Have you ever had someone slowly try to pull your brains out of your eye sockets? Had an ice pick placed ever-so-lovingly in your forehead? Or maybe felt the gentle touch of a hatchet in the back of your head? No? Well, lucky you.

Migraine Barbie
Migraine Barbie

Sadly, as I get older, the list of annoying health “joys” keeps getting longer. You, too? It’s fun, right? One “joy” that continues to rear its ugly head are migraine headaches. Not a sinus headache. Not a stress headache. Not a “I had one too many last night” headache. A “please stop talking and get me to a dark room immediately” headache. And they can creep up on you, knocking at the door for a little while, until the knocking becomes so loud you want to send big burly guys out the door to give it a good beating.

The answer from my doc? More drugs. Ugh. As if my already large medicine cabinet needs another resident. And the side effects of the drugs are scarier than the original problem, so it becomes a Catch 22 in terms of treating the darned things. Let’s see, do I want a migraine, or hives/bloating/enlarged tongue/swollen toes/cravings for dog food? Hmmm, let me think about that for a minute. I’ll take my chances with a numbing headache, thanks.

Oh wait. Even though my head is still splitting open like Gallagher taking a sledgehammer to a watermelon, the to-do list still has to get done? The household still has to eat? Geez. Now first let me say that my husband is no slouch in the kitchen, and is awesome at picking up the slack when he comes home to a completely dark house and a wife curled up in the fetal position on the bed, praying for someone to remove my head from my body (sexy, no?). But that means that there has to actually BE something for him to make, which means I have to make sure that there are some easy-to-throw-together options handy. That’s not to say that a carefully placed coupon for pizza can’t be useful, or that a grunt from me about Vietnamese noodles can’t result in a quick take-out solution.

Thankfully, my tendency for over-preparedness, incessant coupon-cutting and “two for one” purchases mean that we are rarely without options. Because of those compulsions (thank you to my mother and my Midwest upbringing for that!), our freezer regularly has chicken, pork chops, bratwursts (Opa’s brand, simply THE best outside of Germany), and salmon. Other assorted proteins also wind up in there when I find them on sale, but these staples mean that an easy and satisfying meal is never far from the table.

However, I will note that with a raging headache, the challenges to getting dinner on the table increase with the size of said headache. The biggest tests include a) remembering that dinner still has to happen, b) fighting with the stupid plastic packaging for my migraine pill (who designed those things anyway??), and c) finding a way to stumble into the kitchen and pull something out of the freezer early enough so that we aren’t eating pork chop salmonella popsicles (where’s Andrew Zimmern when you need him??).

With a migraine, even when it finally releases you from the bonds of skull-splitting pain, the hangover from the darned thing can still leave you ridiculously drained. And if I’m going to have a hangover, I’d better have earned it the good old fashioned way. Either way, a good dinner can make me feel better. Like chicken soup, except with fish. And no noodles shaped like stars. And I don’t have to make it.

Salmon w/ Horseradish Sauce

Roasted Salmon w/ Horseradish Sauce

Fish. Fish is handy, healthy, and easy as can be. And, in my humble opinion, nothing is better than salmon for delivering on a light, tasty, and simple-to-prepare dish. Really. I’m not kidding. Don’t believe me? For those naysayers who swear that salmon is too “fishy”, a couple things to note. First, if you have had “fishy” salmon, or any fish for that matter, it’s likely that said fish was not as fresh as it should have been. And second, if it’s “fishy” it may not have been stored or cleaned properly.

Now that we got that out of the way, saddle up for the easiest salmon recipe ever. And did I mention that it is really tasty, too? I did? Well that’s just because it’s that good.

• 1-10oz. piece of wild-caught salmon
• 1 tsp. olive oil (I used an orange-infused oil, and the citrus made this extra flavorful)
• ¼ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. pepper
• ½ lb. thin spaghetti (or any other pasta you have on hand)
• ¼ c. sour cream or crème fraiche
• 1 tsp. horseradish (or more if you like extra bite)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Coat baking dish with cooking spray. Place salmon in middle of baking dish.
3. Drizzle olive oil over fish, being sure to coat the top of the fish.
Orange Olive Oil

4. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top of fish.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until fish is flaky.

Salmon Dish
6. In the meantime, cook pasta to recommended package directions. Drain pasta, and toss with extra olive oil to prevent sticking.

Horseradish Sauce
7. Mix sour cream with horseradish, and serve on top of fish and pasta.

Salmon w/ Horseradish Sauce

8. Go out and buy more salmon for the next time you want to make this dish!

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