shrimp

Citrus Butter Shrimp (recipe)

Since summer is coming, I thought now would be the perfect time to share one of my all-time favorite recipes for citrus butter shrimp. It’s the perfect summer dish because it allows shrimp to bask in its pure glory while also drowning in melted butter, lemon and red pepper flakes. Ok maybe not perfect for summer…you have to put up with the oven, heating up the whole house—but thou shalt sacrifice for delicious food, n’est-ce pas?

Regardless…

As warm weather peeks its head out I start to crave simpler foods. This dish covers all the bases, and I hope you’re inspired to make it as well!

**Also Chelsea just informed me that today is National Shrimp Day! Am I psychic or what??

]Image

Citrus Butter Shrimp

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 pound raw shrimp (16 oz bag)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Optional: oregano, thyme, garlic salt, etc.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Thaw, clean and take the tails off your shrimp according to package directions (I used TJ’s organic raw frozen shrimp)
  • Melt butter in a pan (I used a 9 inch circular pan) by placing it in the oven for a minute or two. Then take the pan back out of the oven.
  • Slice the lemon and layer the pieces on top of the butter
  • Arrange the shrimp on top of the lemon/butter mixture. Stir around so all the shrimp is getting some butter action.
  • Sprinkle the shrimp with red pepper flakes (I used just 3-4 shakes, or a tablespoon)
  • Place in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through
  • Take out of the oven and ENJOY!

If the amount of butter scares you off, never fear! Much of it is leftover in the pan. It’s just a wonderful cooking agent that really brings out the beauty and simplicity in shrimp. Plus, if butter scares you, you have bigger fish to fry (no pun intended).

No panko, no frying, no bread, nada. Just simple, beautiful citrus butter shrimp. I squeeze a little extra lemon over my final serving, but do whatever floats your boat.

Image

Questions:

  • Are you a shrimp lover? What’s your favorite recipe?
  • What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend?

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND and don’t forget to grab your mom some beautiful tulips for Mother’s Day!

tulips

Simple Stir Fry (recipe)

This time of year, we all start to look for comfort food.  The days when I crave salads and smoothies lately are few and far between.  The only downside to this is that most people don’t have the time, knowledge, or motivation to think up healthy ways to make comfort food.  Most of the time, we automatically grab for the baked mac and cheese or the extra cheesy pasta to keep us warm while the snow falls outside.

Oftentimes the only thing you need to make a healthy, hearty recipe is a “star”, or something to center your dish around. It’s hard to see how a dish can come together without bread or cheese, two things that we often mindlessly add to a meal to make it “complete.”

Today I’m going to share with you a really simple recipe for stir fry.  You can add whatever protein you like (lean beef, chicken, shrimp, egg, etc.) to bulk up this veggie-based dish and you’ll have a complete, hearty meal in no time.  You probably have all the ingredients at home already.  All you may need to go out and buy is the star of the show: sweet chili sauce! My roommate and I used to make this all the time in college (shoutout to Christina!) and it was eaten many a time watching E! News after classes throughout winter.

Image

Veggie Stir Fry (+ protein of choice)

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli (just buy the steam and go bag from the grocery store)
  • Sweet chili sauce (Mae ploy brand is very common)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Pre-cooked shrimp, chicken, beef, etc.

First wash and lay out your veggies on a cutting board.  Cut up the peppers and onions into slices and mince the garlic.

ImageImage

Grab a sautee pan and sprinkle it with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons or so).  Put heat on medium-low and add your minced garlic. “Low and slow is the best way to cook veggies so lean more towards low heat.”

Image

Once you can smell the garlic cooking, add your pepper and onion mixture. Sautee the veggies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re cooked.  The perfect cooked veggie still has crunch to it but is soft to the touch.

Image

As the veggies are cooking, add your sweet chili sauce.  It really doesn’t matter when you add the sauce since I always pour some on top of my finished veggies anyway, but I think it’s nice to cook the veggies with the sauce too to give them a deeper flavor. Whenever you choose to add your sweet chili sauce, also put in a few shakes of red pepper flakes.  I always add a lot because I love heat in dishes, but add it carefully (start with two shakes). You can always add more later.

ImageImage

When your veggies seem about done add your pre-cooked protein.  I chose shrimp because I’m a major seafood lover and always have frozen shrimp on hand.

Image

Give it a final stir, remove from the heat, and it’s all ready to serve! Make sure to top off your bowl of stir fry with a little more sweet chili sauce…it’s so delicious and the flavor isn’t terribly strong in the veggies after they’re cooked.

This easy, low-calorie dish takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and fulfills any craving for comfort food in the dead of winter.  

Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Image

Question

  • What’s your favorite comfort food when it gets cold outside?

Shrimp Creole (recipe)

I know I’m a day late for a “Meatless Monday” post, but it’s never a bad day to share a recipe, right?

Image

If you’re new to the game, here are some reasons to go Meatless on Mondays:

  • Limit cancer risk: diets high in fruit/veggie consumption may reduce cancer risk. Red and processed meat consumption are linked to colon cancer.
  • Reduce heart disease: recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.
  • Fight diabetes: research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint: The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide (far more than transportation).  Reducing in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.

