Easy Weeknight Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner

It’s 5:00 pm on a school night and you have no idea what to cook for dinner. Enter this easy weeknight salmon and asparagus sheet pan dinner recipe! With practically zero prep and a quick cook time, you can have a delicious and nutritious, Whole 30 approved meal on the table in about 20 minutes!

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner on the table in 20 minutes. Whole 30 Approved

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Family selfie at the Eiffel Tower

Family selfie at the Eiffel Tower. European Springbreak 2017.

We just returned from our family springbreak vacation in Europe and I realized a couple things while we were gone. First, my body feels better than it has in a long time. I drank very little red wine while we were gone (something I did almost every night without fail before we left). I had been having quite a few headaches before we went to Germany and suspected it may be the wine.

While we were gone, I only drank wine on three separate evenings, and each morning afterwords, the headaches were back. Hmmm. Second, my joint pain (my hips and shoulders have hurt me for years!) was a lot better while we were gone which I attribute to an overall cleaner European food system. They don’t allow a lot of the additives we find in our American food. Hmmm.

That information has been swirling in my head and I’ve also been watching friends participate in lots of clean eating challenges, like the Whole 30 program. Now I’m not quite ready to jump on board with the Whole 30 thing just yet (I REALLY love yogurt and cheese), but I have been cleaning up our food which seems to have deteriorated recently.

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner featured

When I feel better, life is just better! Is is the same for you? And that’s why I recommend that you try this recipe. With heart-healthy salmon, fresh spring vegetables, and heart-healthy flax, you will enjoy eating healthy and your body will thank you. Maybe, just maybe, it can be the push you need to start eating cleaner every day!

forti flax barlean's blogger challenge

I’m excited to partner with Barlean’s to bring you a Clean Eating Challenge and Forti-Flax & Flax Oil Giveaway. All opinions are my own.

As a Barlean’s Blogger, I was sent the following products to help with this post:

I’ve been baking with flax seeds for a long time. It’s an ingredient in my 12-grain bread, my favorite bread recipe of all times! Flax seeds are full of omega-3s, plant lignans, and fibers. They are a source of essential fats that we need to stay healthy and anti-oxidants as well. According to healthyflax.org “The Institute for Medicine recommends that men consume 1.6 grams, women 1.1 grams  and children depending on age consumer between 0.5 and 1.2 grams per day.  Two Tbsp (30 mL) of ground flaxseed provides 3.5 g of omega 3, more then twice the daily recommendation.”

Flax seed oil is delicious in homemade salad dressings, and ground flax seed is also a great addition to smoothies and yogurt bowls as well. Read to the end of the post for a giveaway and you can enter to win Forti-Flax and Flax Oil from Barlean’s! Now let’s get busy cooking this delicious meal. It won’t take long, promise!

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner

Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner

To make this quick and easy meal, simply preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Blanch a pound of asparagus for four minutes, then arrange all ingredients on a sheet pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes and enjoy!

salmon asparagus sheet pan dinner

Serves 4-6 servings

Easy Weeknight Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner #EatCleanwithBarleans #Giveaway

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 4, 6-8 ounce salmon fillets, preferably wild-caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 lemon, half juiced, half sliced
  • 3 TBS avocado oil
  • 1 TBS Barlean's Forti-Flax ground flaxseed
  • REAL salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Blanch asparagus for 4 minutes in boiling water.
  2. Arrange salmon and veggies on a sheet pan (lined with unbleached parchment paper if you want super easy clean-up. Skip this step if you're cheap like me.)
  3. Drizzle avocado oil and lemon juice over fish and veggies.
  4. Top with ground flaxseed, salt, pepper, and lemon slices.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until salmon is cooked to your heart's desire.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe feeds my family of 6, but two of my kids aren't huge salmon fans.

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Easy Weeknight Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner on your table in 20 minutes! Plus, an #EatCleanwithBarleans #Giveaway!

