Recipes for when you're self-medicating with Chrome tabs
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Listen, I say this with love for the universe or Mercury or whoever’s in charge of regulating chaos earth side…but what in the absolute shit is happening this week?
I’ve always struggled with the “bring your whole self to work! 🙃” thing, or frankly bringing your whole self anywhere outside the home. When something happens in my life that pulls me pretty substantially out of my equilibrium—good or bad!—it feels like oversharing to talk about it too openly, but disingenuous to not mention it, since it’s pretty much all I can think about. Usually my approach is simply to avoid chaos at all costs. But when you have a parent going through a fairly destructive late-life crisis that would make Maury squeamish, the chaos kinda finds you, you know?
For a few months back in 2021, I was pretty convinced that the stuff going on in my life was novel-worthy misfortune. Two years later, I’ve realized that constant whiplash from being flagellated around a cyclone of high highs and low lows is pretty much just the adult human state. This is fun y’all, right? We’re having fun????
I have to guess that my brain isn’t the only one that struggles to focus when big shit happens in my life. Tasks that require a quiet mind and mental stamina are absolutely out of the question. But thinking about the Big Thing is, too, which leaves me no choice but to open one million Chrome tabs and fill my brain with ridiculous albeit wholly distracting tasks: designing my backyard guest house, picking out land for a remote lake house, briefly budgeting and realizing I’ll need 22 more jobs to do these things, quickly closing that tab and making a Pinterest board for a screen solarium anyway…it’s freaking exhausting.
The thing that I can always count on to bring me back to earth is the ritual of pulling a meal together at the end of the day. Cooking puts my brain on mute, and it’s usually the buffer between relentlessly trying to distract myself from the Big Thing and actually thinking/talking about it. These two recipes were absolute delights to make and eat this week and, yes, made me go ahead and close out my Chrome tabs and chill tf out. Hope you enjoy.
Herby cabbage salad with crispy sweet potatoes and chickpeas
I saw this from a lady on TikTok who makes vegetables look like something I’d do terrible things for. This is an all-veg meal, but we added chicken because we’re incurable carnivores. We also had some leftovers the next day and it was still 10/10, so this is a great option for make-ahead meals (you’ll lose the crisp, but it’s still delicious).
For ~2 people:
1 sweet potato, chopped into cubes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup yogurt
Seasonings and such: olive oil, corn starch, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 425. Toss your sweet potatoes on a lined baking sheet with a bit of olive oil, salt/pepper/paprika/onion and garlic powder, and a sprinkle of corn starch to help them crisp. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your cabbage salad: blend your yogurt, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and jalapeño (you might need a bit of water) until smooth. Add just enough to your sliced cabbage to cover it and toss; you don’t want it to be SUPER dressed.
After 15 minutes, flip your sweet potatoes and push them over to one side of your pan. On the other side, add your chickpeas with the same olive oil/seasonings/corn starch combo. Back in the oven for ~20 or until everything is nice and crisp.
Assemble your bowls! Cabbage first, then crispy bits, then another drizzle of dressing.
Ritz cracker cod with lemon herb couscous
This would actually be a great one for company; You can prep everything ahead of time and just throw it in/on the heat when it’s time to eat. With prepped ingredients, the whole thing takes about 15 minutes to pull together. We had with green beans, obviously.
For 2 people:
2 cod filets
A handful of Ritz crackers (~10), crushed
1 lemon, zest and juice
Handful of fresh parsley + any other fresh herbs you want in your couscous
Seasonings and such: olive oil, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes
1 cup couscous
2.5 cups broth of your choice
Fresh parm, if you want it
Preheat your oven to 425. Make your fish topping: To your crackers, add 1/2 of the lemon zest and juice, a handful of chopped parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, onion and garlic powder.
Drizzle your fish with a bit of oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place on a lined baking sheet and top with your cracker topping (really smush it together) and bake for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes nicely.
Meanwhile, make your couscous: Bring your broth to a boil with the lid on. Remove the lid and add your couscous. Simmer with the lid off until your couscous has absorbed all of the liquid, ~10 minutes. Stir in the other 1/2 of your lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, and parm, if you want it.
Still here? Want to be here every Saturday morning? You know what to do:
You described my brain except I don’t self medicate with chrome tabs, I use pimple popping videos & videos of people getting their backs cracked. So fucking weird but I don’t know, it massage my tired brain. Whenever my youngest kids wish to be a “grown up” I always think “no you don’t, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!”
OMG I love you whoever you are. One word. Simpatico.