As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m pleasantly working my way through a stack of past issues of Real Simple magazine.
When I came across the article “A Month of Easy Dinners” in the October 2009 issue, I only hesitated a second before tearing the whole thing out to save. In fact, I’ve implemented the month-long guide to weekday dinners as of last night to rave reviews from the teenage daughter and dieting husband. Yes! TWENTY super-fast, simple dinner recipes, with shopping lists at the start of each week.
I mentioned this to a friend yesterday and she said,
“That wouldn’t work for me – I have a hard time following somebody else’s agenda.”
I thought about this. I consider myself more of a leader than a follower, so the comment rankled just a tad (even though I know she didn’t mean it as a criticism).
And then I thought about how in college, I used to enjoy dropping in on a buddy and following them around for the day. What I liked about the experience, was not the following, but the re-viewing – meaning, I was tourist in my own town; somebody else’s daily routine and errands helped me see life from a different perspective.
I enjoy pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. It makes me feel giddy and excited like I’m traveling. So, I’m going to follow somebody else’s menu for ONE ENTIRE MONTH and see where it takes me. Heck, my grocery shopping has gotten to be so routine that I don’t even need a list anymore – I’m looking for some change!
On this week’s schedule:
Monday – Tilapia with Peppers and Olives
Tuesday – Beef and Bok Choy Stirfry
Wednesday – Spicy Orange-Glazed Drumsticks with Green Beans
Thursday – Roasted Pork with Brussel Sprouts and Apricots
Friday – Spaghetti with Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta
Monday’s dinner got me though, because I love green olives and rarely have a chance to cook with them. Also, it helps that it is a fall menu because peppers and green beans are all over the place at the farmer’s market right now.
Tilapia with Peppers and Olives
olive oil for frying
tilapia filets (frozen from Trader Joe’s)
salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin (added a green one too)
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 pitted green olives (used the kind stuffed with pimentos)
1/2 fresh parsley, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1. Season fish with salt and pepper, and pan fry on medium high heat until opaque throughout.
2. Meanwhile, saute onions and then add peppers until tender, 8-10 minutes. Stir in olives, parsley, lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Serve veggies over the rice.