Grilled Shrimp Bowl

Nothing says summertime like grilled shrimp! Shrimp is so versatile. You can make it spicy, fruity, mild, smoky or eat cocktail style!

The summer just does not make me want to be in the kitchen for extended periods of time. The grill only comes out a few months our of the year so best to utilize it when you can!

Sometimes the easiest dinners are those that contain things already in your fridge. Rice, scallions, canned pineapple, salt and pepper is what was added to the shrimp to make a delicious shrimp bowl. Don’t like shrimp? This can easily be substituted for chicken or pork. And don’t worry if you don’t have a grill. A cast iron grill pan on your stove top works just as good for cooking both shrimp or chicken.

 

Grilled Shrimp Bowl (Serves 2)

grilled shrimp bowl

2 cups cooked Basmati rice. ( whole grain rice is also fine)

10 shrimp, devein and shell

1/4 cup chopped scallions

4 canned pineapple rings

1 small zucchini

salt and pepper for taste

wooden skewers

Cook the rice as instructed on the box. Set aside. Devein and shell shrimp and rinse well. Slice zucchini and cut into medium chunks. Cup up pineapple rings into small chunks. Skewer shrimp, zucchini and pineapple. Lightly salt and pepper. Grill until shrimp are pink.

Evenly distribute rice into two bowls. Add desired shrimp skewers to the rice and mix well. If desired you can add a curry or jerk sauce for a tangy bite.

 

 

 

Stupidly Simple Salsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Time for some salsa!

Americans do not need a reason to celebrate other countries holidays or an excuse to have a margarita! Cinco de Mayo has been a longstanding celebration of Mexican American culture. Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the unexpected victory over the French Battle of Puebla. In the U.S, it is often associated with Mexican food and celebratory drinks! One of my favorite pairings to a good margarita, is salsa!

I wanted to share a simple salsa recipe that I have been making for years. Actually I named it Stupidly Simple Salsa because it literally is 5 ingredients and warrants trying before grabbing your favorite can from the shelf even for the most kitchen impaired chef! Fresh, flavorful and for less than $10, you can make twice the amount and with no added ingredients. If you can read and have a food processor, you are capable!

Stupidly Simple Salsa

1/2 green pepper

1/2 red pepper

1/4 cup cilantro

1 tsp salt

1/4 onion

Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse till chopped well. As more salt to taste. Squeeze in a lime for added flavor and serve with your favorite chips!

Rosemary & Maple Roasted Nuts

Enjoyed what was likely the last winter ski trip for the season. You just are never sure what you are going to get in New England each year. 70 degrees one week, 25 degrees 3 days later!

rosemary and maple nutsWe ended up spending the weekend at Stratton and got some good runs in despite it being 70 degrees earlier that week. Just cold enough but comfortable and low winds! Friday night brought unexpected snow squalls and we almost did not make it to dinner fighting sliding cars on a long stretch of road that froze quickly once hitting the pavement. Thankful to say we made it to dinner and home in one piece!

We enjoyed something we have not ever tried before and was quite simple. Roasted nuts. We spent our dinner at The Copper Grouse which is located inside the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, VT. The hotel is amazing so I was not surprised this restaurant was also fantastic.

rosemary and maple nutsWe wanted something to start with our cocktails and the Rosemary and Maple nuts sounded fun. They came out warm on a small cast iron plate. Sweet, salty and aromatic. They quickly were gone! What a nice accompaniment to our drinks before dinner. I thought they could not be that hard to replicate. So.. here is my copy cat recipe. I was pleasantly surprised how easy this was.

Rosemary & Maple Roasted Nuts

rosemary and maple nuts

  • 2 cups assorted nuts. (I used an assorted nut package from Trader Joe’s.)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper ( You can also substitute for cinnamon for cayenne for a sweeter version)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients except the nuts and whisk together. Let it sit. Roast nuts on parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes once oven is preheated. Once complete, take nuts out and pour mixture over nuts and coat well using spatula. Roast for 10 more minutes. Take tray out of the oven and let nuts cool until hard. Enjoy!

 

Easy Make Ahead Shrimp Burgers

What a day! This weekend we decided to take down a wall in our lower level of our home.  So scary but so easy at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised my fiance and I did it! We had a little help from a good friend too. 🙂 Don’t let me even start talking about the mess of the aftermath. I might have sheet rock dust down there forever! Sunday is normally our day of rest. Not today! Busy, busy since we moved almost a month ago and working hard to make it a home. All this work got me hungry and craving some seafood.

Sunday is normally the day we try to make a more special dinner or prep for the week. Even with our demolition happening downstairs, we were able to put together a nice recipe for shrimp burgers. I have had them several times at Whole Foods and they are divine! Why not try to make our own.

Shrimp Burgers, seafood, burgers, gluten freeThe nice thing is you know exactly what goes in it and can use whatever spices you have on hand or like the most. We opted for a ton of fresh dill and a cilantro chili spice we had in our cupboard.  A BBQ spice blend would work well to or Italian seasoning if you want to go for Italian route. This is a great recipe to make ahead and then just warm up during the week. They can also be frozen to have days or weeks later if properly stored for easy dinner to table meal.

