Mediterranean Inspired Dinner

Mediterranean Inspired Dinner - Candy Coated Culinista

Mediterranean Inspired Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

Secondo : Parmesan Crusted Salmon
Contorno : Rapini with Caramelized Onions & Grape Tomatoes
Insalata : Bulgur Wheat & Organic Black Beluga Lentils Salad

It’s 2014, and the New Year is upon us and after all the heavy foods in excess we consumed during the holidays, those light dishes in January are really needed. I was surfing through Food Network Canada and came across their Cooking Club Challenge and for the month of January its salmon. Everyone seems to be on the same wavelength with starting off the year right by eating healthy. So Monday night I went home and made a Mediterranean inspired salmon dinner, with some of the grains I promised myself I would start integrating into my meals.

Secondo : Parmesan Crusted Salmon

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10-15 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 4 salmon fillets
• ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
• ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Lemon juice, from half a lemon
• Extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix together the Parmesan and breadcrumbs until well combined.
3. Season salmon with salt and pepper and then squeeze lemon juice on.
4. Coat the un-skinned side of the salmon with the parmesan mixture.
5. Preheat an oven proof non-stick pan to medium-high heat and pour in olive oil.
6. Once pan and oil is hot place salmon in crust side down and don’t touch.
7. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Flip over salmon and place in oven to cook for 6 to 8 more minutes.

• An ovenproof pan will make this process so much easier. I had to transfer my salmon from a frying pan to a baking pan.

Contorno : Rapini with Caramelized Onions & Grape Tomatoes

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15-20 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 bunch rapini, washed and trimmed
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tbsp red chilli flakes

1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until sweated.
2. Add in the grape tomatoes and the rapini and cook until rapini has wilted.
3. Season with salt, black pepper and pepper flakes.

Insalata : Bulgur Wheat & Organic Black Beluga Lentils Salad

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 20 min
Difficulty level is: Easy, labour intensive

• ¼ cup organic back beluga lentils
• ½ cup bulgur wheat
• 3 springs, green onion, diced
• 1 baby zucchini, diced
• ½ red pepper, diced
• ½ green pepper, diced
• 4 garlic cloves
• 1 handful or fresh dill, chopped
• 1 handful or fresh parsley, chopped
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Lemon juice, from half a lemon
• 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar

Organic Black Beluga Lentils
1. In a small sauce pan soak lentils in 1 cup of water lightly salted for 1 hour.
2. Simmer lentils on low-medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes, and drain.
Bulgur Wheat
3. Boil 1 cup water in a saucepan.
4. Rehydrate bulgur wheat in the boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Turn off heat and cover until all the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
6. Fluff up wheat with a fork and pour into a large bowl.
7. Prep the green onion, zucchini, red pepper, green pepper, garlic, dill & parsley and place in bowl.
8. Once lentils and wheat are tender pour into same bowl and add olive oil, salt, black pepper, lemon and red wine vinegar.
9. Stir until well incorporated.
10. Serve.

Please Enjoy

“The dinner was excellent. I really liked the crust on the salmon it added a nice crunch to the flaky salmon which was cooked perfectly. The bulgur wheat and dill salad was very tasty. I especially liked adding it to a bite of salmon for that burst of flavour from the dill and the texture of the bulgur wheat and lentils. The fried veggies were especially tasty and there was a very sweet veggie in there that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.”

My thoughts
This was an amazing dinner: healthy, vibrant and flavourful. I thought I wasn’t going to like the bulgur wheat or the lentils, as I really really really hate lentils but this tasted delish. The mix of all the veggies and herbs complemented the lentils and even Mr. C. enjoyed it. Usually I like to introduce new recipes one at a time. Something familiar mixed with something new; however with this recipe I went in feet first with 3 new recipes off the top of my head with just the idea of salmon. The bulgur wheat salad tasted better the next day when the flavours married. I had the leftover bulgur wheat salad and rapini for lunch the next day, and this was one of the few lunch dishes that I had with no meat. It was so flavourful that I didn’t even miss the meat and to me that means I did real good.


  1. […] put more gluten-free and ancient grains into my diet continues. I bought this book after I made my bulgur wheat and black lentil salad, only to find this pairing in this book also I love when I think like the cookbook, it means I am […]

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