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Coconut Garlic Shrimp, Asparagus & Tomato Pasta

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Well it’s been a long week since Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida & the Caribbean and things are slowly, finally settling back to some kind of normalcy. This includes making a new dish for dinner. After replacing 75% of the contents of my freezer and refrigerator because of no power I can say with a smile, I’m back! I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for quite some time. The original recipe that I adapted this from (Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Milk, Tomatoes and Cilantro) is from Gina Homolka at Skinnytaste. Please check her recipe out as well.

The original recipe from Gina was more of a stew and could be served over rice. I added more garlic and served it over pasta instead. I also added asparagus since I had some in the fridge that had to be used or I would lose it. I may try it with peas instead next time or possibly broccoli! And for those of you who know me, know I really do NOT like peppers (green, red, yellow….) jalapeno yes, but sweet peppers no. This recipe has red peppers in it and I can barely taste them. I did use the small rainbow peppers (the red ones) and they aren’t as strong-tasting so that’s probably why I liked them.

So how did the recipe turn out? Let’s just say, my husband and I could not stop eating it! It was incredible! I can’t wait to have it as leftovers again! It’s a very easy recipe to make and I will be making it again for sure. The only thing I might do next time is add another can of the coconut milk so it has more sauce for the pasta. Other than that it’s a home run! It’s not a heavy meal, the sauce is light, yet it is a very filling dish. Hope you enjoy it!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 lb uncooked peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp (I used (2) 12oz. bags of frozen shrimp from Aldi)

1 tsp olive oil

1 pound of asparagus sliced into small pieces

1 pound cooked pasta of your choice

1 small red pepper or 4 large red peppers from a bag of mini rainbow peppers, diced

4 scallions, thinly sliced, separating the whites and greens

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used about 1 tablespoon of dried since I didn’t have fresh)

6-8 cloves minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes of choice

1 can (13-14oz) light coconut milk. (I used Trader Joe’s organic reduced fat coconut milk)

1/2 of a lime juiced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil and sauté the red pepper until soft, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the white parts of the scallions, ¼ cup of the fresh cilantro (or the 1 tbsp of dried), the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute or so until well blended.
  3. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and ¼ tsp of salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pot and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit.
  4. Meanwhile cook the pasta to just al-dente, drain and put back into the pot.
  5. Add the chopped asparagus to the tomato coconut milk mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes until it begins to soften a little.
  6. Add the shrimp to the same mixture and cook for about 5-6 minutes until the shrimp is opaque. Add the lime juice.
  7. Pour all of the shrimp mixture into the pot with the pasta and mix well. Let it simmer for just a minute or so to get everything mixed.
  8. Serve. Top with the green part of the scallions and rest of fresh cilantro if using fresh. We also like to add a little parmesan cheese on top as well.

Serves 4-6

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Quinoa Shrimp Scampi

This recipe started out because I looked in my pantry and saw that I have just way too much quinoa in there. I have plain, red, tri-color and then I just bought a couple more packages at Home Goods! So I decided I needed to start using it more. The quinoa I used in this recipe was an Italian flavored one. I bought this container of Pereg quinoa in Home Goods for $3.99 and I used about half of the container in this recipe, about 1 cup. This brand comes in all kinds of flavors which is pretty cool so you can make whatever you’re in the mood for! I also bought a spinach version and a mushroom version. Just follow the directions on the package and you’re good to go! I also substituted the water with chicken broth, which gives it so much more flavor. A vegetable broth would work great too! But if that’s not something you would want to do then just use water. 

This is a quick meal you can throw together in under 30 minutes for sure. Great for after work when you want something nutritious and delicious! This was a nice filling and satisfying meal for two of us but if you want it can serve 4 as a side dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pereg “All’ Italiana” quinoa (Use 1 cup and cook according to package)
  • 12-16 ounces uncooked extra large-jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (no tails on unless you like that sort of thing- I do not)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 large tomato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package. When it is done, keep it on low to stay warm.
  2. Add the oil and butter to a medium skillet and saute the garlic till soft, just a few minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook on medium heat. A couple of minutes on each side until shrimp turns pink is good. Do NOT overcook.
  4. Add the lemon juice and herbs and mix well.
  5. Add the chopped tomato to the quinoa mixture.
  6. Divide up the quinoa into flat bowls and top evenly with the shrimp mixture. Make sure the delicious juices are evenly distributed as well.
  7. Serve with some parmesan cheese on top if you like!

