Welcome to the “Work From Home Lunches” Series! I came up with this new series because, let’s be honest, working from home is not going anywhere anytime soon, and that means our meal prepping has totally changed. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! We now have more freedom in our food prep to make things that can be stored separately and assembled on-the-spot.
In this series my lunches are designed to be made quickly, in 30 minutes or less, and be made up of healthy, feel-good components that will leave you full and satisfied. And it’s also meant to be easy, affordable, and quick enough that you can do it between Zoom meetings.
I’m a pescatarian, but I’ll try to make as many of these meals vegan or vegetarian adaptable. And while these are geared towards lunches, there’s no reason that you can’t make them as breakfast, lunch or dinner. To be honest, this recipe makes four servings, but I usually eat it within 2 days because I eat it for every. damn. meal. I promise it’s just that good 😉
And what makes this recipe so easy is that it essentially a “prep and go” kind of thing. There’s no active cooking, you just assemble things on a pan and in a bowl and then boom. Meal is served.
The main component of this dish is the salmon, which you should start first because everything else can be assembled while it’s cooking. If you do this, it makes the whole meal ready in 15 minutes or less.
The salmon has a spicy chili-lime rub, which starts with fresh lime juice, then a mixture of chili powder and harissa powder. Salt and pepper to taste is so important here, but after that is all added to your salmon, you just roast at 425F for 13-15 minutes and the hardest part is done!
While the salmon is roasting, you can begin to assemble everything else. I recommend starting with the cabbage slaw. It’s a mix between a slaw and a salad, and I chose cabbage because you can dress it and it will still last in the fridge for up to four days!
We are using red wine vinegar here as the dressing because it is integral to have acid to balance out all the salt, fat and heat coming from the salmon and avocado (which we will get to later). But that balance is what makes this the perfect lunch recipe. It feels like you’re treating yourself to something restaurant-quality even though you throw it together in less than half an hour.
After the slaw comes a mix of avocado and sriracha, which is what Ina Garten calls her favorite kind of guacamole (I might have just made that up, but you get the sentiment).
Since this is for four portions, you use the whole avocado (which I love, no food waste!) and can add as much sriracha, salt and pepper as you like to fit your tastes.
That’s the beauty of this whole lunch recipe, you can really adjust it to make sure that it fits what you want.
Speaking of what you want – if you are vegetarian or vegan, you can TOTALLY do this with tofu or another plant-based protein! Just press it before adding the spice rub, and instead of roasting it in one slab like my recipe calls for, roast them in pre-cut pieces.
It will yield a different result of course, but if you want a plant-based option for a simple and quick lunch, I highly recommend it.
Now for assembly – I follow these few tips for storage and putting it all together:
- Toast your bread fresh every time you’re making the meal. Since we’re working from home and can do those tiny things, why not?
- Only flake off the part of the salmon that you plan on using for that meal. Then store the rest wrapped in foil wrap. This will help the salmon keep its nice texture while it stores in the fridge.
- Store your avocado in an airtight container, but also press cling wrap directly on it to eliminate any oxygen getting to it. This will minimize oxidation and keep your avocado a nice green color.
- Don’t store the slaw in any leftover vinegar juice after you’ve first mixed it. We aren’t trying to pickle it, and this will make the next portion more acidic than you’d like.
- And you might have some extra slaw every meal, and I love it as a side salad. A little extra greens (especially as delicious as these) never hurt!
And if you want to do this in the air fryer or toaster oven? Go for it! I recommend setting them both to 425F, for the toaster oven you can cook for the same amount of time, but for the air fryer cook it about 3-5 minutes less. And you should be all set with your lunches for the week!
Chili Lime Salmon & Avocado Toast
For the salmon
- 1 lb salmon raw
- 1 tbsp lime juice fresh
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp harissa powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the cabbage slaw
- 150 grams sliced cabbage about 1/2 of a head, thinly sliced
- 1 handful fresh dill
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar apple cider vinegar and white wine vinegar will also work
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the avocado mash
- 1 large avocado fully ripe
- 2 tsp sriracha or your hot sauce of choice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 slices whole wheat toast
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- On a foil lined baking sheet, place your salmon skin side down. No need to portion it. Top it with the lime juice, then rub in the chili powder, harissa powder, salt and pepper.
- Put the salmon in the oven at 425F and roast for 13-15 minutes, or until cooked to your preference.
- While the salmon is cooking, use your hands to toss together the cabbage and dill. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and toss again. Set it aside while you do the next step.
- Mash up the avocado with the sriracha, salt and pepper. Set that aside while the salmon finishes cooking.
- Toast one slice of bread if you plan to store this for meal prep. If you plan to serve four people at once, toast all the slices.
- Once the salmon is out of the oven, use a fork to gently flake large pieces away from the skin.
- To assemble the toast, start with the avocado mash, then the slaw, then top with the salmon flakes. If you have extra slaw, it's great to use as a side salad.
- Serve immediately. And there are more instructions on how to store the leftovers in the blog post 🙂