Well, here we are: Monday night.
Friday seems, honestly, like it was a minute ago to me—do you feel that way? It’s as if somehow the sum of everything—a fast dinner at Steak N’ Shake, $1.99 latte bowls at Anthropologie, a friend’s birthday brunch at one of my favorite places, Saturday movie marathons, bacon-wrapped dates, long walks in warm sunshine, free Starbucks, bunches of Cool Ranch Doritos, bonfires with homemade s’mores, couch-shopping, a lot of driving and two new pairs of shoes—doesn’t add up somehow.
No matter how well, or with how much, you fill three empty days, they still end, and you have to return to normal again. And, I don’t know about you, but I’d like to find a way around that reality.
No matter how we look at things, tomorrow is typical Tuesday morning, but then, that isn’t entirely bad. I mean, for one thing, this week will seem short. For another, this is still May, and whether you’re watching it from the inside of your office window or while standing in an open field, you can’t miss the beauty.
So let’s talk normal. Like everyday, routine, weeknights. Like dinner. Do you know what you’re having?
The people at Amazing Taste® recently sent me a box of their seasonings to try, ranging from chili to burgers to chicken fajitas, along with recipes. Before I even tried any, I already knew two things I liked about the packets: 1) They are extremely inexpensive, at $0.99 each, and 2) They are simple to use, usually requiring just a couple extra ingredients beyond meat and a few minimal instructions for assembly.
To start, I chose the Malibu pack and used it in their Savory Low-Calorie Chicken recipe. It was easy and fast: Because I chopped the accompanying vegetables the night before, all I had to do Sunday afternoon after church was rinse off the chicken, season it with the spice packet, place it on top of the seasoned carrots and onions and stick the whole thing in the oven. After 45 minutes cooking, the chicken emerges tender, cooked and saturated with hints of black pepper, onion, garlic and paprika, as do the chopped vegetables surrounding it. Accompanied by some garlic couscous and sliced fresh Italian bread, this made a lovely meal.
And tomorrow, on my work lunch, it will make a great addition to a salad, chopped and tossed with romaine, carrots, radishes and tomatoes because, you know, just because things are back to normal in life doesn’t mean our food has to be.
Savory Low-Calorie Chicken
Adapted from Amazing Taste
I always hate it when I hear about a particular product and then can’t find it at any local store. So if you’d like to save yourself that trouble, click here for a list of places that sell the Amazing Taste products.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 packet Amazing Taste® Malibu Seasoning
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced zucchini
½ cup water (or light beer or white wine)
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place vegetables in a two-quart baking dish and sprinkle about one Tablespoon of the Malibu seasoning on top.
Coat the chicken with the remainder of the seasoning, and place it over the vegetables. Add liquids and cover. Bake for 45 minutes.