages!
My passion for creating great food experiences and getting people excited about learning and having fun in the kitchen is always at the heart of what I do. I teach virtual adult and family cooking classes through Ann Arbor Rec & Ed, as well as my own private cooking classes and corporate events at NatalieMarbleCooks.com. You can find me on social media at @NatalieMarbleCooks and can sign up for my bi-weekly email newsletter here, where I share family-friendly recipes, tips & tricks, new class information, and hopefully a little inspiration!