SHRIMP BURGERS

shrimp burgers, seafood, burgers

  • 10 fresh wild caught shrimp
  • 3 cups Panko (use gluten-free for gluten-free burgers)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp chili lime seasoning
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Peel and clean shrimp. Chop into small pieces and put into medium size bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Grease medium size casserole pan with coconut oil. Using your hands pat burgers together evenly forming 5 burgers. shrimp burgers, seafood, burgersBake for 15-18 minutes until shrimp are pink and fully cooked. Serve warm with bun or over greens. To reheat, warm in oven 10 minutes on 300 degrees.

 

Breakfast Burrito’s with BFree Foods

Breakfast is my all time favorite meal. It sometimes can get mundane. Likely because I am in a rush to make something in the morning. We have gluten sensitivity in our home so I am always looking at different ways to make meals taste great without missing the bread.

BFree Foods makes being gluten-free easy and delicious! They have every possible bread selection you could want. Rolls, sliced bread, pita, hot dog buns, bagels and more. We were lucky to receive a nice sampling of their gluten-free products to try.

Bfree foods, Breakfast burritos, Foodie, gluten freeWhat I liked best is that the texture and feel of the products were the most like real bread with gluten. They did not flake apart or break when taking them out of the packaging which is typical of other brands because it does not have the gluten to bind it together.  Plus! They also have every possible product you could need when it comes to bread. This can be a challenge when you are looking for gluten-free options. Sometimes it takes you buying multiple brands or going to multiple stores to find everything you need.

BFree foods have high-quality, non-GMO ingredients

  • Allergen-friendly and vegan
  • Low-cal, high-fiber, low-fat
  • Excellent nutrition and taste
  • No wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts or soy
  • Won’t disintegrate, crack or crumble!

We used the rolls for turkey burgers one night and made breakfast burritos for breakfast. Here is the recipe!

Breakfast BurritosBFree Foods, gluten free, breakfast burritos, foodie, healthy

  • 2 BFree Foods Wraps
  • 5 eggs scrambled
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 cup cooked spinach
  • chopped tomato
  • 2 slices of turkey bacon

Open up two BFree Foods wraps and spoon in scrambled eggs. Sprinkle with shredded cheese evenly. Add spinach, bacon and chopped tomato. Fold up the sides of each end into a burrito, seam side down. Warm in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt cheese and enjoy~ Add avocado or salsa for additional options. Yields 2 burritos.

BFree products are now available at your local Big Y, Star Market, Demoulas and more. Visit them at Bfree Foods 

BFree Foods sent me samples of their products in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Scones

Perfect fall treat with your coffee this morning, your next brunch or tea party. Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Scones! So easy, and made with minimal ingredients.

blueberry lemon scones, breakfast, lemon, blueberry, tea, My son has been busy in the kitchen lately trying out his cooking and baking skills. And I love it. It’s such a great way to bond with your child. He helps measure the ingredients, read the instructions and is learning about safety and cooking utensils. In addition,  he gets to do the sampling of his creation!

We often frequent the library every week and he recently  got a child’s baking book. The first thing we made were homemade cupcakes. It was actually the first time I ever made them from scratch and it was ridiculously simple. The recipe did not take much more than what I already had in the house. I like feeding him organic and natural food when possible ,so this was a pleasant surprise.

This week it was scones! He wanted to make them extra special and add fruit and a glaze. You could substitute the fruit for chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit or nuts. Whatever you prefer. He chose lemon glaze to drizzle over them which happens to be one of my favorite dessert flavors. Like the cupcakes, this also had just a few ingredients in the recipe. Simple and homemade.

Blueberry Lemon Scones

blueberry lemon scones, breakfast, tea, scones, muffins

*4 Tablespoons softened butter
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1& 1/2 cup self rising flour
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1 tbsp water
*1 lemon squeezed
*pinch of salt
*1/4 cup blueberries ( frozen is fine) drained and dry

Cut up softened butter into cubes. With your hands, mix in flour and butter. Consistency should be a crumbly dough. Add sugar and pinch of salt. Stir in blueberries until incorporated. Lay dough out on a flat surface. Using a round cookie cutter, cut scones into rounds and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Mix powered sugar, water and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix until thick glaze forms. You may have to put in more sugar in it if it’s too watery. Drizzle scones with glaze. Allow to dry and then dig in!

 

 

 

 

Chopped Curry Chicken Salad

Summer is almost over but this heat won’t let up! Chopped Curry Chicken Salad is a great way to use any cooked up chicken in your fridge and offers a cold lunch idea on a hot day.

Looking back on summer I can say it went way to fast! I always regret not fitting in enough beach days, taking enough time off or visiting places. It was a busy one I will give you that. I finished up a college course, started a new role at my company leaving an entire department I was running behind.

In addition keeping my son busy in summer programs, camp, mini vacations and organized for the beginning of the school year. Lunch is something that needs to be easy for both of us

I work out of my car each day so I need a lunch that is easy and can stay chilled. With no options for heating up a lunch, this serves as a perfect solution for the on the go lunch. It is also healthy. You can add dried fruit, fresh herbs as I did using cilantro and nuts if you wish. Shredding carrots added some color as well as crunch.

