I want to like girly magazines. I really do. (And please note I said ‘girly,’ not ‘girlie’–those are a completely different kind of magazine). I like the idea of treating a magazine, as I do books, as a friend, if only for a short while.
But on the rare occasion that I do buy a women’s magazine (usually because a female celebrity I respect is on the cover…hello, Zoeey Deschanel), I am always left found wanting. The same repetitive articles on beauty, fashion, and sex tips seem to have been circulating since the 1960s with only slightly different titles. And they’re always playing on female insecurities like weight, appearance, how good we are in bed, if our friends really like us or not instead of empowering us.
In short, they make me feel as though the advertising gurus still think women lack substance. We don’t. Why can’t I read a magazine with book and music reviews, recent finds, helpful tips, and some girly action without feeling like everything about me can and should be changed?
That being said, I still succumb to the allure of a women’s magazine several times a year, usually while buying my annual bottle of nail polish. After I read it and feel a slight melancholy about the lack of truly meaningful material, I save my favorite parts: the recipes, which are usually healthy (for those trying to lose a quick ten pounds in 2.5 seconds) and quite tasty as well.
Pasta with Sausage and Red Grapes (Serves 4)
- 6 oz mild Italian sausage (or soysage) cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups seedless red grapes
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 10 oz whole wheat short cut pasta (orecchiette, farfalle, or penne)
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring and breaking up, until well browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer sausage to a paper towel. Add oil to skillet; return to medium heat. Cook onion and garlic with 1/4 tsp salt, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add grapes, broth and pepper flakes; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until grapes soften or burst and liquid thickens, about 10 minutes.
Return sausage to skillet and stir; turn off heat. When water boils, add remaining 1 tbsp salt and pasta; cook as directed on package. Drain pasta, add to skillet, and turn on heat to high. Cook, stirring, until sausage is hot and pasta is coated with sauce, 30 to 60 seconds. Divide pasta among 4 bowls; sprinkle each with Parmesan and parsley before serving.
Recipe from: Self Magazine
I made this recipe last summer, and Dave and I both loved it. With just a handful of grapes left in the fridge, I decided to recreate the meal tonight. As usual, I had to improvise, lacking a few of the ingredients.
I swapped sausage for Boca crumbles, short cut pasta for zucchini chunks, parmesan for fresh mozzarella, and fresh parsley for dried.
Though I missed the ‘sausage’ flavor in the dish…
And wish I had done half zucchini and half pasta…
It was still a delightful dinner.
Thank you, girly magazine, for providing me with a delicious recipe to fill my stomach so that I may need to read ‘Flat Abs in 7 Days.’ Clever marketing, indeed.