Chimichurri Shrimp

Hi friends – reporting from my couch on a Saturday night.  I successfully have made no plans this weekend and have watched The Bachelorette, 2 Denzel Washington movies (The Hurricane and Man on Fire…both amazing), and we’re about to start the new season of Bloodline, so things are looking good over here. On top of that, I have brainstormed SO many food projects featuring my herb garden, with special appearances from my friends Cilantro, Chive, Mint, Thai Basil, Dill, and Parsley.  Real Basil is struggling in the growing department, so cross your fingers it kicks in by the time caprese salads are on a daily rotation in this household.

Amazing, herby, delicious shrimpies.

The last few weeks I’ve been leaning on the quick, 20-minutes-to-throw together meals to get me through the week.  Ingredients I always have on hand? Fresh herbs, lemon or lime, little bit of heat, olive oil, and seafood.  Any combination of those will yield you amazing results. Every. Single. Time. BUT, I’m about to introduce you to a sauce that you can use again and again, on chicken, shrimp, steak, sandwiches…? Haven’t tried that last one, but WHY NOT.

Tomatoes added. For effect and color contrasting.

Traditional chimichurri can be found in the best of Argentinian cuisine, but this is my “take” on it.  Usually, it features parsley, garlic, vinegar, and oil.  Instead, we’re adding everything we can find within arms reach to take it up a notch.  You know those giant bunches of herbs you have lying around when you need one tablespoon but buy 7 cups at the grocery store?  THIS is what you should make with them.  Honestly, throw anything you’ve got in there.  Don’t like cilantro because you think it tastes like soap? First, read this article because it’s interesting.  Then, I give you permission to add any other herbs you want!  My favorite extras are mint, chives, and dill.  It’s that easy!

Salad on the side. Because #veggies.

So friends, take a stab at this delicious, easy, quick, but PACKED WITH FLAVOR recipe.  I would have grilled them, but alas, we were out of propane.  So I envy anyone that gets to throw these bad boys on the grill with a little char.  Let me know what you think!

Chimichurri Shrimp
Author: 
Recipe type: Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
This chimichurri sauce can be added to anything (try chicken and steak!), but with these grilled or sauteed shrimp, it makes a quick meal with amazing flavor.
Ingredients
For the chimichurri sauce:
  • 2 cups of herbs, minced (I recommend heavier in the parsley/cilantro area, but add in mint, dill, basil, and chives!)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • Note: feel free to add one serrano or jalapeno pepper (take out the seeds and membrane!) for some extra heat, but keep in mind the shrimp have some red pepper flakes!
For the Shrimp:
  • 1 pound of shrimp, deveined, tails on
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Instructions
For the shrimp:
  1. Marinade the shrimp in the olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile...make your sauce!
For the sauce:
  1. Combine the minced herbs, lime juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic in a large bowl.
Back to shrimp:
  1. Saute or grill (on skewers!) the shrimp for 2 minutes per side on medium/high heat. Add the shrimp to the large bowl with the chimichurri sauce and toss until they're all coated. Cover for 5 minutes to let the heat combine all the flavors.
  2. Enjoy!

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Hey there everyone!  I think spring has officially sprung!  We had some serious rainfall last week (48 straight hours!), but the sun has been shining this weekend, the temperature is rising, and flowers are blooming everywhere.  In the spirit of summer, we had a belated Cinco de Mayo celebration today.  Instead of rushing to the store for some supplies, I opted for homemade taco seasoning from the spices in my cabinet.

In a perfect world, all of those pre-made seasoning packs would be salt-free, but unfortunately that is not the case!  With this homemade seasoning, you’re cutting out massive amounts of sodium that you’d find in your favorite packs from the grocery store.  On top of that, you can adjust the heat as needed (just reduce the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper!).

I’m excited for the week and even more excited for the meals to come…we’ve got curry chicken and Chinese lettuce wraps on the calendar!  Hopefully I can share them with you all soon.  I’m off to go eat some of these crunchy, delicious tacos with a side of Fool-Proof Guacamole and enjoy the sunshine!  Have a great Sunday 😀

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Author: 
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 tacos
 
Skip the grocery store and make this homemade taco seasoning - packs a flavor punch! Homemade tacos are at your fingertips.
Ingredients
For the seasoning:
  • 5 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1.25 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2.5 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2.5 tsp. cumin
  • 3.75 tsp. onion powder
  • 8.5 tsp. chili powder
  • 1.25 tsp. cayenne pepper
The rest...
  • 1 pound of ground turkey, beef, or chicken
  • 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. Combine all of your spices in a tupperware or mason jar for storage.
  2. Sauté 1 pound of ground turkey, beef, or chicken (your choice) in a saute pan until browned.
  3. Add 1 to 1.5 tbsp. of the seasoning mix with 1 cup of water and 8 oz. can of tomato sauce.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed.
  5. Enjoy on tacos! Try different toppings like avocado, red onion, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

 

Chicken Pesto Stuffed Peppers

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Two fun facts about me: 1) I love stuffed peppers.  They’re very underrated.  You can put things you’d normally eat alone into a stuffed pepper and it’s a whole new meal!  With an added veggie! 2) I LOVE HOLIDAYS.  Like any holiday.  Halloween…Memorial Day…Valentine’s…ST. PATRICK’S DAY!  All week I’ve been planning “green meals”, which inspired these delicious, GREEN PESTO PEPPERS. 

