Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pan fried salmon with butternut squash mashed potatoes

It's only the second Weekly Challenge (along with our friends from read it // eat it) and we're already behind.  Funny thing happens when you blog about feeding a toddler, yeah, sometimes that toddler takes a lot of attention.  

Read more here about this week's theme: the Ocean.  We decided to go with salmon because we love it's natural fatty buttery flavors, and it's a fairly easy protein to cook.  We are trying to give Babygirl more fish, since "they" say omega oils are good for the brain, right?  We need her learning more animal sounds.

The fish is simply pan-fried; nothing fancy or complicated.  It's pretty similar to how my mom cooked fish when I was growing up.  Really, with salmon, there's no reason to add any seasoning beyond salt and pepper, the fish itself is rich and creamy.

The mashed potatoes with butternut squash is my idea, based on something I must have read on the Internet at some point of my life, though I'd be hard-pressed to figure out where.  It substitutes butternut squash, a naturally buttery tasting vegetable, for cheese, butter and/or cream.  Result: non-fat (yet creamy) mashed potatoes.

Babygirl's Plate

Adult Plate


  • Salmon (a single portion is 6 oz) *
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced 
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mashed potatoes

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (this is the part where I specify the best potato for mashing, but I'm not that knowledgeable.  For the record, I am content to use russet)
  • salt and pepper


  1. On a large pan, place butternut squash and potatoes.  Cover with water and set to boil.  Once boiling, lower temperature to keep at a slow simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, until both squash and potatoes are soft.
  2. On a medium pan, heat a small bit of olive oil (just a tiny tiny bit, but you need it for the onions).  Cook onions until they are translucent
  3. Season fish with salt and pepper on both sides and put on the pan, over the cooked onions.
  4. After the fish is cooked on one side, flip it over to cook on the other.  Salmon turns a distinctive "salmon" color when cooked.  I personally let it brown a bit on both sides, as I think it makes it tastier.  And yes, the fish often falls apart during the flipping process; it's no biggie.
  5. Check on the mashed potatoes, and if cooked through, remove extra liquid.  Mash until desired consistency and season.
  6. Done !
* My new discovery for removing salmon skin: the fish monger will do it for you!!!  At lest they do at Whole Foods, though I'm sure other places would too.  

Toddle ratings: heart healthy: yes     spicy: no     easy to chew: yes, super mushy     ease of preparation: very simple     reheating: only mashed potatoes, but they can be a side to any protein     3 food groups: protein, vegetable, carbohydrate

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