Ok, I cheated a bit for my christmas dinner but.. you may be proud of me as a novice Cav. ;-)
I made salmon.
I bought a 1 1/2 lb fillet, seared it on the sides like you said.. took a pink lady apple, a small piece of pineapple and some seedless red grapes , placed them in a bit of tinfoil and baked them until they were brown and soft. Used that as a topping with a little lemon juice and sea salt/pepper. WOW.. i was impressed with myself on THAT idea. :-)
Portabella mushroom tops. In a big sauce pan I took 3 tops , added about an inch across the bottom of some balsamic vinager, soy sauce and fresh basil. Cooked those for about 40 minutes on a very very low heat. They kept thier thickness but ..WOW.. thier flavor was awesome.
Sweet potatoes with rosemary, cinnamon and about a 1/2 tsp of butter, cooked slowly with a little water to make them smooth. mmmmm. that was good too.
Then I cheated.. I went to the store and bought some snap peas with cilantro, salt and pepper. Those were very good also.
Had raw broccoli/cauliflower for garnish and then a sparkling grape juice.
I.. did.. well. :-))