Full Disclosure – I tried making a “skinny shepherd’s pie!” and it…didn’t exactly turn out.  Not to mention shepherd’s pie is not a pretty dish to photograph.

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Spicy Adobo Turkey Chili

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I am a MASSIVE Green Bay Packer fan.  Like beyond a fan.  A part “owner”, seeing as the Packers are the only NFL team that are publicly owned.  Football season has turned into quite the tradition in our family – we manage up to 5 fantasy football teams, I cheer for Michigan on Saturdays and Green Bay on Sundays, I spend the week discussing lineups with my dad, and I plan football watching menus all season long!  A huge staple on any game day buffet table is a good, tasty, tons-o-toppings chili.

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Normally, I’d wait to spread the joy until next season.  BUT, seeing as we just got a snowstorm last night, it seems mighty appropriate!  What do they say about March?  In like a lion and out like a lamb?  Yeah.  That’s definitely happening.

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Greek Shrimp Zoodles and Leftover Breakfast!

Dinner Style!

Nothing makes me happier than using up a bunch of ingredients in the fridge before they’re dunzo.  I feel like I’m helping the environment and that I am a successful produce buyer.  Which doesn’t happen often.  One BIG thing I’m working on is to choose the healthy snack – fruits, veggies, hummus, etc. – over the easy snack.  Like cheese sticks, and yogurt, and taco bell.  Oops.

This meal is a double whammy of veggies – twice!  For dinner and brunch!  SO MANY VEGGIES!  And shrimp which are phenom for you and feta which is a relatively healthy cheese.  It’s why the Mediterranean diet is so good for you!  Oh and yolky, eggy goodness for brunch.

Breakfast Style!

Breakfast Style!

I got back from a fabulous wedding in San Diego last weekend and was amazed by all the delicious food down there!  I had about 6 servings of fish tacos, oysters, lobster tacos (what!?), and cevicé – and every. single. time it was SO good.  All the food was so light and fresh, it made me crave warmer months when we can cook outside and eat all the fruits and veggies in the world.  That aren’t a potato.

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I came back needing some serious vacay rejuvination.  One of those vacations that you need a vacation after.  Not because of stress, but because TOO much fun was had!  We stayed up late dancing, singing karaoke, eating snacky foods, and I firmly believe that flying across the country seriously dehydrates you.  So I hopped to the gym twice (!) this week already, have drank a TON of water, and ate these delicious dishes to get myself back on track.

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I’ve been perusing the Inspiralized blog recipe index to come up with new ideas for veggies to try in the spiralizer!  I’m thinking something *crazy* like celeriac or kohlrabi.  I don’t know what either of those look like, so wish me luck.  Anyhooligans.  If I haven’t convinced you to get a spiralizer yet, hopefully this is the tipping point.  Your belly and brain will thank you for all the extra nutrients!

Greek Shrimp Zoodles and Leftover Breakfast!
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish and Breakfast
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Try these zoodles with fantastic flavors and delicious shrimp - and then use your leftover veggies and cheese for a nutritious breakfast or lunch the next day!
Ingredients
For the Dinner:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 30 shrimp, shelled deveined
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 5 zucchini, spiralized
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 4 tbsp. feta cheese
For the Breakfast:
  • Any leftover cherry tomatoes and zucchini
  • 4 egg
  • 4 tbsp. feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
For the Dinner:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cherry tomatoes in 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bake tomatoes until they are blistered - about 20 minutes.
  3. Toss shrimp in cornstarch, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano. They should be lightly covered.
  4. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and melt. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  5. Add shrimp to sauté pan and cook about 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Add white wine and half the lemon juice to the pan and scrape up any bits browned to the pan. Let simmer until reduced by about half.
  7. Add zucchini noodles and sprinkle with remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sauté until soft - "al dente". They'll have a little crunch to them. Add remaining lemon juice.
  8. Mix in half the feta cheese so it can melt.
  9. Add tomatoes and combine.
  10. After plating, sprinkle with remaining feta cheese
For the breakfast:
  1. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan. Cook any leftover zucchini and cherry tomatoes until warmed and tender.
  2. Crack and egg over the noodles like they're in a "basket".
  3. Cover the pan so they can cook through.
  4. Add feta cheese, salt, and pepper at the end.
  5. Enjoy meal #2!
Notes
Don't add anything to the zucchini noodles for leftovers or they might get mushy in the fridge.

