There are some nights when I’m making dinner and I feel really good about it- I’m following a recipe, able to clean up as I go, everything is looking good, I’m getting excited about what I’m creating, etc.
OTHER nights the entire time I’m thinking- oh man, this is going to be weird/awful. For some reason something doesn’t look right, I have to improv unexpectedly, or I’m making a giant mess in the kitchen which makes me feel out of sorts. When someone else is eating with me and is going to be an extra judge of whatever I make the anxiety runs higher.
This was last night.
Yesterday was a planned off day from the gym and so when I got home from work, I started dinner prep. It was WIll’s first day of his full-time job so I wanted to cook him something good 🙂 What was on the menu?
I started by roasting the broccoli and setting it aside for later (I knew I’d need the oven for the zucchini fries and I have a small oven). This requires cranking the oven to 425 degrees, tossing some broccoli in salt/pepper and a little olive oil then placing it on a baking sheet in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Easy. I put the roasted broccoli in a bowl and covered with some foil post cooking.
For the zucchini fries, I chose a simple and healthy recipe from Health magazine.
I edited their recipe based on what I had:
- 2 zucchini (I only used 1.5 as I needed a half for my turkey burgers- you’ll see…)
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup milk (I had skim milk)
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I just used the grated parm that I had)
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat bread crumbs)
- Vegetable cooking spray (I used Pam olive oil cooking spray)
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (mine was already going from the broccoli)
- Cut zucchini into 3 inch sticks
- Prepare a baking sheet coated in your choice of cooking spray (use tin foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup)
- Whisk egg white in bowl and add milk
- Combine half the parmesan, half the breadcrumbs, and half the spices in a separate bowl
- Dip zucchini sticks into the wet mixture, then roll in breadcrumb mixture
- Place zucchini on baking sheet
- You’ll notice as you are dipping the zucchini slices, the breadcrumb mixture will get wet and clumpy in the bowl— hence why I advised only putting HALF the breadcrumb mixture ingredients in the bowl at first
- Replenish the bowl with the other half of the dry breadcrumb mixture ingredients halfway through the dipping of the zucchini process to make sure they all get coated in the mixture and the later ones don’t get left out 😉
- Cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown/crispy (taste tests recommended)
Okay so the turkey burgers were done sort of ad hoc (which I think is why I was stressed out) so I apologize for a lack of better directions/ingredient list. But here is basically what I did while those fries were cooking:
- Weighed out 8 oz. of defrosted ground turkey (for two patties)
- Shredded the 1/2 of zucchini I saved from earlier to be added to the patties
- Mixed the ground turkey with the zucchini, 1 tbl of worcestershire, 1 egg white, salt, pepper and two cloves of chopped garlic
- Divided mixture into two patties
- Cooked both patties on a skillet coated in Pam (about 5 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the other side- or until internal temp is about 165 degrees)
- When I flipped the patties I drizzled a little extra worcestershire on both
Will put his turkey burger in between one of my sandwich thins and I ate mine plain jane.
Now this sounds like I had an easy time in the kitchen and everything ran smoothly- the complete opposite. I made a HUGE mess and dirtied what felt like every dish I own. By the time I was done I was stressin’ and was worried everything would taste bad. I’m just a little neurotic, cleaning obsessed, and OCD.
Will reassured me that we would clean up post dinner and not to worry about it.
For all my worrying- this meal was SO GOOD. I know I say that about most things I make but this meal was really tasty. And you know what Will said- this is one of the best meals I’ve had in a while.
I tried to ignore the fact that most of his recent meals were made by me -___- and embrace the compliment. Now I know better what he likes out of a meal I suppose!
ANYWAYS. So can we talk about this weather a little bit? It’s like Fall in the District and I am so so so pleased. I was even cold for most of the day! Not complaining at all.
Post-dinner Will and I took a lil walk around the city and I got to FINALLY wear my new toms shoes! They’ve been staring me down all sad and dejected everyday because it hasn’t been weather appropriate to rock them yet.
But last night I got to wear a scarf, leather jacket, and these bad boys.
I said it once (twice, three times) and I’ll say it again, I love fall xoxo
I can’t end this post without asking everyone to take a moment to remember 9/11/2001.
We’re not perfect, but I’m proud to be an American.