I love the concept of sheet pan dinners, but I don’t love that they’re geared towards families and couples. I work with a lot of busy young professionals who are single, and I’ve found that cooking for one can be a barrier for their developing healthy cooking habits because there aren’t a lot of resources or examples available to show them how to make it easy.
When I found out this month’s Recipe ReDux theme was sheet pan dinners, I leapt at the chance to share an easy meal that’s appropriate for one person. This recipe is my go-to recommendation for what to make when it’s been a long day and you kind of hate everything—including those sheet pan dinner recipes that don’t seem to realize that single people need to eat too. It’s a winning combo for stress reduction that’s ready in about 30 minutes.
The favors this meal will do for you:
-The salmon provides omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful for calming a spike in cortisol, everyone’s favorite stress hormone.
-The broccoli provides calcium, a mineral that’s important for efficient muscle and nerve function—including those mood-regulating neurotransmitters. The folate in dark leafy greens is also key for supporting production of dopamine, which is tied in to feelings of pleasure.
–Sweet potatoes provide complex carbs, which are helpful for supporting production of neurotransmitter serotonin. They also provide antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which help the immune system function well and improve the body’s stress response by fighting inflammation.
In short: this sheet pan dinner is a delicious and satisfying way to stop those stress-induced hanger meltdowns in their tracks.
Here’s what you need to make one serving. Of course, if you happen to be cooking for 2 or more (or want to have leftovers for the next day), feel free to multiply the ingredients. Cooking times will be about the same.
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil*
- 3 teaspoons olive oil , divided
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼-cup or more water
- 1 6-ounce fillet of salmon
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 small sweet potato, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Whisk together 1 teaspoon olive oil with soy sauce, maple syrup, and water to make a light sauce. Place with salmon in an airtight sealed container or plastic bag. Set aside.
- Toss broccoli and sweet potato with sesame and remaining olive oil. Spread on baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes.
- Make space on the baking sheet for the salmon and place it on the sheet, skin side down. Bake another 10-12 minutes or until salmon is opaque in the middle.
*I like to use a combination of sesame and olive oil to give this a warmer flavor, but you can use just one or the other or to use sunflower oil.
The Recipe ReDux is a monthly recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians that aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.
This has been another installment of the Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.
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