Chili Salmon with Mango, Cucumber & Avocado Salsa

Salsa Includes Blueberries, Lime, and Jalapeño

Oh my!  This is SO my kind of dinner!  This seriously tastes like healthy summer on a plate.  The salmon is simply seasoned with chili powder and the salsa is sweet and fresh.  Of course the chili powder is a fabulous compliment to salsa, so it’s no wonder this all goes together beautifully.

The salsa is seriously SO good!  It’s so good that it’s kind of a little bit hard not to eat more than the appropriate portion size.  (You’ve been warned!)  I was pretty intrigued with the addition of blueberries in this salsa.  I’ve made and seen several variations of mango salsa, but none that included blueberries.  Let me tell you, it’s awesome!  The burst of the blueberry in the mouth along with the sweetness and tartness of the berry is a perfect compliment to the soft and sweet mango.  The cucumber adds a nice balance to the sweetness as well as good bulk to the salsa (without adding many calories).  You can’t have a salsa without some kind of pepper, so there is a jalapeño pepper in here and you can add as much as you want.  The majority of the heat comes from the ribs and seeds of the pepper so for a mild salsa, remove all the ribs and seeds, for a hot salsa, keep them in.  The avocado adds a richness and creaminess to the salsa that helps to made this stuff so addictive.  Last, but certainly not least, is the addition of  lime zest and lime juice.  This gives the perfect amount of acidity and zing to the salsa and makes it taste amazingly fresh.

This meal can be eaten for lunch or dinner.  We had it for dinner with a side salad.  I think I might start making the salsa for snacks and appetizers too.  It’s that good!

Chili Salmon with Mango, Cucumber, & Avocado Salsa
Adapted from The Chew

For the Salmon:
4 Skin-On Salmon Filets (4 oz. each)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 teaspoon Chili Powder

For the Salsa:
1 mango (cubed)
1/4 – 1/2 English cucumber (diced)
1 avocado (cubed)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 – 1 jalapeno (seeded and minced)
juice and zest of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the Salsa: Toss all salsa ingredients in a medium bowl until well mixed (I use a rubber spatula so that the avocado doesn’t get mashed).  Set aside.

For the Salmon: Preheat a grill (outdoor or indoor . . . I used a charcoal grill for mine) to medium-high, and season lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon chili powder over each of the salmon filets. Season with salt and pepper, and place, skin-side down. After 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and continue to cook on other side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130F.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Filet & Approx. 1/2 Cup Salsa)
Calories:  284.5
Protein:  30.4g
Carbs:  15.1g
Fat:  11.6g (1.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g
Sugars:  6.1g

Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta

Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Well, it’s been a month since my little Evie joined our family and I’ve had some great time off with her.  We’re starting to get more into a routine around our house which means I’ve been able to try my hand at some new recipes worth sharing with you all.  This is one of those recipes.  It’s yummy.  I love the quick and easy skillet method that is used to cook it and the fresh herbs really make this dish sing.  You might think that shrimp mixed with cheese is a BAD idea . . . and, it is in most cases but this recipe is definitely an exception.  Perhaps it’s because the feta cheese isn’t over-powering and instead offers a nice creamy touch to the finished dish.

This dish is far from dull!  The simple marinade for the shrimp helps to boost flavors.  The tomatoes garlic, olive oil, and bell pepper really help enhance the dish.  And, the Feta and dill added at the very end of the cooking time definitely made this dish taste Greek!   This is a simple, flavorful, fresh, and unique dish that I’m guessing you’ll love like we did at our house.  Enjoy!

Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2012

1 lb. extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed if desired
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/2 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained with 1/3 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Toss shrimp, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in bowl until well combined; set aside.

Combine 1 teaspoon oil, onion, red and green bell pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in 12-inch skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add remaining garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and reserved juice and wine.  Increase heat to medium, bring to simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened (sauce should not be completely dry), 5 to 8 minutes.  Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in shrimp.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 6 to 9 minutes.  Off heat, sprinkle evenly with feta and dill.  Serve immediately.

Served 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Calories:  250.6
Protein:  28.7g
Carbs:  15.9g
Fat:  6.4g
Fiber:  3.4g
Sugars:  7.7g

Shrimp Fried Rice

I was having an intense craving for Chinese food the other day.  Soooooo, instead of giving in and ordering a multi-thousand-calorie meal from a restaurant, I decided I could just make something at home.  I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while now and it TOTALLY hit the spot.  In fact, it was a good thing that I only made enough for me and Beau because we both loved it so much that I’m not so sure we could have resisted eating another serving.

The crazy thing is that this recipe goes wicked fast.  Like . . . once you have your veggies cut up and your shrimp ready to go, you’ll go from start to finish in about 5-ish minutes.  No lie!  So, have everything prepped and ready to go before you heat up your skillet.

