Dinner My Way
First, let me just tell you I am so excited to talk about food! I love to cook, and always have, but I have to say cooking was definitely more enjoyable before kids. I never use to think twice about how long it would take to cook dinner or when we would eat, and now with an almost 2 year old it is just a totally different ball game.
I used to be a very 'by the recipe' type of cook and Rich would always tease me about following a recipe to the T. Over the years and as life got busier I have definitely adopted the approach of using a recipe as 'inspiration' for a meal and 98% of the time I change the recipe or cooking instructions to fit my family and the time I have.
So I recently got Chrissy Teigen's new cookbook Cravings: Hungry For More and was so excited to start trying some of the recipes in it. Tonight I did her Pan-Seared Fish with Herby Browned Butter and Veggie Couscous with Spicy Pine Nuts and OMG was it good!!! I honestly don't remember the last time I finished my plate so quickly.
The fish recipe was pretty simple and I really didn't do much to alter it. The sauce included butter, fresh cilantro, garlic, shallot, salt/pepper, and lemon. I didn't add shallot and I completely flaked on getting a lemon at the store so those two were missing in mine. The recipe also called for a thick white fish and suggested halibut or snapper. I ended up using Tilapia because that was what was out when I went to the store and it turned out great.
As for the veggie couscous, this technically could be served as a vegetarian dish on its own but I decided to turn it into my side dish. The recipe lays out how to make the veggies and then how to do the couscous/pine nuts separately and then combine. For the veggies it calls for onion, sweet potato and zucchini and then a handful of spices. Now zucchini is one of those vegetables for me that I like to eat at a restaurant or when someone else makes it but for whatever reason I seem to have awful luck cooking it. So I swapped the zucchini for fresh green beans. Also, I had 2 of the 3 spices it called for so I just replaced one of the spices with something in my pantry I thought would go....I tend to do this A LOT! One last change on the vegetables, the recipe makes enough for 6, since I was using it as a side dish I pretty much just cut everything in half.
And for the couscous/pine nut part of the dish...well for that I just took the easy way out and bought a box of couscous that has pine nuts in it :) Rich and I actually have had this couscous a few times and really like it and it was a huge time saver!
At the end of the day I would love to have nothing else to do but cook elaborate meals every day/night but that isn't reality. So by making a few easy swaps and altering the recipe a little I get to try a new dish that works for my family and don't have to go crazy buying ingredients I won't ever use again!
*In an effort to not make this post million miles long I didn't want to type out the entire recipe. Feel free to email/message me if you would like it.