If you don't have a spiralizer, this would be delicious with some whole wheat noodles as well! Add the tomatoes and feta into an egg white omelette the next morning for a double meal.

 

Homemade Crunchwrap Supremes

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I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme is my ultimate weakness.  Whether going through the drive-thru at 2AM with our Uber driver (he always gets free tacos) or stopping by when you just can’t cook that night – it’s the ultimate go-to fast food!  And sewwwww not good for you.

Recently, the best thing I’ve discovered is that I can make these at home and they’re 10x better and 10x healthier and 10x more customizable.  AND they’re not that hard!  Once you buy the ingredients, you’ll have them stored for last-minute usage and those weeknights where you need to find the closest bottle of Cabernet and some melty cheese A*S*A*P* are SAVED.

Speaking of Cabernet and melty cheese….SCANDAL COMES BACK NEXT WEEK!  And the Superbowl is on Sunday!! Two “holidays” in one week!  EEK!  And V-Day is next Sunday!! So exciting.  I’ll be posting my Superbowl app that has edamame and dates and olives and…ugh.  Just wait, it’s gonna be completely amazing.

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Cajun Seared Salmon with Asian Spiralized Salad

How FRESH and HEALTHY!

How FRESH and HEALTHY!

Lately I’ve been strugglin’ with getting into a serious routine.  Which is a *Grade A Problem* because soon I’ll be back in medical school, doing rotations, and my life schedule is largely determined by -NOT- me.  AKA…I show up no matter what day and what time if the doctors need me to help out.  Don’t get me wrong!  I’m super excited – I miss medicine.  Which is good or else I totally picked the wrong profession.

BUT I feel like I need to train myself back into being super efficient.  Which means waking up early to go to the gym before the day starts, Sunday food prep days, assembly line laundry sessions, you catch my drift?  Any tricks of the trade would be greatly appreciated!  Since I can’t live off of Easy Mac, I’ve got to gather an arsenal of quick, easy, healthy meals I can make after a 12 hour shift.  And what’s quicker and easier and healthier than salmon and a bomb-diggity-not-boring salad?  NOTHING!

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Healthy Zucchini Noodle Ramen

Delicious nutritious soup - a remake of an old classic!

Delicious nutritious soup – a remake of an old classic!

I’ve had this a draft of this recipe written since September – but for various reasons I haven’t posted it yet.  The only pictures I had were in a purple bowl and I’ve decided purple is an unappetizing color.  I thought people would find the egg + soup combination strange.  Using the college, orange-wrapped noodles seemed like cheating.  But, *ALAS*!  I have found just the tweak this recipe needed!

I finally bought a spiralizer and have completely fell in love.  I started with the classic spiralized veggie – ZUCCHINI!  The “zoodles” ended up great – they didn’t get mushy in the soup and added a *crunch* component to the soothing broth that turned out really well.  I couldn’t be happier!  And now I can’t stop spiralizing.  I couldn’t fall asleep last night because I was trying to come up with something to spiralize for breakfast — Update: I still haven’t thought of anything.

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Recipe Review: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala - waiting for you in your slow cooker!

Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala – waiting for you in your slow cooker!

Hi All! Happy New Year!  I know it’s been a while since I posted – finals and the holidays got the best of me.  But I had an amazing time back in Minnesota.  We attended 2 Christmas parties, watched copious amounts of football, went to a fantastic sparkling wine and appetizer cooking class, attended mass on Christmas Day and headed straight up to Lutsen, MN where we got to enjoy the slopes and a quaint little cabin, 20 feet from Lake Superior.

I got to come back for NYE and celebrate with Dan and his family with a bomb diggity meal of mussels in spicy thai curry sauce, homemade caesar salads (I’ll share the recipe soon!), pasta carbonara and crab legs.  And a (couple) bottles of champagne.  It was amazing.  But, with all the imbibing and fantastic food I’ve had lately, it’s time for the “new year, new me!” cliche.

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Healthy, Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Hearty Stew!

Hearty Stew!

Despite a week of crazy November weather – 70’s!? – we’re back to classic fall.  Rainy, cold, and cloudy.  Call me crazy, but at this point, I can’t wait for it to snow.  Plus, I can’t wait for Gino to see his first snowflakes!  Knowing him, he’s going to go nuts.  No better time to try making beef stew than now – especially when your slow cooker does all the heavy lifting.

If you’re like me, the holidays are a time for cheat meals galore.  I don’t skip a single dish at Thanksgiving, and no pie dish goes unturned.  I like to stay healthy on days surrounding the holidays, and beef stew is the perfect way to do it.  Hearty, filling, but low on calories and high on protein, this dish will keep you full all afternoon.

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