 

 

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Hot Shrimp Scampi Spinach Dip

I have now made this dip twice. It is beyond incredible! Creamy, garlicky, cheesy, rich and loaded with shrimp. If there is anything left over you can use it as a topping on baked fish as well, which I did! Still incredible. If you don’t like shrimp or garlic stay away. Once you start eating this you can’t stop either so be prepared. The first time I made it we had a friend over for cocktails and snacks, this friend is a chef by the way. He was blown away by it. So it’s officially my new dip. It is best served with tortilla chips or pita chips. Even thin crostini would be great or crackers. I used greek yogurt cream cheese the first time I made it. It’s a mix of greek yogurt with cream cheese and fewer calories than regular cream cheese. But it’s just as good with regular cream cheese which I used the 2nd time. The recipe also calls for a shallot, which I didn’t have the first time I made it so I used 1/2 of a Vidalia sweet onion. I also used light mayonnaise but feel free to use regular.

Give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Hot Shrimp Scampi Spinach Dip

Hot Shrimp Scampi Spinach Dip

INGREDIENTS:

1 8 oz. package cream cheese of choice (cut up into cubes)

10-12 oz. medium cooked shrimp, chopped into chunks. (2-3 chunks per shrimp)

2 cups fresh spinach leaves roughly chopped

2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (feel free to use more cheese also)

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon minced garlic (more if you like a lot of garlic!)

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Basil leaf for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the shrimp, spinach, shallot, and garlic.

Stir gently until the shallot is translucent and the spinach is wilted. This should take about 5 minutes, making sure all the ingredients are heated through.

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese and the cream cheese and mix well.

Put mixture into a baking dish large enough to hold it all. 8×8 or larger. Anything is good as long as it’s large enough to hold it all. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and bubbling.

Garnish with a basil leave. Serve hot/warm!

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Scrumptious Shrimp & Asparagus Stir-Fry

 After many requests here is the recipe! I modified this recipe from a Rocco DiSpirito recipe. The man knows good food! Before making this recipe the only way I had ever cooked asparagus, and only thin asparagus, was to roast it, whole. This recipe I ventured into unknown territory. I used much thicker asparagus and cut into bite size pieces! I also used a vegetable peeler to get off some of the thicker layers on the stalks. And you know that wonderful thing that happens to our body when you eat asparagus? I won’t say what it is but if you’ve ever eaten asparagus you know what I mean. Well apparently when you cut it up and not cook it whole that little phenomenon doesn’t occur!  It’s a win win! Plus this recipe is figure friendly. I would also recommend reading the entire recipe all the way through before cooking. Make the stir-fry sauce first also. You can even make it a few days before if you want.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin

1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut on an angle into 1″ pieces

12-16 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined. NO TAILS!!!

¾-1 cup cooked brown rice (remember brown is better for you!)

½ cup chopped fresh basil 

sesame seeds for garnish

salt and pepper

2/3 cup of Rocco’s “Rockin’ Asian Stir-Fry Sauce” (see recipe below) or you can use a store-bought sugar-free teriyaki sauce. (Make this BEFORE you start cooking the stir-fry)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan or skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the onion and asparagus and stir fry until the veggies are almost tender, about 6 minutes or so.

2. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and add to the pan. Add the rice to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often to get everything heated through.

3. Add the stir fry sauce. When the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is hot, about 2-4 minutes, stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sesame seeds for garnish.

Serves 4

Stir-Fry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sesame oil

¼ cup chopped fresh ginger (this is key!)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

½ bunch of scallions (white and green part) chopped fine

1 tablespoon cornstarch

6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

¾ cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons rice vinegar, plain

½ cup reduced-sugar ketchup (Heinz is the best)

salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan/skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions. Saute, stirring frequently, until very fragrant. About 2-3 minutes.

2. In the meantime, place the cornstarch in a medium bowl and add the soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar and ketchup. Whisk to blend.

3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauté pan and bring the sauce to a simmer.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper if you want.

5. Store in a covered container in refrigerator for up to a week.

This sauce is incredible. I used it on ribs also. Tasted just like chinese spare ribs! 

This makes about 1¾ cups.

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Shrimp Egg Rolls

Today is all about me venturing into the realm of the large wonton wrappers! Yes I have now graduated from the small ones to the big ones! I have to admit, I was a little scared of not rolling them right, or having the filling ooze all over the place. But my fears were for naught!

 I had seen this recipe on an episode of Hungry Girl and I figured it looked easy enough so I tried it! They were such a success I made them two nights in a row for dinner! Yes, they are usually an appetizer but who says they have to be? Now this recipe calls for scallions and bean sprouts. I was out of both of them so I left them out in this batch. Still came out awesome! The best part of this recipe is that they are baked, not fried! Saves a ton of calories (each roll is about 100 calories) and they still come out crispy and yummy! 

I ended up using the whole package in two days so I have to restock my supply of large wrappers. Remember you can find them in the produce department in the Asian section. Even Walmart’s produce section has them! They are so easy to make and you can substitute anything you want in them. Not a fan of shrimp? Use chopped cooked chicken or chopped cooked pork. These are great for getting rid of leftovers in the refrigerator! Just make them into an egg roll!

I doubled the original recipe (it was an accident actually so I made it work) therefore, this makes a lot of filling. I got about 20 egg rolls out of it. No leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag coleslaw mix (12-16 oz.)

8 oz. cooked and chopped shrimp

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped

½ cup bean sprouts, chopped

4 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced widthwise

3-4 tablespoons reduced-sodium or lite soy sauce

2 teaspoons crushed garlic (I used 4 cloves)

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

Several dashes black pepper

sesame seeds, optional

20 large square egg roll/wonton wrappers

Sauces for dipping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Put slaw mix into a large microwave-safe bowl with 4 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Drain any excess water. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the wrappers of course). Mix well and set aside. You can set it in the fridge to marinate for about 20 minutes for a better flavor.
  3. Using a large baking sheet spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. Using a clean, dry surface place a wonton wrapper. Evenly distribute about ½ cup of the mixture onto the wrapper, just below center, in a row.
  5. Moisten all four edges of the wrapper by dabbing your fingers in water and running them around the edges smoothly. This will help the wrappers stick better.
  6. Fold the sides of the wrapper about 3/4 inch towards the center. This keeps the mixture from falling out of the sides. Next, roll the bottom of each wrapper up around the mixture and continue rolling until you reach the top. Seal the outside edge with another dab of water. Go slow at first till you get the hang of it. It’s actually pretty easy.
  7. Carefully transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have made enough rolls. Keep the surface you are working on, dry and clean.
  8. Spray the tops of the egg rolls with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you wish.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. I baked for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and serve!

Be very careful as they will be extremely HOT! We cut them in half to let steam out before eating. I also made my own sauce using Mikoto ginger dressing and some soy sauce. Delish! Enjoy!

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Asian Garlic Salmon with Spinach

Ok, I love garlic. It’s more of a condiment in my house. So if garlic isn’t your thing just reduce the amount in the recipe. I won’t be upset. This is a very simple recipe. It also doesn’t take long to cook so it’s great for a weeknight after a long day at work. I made this the other night after stopping at the supermarket on the way home. I had thought about getting rib-eyes for dinner but they were way too expensive. So I strolled past the fish counter. The salmon jumped out at me so I got a large one pound piece, with the skin on it. You can always get it without the skin if you prefer. Once I got home I cut the piece into 2 equal parts. Salmon is surprising. It doesn’t look like very much but once you start eating it you can get filled up pretty quick. So this recipe was plenty for two people. It came out so moist and delicious. Even my cat Toonces (aka The Driving Cat) loved it! I think she thought we were making it for her as she just LOVES salmon.

So give it a try. It’s fast, easy and good for you too. Lots of those good omegas for you! Plus the spinach if full of vitamins and iron. All good!


Ingredients:

1 pound fresh salmon (with or without skin), cut into 2 equal pieces

   Marinate the salmon in 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder and ground ginger. I usually do this in a large ziplock bag. Marinate for 10-20 minutes.

1 package fresh spinach (I think they are usually 12-16 ounces)

6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

2 large scallions sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Directions:

  1. Saute garlic in the olive oil until lightly golden in a large skillet.
  2. Add the spinach and cook a few minutes, mixing well with the garlic until it just starts to wilt.
  3. Add the salmon on top of the spinach and cover.
  4. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes until salmon is a light pink. Careful not to overcook. The spinach should all be wilted by now.
  5. Put spinach on plate and top with salmon. Top salmon with scallions.
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Spicy Crab Dip

Long time no post! I’m still trying to get in the routine of blogging when I get home from work. Being I don’t get home till 7pm it’s been tough. But I am determined to get back into this everyday, again. Today’s recipe I found through Taste of Home magazine. I had gotten it in an email. I used to get the magazine but have had to cut back so now I just get emails. This recipe is simple, quick, low-calorie and delicious! Plus it won’t break the bank. It uses the imitation crabmeat but feel free to use the real stuff if you want! I also substituted light mayonnaise and light cream cheese for the full fat ones. Again, feel free to use the regular kind. It can be served with crackers or veggies. Your choice! Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Taste of Home magazine

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons dried minced onion

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional

2 packages (8 ounces each) light cream cheese, cubed

1 pound imitation crabmeat, chopped


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a food processor, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the crabmeat, mix well.

2. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm with crackers or vegetables.

Makes 4 cups

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Mexican Shrimp

This recipe I originally got from my former Weight Watchers leader many years ago. She was always giving us such wonderful easy recipes. Once I get back to Weight Watchers (when I save up some up some money from the new job) I will be sure to get more! I think the original recipe she gave us was good for one person so I am doubling the ingredients to make it enough for two people. I have made it before and it is delicious. Of course I do not have a photo but once I make it again I will add it to the post. So without any further rambling I will get to the recipe. I find I tend to ramble more these days now that I’m back to working and much more tired than before. Not sure if it’s a good thing or not. See, I’m doing it again.


INGREDIENTS:

½ cup brown rice, cooked

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups diced tomato

4 tablespoons salsa (your choice)

1 chili powder (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

4 tablespoons chopped green olives

1 cup corn (canned is fine)

8 ounces shrimp, cleaned

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the tomato sauce, chopped tomato, salsa, chili powder, olives, and corn in a large saucepan.

2. Add the shrimp and cook until pink.

3. Add the rice and heat through.

Serve hot!

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Crabmeat Bisque

Normally when see “bisque” on a menu I automatically think of all the fat and calories in it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s usually delicious but I can’t take all those calories. This recipe is a lighter version and it’s very easy to make. A great soup for a cold wintry night after a long day of work. Serve it with a nice crusty loaf of bread and it can be a meal in itself. I use fat-free products in this but feel free to use the regular versions. For a variation you can substitute shrimp or lobster meat for the crabmeat also.

(Again I don’t have a picture of the soup when I made it but I will post one as soon as I make it again)

For illustrative purposes only!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (10¾ ounces) condensed fat-free cream of chicken soup

1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, rinsed and drained

1 soup can of skim milk, light cream, or fat-free half-and-half

1 tablespoon dry sherry

chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a 2-quart saucepan, stir together the soup, crabmeat and milk. Heat through.

2. Add the sherry and heat until hot, but do NOT boil. Garnish with chopped parsley.

**VARIATIONS: Substitute 1 can (4½ ounces) deveined shrimp, rinsed and drained, for the crabmeat. Or 6 ounces cooked lobster meat for the crabmeat.

Makes about 3½ cups or 2 moderate servings.

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Shrimp Salsa

Okay, I need to make another resolution. ALWAYS TAKE PICTURES OF THE FOOD AT MY PARTIES!!! This recipe I have made before but of course it was PB (Pre-Blog). Of course I never took pictures of the food because for the most part, why would I? Well now I will. Even if it’s with my cell phone. But until I make this again I do not have an actual picture of it. Use your imagination.

This week also marks my venture back into the workforce outside my house. I worked at home for 6 years and going back into an office is going to be a bit shocking to my system. So I am trying to get the week’s blogs done earlier so that if I am too tired I will still have the blog. If anything earth-shattering happens that I need to post I will add it to the next day’s blog. And since I may not be near a computer during the day as I am now, I will approve comments when I get home. Please bear with me. I normally don’t like to have to approve all comments but there has been a ton of spam lately and I don’t want anything slipping by. Thanks! So without further ado here is today’s post.

This salsa is a great side dish for the upcoming Super Bowl weekend. It’s easy, fast and very healthy for you! I know, healthy and Super Bowl usually don’t go together but why not? Who says it can’t? It can be served with tortilla chips so it won’t be a shock to the Super Bowl system. I would also suggest using endive leaves as a “chip” to eat this. Very tasty and still crunchy. It’s a very colorful salsa and will be a huge hit.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only. This is not the exact photo for recipe but it's close.

INGREDIENTS:

½ pound peeled, cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped

1½  cups salsa (your choice)

4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ cup minced cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until flavors are blended, at least an hour.

Serve with tortilla chips, endive, or whatever you choose.

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