What a difference a year makes! This time last summer we were dealing with a newly walking nearly one year old. We pretty much went wherever and did whatever and she was along for the ride. She sat in a high chair when we went out to dinner and she was just starting to say things like “mama” and “dada”. We went to the playground and she could pretty much only swing in the baby swings. Everything else was out of reach. Towards the end of summer, music in the park became a game of toddler tag with my husband and I taking turns following her around as she waddled from one group to the next, saying “hi” to everyone she met and stopping to pet each and every dog.
This year it’s a whole new ball game! Our nearly two year old is cray, for real. Summer has barely begun and I’m already anticipating having the endurance similar to that of a marathon runner by the time it’s over. She has three speeds; running full bore, sleeping and watching Moana. She is very boisterous and quick to let you know if she does not approve of something, usually with a loud shrill cry or scream. She talks constantly, mostly words we can understand, some that we can’t. She’s started to string phrases together which blows my mind every time. She repeats every single thing you say, especially when you swear quietly under your breath. Which let’s face it, is hilarious. She gives giant bear hugs and has gotten a little stingy with the smooches as of late.
The other day I found my husband in the living room with tears streaming down his face; he was sitting next to her on the ottoman and he had bent down to tie his shoes when she laid her hand and head on his back and said “I love daddy”. If that doesn’t make you cry, I don’t know what will.
Nowadays, a trip to the playground could tire even the most seasoned and in shape parents. And we are neither seasoned, nor in shape so we often hope beyond hope that she wants to nap when we get home so we have a moment to recharge too. But I would not have it any other way. It’s so amazing to watch this tiny baby grow in a little person with thoughts and ideas and a personality. It’s crazy to think that 2 years ago we didn’t even know her. I feel so lucky everyday to be this girl’s momma. Even the days that are filled with grumpy, teething, crying and sassing. Because when I look back on these last two years all I think about is the good stuff. The groggy morning snuggles, the eskimo kisses, those big dimples every time she smiles, the way she grabs my hand when we are walking, when her eyes meet mine looking for approval when she knows she’s doing something good, her adorable little chubby legged run. For me, that’s what this life is about. Those moments that make you want to cry you’re so happy. And my beautiful baby girl gives me those moments every single day.
So, how am I going to tie this delicious salmon recipe into my sappy blog post? Well, if you want to spend more time making those moments where you’re so happy you could cry, this super simple recipe is for you! With very little active prep/cook time, this recipe is a healthy meal you can feel proud to feed your family, but you won’t have to miss out on all the little moments to get it done!
Garlic & Ginger Foil Baked Salmon with Pickled Veggies
For the salmon:
- 1 pound salmon, cut into 4 fillets
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- For garnish: 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
For the pickled veggies:
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- pinch of Kosher salt
- 1 small cucumber, very thinly sliced
- 5 radishes, very thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, very thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Gotta get those veggies pickled first! Add thinly sliced veggies to a 32 oz. mason jar. The veggies should nearly fill the entire jar and be packed in tightly (but not smashed). Add garlic and ginger on top of the veggies in the jar. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, then pour hot pickling liquid into the jar. Fill nearly to the top. Screw the lid on and let come to room temp on the counter. Then refrigerate for about 24 hours.
*If you are in hurry, you could just let the veggies pickle for at least 4 hours, but the longer they pickle the more flavorful they will be.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk tamari, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and agave. Place salmon (skin side down) onto a large piece of foil, big enough to make a sealed packet around the salmon. Pour sauce slowly over the salmon. Seal the foil packet. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. You could also cook this over medium high heat on a grill. Be sure to check the fish around the 10 minute mark though as all grills cook a little differently.
Serve salmon alongside a heaping pile of pickled veggies. Garnish with cilantro. Rice or noodles go well with this meal also.