Here’s the catch (if you want to call it that).  You MUST use cold rice here.  Since I make brown rice in big batches, it isn’t uncommon for me to have leftover rice in the fridge.  However, if you don’t have leftover rice, just be sure to make some in the the morning so that it has time to cool and chill in the fridge before dinner.  It’s SUPER common and easy for me to bake my brown rice in the morning while I’m getting ready for the day, so I would tell you to do the same.

One of the days I made this I was running short on shrimp.  So, I used the balance of the needed protein with ham.  You’ll see that my pictures reflect this.  I will vouch that it was good both ways . . . all shrimp or half shrimp/half ham.  Honestly, I think just about any protein source would be pretty good here (I just LOVE shrimp).

The recipe is simple, it goes fast, and I was AMAZED at how the small amount of soy sauce really pounded in some Chinese flavor.  I doubted that it would be enough, but it seriously was.  We’ve eaten this twice in the last two weeks, and that’s pretty good for us (considering I’m always looking for new stuff to try).  I just couldn’t resist making it and eating it AGAIN.  I’m pretty sure that this recipe just became a “regular” around my house.

Ham Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

12 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
2 whole eggs plus 2 additional egg whites, beaten
2 stalks green onions, minced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups leftover brown rice
3/4 cup cup frozen peas and carrots, defrosted
1 tablespoon soy sauce (Light/Low-Sodium)
Few drops sesame oil, optional

In  a medium mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, salt, pepper and cornstarch, and toss well to coat the shrimp.  Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat.  When a drop of water immediately sizzles and evaporates, the pan is hot enough to add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil.  Swirl to coat the pan well.

Add the shrimp to the hot pan and quickly spread them out so that they are in a single layer, and all touching the pan surface.  (You may need to do this in two batches to ensure even cooking.)  Let them cook untouched for 30 seconds, then flip over (tongs work well for this) and let cook for 30 more seconds, so that the shrimp are about 80% cooked through.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Lower the heat on the pan to medium.  Add the eggs to the pan and stir quickly, to break up and scramble the eggs.  When the eggs are almost cooked through but still slightly runny in the middle, remove from the pan to the same plate as the shrimp.

Use paper towels to wipe the pan clean and return the pan to high heat.  Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil, swirling to coat.  Once the oil is very hot, add the green onions and the red pepper to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.  Add the rice to the pan and mix well to combine with the green onions.  Spread the rice out evenly over the pan and let cook without stirring, until you hear the rice grains sizzle, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Toss the rice a bit with your spatula, and again spread it out over the cooking surface.

Drizzle the soy sauce all over the rice, and toss again.  Add the peas and carrots, the cooked shrimp and eggs, and the sesame oil to the pan.  Toss to combine all the ingredients well with the rice.  Let everything heat back up again until the rice grains are sizzling again.  Add additional soy sauce to taste, if needed.  Serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Calories:  294.6
Protein:  26.8g
Carbs:  28g
Fat:  8.4g (1.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.9g
Sugars:  0g

Thai Green Coconut Curry with Shrimp & Basil

I am a HUGE sucker for coconut milk. . . especially when it comes to anything Thai.  When I eat out at Thai restaurants and want to indulge, I go for the coconut curry dishes every time.  So, it’s no wonder that I absolutely LOVE this recipe.  I think it’s restaurant worthy, but I dare say it’s even better because it tastes so darn fresh when I make it in my own kitchen.  You can adjust the heat of the recipe with the amount of curry paste you add.  So, if you like your curry spicy, add a little more curry paste.  I think the amount in the recipe is just right for most people.  (I like a little more heat, so I usually add more when I’m just cooking for me.)

The addition of fresh basil that you add just before serving is SO awesome.  It leaves this dish tasting so fresh and that basil flavor is the most perfect compliment to the curry.  You MUST try this.  If you are a Thai food lover like me, you’re going to love it.  If you’re not sure you like Thai food . . . well, this is a pretty safe recipe to try because I’ll be shocked if you don’t fall in love at first bite.  (By the way – for all you people who don’t love shrimp or who are allergic to shellfish, you can always substitute chicken.  Just remember to cook it until it is done and is no longer pink inside.)

Thai Green Coconut Curry with Shrimp & Basil
Adapted slightly from skinnytaste.com

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
4 small scallions, whites and greens separated, chopped
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste (or more to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (from 1 1/4 lbs unpeeled)
6 oz light coconut milk
2 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
salt to taste

In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat oil on medium-high flame. Add scallion whites and green curry paste; sauté one minute.

Add shrimp and garlic, season with salt and cook about 2-3 minutes.

Add coconut milk, fish sauce and mix well; simmer about 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through.

Remove from heat, mix in scallion greens and basil. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 Shrimp + Sauce)
Calories:  134.1
Protein:  18.5g
Carbs:  4.4g
Fat:  4.4g
Fiber:  1g
Sugars:  1.8g

Baja Grilled Shrimp Tacos

I’m back!  After being on vacation and then experiencing a few family concerns when we got back . . . life seems to be returning back to “normal” if I dare say.  It feels good to be back in the kitchen again and sharing my recipes with you.

