In college, cooking was not the norm.

I had very few skills when it came to surviving in the kitchen.

Okay, I could sort of brown meat if I was having a good day. I do remember making a killer panini, but that’s about it.

On the scale of important things to do in college, cooking was not one of them. Why cook when you can get a Little Caesars “Hot-n-Ready” pepperoni pizza for $5? Or 99-cent chicken wings down at the local bar with $3 pitchers of beer? Let’s be real. College life was about the endless amounts of shenanigans and getting good enough grades to keep Mom and Dad happy. Am I right?

But somewhere in between my junior and senior year, when I finally lived in a rental house with a couple of my sorority sisters, I gave cooking a chance. I use the term cooking lightly because there was nothing fancy about what I was dishing up. I remember calling my mother at least a dozen times so she could walk me through how to make chili. But that’s not the worst part. The chili was so spicy-hot that it practically disintegrated my roommates’ taste buds. Oh, the horror!!!

I think after that incident, I didn’t make chili for a long time. Which brings me to the point of today’s post. The one dish that I could not mess up was roasted salmon. My mom, worried that I wasn’t eating enough healthy foods, showed me how to bake salmon. She told me it’s so easy, a six year-old could do it (thanks, Ma!).

Just plop two pieces of salmon on a baking sheet. Bake the salmon for about 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees, and voila! Tender, flaky, delicious salmon. I felt like Julia Child when that salmon was done cooking.

Well, I thought it would be fun to take that method of baking salmon and kick it up a notch. Instead of topping the salmon with just the plain ol’ salt, pepper, salt, and olive oil, I thought it would epic to add whole grain mustard mixed with chives. Salmon and mustard go hand in hand in my opinion. The tang from the mustard really brightens the buttery flavor of the fish. Add some sautéed shallots and brussel sprout leaves and you have one heck of healthy meal in a matter of minutes.

Now, about that $3 pitcher of beer….

Mustard Glazed Salmon with Shallots and Brussel Sprout Leaves


1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons chives, minced
4 8oz. center cut salmon fillets
4 cups brussel sprout leaves
2 large shallots, minced
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl mix together mustard, chives, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You will want to line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place the fillets on the baking sheet. Dollop the mustard-chive mixture on top. Spread it around so it coats each fillet. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.

While the fish is baking, preheat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet to medium-high heat. Add shallots, cook for a couple of minutes. Add brussel sprout leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook until the leaves start to turn a golden color. Remove skillet from heat. Place about 1/3 cup of the leaves/shallot mixture onto each plate. Place a fillet on top. Serve with glass of red wine or sparkling water!

Recipe from Food and Wine Magazine

All images and text ©