A Bit Of Flavor

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It was great to celebrate summer produce with a food demo yesterday at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. With beautiful seasonal corn, tomatoes and cucumber in abundance, it served as a great base for a shrimp bowl. Thanks to Anna Marie Seafood Company, Lena Farm, Chenier Farm and the Fekete Farm for great produce and homemade jelly for the dish.

Not only was this a simple dish, but one that was easy to make with two different flavors to mix things up. This is an easy dish to make before hand and store as individual servings in the fridge for go-to lunch or dinner meals during the week. Depending on your preference, you can make the shrimp all at once and either warm the shrimp separate, or eat cool bowls. I prefer to cook the shrimp two servings per person at a time by making individual and double serving-sized ziploc bags of shrimp that I stock in the freezer. Mix and store the dressings in mason jars or small containers and add 1-2 tbsp. to each serving before eating. The base ingredients are for 8 servings and each dressing is for 4 servings. Check out the two recipes below.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups of fresh corn (4-5 ears)
2 cups diced tomato (2-4 small tomatoes)
2 cups of diced cucumber
1 cup micro greens (optional)
1/2 cup green onion

Shrimp ingredients:
2 lbs shrimp (5-6 pieces per serving)
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

Dressing 1 ingredients:
2 tbsp. Lena’s hibiscus and bishop crown pepper jelly
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Dressing 2 ingredients:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh orange mint
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tbsp. chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. If cooking shrimp all at once, add peeled and deveined shrimp to a large ziploc bag, add seasoning and oil and close it. Massage or shake shrimp to distribute seasoning evenly. Let sit so Flavor soaks in.
2. Shuck and rinse corn to remove strings. In a large bowl, cut corn off of cob into bowl, one at a time.
3. Peel cucumber in one-inch strips leaving some skin for additional nutrients. Cut in half, then cut in half again. Cut the fourth of cucumber in half horizontally, then into strips before dicing to get a small dice. Repeat with remaining three pieces.
4. On a cutting board score and dice tomato and add to bowl.
5. Rinse and chop green onion and add to bowl. Mix with a spoon and add evenly to individual containers.
6. To make dressing one, add jelly and vinegar to a mason jar or small container and mix with a fork until jelly is dissolved. Add oil and seasoning. Store until ready to use.
7. To make dressing two, chop mint and onion and add to mason jar or container. Add vinegar, oil and seasoning and mix well. Store until ready to use.
8. Heat a large skillet over medium- high heat for two minutes. Add shrimp to skillet in an even, flat layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side. *If all of the shrimp doesn’t fit into the skillet, lower heat for the second batch to prevent over cooking shrimp.
9. Add dressing and shrimp to a pre-made bowl and enjoy!

 

A Bit Of Eggplant

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Eggplant is one of those misunderstood vegetables. It grows in many varieties with varying levels of sweetness and is easy to incorporate in a roasted vegetable medley, ratatouille, or made creole style with seafood and ground meat. I decided to give it some Asian flavor with a little sesame oil, ground ginger and a healthy hand of green onion. Since I keep shrimp on hand, that was a simple protein to add atop my sautéed eggplant. Check out the recipe below and let me know your thoughts.

Sautéed shrimp and eggplant
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant
1 small onion diced
1 small bell pepper diced
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp. onion powder
10 medium shrimp
1 medium lime

Directions:
1. Rinse eggplant and cut off ends. Cut in half longwise, then cut each half into thirds in slices. Keep slices stacked and cut into strips before dicing. Repeat with second half.
2. Rinse bell pepper then cut in half and remove seeds and stem. Cut into strips then dice. Repeat with second half.
3. Cut one end off the onion then cut in half and peel each half. Cut into strips up to the remaining end then dice. (Keep to stabilize the onion while you dice). Repeat with second half.
4. Peel and dice cloves of garlic.
5. Heat sesame and 1/2 the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables once hot. Add half of the seasonings and stir well. Add a splash of water to prevent sticking. Let cook for 5 minutes.
6. While mixture continues to cook, peel and devein shrimp and season with remaining seasoning.
7. In a small skillet, heat remaining olive oil and add shrimp, seasoned side down once hot. Cook for three minutes, stir vegetable mixture then flip shrimp. Cut lime in half and squeeze a half over the shrimp. Let cook for 2-3 minutes then turn off heat.
8. Plate and enjoy.

A Bit Of Spaghetti

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Though I’ve heard lots about spaghetti squash and have also tried it, I’ve never actually made it. Mr. Buddy at my local farmer’s market had a sample roasted with marinara and parmesan. I decided to “beef” up my take on it and make a quick and easy Rosemary meat sauce. This is easy to make as a second meal for a crock week so the longer items can cook at once and you will have options during the week. While I typically would make my own sauce, I decided a little store help wouldn’t hurt and would prove helpful for nights that need a quick meal turnaround. If you have a bag of frozen spinach or other leafy greens, add a serving to the bottom of a bowl with a layer of the squash, meat and marinara on top for an easy change to microwaveable leftovers. I hope you find this as enjoyable as I did. Enjoy and share your thoughts.

Meat sauce and spaghetti squash
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash
2 cups marinara sauce
1/8 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and scrub spaghetti squash then cut in half longwise.
2. Remove seeds and pulp and put in the oven with a cup of water.
3. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until tender.
4. During the last 10 minutes of baking, peel and dice onion and add to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and seasoning and cook until completely brown and tender.
5. Remove spaghetti squash from the oven and flake with a fork to make noodles. Add 1/2 cup or so to each plate, top with ground beef, marinara and sprinkle or grate on cheese.
6. Enjoy.

 

A Bit Of Millet

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Father’s Day yielded great family time and a few leftovers to be worked in to this week’s meals. I don’t know about you, but my dad taught me a thing or plenty about grilling and making it worth while. So in addition to the grilled buffalo steak and lobster, I have some grilled green onion sausage for sandwiches, grilled salmon for salad and an easy, one pot dish to stretch the rest. I’ve mentioned before that a little millet goes a long way. At less than $2 a pound at Whole Foods (self serve isle), 2 cups of cooked millet can make enough millet and vegetable salad for 8-10 servings. Millet is a wonderful whole grain that cooks like rice and is easy to replace in dishes such as pasta salad. With an abundance of summer vegetables in season such as bell peppers, cucumbers, tomato and corn (also technically a whole grain), it’s easy to make a millet salad both filling and full of flavor. This dish is also easy to add grilled or baked seafood (fish or shrimp) to for a complete meal. Check out the recipe below and enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup of dry millet
2 cups of water
2 husks of corn
1 large cucumber
1 large bell pepper
1 large tomato
2/3 cup diced yellow onion
1/8 cup lovage or parsley
1 medium juicing orange (1/8 cup)
2 small lime juiced (1/8 cup)
1/2 cup shredded carrot fresh (1 large carrot)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cayenne

Directions:
1. Rinse millet in a small pot and bring to a boil with water. Cook for 20 minutes.
2. While millet cooks, shuck corn and rinse well. Cut from the cob into a medium-sized bowl. Peel and dice onion and add to the bowl.
3. Peel cucumber and cut around the seeded center like a box. Cut each fourth into strips and then dice. Repeat with tomato and set aside.
4. Add hot millet over corn and onion, once cooked and stir to cool and cook mixture.
5. Peel carrot and using a potato peeler or shredder, shred or cut ribbons of carrot into the bowl.
6. Slice and dice bell pepper and add it and the cucumber and tomato to the salad.
7. Chop parsley or lovage and add to the bowl.
8. Juice orange and lime into the mixture. Add seasoning and mix well.
9. Eat as is or with protein of choice.
10. Enjoy!