This recipe is delightful!  I personally think that it is restaurant-worthy and Beau even made a comment that these tacos tasted like they came out of one of our favorite Mexican hot spots.  They taste fresh, have a bit of spice,  and they have a nice smoky flavor (thank you chipotle peppers and cumin!).  Despite the long list of ingredients, these come together quickly.  It was a nice simple dinner for us, and it allowed me to use up some of that cabbage that showed up in my Bountiful Basket this week.

If you’re not one for spice, use a little less chipotle.  If you dig the spice like I do. . . add a little extra chipotle pepper. I used exactly what was called for and I could have used more spice, while Beau would have liked a little less.  Whatever you do, do not leave it out completely because it offers some AWESOME flavor!  (By the way . . . these peppers are found on the Mexican isle in your grocery store.  When I first started looking for these babies I think I wasted a good 30 minutes in the grocery story before asking someone for help.  They walked me to the Mexican isle and we found them on a shelf in a can.  This recipe only calls for a smidge of them, but I will shortly post another recipe that also contains the peppers to help you use up the rest.)

Lucky for me I made the whole recipe so that Beau and I can eat them again tomorrow night.  YUM!  I can’t wait!

Baja Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

4 cups shredded green cabbage
5 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 teaspoons canola oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I used Mission Thins – only 40 calories each)
lime wedges (for serving)

Toss the cabbage, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, scallions, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice, chipotles, and garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set both aside for serving.

Combine the chili powder, coriander, cumin, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.  Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, brush with the remaining tablespoon oil, and rub evenly with the spice mixture.

Place shrimp on a preheated grill (gas, charcoal, or indoor . . . I used indoor since it snowed the day I made these).  Cook shrimp approximately 2 minutes, and then flip and cook another 2 minutes or until done.  Shrimp is done when it is completely pink and it curls up a bit.  Remove shrimp from grill and loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest while grilling the tortillas.

Working in batches, grill the tortillas, turning as needed, until warm and lightly charred, about 30 seconds.  As the tortillas are done, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or a large sheet of foil to keep them warm and soft.

Smear each tortillas with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture and top with some of the cabbage slaw and then shrimp.  Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tacos)
Calories:  295.6
Protein:  26.1g
Carbs:  22.9g
Fat:  11.1g (1.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.6g
Sugar:  5g

Parmesan & Red Pepper Tilapia

I love changing things up for dinner with a good piece of Tilapia.  While I like it plain (with a just a little salt and pepper), I love it with a little extra flavor too and this version did not disappoint!  I loved the slight saltiness of the Parmesan cheese combined with the slight heat from the red pepper flakes.  You can totally adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your likeness and desire for spice.  This was quick, easy and delicious!  What more could you ask for?

Parmesan & Red Pepper Tilapia
Adjusted slightly from Taste of Home

2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 tilapia fillets (4 oz. each)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place egg whites in a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and pepper.  Dip fillets in egg whites and then cheese mixture.  (I usually just coat the top and sides with the cheese mixture, leaving the bottom bare.)

Place in a shallow baking pan (a jelly roll pan works great for this) coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 10-15 miutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Fillet)
Calories:  173.5
Protein:  29.8
Carbs:  0.5g
Fat:  5.7g (2.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0g
Sugar: 0g

Bangin’ Good Shrimp

I found the title of this recipe quite clever and I totally approve of the title now that I’ve made it and eaten it.  It doesn’t lie!  It is seriously Bangin’ Good!

I pulled this recipe off of Gina’s website and I learned that it is a remake of a popular dish found at one of her local restaurants.  After eating this, I can attest that it is restaurant worthy.  The shrimp is completely engrossed in a tangy, yet subtly spicy flavor. . . thanks to the dressing.  The dressing that coats the shrimp is creamy, heavenly, and powered with flavor.  You place the cooked shrimp on a bed of lettuce and cabbage (you can use green or purple cabbage here) and it creates a delicious low-carb dinner.

Sweet Chili Sauce and Siracha can be found in most grocery stores . . . usually in the Asian isle.  And, they are both delicious and can be used in other recipes like Asian Lettuce Wraps, Fresh Thai Slaw, and many more!

We ate this for a low-carb dinner and enjoyed every bite!  I hope you do too!

Bangin Good Shrimp
Adapted from Skinny Taste

For the Dressing/Sauce:
5 tbsp light mayonnaise
3 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha (to taste)

For the Shrimp:
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined (weight after peeled)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp canola oil
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 cup shredded cabbage
4 tbsp scallions, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha. Set aside.
Combine lettuce and cabbage and divide between four plates (about 1 cup per plate). Set aside.

Coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands.

Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, when hot add oil. When oil is hot add the shrimp to hot pan and cook tossing a few times until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and combine with the sauce coating well.

Divide shrimp into four equal servings an place shrimp on lettuce and top with scallions.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  215.7
Protein:  23.8g
Carbs:  11.9g
Fiber:  1.0g
Sugars:  6.3g