This isn’t a recipe. This is me stuck in a rut.
There was a period of time after college that I refer to as my Big Dip. My Big Dip Period was me out on my own in the world, no idea how to make a meal for myself and eating fast food or highly questionable sushi from a place between a Papa John’s and a Yoshinoya. People would tell me I was healthy because I was skinny and I would laugh and laugh and laugh. Inside I would cry and cry and cry.
Dinners during the Big Dip consisted of discreet objects: Chips, salsa and a leftover eggroll. Cheese and crackers and grits. One steamed artichoke and a garlic naan. A bunless hot dog with ketchup.
It was a dark time.
Now that I’m in my Totally Awesome Uphill Food Slope Period, I’ve gotten a lot healthier and when someone asks, “What’s for dinner?” I know what’s up. But some nights my options will still be limited, and I’ll be reduced to discreet objects again. The only difference is that now my kitchen contains healthier options.
Now when I’m stuck in a food rut, I do the easiest thing I can think of - grill. No idea what to do with that one tomato? Grill it. What about that rogue zucchini? Grill that sucker. Got 4 very tiny carrots? Stick ‘em on the grill and watch ‘em burn, baby. Need a protein? Okay, so I’ll dip into the grocery store and find something grillable - shrimp. Easy.
Like I said, this isn’t a recipe. But if you’re stuck in a rut and also happen to be in your own Big Dip, then I’ll break it down for you:
You’ll need a grill or a grill pan. I use a grill pan. While the grill is heating up, slice your larger vegetables and coat all of them lightly in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Do the same thing with the shrimp. Throw on some garlic powder if you’re feeling mildly adventerous. Then…stick them all on the grill. Grill the vegetables until they get nice black marks. Grill the shrimp until they turn pink and opaque. Add chili flakes or lemon pepper to them when they’re done, if you’re feeling it.
It’s still a meal of discreet objects, but way better than a half slice of pizza and a yogurt cup. It’s a fall-back when you don’t know what else to do, but it looks like you totally planned it out because you’re a healthy person with the ability to plan ahead. And if you’re not a healthy person with the ability to plan ahead, how hard is it to grill vegetables and shrimp? Not hard at all.
So if you’re in a rut, grill something. If you’re in a Big Dip, this is one idea that could potentially pull you into a Totally Awesome Uphill Food Slope. If there was hope for me, then there is hope for you.