Simple Salmon Fillet: Cheap and Chic Friday Night Meal

The best $3.99 I ever spent was something specifically designed for Salmon. My future brother-in-law exposed his secret seasoning blend, which is now my favorite cheap Friday night meal (thanks, Quan!) It’s not a Monday night meal, nor is it a Tuesday night meal. It is an inexpensive Friday night meal because that’s when Haymarket’s affordable selection of produce and seafood comes out! For a large filet of Salmon, you only pay $5. Make sure you cook it that night or else you will sacrifice the quality of the fish.

Let’s do the math:
$5 (Salmon filet that serves 4-5 people)
$3.99 (Seasoning blend that will last you forever)
$.25 (Lemon)
$9.24 Salmon for 4-5 people

I’m completely okay with that. If you are only cooking for one or two, leftover Salmon is also great crumbled up with greens and salad dressing for your next lunch. Also, the recipe’s seasoning blend can be found at any Stop & Shop near you. So don’t worry, you won’t have to purchase any exotic spices like Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. (Don’t you hate it when a recipe calls for only three ingredients, but one of them is insanely difficult to find? “Ooh, so that’s the catch!”)

Paul, you're awesome - $3.99

1 Whole Salmon Fillet
3 tbs Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning Blend
1 Lemon, thinly sliced
Olive Oil


1)   Drizzle olive oil in baking pan (or other cookware) and on top of Salmon

2)   Season with seasoning blend

3)   Place sliced lemons on top

4)   Loosely cover with tin foil and bake at 375F for 20 minutes (if frozen, 35 mins at 400F)

5)   Take the Salmon out and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes

6) Dig in and enjoy.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Level: Beginner
Total Meal: $9.24
Servings: 4-5 people

Faux Ice Cream with Strawberries & Red Wine Reduction Sauce

Man. I know for a fact that if I don’t enjoy my food while I’m eating healthy, I will drag race to the nearest Stop & Shop to grab a tub of Helluva Good Onion Dip and a bag of Cape Cod chips. It’s like being surrounded by fire and you’re panicking trying to find the fire alarm! Dramatic, yes. Same feeling of relief? Oh, fo’ sho’.

This recipe saves me every time I feel like pulling that fire alarm when I crave cold, creamy, slowly churned ice cream. So Ben & Jerry, I sincerely apologize for leaving you guys, but I’m sure we’ll meet again in the future. Your calories are just too expensive and my expenses are quickly piling up! I’m sticking to my faux ice cream because it costs me only 200 calories with 0.6 grams of fat.

So what’s the secret? Frozen Fat Free Cool Whip. It’s cheap, convenient, and all you need to do is freeze it to get an ice-cream-like texture. It’s ridiculously easy, I promise! Just look:

~1/4 Fat Free Cool Whip of container, frozen
1 cup strawberries, halved
2 Truvia packets (or another sweetener like Stevia)
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup water

1)   Take cool whip out of freezer
2)   In a sauce pan, combine strawberries, sweetener, red wine and water on medium heat. When sauce is boiling, immediately reduce to low heat and cook until reduced to desired thickness (~5 minutes)
3)   Scoop out a quarter of cool whip from the container into a bowl and pour sauce on top
*If sauce is too thick: add water and simmer until satisfied with consistency.


What are some of your favorite life-saver recipes?