Sure, statistics and studies change over the years.  But no matter what you think about meat, you can’t argue that focusing on fruits/veggies/legumes for ONE day a week is great for your body.

This recipe, while it does contain shrimp, is a great recipe that is focused around veggies. Many people debate whether or not fish is “meat” and are outraged that some choose to include it even when participating in Meatless Mondays.   I say do what you want. I personally don’t count fish as meat.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you know that I never eat red meat (never have) but do eat white meat, fish, and eggs, so this day isn’t a huge challenge for me.  I can imagine, however, that if you’re a big burger, steak, or fried chicken eater, having grilled shrimp or wild salmon on Mondays would be a huge change, and your arteries would thank you greatly.

So if you’re looking for a meal that is simple to prepare, easy to make (hello, crock pot), and gives you a break from your meat-eating ways, I definitely suggest shrimp creole.  And if you think shrimp is a deal-breaker when going meatless, leave it out! There is so much flavor in the creole as it is that I’m sure it’d be great alone.

All in all, let’s make these guys happy once a week:

Image

Shrimp Creole

  • 1.5 cups chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1  28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2  8 oz  cans tomato sauce (or 1  15 oz can)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 drops tabasco sauce (or more if you like it spicy like I do!)
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined (If frozen, thaw and rinse)

Combine all ingredients except shrimp in crock pot and stir.

Cover and cook on Low 7-9 hours (High 3-4 hours)

Image

During the last 15 minutes, add your shrimp until they are warm. Don’t leave them in there too long or they’ll turn into little hockey pucks, since they’re already cooked.

(If you use shrimp that is not already cooked, add it in the last hour on High, and make sure they are pink before you stop cooking the creole).

Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Image

Garlicky Shrimp

Here’s a super simple scrumptious shrimp dish for those nights when you feel like acting fancy.  It’s healthy, hearty, and most of all, delicious.

Enjoy!

ImageIngredients:

  • 1 tbls butter
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp (peeled, cleaned, deveined)
  • 5 cloves garlic (never fear the garlic)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (optional)
  • 9 oz bag of spinach

Prep Work

  • Before beginning to cook, sautee or microwave the spinach so that it is cooked when you add it to the shrimp dish later.  Also, cut the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise and use your fingers to get all the insides of the tomato out.  The tomatoes you use for the dish should look like little tomato-boats, like this:

Image

Directions

  • Melt butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet
  • When you see the butter bubbling, add the shrimp to the bottom of the pan (make sure they are in a single layer or they might not cook evenly)
  • Depending on the size of your shrimp, cooking time can vary.  Smaller shrimp take about 2 min each side and larger take about 5-6.  You just need to cook them until they are pink on both sides and opaque throughout.
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes soften
  • Sprinkle panko bread crumbs on the mixture and toss until everything is nicely coated
  • Add prepared spinach to the pan (sidenote: it’s important to cook the spinach on the side because it releases a lot of water while it’s cooking.  You have to get rid of that before you add the cooked spinach to the shrimp dish or it will be watery)

056

Serve with whole wheat pasta or eat alone! It’s delicious either way.

Enjoy!

Never run at 1pm in June

Today was pretty productive…I used the “Monday Mentality” to start some things that I needed to get done.  Spruced up my resume, drafted a few cover letters, and am in the process of applying for a few jobs.  Keeping my fingers crossed on that one!

The morning started like it always does–with coffee.  No picture because, really, how exciting is a mug on the counter?

I made a breakfast that I’ve become obsessed with since moving back home.  Eggs and toast never get old (but you have to combine the salty eggs and the sweet toast into a sandwich-like wonder…yum)

imageIt took a lot longer than usual for my stomach to settle so that’s when I hung around the kitchen (typical) and did some work on my job-searching.  Around 1pm I popped a medjool  date in my mouth and was out the door.

image

Not a bad view for the run! I love running around my small town because it’s so beautiful.  Unfortunately, the scenery didn’t make up for the fact that it was 90 degrees and humid.  I ran a sweaty 5 miles (thanks, Dad, for the water bottle) and walking into my air-conditioned house has never felt so good.

imageEven when you pray to God for the sweet relief of death during a hot run, those endorphins always getcha in the end!

After icing and stretching while watching Friends, I ate a quick lunch (unpictured greek yogurt with pineapple and two veggie fajitas with avocado and salsa).  Afterwards I ran out and took advantage of LA Tan’s $10 spray tan deal.  I have successfully progressed from transparent to ghost-like, and I couldn’t be happier (even though I almost had a Ross-in-the-booth-moment.  Too much Friends).

Taking advantage of my night off from waitressing, I made a delicious dinner.  I cooked up some shrimp in butter and oil and added some halved cherry tomatoes, spinach, fresh garlic, and panko breadcrumbs. I served it over whole wheat pasta and it. was. heavenly.

imageReal food is healthy food!

image

Now I’m sitting on the couch with my parents watching the Hawks game and eating chocolate chips–the good life! I hope everyone had a beautiful Monday!

GO HAWKS!