A little help from the store can go a long way to making quick work of dinner. I’m a big fan of portioned proteins for easy freezer storage and easier use for making the right number of portions at a given time. This shrimp and kale dish was elevated with a simple sauce using onion, garlic, a little stock and a roasted eggplant and tomato spread from Trader Joe’s. The spread while low in calories, was packed with flavor that easily added to this quick dish. This took 10 minutes to make and additionally, I made enough to freeze. You can always double this portion for a family of 4 or to have additional portions to freeze for easy meals during a busy week. Check out the recipe below.
1/2 lb of shrimp
2 cups fresh kale
1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup of onion
1/4 cup of chicken or seafood stock
1/4 cup of eggplant spread
1/2 tbsp avocado oil (or olive)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of water
Rinse and kale and add to a skillet with a pinch of water over medium heat. Add onion and stir.
Slice mushrooms while kale cooks and add mushrooms to the pan. Season and reserve a little of the powders for the shrimp. Cook for 3-5 mins.
Add the eggplant spread and stir in. Add stock to deglaze the pan. Cook for 2 minutes and add to a plate.
Add oil and let it warm. Add shrimp and seasoning and cook for 2.5 minutes before flipping and cooking for the same time.
As part of my unplugging and unwinding, I still love to be inspired to create a flavorful, comforting meal. I will say I’ve been enjoying this new wave of home cooking and family gatherings. It’s refreshing to see what more home time produces in the kitchen! I had a craving for some seafood and wanted to use some of the fresh herbs that I’ve been growing which resulted in this dish. This is definitely one I will make again. Now I will say, brown rice seems to take forever and 5 years to make so you can always opt for a low-sodium microwavable option. I’ve actually seen some cool varieties that include quinoa or wild and brown rice mixes. If you go that route this becomes a 10-12 minute dish. Happy cooking and as always, let me know your thoughts!
Spicy Seared Scallops and Shrimp w/ Herbed Butter Brown Rice
½ lb fresh scallops
½ lb white shrimp
½ tbsp onion powder
½ tbsp garlic powder
½ tbsp red pepper flakes
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp avocado oil
½ tbsp butter (optional)
½ cup brown rice
¼ cup chopped herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, mint)
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup water
½ tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp shaved or minced garlic
1 tbsp of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bag of frozen green beans
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Add rice and minced garlic to a small pot and toast it for 1 to 2 minutes over medium high heat. Add liquid and turmeric and bring to a boil before reducing to simmer. Top and cook for 45 minutes.
With 20 minutes left on the rice, bring a medium pot of water with green beans to boil. When it starts to boil, strain it immediately then add to a bowl with salt, pepper and oil and set it aside. The residual heat will continue to cook the green beans.
In a medium pan, add oil and butter. While it heats, season scallops and shrimp, then add to the skillet. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes then remove from the heat. Squeeze half of lemon, seeded side up over seafood to deglaze the pan.
Rinse and chop fresh herbs. Once rice is done, add it to a bowl, add fresh herbs, butter and salt and pepper to taste.
It’s that time of year again for strawberry season! I cannot get enough of this local, flavorful fruit and the opportunities to make new inspired creations. This past Saturday, I shared one such dish with a shrimp avocado and strawberry salad. Traditionally for such salads, I’ve added other seafood like crab and fruit such as mango. I decided to make a version using fresh strawberries from the Frank Fekete Farm, seafood from Anna Marie Shrimp and local microgreens from Westdome Nursery. The trick is to balance the sweet with savory additions like fresh garlic and herbs in the dressing. This tasty dish was well received and one that I’ve already made again. Check out the recipe below.
Shrimp, Avocado and Strawberry Salad
1-1.5 lb(s). peeled and deveined shrimp
2 cups of chopped strawberries
3 cups of microgreens (Can also mix in salad greens)
2 large avocadoes
2 tbsp. chopped green onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. local honey
4 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Red Stick Spice garlic and herb (no salt)
1 tbsp. Red Stick Spice Roasted Onion granules
Pinch of Red Stick spice aged balsamic vinegar sea salt (or reg sea salt)
Peel and devein shrimp and set aside. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Add 2 tsp of each seasoning (minus salt) to shrimp and add to a hot skillet. Add a splash of water and sear for 3 minutes on both sides before removing from heat.
