A couple years ago my husband and I were forced to make some drastic changes to our lifestyles for the sake of better health. One important factor of the new healthy way of life is our strict diet. Between the two of us, there are many foods we must avoid whether it’s for medical conditions or just because we think they’re plain gross. This means no red meat, turkey, shellfish, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, etc. Not to say we don’t cheat sometimes, but in general, we stick pretty close to our regimen.
So what’s a gal to do with all these restrictions on dinner choices? Trust me, it’s not easy coming up with new exciting meals when you have to exclude so many things. One summer we ate bruschetta so often that the vinegar made our gums sore. There are nights when I want to make a whole pot of stroganoff just for myself so I can taste those sweet, sweet mushrooms I miss so much. But what’s a marriage without sacrifice, right?
Out of boredom from the same old dishes, and because I need something new to do that entices me, I’ve planned every dinner we’re going to eat for the month of October (with the exception of weekends and other miscellaneous dates). This will hopefully push us to eat at home more, save money and try new things. And if we end up liking the food, that’s one more recipe I can add to my arsenal!
I didn’t want to scare myself off the first night with a difficult recipe that I’ve never tried before. To ease myself back into the cooking mindset, and because it’s Monday, I made a house favorite that I knew would be simple to make. Tonight’s special was pan-seared tilapia (recipe below) with fresh green-beans and broccoli on the side. You could probably use any white fish for this one. Tip: Trader Joe’s has awesome flash-frozen fish!
1 lb. Tilapia fillets
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
pepper to taste
1. Mix bread crumbs, parsley and basil.
2. Pepper fish fillets on both sides. Dip each fillet into the oil and then into the bread crumb mixture until covered.
3. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Place fillets in skillet and heat 2-5 minutes per side until no longer opaque.
For the green beans and broccoli, I just cook them in a pot with a little oil, garlic and maybe soysauce for 3-5 minutes until they’re cooked but still crunchy.
Tomorrow: white bean mashers with sautéed vegetables (1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes)