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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 in 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 less 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 at 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 in 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. Top should be lightly browned and bubbling.

Garnish with a basil leave. Serve hot/warm!

2015-10-24 17.18.54-1

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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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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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Shrimp w/Sour Cream and Onion Dip

Well back to somewhat of a normal week. Christmas is over but we still have New Year’s coming up. So this recipe today is a redo of a dip I posted some time ago. Originally the recipe called for the shrimp to be chilled in it for at least 8 hours. This time I just cut the recipe in half and used it in place of the usual cocktail sauce. Nothing against regular cocktail sauce but it gets boring. When I served this dip with the shrimp last week it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it. The small amount I had left over also turned a little bit pink from the red onion in it. Festive! So make up a batch for New Year’s Eve and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup light mayonnaise

¼ cup light sour cream

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar (or Splenda)

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon dried dill

1 pound medium-large cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, onion, and dill. Mix well. Chill to set up at least an hour.

2. Serve with shrimp!

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Garlic Cheese Grits and Shrimp

So for the next four days my husband and I are heading to Charleston, SC. I thought I’d look up some local recipes and adapt them to my cooking style. I have heard so much about their shrimp and grits so I figured I’d start there. My husband loves grits (he should marry them!) and I like them. We both like shrimp and garlic so this recipe seemed like a no-brainer. I haven’t made it yet but I do plan to once we get back from our trip. I am going to definitely try it while up there though! The original recipe called for 6 ounces of garlic flavored processed cheese. I am going to be using 8 wedges of Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb cheese. Fewer calories for sure and still with all the flavor. I would also use fat-free chicken broth instead of water when cooking the grits. Again, more flavor!


INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup uncooked grits

6 ounces Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb cheese (8 wedges)

pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tomato, diced

2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

½ lemon, juiced

salt to taste


DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook grits according to package directions. Stir in the Laughing Cow cheese and cayenne pepper. Keep warm over low heat.

2. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute garlic and tomato until tomato begins to soften. Stir in shrimp and lemon juice. Saute until shrimp are pink. Season with salt to taste.

3. Spread warm grits on a serving platter and pour shrimp mixture on top.

Serves 4

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Microwave Shrimp Scampi

No matter how many Italian restaurants you go to,  if you order Shrimp Scampi you will rarely get the same thing twice. I think every restaurant has their own version of this simple and delicious meal. Some bread the shrimp, some have a creamy sauce, some grill the shrimp, some have lots of garlic, others don’t. The list can go on and on. Years ago I came across a recipe for the microwave that is so simple and fast that I use it quite a bit. I also adapted it of course to my cooking style. I used to serve it over linguini. Those days are over! Now I use the Tofu Shirataki Noodles for the most part. You can also use any small pasta like orzo or even rice. Linguini or spaghetti shaped pasta, wheat or regular is always a good choice though. It’s up to you. My recipe also calls for a little more garlic than most people like, so if you are one of those who aren’t crazy about lots of garlic, just put less in. This recipe is a great “go to” recipe if you need something fast, and happen to have shrimp in the freezer. I always have shrimp on hand. I stock up. (Yes, for when our friend Andre is visiting!) No really, I actually buy my shrimp at Walmart. No joke. We have a Super Walmart where I do most of my grocery shopping. They sell a 14 ounce bag of frozen cooked and cleaned or raw, large shrimp for $5! Sometimes they have the extra-large, same 14 ounces, for $6. Everytime I go I try and get another bag. This way I always have shrimp on hand. It’s great for any unexpected guests who pop in too. Shrimp cocktail is always a winner! A quick way to defrost that bag of frozen shrimp? Just put the shrimp in a large bowl (yes take it out of the bag first) and cover with cool water. Not hot or warm water. Cool water. Check after about 10-15 minutes, if shrimp is still a little frozen, dump the water and add fresh. It shouldn’t take more than another 5 minutes. Easy! Oh and I don’t know if you are like me when it comes to “shrimp tails” but I think it is such a pain in my butt to have to stop and remove the tail while eating! Every single restaurant leaves them on. Sure they look nice but really. Do we need to make a mess trying to get that tail off and not ending up with it in our lap? I think we can forgo the tail! So in this recipe, remove the tails before cooking along with the rest of the shell! Whew, thanks for letting me vent! And now for the recipe!

Photo is for illustrative purposes only!


INGREDIENTS:

½ cup butter (or butter substitute)

2 tablespoons dried parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound raw large shrimp, cleaned and DE-TAILED (you will thank me!)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup white wine (any kind you have is fine)

Paprika (optional)

Parmesan cheese


DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the butter in a 2 quart microwave safe bowl or casserole dish. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, garlic, wine and salt.

2. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper or other type of cover.

3. Microwave on HIGH until shrimp is pink/opaque and tender, about 3-6 minutes, stirring twice.

4. Serve over linguine, spaghetti, orzo, rice, quinoa, or whatever you want! Sprinkle some paprika on top if desired. Serve with parmesan cheese for the top and maybe some nice crostini or Italian bread to soak up the garlic butter!

Serves 2




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