Oops, you can’t get rid of us Mike Shah. We followed you home. What’s for dinner?
We followed Mike Shah home from the French Press and didn’t leave until he fed us a delicious dinner from his box.
Mike’s been getting our original box for quite awhile and we were super interested to see more about what he does with it, after he sent us this super flattering little note on instagram a few months back: “Hey guys, getting a farm box has been fun. I love that I don’t have to think about what is in season. If I add to my box, I literally get to skip the produce section at the grocery store. It’s awesome.”- Mike
It was super sweet of him to reach out like that, and we knew that we wanted to get to know him a bit better, especially after we found out that he hails from a traditional Persian family that loves all things about good food. So, be careful about how you reach out to us guys… we may just invite ourselves over to see you in action too!
So, more about Mike. He is a biology professor at UCSB, 29 years old, and lives in a cute little house below the Santa Barbara Bowl with his super gracious, hilarious partner Zack. Together, these two dudes were a treat for this momma. We had an awesome time together, and Mike prepared a deliciously simple go to meal that he’s been creating with his boxes recently, he calls it a Southwest Sweet Potato Spinach Salad with Salmon. It was so good and Whole 30 for those of you going for the gusto this New Years.
Here’s how he did it. Follow this recipe for deliciousness.
For the salad toppings:
3 sweet potatoes
3 large carrots
1 poblano Chile
For salad and dressing:
1 bunch spinach
1/2 red onion
1/3 cup mayo
Juice of 1.5 limes
1 bunch cilantro
For the salmon:
4 salmon fillets
butter, ghee, oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 F
2. For the roast:
Cube sweet potatoes and carrots in 1/2 inch cubes. Toss in an oil of your choice with salt, pepper, cumin, chile powder, and smoked paprika to taste. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast until lightly browned (~40-50 minutes) tossing once half way through. Spray pablano with cooking oil and place on same sheet. After ~30 minutes, remove the poblano Chile and place in anpaper bag. Roll top down to seal.
While the veggies are roasting, prepare the salad and make the dressing.
3. For the Dressing:
Dice the red onion and mix with the spinach in a large salad bowl. Put mayo, lime juice, and cilantro in blender. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Set both aside.
4. For the salmon:
10 minutes before the veggies are done, heat butter, ghee, or olive oil in a large, oven safe pan until very hot. Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon generously. Once the oil is hot, place salmon skin-side down and immediately place pan in oven. Bake until done (~10-12 minutes).
5. Remove the Chile from the bag and peel off the skin. It should come off easily after a few minutes in the paper bag. Dice and mix into the spinach salad. Remove the veggies from the oven and mix into the salad. Add 2/3 dressing and toss to combine. Divide equally between 4 plates. Remove salmon from oven and place 1 filet on each plate. Spoon remaining dressing over each fillet.
P.s. When Mike got home he unpacked his produce shockingly fast. This definitely was not his first farm box rodeo. Once he finished storing his goods, he got straight into chopping and cubing, all the while telling me about his Whole30 journey and how incredible he was feeling.
P.p.s. Full disclosure here guys, I tried to do Whole30 this summer and lasted nine whole days. Mike made it past 30 days! If you’re not familiar with the Whole30 diet what basically happens is you eliminate a lot of foods and slowly introduce them back into your day after 30 days. In the process you eat a LOT of vegetables and this is why our farm box was such a hit to Mike. Mike added SO much to his box each week! And he said he went thru the box in 3-5 days.
P.p.p.s. While the sweet potatoes we’re roasting in the oven I think the best part happened of all. Make made his own mayonnaise! My mind was literally blown, I had no idea you could make mayo. Hopefully we can get the full instructions for that one on here in a Mike part 2 series. When he was finished the the mayo he added the rest of the ingredients into it to create the awesome dressing. When the sweet potatoes were done he let them cool and while that was going on he quickly fried the salmon. He tossed the warm sweet potatoes, spinach and dressing together. Then he placed the piece of fish on top.
And it was delicious!
Thanks for reading guys,
We love you and hope you had an awesome New Years and Christmas!
Katherine and Jason.