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can’t Start Them Yourself

 Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! Today’s topic is spring veggies – growing and eating. Since seedlings are also a big part of spring gardening, I’m sharing a list of where to buy heirloom seedlings if you can’t start them yourself. Finding heirloom seedlings ready to plant can be a challenge, and this list of five places to look might be a big help.Where to buy heirloom seedlings when you can't start them yourself

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a bit off your purchases at no cost to you! Thank you for supporting my site.*

I enjoy starting my own seeds have done so for the last 7 years in a row. But truth be told, it’s always stressful! Pulling out the shelf and equipment. Watering every day. Harding them off. What if they don’t grow? Who’s going to babysit them when we go on spring break (we always go on spring break!) In years past, I haven’t let those complications deter me. But this year, we went to Europe right at the time when I should have been starting seeds and lining up seedling babysitters. Instead of stressing about it, I decided to let seed starting go this year.

I’m not starting my own seedlings this year!!- even though I did buy new tomato seeds for varieties I’d really love to grow in my garden. But not starting my own seeds presents a challenge – because I REALLY want to grow heirloom plants. They’re hard to find if you don’t know where to look. So instead of starting my own heirloom seedlings this year, I decided to come up with a list of where I can find heirloom seedlings started by someone else instead. I’ll keep you updated with what I find – but here’s where I’ll be buying heirloom seedlings this year!

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can’t Start Your Own Seeds

Buy Tomato Seedlings

Farmer’s Markets – 

Local farmer’s markets are great places to find heirloom seedlings. I haven’t visited any farmer’s markets yet this year, but I definitely remember seeing seedlings there in years’ past. Do you find heirloom seedlings at farmer’s markets? Locally, I plan to check out Freight House Farmer’s Market in Davenport and the Iowa City Farmer’s Market too.

Azure Standard

I have ordered lovely heirloom seedlings from Azure Standard (called Sarah’s Starts) and have been quite pleased with their quality. Last year, I grew a couple heirloom tomato plants from Azure Standard and also fun broccolis and cabbages. If you haven’t heard of Azure Standard before, they are an organic bulk food coop out of Oregon and deliver organic and non-gmo food and supplies all across the country. I’ve been buying in bulk from them for years and they are one way I keep my grocery budget low. You can read more about why I like them in this post.

Local Nurseries – Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, even Walmart

While I haven’t found a huge variety of heirloom seedlings at local nurseries, I do find a few every year. Cherokee Purple tomato seedlings seem to be a popular heirloom for big box stores to sell and I’ve seen a few other varieties too. It does take some searching, but if you look hard enough, you might find a few heirloom seeds at the big box nurseries. And Walmart! I’m not a big Walmart fan, but I really do like their nursery sometimes. They have the biggest selection of seedlings in my rural area. I’ve enjoyed buying chocolate mint starts at Walmart and other fun herb varieties that I don’t see elsewhere.

Ask friends who garden – 

It might seem an imposition to ask friends who garden, but as a person who has had good luck with seedlings in the past, I know that I happily pass my own leftovers to friends who want them! I’ve had to work hard some years to get rid of my extras and I’m always glad to find good homes for them. Facebook is a great place to advertise extra seedlings and Facebook groups are a good place to look. You can always offer your friends a barter or to pay for the seedlings, if you want!

Order direct from seed companies and sometimes even Amazon!

Two of my favorite seed companies ship out plant starts, both Seed Savers in Iowa and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri. I’ve never ordered seedlings from Seed Savers, but if you’re in the market for unique heirloom tomatoes, herbs, and peppers, definitely check out what they have to offer.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sells heirloom sweet potato slips. I ordered a sampler last year and the plants were delightful. Unfortunately, my dogs dug up all but two of of them, and the two that were left, while prolific growers, didn’t produce much of anything. 🙁 Could be grower error, though. I have no idea why I didn’t get any sweet potatoes. The starts themselves were lovely, so it was probably grower error.


And did you know you can buy seedlings on Amazon? I want to say I am surprised to see that they sell them, but honestly, you can find everything on Amazon. I haven’t seen any heirloom seedlings yet, but it’s worth checking back for sure! Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs are all on amazon and they ship free with Amazon Prime.

And that’s where I’ve found heirloom seedlings started by someone else! Have you found heirloom seeds to buy somewhere else? Please share in the comments!

Tuesdays in the Garden 2017

Tuesdays in the Garden!