In a medium serving bowl add vinegar and honey and mix until well blended. Add in oil. Peel and press garlic in. If you do not have a garlic press, mince finely, then add to the bowl. Add in remaining seasoning. Mix well.
Rinse and chop 2 cups worth of strawberries. Add to the bowl. Cut the avocado in half then score each half into bite-sized pieces before scooping into the bowl.
You can chop shrimp or leave whole and add to the bowl. Rinse and chop green onion then add to the bowl.
Add in micro greens and optional salad greens. You can also add in fresh herbs like parsley for an added layer of flavor. Mix well, serve and enjoy.
Pesto brings lots of flavor to any dish and quinoa is no exception. Making pesto at home is easy and allows control over how much of what goes into it. I used fresh basil, orange mint, green onion, garlic and walnuts that I had on hand with a small amount of oil.Paired with sautéed shrimp, baked chicken and roasted vegetables done two ways, it was easy to have different meals daily. Having the right cooking strategy for your week is important to being successful in eating more home cooked meals. For this week, I did the baked chicken, roasted vegetables and quinoa on the same day. The next day, I defrosted a couple of single serving bags of shrimp while I ate breakfast and cooked them afterward (5 mins). I also keep things on-hand like individual packs of tuna (ranch, herb and garlic flavored) and salad greens or canned chicken for and easy chicken salad if I need a little more variety in the week. The important thing is to stock up on healthful, easy options regularly (monthly, weekly) to supplement what you will be cooking.
Line a baking sheet with foil and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a second baking sheet with foil and add chicken with an even coating of the seasoning and oil and mix with a gloved hand. Place in oven for 45 minutes.
Rinse all vegetables. Cut ends off zucchini then cut in half. Cut each halfin half longwise. Cut into strips and then cube. Repeat with carrots.Cut bell pepper in half and remove seeds and stem. Cut into strips and then dice. Add all to the baking sheet and roughly break broccoli florets by hand and add them.
Split vegetables in half and season half with the balsamic vinegar and garlic olive oil and the other with the sherry vinegar and lemon olive oil or juice and regular olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and mix each well with a gloved hand. Bake in oven next to chicken for 30 minutes. Set timer.
Add quinoa and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
In a small blender or bullet device, add pesto ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds until smooth.
Once quinoa is done, add to a bowl and and pesto. Mix well and salt and pepper to taste.
Once roasted veggies and chicken is done, remove from the oven. Turn it off.
*For optional shrimp, cook in 1 tsp of oil with a pinch of salt and pepper and garlic powder for 2 minutes. Juice a half a lemon over shrimp and flip them. Add a little more juice and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 1 minute as it will continue cooking.
With life getting in the way, sometimes a light dinner is called for. This dish took 10 minutes to make and was both light and satisfying. I has also made a pitcher of cucumber infused water with basil and lemon earlier in the week which was quite refreshing. The shrimp in this dish can easily be substituted with a piece of seared fish or canned tuna that can be spruced up with fresh herbs, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Check out the recipe below.
1/2 lb. shrimp
1 tbsp. chopped green onion
1 small cucumber diced
1 cup diced tomato
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1. Peel and devein shrimp if whole. Set aside in ice water until ready to use.
2. Rinse and peel cucumber and cut in half. Cut in half horizontally, then make three long strips to make a small dice. Repeat with remaining half.
3. Rinse and score tomato before dicing it. Add tomato and cucumber to a medium-sized bowl.
4. Rinse and chop green onion and add to the bowl. Rinse lemon and cut in half before squeezing one half over bowl.
5. Place a pan over medium heat and add oil. Place shrimp on a paper towel and pat dry. Season with half of the seasonings and add to hot pan.
6. Season other half and let cook for 2 minutes before flipping he shrimp. Let cook for 2 minutes then squeeze in fresh lemon juice (seeded side up). Let cook for another 2 minutes and remove from heat.
7. Plate in bowls and serve.