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!

 

 

Refreshing Cucumber Salsa

2015-06-07 12.38.50

I received this recipe in my email this weekend and just had to try it out. It was originally from a Taste of Home reader from North Dakota (Crisp Cucumber Salsa) and the only thing I changed was the type of cucumber. I used the english/hothouse cucumber and didn’t peel it. The original recipe called for peeling the cucumber, which I would only do if I used a regular variety. The english style holds up better and stays firmer.

I made the recipe for a couple of friends and it was a huge success. So easy and healthy as well! The original recipe called for serving immediately but I think letting it chill for a bit would be better. I will definitely be making this quite a bit this summer!

A refreshing, light, crunchy salsa/relish. It would easily go on burgers, hot dogs, chicken or fish as well! I might even try using greek yogurt instead of the sour cream next time! If anyone tries it that way let me know!

Ingredients:

2 cups finely chopped, seeded cucumber (I used english cucumber)

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato (1 medium plum tomato)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 TBS minced fresh parsley

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup light sour cream

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice

1-1/2 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Baked tortilla chip scoops

Instructions:

1: In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, jalapeño pepper, cilantro and garlic.

2: in a small bowl add the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt.

3: Pour creamy mixture over the cucumber mixture and mix gently. Coating all ingredients.

4: It can be served immediately but is better chilled for about 15-30 minutes before serving. Stir before serving.

Calories: 16 per 1/4 cup (without chips)

Fat: 1g

Sodium: 44mg

Carbs: 2g

Protein: 1g

Tomato, Cucumber & White Bean Salad

Finding dishes that I can put together quickly is becoming more of a habit these days. Between work and chores around the house I am always looking for fast, healthy dishes. For the past holiday weekend I didn’t have a ‘salad’  to serve with our meal. I was tired of the same old lettuce salads. So I looked in my refrigerator. I found a cucumber that had about a third left on it. I also had a few Campari tomatoes that were very ripe and wouldn’t last much longer. So I chopped them up and mixed with some garlic. Then I thought it needed something else because it really wasn’t enough for 4-6 people who would be dining with us. So I threw in a can of white cannellini beans. Yum! I also added some white balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mixed it up. Delicious and it was a huge hit! Fast and good for us!

 

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 Campari tomatoes (or whatever you have on hand), cut into bite size pieces

1/3 cucumber, peeled and cut into pieces

1 clove garlic chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

white balsamic vinegar, about 1/8 cup

olive oil, about ¼ cup

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients together and chill to serving time!

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!

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

Italian Chicken Chili Alfredo

Boy that’s a mouthful! I was trying to come up with a simple title but couldn’t. Originally when I made this I was going for a regular chili with chicken instead of ground beef. As I went along I kept changing my mind. I had also  just bought a jar of Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce and thought it would make a tasty addition. The sauce is a new product for the Classico line of sauces. It only has 60 calories and 5 grams of fat in ¼ cup. Compared to over 110 calories and 10 grams of fat for the same amount. It was really good and I didn’t feel bad about eating it!

I also added two kinds of beans to this recipe, white canellini beans and black beans. Another item I always have on hand in my freezer are those pre-cooked chicken sausages. They are really very good and lower in calories and fat. I usually have the Italian style which is what I used in this recipe. The chicken breast I used was the Perdue portion sized boneless breasts. They come in those individually wrapped packages. They were on sale and I had a coupon! I used the white wine and garlic seasoned ones but you can use any kind you want.

This was a great protein, fiber-filled meal. My husband really liked it and I can make it again so it’s a winner! Great for the fall or when you want an easy dinner. Leftovers are even better! If you want you can even add rice or pasta to the dish to stretch it even more. It’s up to you!

INGREDIENTS:

2 small onions (or 1 large), chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped (use less if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound or so), cut into bite size pieces

2 Italian Style Chicken Sausages (precooked kind)

1 can (15-16 oz.) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 small-medium tomato, chopped small

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

1 jar (15 oz.) Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Parmesan Cheese for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pan heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté the chicken pieces. Remove from pan and set aside when browned and mostly cooked, about 5 minutes.

2. In the same pan add the onion and garlic and sauté, on medium heat, till soft, about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn the garlic.

3. Add the mushrooms, sausage, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

4. Add the tomatoes and stir in. Add the beans and continue to stir and cook for another 3 minutes or so until beans are heated through.

5. Add the alfredo sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Tabouli with Quinoa

Usually I am not a big fan of mint. No mojitos for me.  And definitely none of that flourescent green mint jelly when I have lamb! That is wrong to my taste buds on so many levels. Luckily my husband is not a fan either. So many recipes have mint in them and most of the time, to me anyway, it’s too much. So when I tried Tabouli years ago I was surprised to find that there was mint in it! Imagine that! I liked it in spite of that! And now with my new favorite food, quinoa, I can have that delicious tabouli salad with a more healthy twist! It’s a refreshing and filling salad for lunch or a side dish or just for snacking in the afternoon. I will also add crumbled feta cheese to mine for a little extra zip. You can use goat cheese if you want too, anything you like really. Just don’t go crazy and kill all the good with too much cheese. Moderation! This recipe is also one time where you should have the fresh parsley rather than dried.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

¼ cup fresh parsley, without stems

2/3 cup green onions (scallions), cut into ¼” pieces

1½ cups peeled cucumbers, cut into ¼” pieces

1½ cups chopped tomatoes, cut into ¼” pieces

1 garlic clove, minced (no garlic powder on this)

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon dried mint (optional)

½ cup crumbled light or fat-free feta cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Put quinoa in a fine strainer and rinse under running water until water runs clear. Drain well. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Quinoa will be fluffy. Chill in the refrigerator or rinse cooked quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer under COLD running water. Drain well.

2. Toss remaining ingredients with quinoa and serve!

Makes 5 cups (1 cup per serving)