Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Sheet-Pan Supper of Roasted Fish and Vegetables

[donotprint]The holidays are over, winter is here with its snow and cold, and I’m ready for oven meals. I love the smell of something delicious roasting in the oven; it just seems so appropriate on a cold wintry day and evokes the idea of home and “hygge”—the Scandinavian word for coziness and comfort.

Sheet-Pan Supper of Roasted Fish & Vegetables

Sheet-Pan Supper of Roasted Fish and Vegetables. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Since it’s just the two of us, I now turn to my book Gluten-Free Cooking for Two for inspiration.  One of my favorite recipes for two people involves roasting an entire dinner on a 9×13-inch rimmed baking sheet. This is not a new concept, but one I had never tried until recently. Now it is one of my “go-to” dinners.

This idea allows me to cook only as much food as we need for one meal, without leftovers. I realize that some people love leftovers (actually, I do too). However, my husband doesn’t!! So, it’s easier and I waste less food if I just cook enough for two in the first place.

What is a Sheet-Pan Supper?

It basically consists of roasting the entire meal—potatoes, meat, and vegetables—on the same sheet, leaving almost no dishes to clean up. If you choose colorful ingredients, it is also a gorgeous dish because the “pink” of the salmon contrasts beautifully with the red and yellow tomatoes and the green asparagus.

The idea behind sheet-pan roasting is to first roast the foods that take longest to cook (in this case, potatoes), then add the vegetables and fish later and finish roasting it all together. Clean-up is easy, since you just have one pan to wash.

In case you’re not a two-person family, don’t worry. Double the recipe and either use two 9×13-inch pans (known as quarter-sheet pans) or use one 13×18-inch pan (known as a half-sheet pan) and you can serve 4 to 6 people. [/donotprint]

Sheet-Pan Supper of Roasted Fish & Vegetables

Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)


Making meals the “sheet-pan” way works especially well when cooking for two because an entire meal fits in one 9×13-inch pan. You begin roasting the food(s) that take longest to cook such as potatoes, adding additional foods (fish, vegetables) later, since they cook faster.  If your vegetables are especially delicate (or if you prefer them streamed) layer them under the fish.

1/2         pound (2 cups, about 6 potatoes) small Yukon gold potatoes or fingerlings, halved 

1              tablespoon olive oil

3/4         teaspoon dried herbs of your choice (I like oregano or tarragon for this dish)

1/4         teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4         teaspoon salt

1/8         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2              5-ounce salmon fillets

1              cup thin asparagus in 1/2-inch pieces

1/2         cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1              fresh lemon, cut into 2 halves, for garnish

[1] Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425⁰F.  Line a 9×13-inch nonstick (gray, not black) rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly grease or use a 10-inch greased ovenproof skillet.

[2] In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes, [1/4] teaspoon of the herbs, and smoked paprika with the olive oil until well coated. Arrange evenly, cut side down, on the baking sheet and roast 20 minutes.

[3] Arrange the salmon, asparagus, and tomatoes on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining [1/2] teaspoon herbs and the salt and pepper. Continue to roast until the salmon is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish. Serve with lemon wedges, for garnish.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Roasting time: 30 minutes. Makes 2 servings

Per serving: 345 calories; 33g protein; 12g total fat; 4g fiber; 29g carbohydrates; 74mg cholesterol; 374mg sodium

NOTE: You can also vary this dish: instead of potatoes, use cauliflower flowerets. Use cod or sole instead of salmon, 1/8-inch red bell pepper strips instead of tomatoes, or broccoli florets or snow peas instead of asparagus—and monitor the roasting times accordingly. Generally speaking, the thinner and less dense the food, the shorter the cooking time. So, put the more delicate vegetables under the fish. You can also vary the herbs. I often use thyme, but tarragon or rosemary would be nice. If you have it, fresh dill would be superb.  The smoked paprika is something I use in many foods because it lends a nice depth to the flavors. You could also try smoked salt to replace it.