Dinnertime often sneaks up on me. Suddenly it's 6:00 pm and I'm starving. But when I'm tired from working all day, cooking feels like a big deal that I don't care to tackle.
Up until a few years ago, that mindset is how I'd end up eating junk-laden foods like frozen pizza, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Chinese carry-out and my dirty little secret addiction: a drive-thru Big Mac and fries wolfed down in the car on the ride back home. And now the empty nest dragon is trying to hurl me back into these old habits.
The key to breaking that bad habit has been to come up with meals that I can prep, cook, and have on my table in under 30 minutes. By "on the table" I mean, eat standing up at my kitchen island, another empty nest gut-punch because sitting alone at my table makes me sad. I'll work on the soon, but not real soon.
It does take some planning to have ingredients in my frig and panty, but a half-hour of meal planning and then a trip to the grocery once a week is working for me.
A staple in my freezer is raw shrimp. If I don't remember to take them out to thaw in the morning, running them under cold water for 10 minutes works. I don't like pre-cooked frozen shrimp, they have no flavor and the texture is funky.
Slay your dragon - whatever dragon that may be - with this recipe!
Get Out Of That Funk Shrimp Fajitas
1 lb. raw peeled and deveined shrimp: thaw and remove the tails
1/2 green bell pepper (more if you like green pepper)
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red onion
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Flour tortillas or tortilla chips (gluten free)
Preheat your grill and a grilling basket. Thinly slice the bell peppers and onion. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, veggies, olive oil and all of the spices and toss to combine. Grill this mix for 8 minutes with the lid closed and then stir and grill another 2 minutes. Plate the fajitas and give a squeeze of fresh lime and top with cilantro. Top with anything else you like or can muster up out of your frig: avocado, sour cream, salsa, cheese. I scoop the fajitas onto corn tortillas because I eat gluten free, but you could also wrap the fajitas in a traditional flour tortilla.
This recipe also works great with thinly sliced chicken or beef. And it can be done on the stove top in a cast iron pan instead of the grill. You can cut it in half if you're cooking for only yourself and don't like left-overs. I happen to love left-overs and always cook in portion sizes that give me at least one more meal.