Let me start out by being transparent and letting you know what this is not, as I realize the title “Cooking for Beginners” could be deceiving.
What this is not:
- This is not a post from someone that knows how to cook.
- This post is not intended to be educational nor am I a self-professed expert.
What this is:
- This is just one woman’s journey to happiness and being self-sufficient in the kitchen is a part of that journey.
- You may learn something along the way, most likely through my failures.
- You will see me cooking as a beginner and all the messy parts and wins.
- You will likely laugh at some point or possibly pity me. Especially if you watch the video below.
Cooking for Beginners – Meal Subscription Boxes for the Win!
In one of my FabFitFun boxes I received a coupon code for $90 off of Green Chef. I also have a referral link! ? If you would like to try Green Chef you can use this link to get $55 towards your next order. I’m always up for a good deal, plus I loved that Green Chef is A) organic and B) has so many options. You can choose from Paleo, Keto, Plant-Powered, Family Plan, or Balanced Living.
When you order for that week you need to pick all meals from that category, but you can switch from category to category each week. I love switching it up and still feeling like I’m eating healthy. With me on another journey to lose weight it’s important to me that I can make most of the meals fit within my calorie goals.
My first attempt at Mediterranean Salmon
First I laid out much of what I needed, ingredients and cooking utensils. Thankfully with Green Chef everything is pre-packaged and nicely laid out.
- 2 (5oz) Salmon fillets
- 1 tsp smoked paprika and garlic blend
- 1/2 cup toasted pearl couscous
- 4 oz Grape tomatoes
- 1/8 oz Thyme
- 2 oz Feta Cheese
- 1/4 oz Garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1/4 cup Cumin-herb lemon vinaigrette with fresh garlic
- 1 cube of vegetable bouillon
- cooking oil
- salt and pepper
- non-stick pan
- baking sheet
- cutting board
- medium pot
- large bowl
- medium pot
- measuring cups and spoons
- oven mitt
- paper towels
After laying everything out that I would need I preheated my oven to 425 degrees.
Then I started prepping the food.
First I minced the garlic and de-stemmed the thyme. I did not know how to de-stem something until now. I tried to use a knife to scrap the thyme off and thankfully found a YouTube video that showed how to pinch the stem and start from the top pulling downward. All of the thyme came off like magic. You can also evidently uses a sift??♀️ Next I halved the grape tomatoes.
I had to prepare the couscous. This involved doing the following:
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium-sized pan
- Add the couscous pearls, the garlic and half of the thyme
- Add salt and pepper
- Cook for 1 minute or until you can smell the fragrance coming off of the garlic
- Add 1 1/4 cups of water to the pot
- Stir and bring to a boil
- Crumble the vegetable bouillon over the couscous and stir
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 11-14 minutes or until al dente or water is absorbed (side note: I had heard of al dente before but really didn’t know what it meant. It means that it’s firm to the bite ? for others like me)
- Remove from heat
I can’t stress enough to stir frequently. About a quarter of my couscous was stuck to the bottom of the pot. Maybe not such a bad thing as it shaved off some calories ?
I seasoned and laid out the tomatoes on the baking sheet while the couscous was burning. Next time I would do it after.
To prep and roast the tomatoes you:
- Add tomatoes halves and the rest of the thyme in a large bowl
- Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Season with sale and pepper
- Stir to combine
- Line your baking sheet with foil and lightly spread with oil. I used Pam
- Spread tomatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet
- Roast 5-8 minutes or until the tomatoes blister
Now to season and cook the salmon
- Take your two salmon fillets and pat them dry with a paper towel, which evidentially helps with an even application of the seasoning and prevents them from sticking to the pan. Who knew?
- Place the two fillets on a plate and season them with the paprika/garlic blend and salt and pepper
- Drip about 1 tbsp of olive oil on the fillets and rub evenly to coat
- Heat 1 1/2 tbsps in your non-stick pan over medium-high heat
- Add each fillet to the pan skin-side down
- Cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until fully cooked (145 degrees internal temperature). It took me about 8 minutes on each side and I almost made my daughter very sick with raw salmon ??♀️
You then finish the couscous by
- Add the vinaigrette and about half of the feta to the cooled pot of couscous
- Season with salt and pepper
Then you are ready to enjoy!
Add your couscous to your plate, top with tomatoes, salmon and remaining feta cheese.
Green Chef tells me this is what my meal should look like.
Didn’t work out for me the same, but it was really yummy and I feel a tad bit more capable in the kitchen.
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett
For all of those that made it to the end, I have a limited treat for you if you want it? If you haven’t yet tried Green Chef I can give you one of my free boxes. I have 4 left, so contact me here and tell me you want your free Green Chef box and an email from them will be on its way!
For all of those that want a good laugh or to feel good about your cooking skills, watch me in action ?