I love easy weeknight dinners. Although I work a lot from home, I don't particularly like to spend hours prepping dinner - I also don't always have that kind of time. If you have small children in your house, you know exactly why.
Anyway, the hubs prefers to have home-cooked meals. So, I love it when I find something easy. I've made this salad a few times. It's always a hit. And it takes very little time to throw together.
What you will need...
You'll definitely need shrimp. I buy bags of medium, frozen shrimp already deveined with their tails off and keep them in the freezer. The shrimp needs to be thawed. But fear not, this doesn't take all day. Just fill a large bowl with cool water and plop the bag of shrimp in the water. Every now and then you're going to need to rotate the bag. Check the water too. If the water is too cold, dump it and refill. Do NOT use hot or warm water.
You're also going to need lettuce. I love this meal because I use up whatever veggies I have on hand. Last night I had a head of iceberg lettuce ready.
Next, grab whatever goodies you want to include in your salad.
Preheat your oven to 350. I line my baking sheet with tin foil. It helps make the clean up less disgusting.
Spread the shrimp out on the foil. Then sprinkle them with the seasoning. Last night I used lemon juice, lemon-pepper and red pepper flakes. Honestly, I thought they turned out delicious, but hubs told me I was a little to heavy-handed with the red pepper flakes.
Let those shrimpies bake until plump and pink (no longer clear).
In the meantime, prep your salad. I pulled apart the iceberg lettuce and put it in a large, pretty serving bowl. Then I threw some perfectly delicious looking cherry tomatoes into the bowl. I had a some green pepper in the fridge and since it's the hub's fave, I diced up one and a half and into the bowl it went. I believe everything is better with cheese, so a block of medium cheddar made it's way into the salad (well, a little less, since Rea loves cheese and came by to munch on some). I chopped up some carrots for flavor and color.
I had some tricolored tortilla strips (see below), so I put them out for people to sprinkle them on top if desired.
Once the shrimp were fully cooked, I put them in a small serving bowl.
Dinner was self-serve. And it was filling and delicious!
Rea wrote about this in her blog a few days ago. But I wanted to give you my version.
We had taco night last Friday. It's Rea's favorite meal. She is (almost) as obsessed with them as I am. I like to make them because they are easy - I don't need much notice to put a hole dinner together. Since Rea was a bit under the weather, tacos for dinner!
So there we all were, eating, laughing, enjoying each other's company. Rea had perked up a bit during dinner, and we were playing a guessing game app with her. Then, in the middle of the game, she looks over and sees Brooke's plate. It was empty except for one lone black bean. Without thinking, Rea said "Are you going to eat that bean?" We all lost it laughing. Oh no, we have been living with my Dad for too long.
My Dad is notorious for assessing the plates of those around him and asking "Are you going to eat all of that?" even if we just sat down with full plates. It is something he says so often that a few years ago, Rea decided that Grandpa's birthday cake should say that instead of the traditional "Happy Birthday!"
Nearly a week ago I enrolled in Weight Watchers. I have a real love/hate relationship with food -- I absolutely LOVE it. It apparently hates me. Ugh.
I realize I am not alone in the struggle to find a healthy weight. I say "healthy weight" not "lose weight" or "I'm fat" at home because I have a daughter, and it is important for me not to project my body issues onto her. Girls have a hard enough time with self-esteem and self-worth. Although let's be real, I need to lose pounds. About 50 is my goal. If I write it and share it with the world perhaps I will stick with it this time.
I talked the Hubs into joining also. It's definitely easier when the other big eater in the house is focuses on the same goal.
I do not know what I would do without my girlfriends.
For me, that's not a sentence I ever thought I'd write. I was the girl who only had male friends. Girls were too much drama to deal with. I really did not get along with many. Boys are far less maintenance.
That changed for me when I became a Mom. And I think more so when my daughter began school. I made friends with like-minded Mommies in her class and grade. Those Mommies have become my absolute best friends (besides the Hubs, but this is not about him).
The girls and I had lunch yesterday to celebrate a few things. And I just need to be cheesy and proclaim my love for these ladies. You guys have no idea how much I needed to laugh and talk. You remind me that I am not alone. You remind me that although the stress I am dealing with feels terminal, it's not unique to my home and we can get through it all.
So thank you.
On another note, we ate at this great little place in Juno. Cafe Sole. I had never been there before. It was AMAZING. And I will definitely be back.
The humus was, maybe, the best I have ever had. It was served with tomato chunks and warm pita wedges. For my meal, I had the Caesar Salad with grilled shrimp. Yum.
Nothing super fancy here... Just crazy stories from our day to day life. Or random thoughts from my brain. Enjoy.