You’re in for a treat with this week’s Tuesdays in the garden posts! From growing spring crops, to eating them – we’ve got you covered. Check out what my gardening buddies are up to this week by clicking on the photos or the links beneath.

tips for growing kale
From Shelly @FrugalFamilyHome – Tips for Growing Kale

Tips for Growing Peas

From Angie @AngleFreckledRose – Tips for Growing Peas

Tips for growing rhubarb

From Diane @HomemadeFoodJunkie – Tips for Growing Rhubarb

Shrimp & Asparagus over White Bean Puree

From Jami @ An Oregon Cottage – Shrimp & Asparagus over White Bean Puree

Favorite Recipes with Spinach

From Patti @Hearth & Vine – Favorite Spring Recipes with Spinach

5 recipe ingredients to grow in your spring gardenFrom @BrenHass – 5 Recipe Ingredients to Grow in Your Spring Gardens

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can't Start Them Yourself

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

If you’re trying to eat local, in-season food, make sure to include these top ten plants for early spring harvest. They will yield the first food in the spring so you can have farm fresh produce as soon as possible.

top 10 plants for early spring harvest

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One of my long term life dreams is to eat only locally grown and produced food, like Barbara Kingsolver did in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle {one of my most favorite books of all times}. At first thought, it sounds kind of doable, right? I mean, I have a big garden, and I have egg and meat chickens. I’ve also found a source for local pastured pork and organic, local, grassfed beef. But the logistics are really a lot more complicated than my pea-brain can handle. And it would take a REALLY REALLY REALLY big garden to produce enough food to feed my family of six. Maybe some day.

For now, I will be content to do what I can, and that means maximizing every growing season, and this post starts with spring! Enjoy my list of the top 10 plants to consider if you want to get the earliest possible harvest out of your garden.

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest - strawberries and asparagus

Early Spring Perennials

I love perennials because I can plant them once, and reap the rewards for years! It’s also a bonus that a few garden perennials produce some of the earliest food in the spring, so make sure to include them in your garden.

Rhubarb – it seems a lot of people have a love/hate relationship with rhubarb, but I love it. It’s also ready for picking sooner than most other fruits and is delicious in crisps, scones, and made into syrup too!

Strawberries – strawberries are the first berries to ripen, usually late May or early June in my area. Nothing beats a fresh strawberry right out of the garden! And since conventionally grown strawberries are some of the most pesticide laden fruits grown, we prefer to grow our own.

asparagus

Asparagus – asparagus is ready for a full harvest the third year after it’s planted. It’s one of the earliest crops of spring – so delicious!! We look forward to fresh asparagus every year.

Spring Veggies to Plant before the Last Frost

Spring Onions / Potatoes – can be directly sown from seed six weeks before the last frost if the ground is workable. Onions grow quickly and the greens can be cut pretty soon after they start growing. If you leave the bulb in the ground and just cut the greens, they will even grow new greens for you!

Potatoes are generally ready for harvest a little later, but you can carefully collect new potatoes without disturbing the plant ten weeks after the potatoes were planted. We use the no-dig planting method to grow potatoes. Learn more here.

Spinach / Kohlrabi / Kale – can be directly sown from seed five weeks before the last frost date. It’s especially important to plant spinach early as it needs six cool weeks to reach maturity and bolts quickly in hot weather.

Peas / Radish / Carrots – can be directly sown from seed four weeks before last frost date. Peas also don’t do well in hot weather, so make sure to plant them as quickly as possible. Every year I have volunteer radish crops in my garden because I let some go to seed in the summer. They are some of the first fresh veggies we eat!

Forellensuss Lettuce

Lettuce / Swiss Chard – can be directly sown from seed two weeks before last frost date. I also have volunteer lettuce in my garden from time to time and love it! Fresh lettuce is just delicious.

Check your seed packets to see which varieties mature the quickest. Some radishes are ready within 25 days! And lettuce is very quick growing too.

Top 10 Plants for Early Spring Harvest

What plants do you look forward to most in spring?

How to Make a Waldorf Wheat Grass Basket to Welcome Spring

It’s actually a lot easier to grow your own Easter Grass than you may think. And it doesn’t even take that all. All you need is a few supplies and about a week! So keep reading and try something new this year.

