Last year, I picked up a “Go Red for Women Recipe Collection” at my fitness center. I was recently leafing through it for recipe ideas — man that thing has a LOT of good ideas! I successfully followed four of the recipes— two main dishes and two sides — in the past week alone! One of the four stood out for its ease and taste: the herbed veggie skillet.
This may be a common dish many of you have made. But, I’m still a beginner cook, so for me, I’ve struck gold.
Not only is it remarkably easy, but it’s simple to manipulate the ingredients. I’ve made four different versions of it this past week. It’s really simple:
1. Slice up your favorite vegetables and spices.
2. Heat two teaspoons of canola oil on medium-high (or medium… I find medium-high to be a bit much).
3. Toss your favorite veggies and spices in, add a dash of water (or lemon juice). Cover and cook for 5-ish minutes.
Now, I usually add zucchini and onion first and allow the two to soften before adding the rest of the ingredients. I’ve manipulated the original recipe, which can be followed here, adding lemon juice, celery, carrots, fresh parsley and even a pinch of cinnamon.
After two frenzied weeks of nonstop work and travel, last weekend was a heaven-send. Two adjectives describe it perfectly: productive and relaxing. It was wonderful. On the productive side, I cleaned my apartment, organized, recycled, moved seasonal/unneeded stuff to the garage, etc. It was a lot of work, but a huge relief. Clutter stresses me.
One the relaxing side, I got a total of 20 hours of sleep between Friday and Saturday nights. 20! TWENTY! Ah-maz-ing. In addition, the weather was ideal, ranging between 60 and 91, averaging 73. Love it. I got much-needed running clothes (Dri-Fit!!) and ate a delicious breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe.
Matt and I went to Mimi’s Saturday morning. Oh my goodness, it was perfect. Needing to fix that darn coffee addiction I’ve acquired, we decided to order and share a Coffee Freeze and a Cinnamon Mocha Coffee Freeze — gourmet coffee mixed with yogurt and ice (and in the latter’s case, with a pump of mocha and a dapple of cinnamon). SO good — and it was cheaper, fresher and possibly healthier than Starbucks’ fraps. Mmmmmmm.
My main entree impressed me the most.
I honestly forget what it was called, and because it was on special, it’s not on the online menu. But OH MY GOODNESS. Each bite tasted like pure HEALTHINESS. Often, when I dine at breakfast joints, I leave feeling stuffed, greasy and gross (cough*MerryAnns*cough). Not here!
The eggs, mixed with broccoli and light cheese, tasted very veryyy healthy. As if it hadn’t been cooked using any oils or fats. The broccoli tasted warm but raw. Yum. And if that didn’t sell you…. there was fresh pineapple cut on my plate. C’mon! YUM!
I went shopping at Cosentino’s, a Whole Foods-esque grocery store, yesterday during my lunch break for dinner. I browsed some recipes before going and purchased what ended up being a fantastic choice.
First, I mixed a 10 oz. can of chicken broth, about 4 oz of lemon juice and the juice of a lemon into a medium saucepan. I first cut two pieces of lemon for garnish later.
Once mixed up, I boiled the mixture.
Then I poured dry coucous into another pot.
While I waited for the lemon broth to boil, I greased the pan, washed the tilapia and placed it on the pan. (Looks good, huh?! Only $7.99/pound on sale this week at Cosentino’s!)
The lemon-broth mixture started boiling so I poured it over the dry coucous and covered it for 10 minutes.
I’ve made pesto on my own many times before, but I never have all the ingredients necessary (psssh pine nuts…) so I decided to buy my own bottle. Yum!
I scooped a little pesto over the tilapia, spread it even, and placed it in the oven for 11 minutes. About 5 minutes later, I put some corn in the microwave and cut up a tomato for the fish. Everything timed out perfectly! Even Matt arrived just as my microwave was going off!
And here’s the final product!! Delicious!
For complete recipes:
After the success I had last week cooking Real Simple’s Roasted Tilapia, Potatoes and Lemons (sorry, didn’t take any personal pictures) recipe from the October issue, tonight I’ll be attempting another Real Simple recipe: Lamb Meatballs with Couscous.
I can’t remember the last time I ate lamb, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever had couscous before, so this evening’s dinner will certainly be different and hopefully delicious.
See Real Simple’s website or last month’s issue for more cooking inspiration and ideas. The October issue provided enough easy, nutritious and interesting recipes to last an entire month.
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 25m