I hope everyone has amazing Labor Day plans, whether it’s travel or just relaxing at home and celebrating the fact that Monday is falling on a Tuesday or making resolutions to just ignore that rule about white clothing.* My plans include a lovely cross-country red eye flight to a reunion with college friends in Delaware. Which means they also include plans to don beach wear and attempt to eradicate my crazy golf and hiking tan lines. Which means that, unsurprisingly, I decided I needed to go on a beach diet before vacation.
*I finally got over my fear of wearing my new, pristine, white jeans and they are not going back in the closet now that I have an entire SF summer to look forward to spilling food on them.
What is a beach diet? I guess it’s personal for everyone, but for me, it was going to mean abstaining from alcohol, added sugar, and heavy foods for at least a month, but lololol yeah right, the reality of parties, vacations, and my love of ice cream got in the way.
On Friday I went to a work event where we were fed fried chicken and waffle skewers, beef sliders, pulled pork sliders, pizza, grilled cheese, and an open bar, all topped off with a soft serve machine and donut holes. In my focus on healthy eating I ate at least one of everything and my biggest concession to the bikini I plan to pack in my suitcase was not to follow through on my brilliant idea to top off the second ice cream cone with a donut. Trust me when I tell you that an indoor putt putt course does not provide the distance needed to walk all of that off.
Fortunately, none of that carnival food left me with any desire for dinner, giving me plenty of reason to justify the ice cream cone I ate for lunch on Saturday. I did walk that one off, on my way to an amazing but depressing Amy Winehouse double header** that knocked me out of my sugar high. This week’s menu is going to be heavy on the succotash and salad, and just in time, because the upcoming beach menu includes a taco night and a possible brewery visit, and I’ve heard rumblings about burger experimentation for “data collecting” purposes.
Reading back that list of food is “Exhibit A” of why life is too damn short and too damn fun to miss out for something stupid like a beach diet. But it also might suggest I blew off my ascetic intentions and swung the pendulum way too far in the opposite direction, so I guess it’s a good thing that I least kept the home cooking veggie heavy, since I don’t have the desire or the money to replace all of my pants right now.
That’s where these peppers come in. Shishitos are a delicious snack ubiquitous on menus in SF (hi, hello, I’d like a front row seat on this bandwagon, please!) and I've found them in every grocery store I shop at. They are mostly mild, but every once in a while you can be surprised by a random spicy one. Here, I saw no reason to reinvent anything, so I roasted them at high heat and ate them with a lemony, spicy mayo to keep life fun and to keep it interesting when you get a milder pepper.
Excuse me, I’m off to have tofu for lunch (it’s ok I fried it).
Roasted Shishito Peppers
Inspired by the The Kitchn
1 lb shishito peppers
1 tbs olive oil (or another oil of your choice)
Spicy Lemon Mayo
1/2 cup mayo
zest and juice of 1 lemon
a couple dashes of hot sauce
- Turn on the broiler in your oven and heat a cast iron or other oven proof pan until hot hot hot.
- Toss peppers and oil together and season liberally with salt.
- Add peppers to the hot pan and spread out in an even layer. Place under the broiler until blistered and softened, about 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to get a nice, even char.
- Serve immediately while hot with Spicy Lemon Mayo.