Grow Your Own Easter Basket Grass with this tutorial. You only need a few days!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site.*

A few years ago, my friend Melanie from Many Hands House used to host wonderful Waldorf Homeschooling Days. We spent fabulous days with Melanie doing lots of fun things – including Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets, hand-dying play silks with kool-aid, Ukrainian egg decorating, welcoming winter with a winter solstice spiral, and welcoming spring with May Day Pole Dancing.

Welcome Spring - How to make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-cora

How to grow your own Easter Basket Grass in less than a week!

Sadly, Melanie doesn’t host these homeschooling days any longer, but I convinced her to bring her kids over a few days to make new wheat grass baskets with us. It’s a pretty simple process that anyone can do and I’m thrilled that we’re growing our own Easter basket grass this year instead of buying that nasty plastic stuff. Growing your own wheat grass baskets has long been a tradition in Waldorf homeschooling circles as a way to welcome spring, and we enjoy it a lot! 

Supplies needed to grow your own Easter Basket Grass

  • Baskets – we picked up 88 cent baskets at Goodwill the other day. They had tons to choose from in all price ranges. I made my kids stick to the 88 cent baskets though because I’m cheap like that.
  • Soil
  • Plastic wrap {or plastic liners for the baskets}
  • Wheat Berries {soaked in water for 24 hours prior} OR grass seed would work fine, too. Wheat berries are the product of the wheat plant and are ground to make flour. You should be able to find them in the organic or bulk section of your grocery store, or you can buy a bag of Bob’s Red Mill wheat berries on Amazon too and have them shipped to your house in two days if you have Amazon Prime.

Welcome Spring - How to make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets

The Process

First, put the baskets on your head and be goofy for a while. Okay, that might not be an actual requirement. But it seemed to be something that no one could refuse to do!

Welcome Spring - How to make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-meabh

Moving on. The real first step is to soak the wheat berries overnight. The night before you plan to start your basket, place the wheat berries in a bowl and cover them with water to soak overnight. I used about 10 cups of wheat berries for the six baskets we made and we had enough to do many  more baskets. Make sure the water covers them completely as they will soak it all up. You can get wheat berries from the bulk section at the grocery store, from a health food store, Amish store, or Azure Standard – you can even order them on Amazon Prime and have them at your door in 2 days. They’re actually a pantry staple I always have on hand since I grind them to make my own flour for bread I bake, like this whole wheat potato bread.

How to make waldorf wheat grass baskets to welcome spring

Then, line a basket with plastic wrap if you don’t have a basket liner. Add a couple inches of soil, and then top with the soaked wheat berries. Make sure the berries are still nice and moist. If not, spritz them with a water sprayer. We then covered them with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture.

How to Make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-day 2

On the very next day after you’ve planted the berries, you should already notice them growing! Make sure to keep them moist as they grow. Just keep spraying them with water. You might have to water them every day.

And that’s it – that’s all there is to it.

I have to tell you, I had so much fun comparing the pictures from this day to the pictures of the baskets we made three years ago. It’s so much fun to see how the kids have changed.

Welcome Spring - How to make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-ben

I have been homeschooling in some capacity now for six years. While we use an eclectic approach to homeschooling and don’t subscribe really to any particular educational philosophy, we really enjoy the Waldorf emphasis on nature and the seasons and love the time spent celebrating the changing seasons with our Waldorf friends.

Stalk me on instagram to see pictures of the baskets as the wheat grass grows! We’re all excited to watch the grass turn green and get tall.

Welcome Spring - How to make Waldorf Wheat Grass Baskets-the whole crew

Welcome Spring! We’re glad you’re back. We’re looking forward to warmth and light.

welcome spring!

 Do you do anything to welcome spring? Please leave a comment. <3

UPDATE:

Grow your own Easter Wheat Grass Basket

See how fast this grass grows! 4-5 days is all you need my friends! What are you waiting for?

It's actually a lot easier to grow your own Easter Grass than you may think. And it doesn't even take that all. All you need is a few supplies and about a week! So keep reading and try something new this year!