Normally I would eat this right out of the container. But get creative! You can stuff into a pita pocket, have between bread or add on top of greens for some added protein to your salad.

 

Chopped Curry Chicken Salad

chopped curry chicken salad, curry, chicken curry, healthy, lunch

  • 2-3 small cooked chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 3 tbsp dried raisins or cranberries
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp nuts chopped
  • 1 carrot shredded

Chop up chicken into small cubes, trying to keep uniform.  Toss in a small bowl. Mix in chopped cilantro, nuts, raisins, carrot  and curry powder. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Chill and serve!

Healthy Turkey Enchiladas

Craving Mexican? In the restaurant it can often be disguised with many unwanted calories. These turkey enchiladas are homemade so you control the ingredients and what you top them with. They are also very versatile and can easily be made with pork or chicken if turkey is not your thing and still be healthy.

enchiladas, healthy, mexicanI use corn tortillas  and Frontera sauce which is a household favorite. It is all natural and they have many varieties. We use a red enchilada sauce but they also have a green version which is just as good. With a few steps you have a festive and warm dinner the whole family will be sure to enjoy.

 

Typically it is the sour cream, ton of cheese and beans that bring Mexican food out of the healthy zone. I topped these with a moderate portion of cheese and sliced avocado.

 

Healthy Turkey Enchiladas

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • Frontera Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

healthy, mexican, enchiladas

Saute turkey in a pan and mix in chili powder and cumin. Cook until brown. Grease a baking pan with coconut oil lightly. Take out the tortillas and fill each with 3-4 tablespoons of turkey. Add a pinch of the grated cheese and roll up, put seam side down in pan. Continue until all the tortillas are used up. You may have some turkey left over. Top with remaining cheese and sliced avocado. Pour enchilada sauce packet over enchiladas.

IMG_20160821_171509057-01Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Veggie Quinoa

Sometimes salad just gets boring. Veggie Quinoa to the rescue! This recipe is full of delicious vegetables, nuts, fresh lemon and toasted nuts. There is no meat in this recipe which is also a nice change, especially in the summer when you are looking to eat a but lighter.

I first tried quinoa a few years ago but was disappointed.  It was quite bland. The trick I found out to savory quinoa is to replace the boiling water with vegetable stock! I roasted veggies, toasted nuts and added avocado and spinach to make this super healthy. It can also be served cold which is a plus if you are on the road all day like me. This also is gluten-free for those that have a sensitivity. I actually doubled the recipe to have all week long since this recipe does have some prep work involved. This is a nice change for any vegetarian or meat eater.

Veggie Quinoa

veggie, quinoa, healthy, foodie, gluten free

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 butternut squash cubed small
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds and walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 dates chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • half of an avocado chopped
  • 1/2 cup white beans

Cook quinoa as instructed on box. Replace water with vegetable stock. Once cooked fluff with a fork and put aside.

Peel squash and chop in small cubes and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes on 350 degrees. On the stove top, toast nuts for 3 minutes until toasted. Next, saute spinach in a pan until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once squash is done, add quinoa, nuts, avocado, spinach, beans, cinnamon and the rest of the olive oil.  Chop and add the dates. Squeeze lemon over the quinoa and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and serve.  veggie, gluten free, quinoa, healthy, foodie

Homemade Wholesome Granola Bars

Kids are home for the summer and many are in camps. Hard to sometimes find healthy snacks to pack in the lunch that are easy and healthy. Many of the granola bars you find at the stores have a variety of ingredients to corn syrup, artificial flavoring and preservatives not to mention a bunch of ingredients I cannot even spell.

granola bars, homemade, wholesome, snacks

The ingredients

With a few simply ingredients you can make a bunch of granola bars that are no bake and can be frozen for future enjoyment. You can substitute the cherries for raisins or even cranberries if you prefer.  The coconut adds another layer of sweetness and almonds a healthy crunch. If you do not want to add the chocolate inside the bars you can also melt and once chilled, dip half of the bars into chocolate or stream melted chocolate across them for a different look then chill again. You can also take the chocolate out all together if it is not something you like. Really?? 🙁  Seriously, totally versatile.

granola bars, homemade, wholesome, snacks

Homemade Wholesome Granola Bars

1 1/2 cup Quick Oats

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/8  cup coconut flakes

1/4 honey

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup medjool dates

1/4 cup dried cherries

1 cup dried almonds chopped

In a food processor, chop dates. The consistency will be dough-like and likely roll into a ball while chopping. In a bowl, mix oats,  almonds, cherries, dates chocolate chips and coconut flakes and put aside. In a pan on low heat, warm honey and peanut butter. Once melted pour over the oat mixture stirring well to incorporate dates and the honey mixture.

homemade, granola bars, kids, snacks, wholesomeLine a rectangular pan with parchment paper and pour in mixture. Using another sheet of parchment on top press firmly with your hands so that the mixture spreads evenly and packed into the pan. Chill for 15-20 until firm. Cut into bars. Freeze additional bars for future consumption!

What kinds of things do you pack into your kids lunch for camp during the summer?