Buffalo Shrimp

I know, I know – “Another ‘buffalo’ recipe? This chick is cray – to the – z!”

You may be right. But you know what? I am okay with that!

Seriously, when the husband and I started losing weight – the one thing I said I couldn’t do was give up foods I love. I love buffalo anything and everything. But it usually comes deep-fried and loaded with butter. Nothing wrong with that, unless you’re trying to avoid fried food and excessive butter.

So I needed ways to curb my craving so I didn’t go on a crazy hot wing binge.

Enter a really easy and delicious buffalo-style shrimp. This is great with mashed potatoes (particularly blue cheese mashed potatoes) – buuut I didn’t have potatoes on hand so I just poured the shrimp on top of some whole wheat couscous! Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Buffalo Shrimp (2 servings – 6 WW Points per serving)

8 oz. shrimp

1 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

3 Tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Thaw your shrimp and remove tails if needed.

Mix together your flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Add to a small Ziploc bag and shake until combined.

Pat shrimp until slightly dry. Heat your oil in a medium to large skillet over medium heat.

Add your shrimp to Ziploc bag and seal, leaving some air. Toss until shrimp is coated with flour and seasoning mixture.

When oil is heated, add shrimp to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes and then flip, cooking another 3-5 minutes. You should get a good golden brown color and a crisp coating on the shrimp.

In a small saucepan, melt your butter and whisk in hot sauce. If you don’t have a great heat tolerance, you can add some honey to tone it down a little (this would affect your points value).

Add shrimp to sauce and toss to coat.

Serve with potatoes, couscous, rice or just by itself and dig in!

Try this and you won’t question my buffalo-obsession any longer…

Promise!

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Potatoes, Po-Boys and Smokies…Oh My?

So I’m newly married (6 months is coming up quickly!) and I work full-time. The husband is in study mode, so I have a lot of just “me” time – both good and bad! I am loving having a blog as a great creative outlet and something to DO, but recently, it’s been hard to get into a rhythm. It’s been so nice out – so some days I want to come home, sit outside with a glass of wine and read cookbooks instead of, well, actually cooking. Sometimes, the day just takes a toll on me and I’m exhausted by the time I get home!

I guess my point is – yes, there are some days where cooking doesn’t seem like a delight to me – but a chore. I get tired. I get lazy. I get frustrated. And I love to cook!

Usually, these days come after several back to back days of recipes and meals that dirty up lots of dishes. I seriously love all of my new pots, pans and knives – but I hate having to hand wash and dry them all. Why can’t everything be dishwasher safe?!

So this is the point in time when the whole diet thing could come crashing down. But luckily, I have back-up plans for when the thought of planning a three-course meal that uses 4 knives, 3 pots, 2 baking dishes (and a partridge in a pear tree) makes me cringe.

Exhibit A:

Baked Potatoes. It’s so easy to throw scrub a potato and throw it in the oven and find something to do for the hour and 15 minutes or so. Usually my potato includes some butter spray, fat-free cheddar, salt, pepper and barbecue sauce.

But a few weeks ago, I was dying for something spicy! So I decided to make a Buffalo Baked Potato. I added some spray butter, salt and pepper (the base of all my baked potatoes). Then I added some reduced fat blue cheese crumbles, hot sauce, celery, fat-free shredded mozzarella and more hot sauce! It was quite delicious.

Exhibit B:

Another easy thing to throw together that’s also filling is a hoagie of some sort.  Remember when I said I wanted to try to make a shrimp po’ boy with some easy faux fried shrimp? I did and it was delicious! I just sprayed some butter on the bread and sprinkled with garlic salt and baked for a few minutes before topping with shrimp, sauce and some lettuce.

Exhibit C:

Now this last one was just something I had to do. I was in Target last week (anybody else have to go to like, 3 stores to get everything they need? Reduced-fat and non-fat dairy products have me running around like a crazy person) and I noticed a new Jennie-O product. Turkey cocktail sausages/weenies. Or as my family knows and loves them “Smokies.”

I was talking to my Biffer this weekend while she was at the beach (so jealous) and she was up in the condo making lunch. I asked her what she was making and she said “Smokies!” I started salivating. I had to try the “diet” version…even though the husband kind of looked grossed out when I told him what “Smokie Sandwiches” were. Embrace it people, don’t fear it!

Heat your oven to 350.

So you take some smokies (I used 20 total) and cut them in half. Heat up a skillet with a few sprays of olive oil. Add the smokies and cook over medium for 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook another 5-7 minutes until they are all cooked through and have a nice dark color to them.

                                     

In the meantime, take 4 slices of rye bread (this was for 2 sandwiches) and lay them on a sheet of foil and place on a baking sheet. Take 2 slices of reduced-fat Swiss cheese and break into pieces, covering one half of each sandwich. Bake for 5-6 minutes until cheese melts. I added a little caraway seed since the bread didn’t have any.

Arrange your smokies on top of the cheese.

Spread spicy mustard on the top half of the sandwich…and maaaybe drizzle a little over the smokies.

Serve with some sauerkraut…I have to have mine on the side because I’m a weirdo. That, and I eat really slowly and hate my bread getting soggy. I know, I know I have issues.

So moral of the story? A meal doesn’t always have to be elaborate or take a ton of ingredients – but you don’t have to sacrifice healthy for quick/easy! Now THAT is Cooking on the Bright Side!