Shrimp Salsa

So last week while on vacation, I thought I might get a chance to update the blog or post a delicious new recipe.

Obviously…that didn’t quite happen.

Y’all, I don’t know what it was – but I just didn’t want anything to do with technology! Other than watching a few episodes of a TV show we brought on DVD and letting the world know that my amazing husband passed his big exam via Facebook, I completely immersed myself in books and enjoyed sticking my head in the proverbial sand.

Okay, so it was my feet in the sand, but you get the picture.

Anyways – the husband and I had an amazing 7 days full of sunshine (well, mostly!), cold beer, crashing waves, delicious seafood, ocean breezes, good books, late night balcony talks and of course, celebrating his big accomplishment!

I think we ate something with seafood every single day – including 2 different types of delicious baked oysters smothered in cheese! We also had crab legs, grouper cheeks (yes, cheeks, and they were ridiculously good!), smoked tuna dip, gumbo and a pizza that was topped with Cajun grilled shrimp.

I know I’ve told y’all how much I love shrimp and how versatile it is. Well, I finally tried a recipe I’d been dying to test out that I found on SkinnyTaste that is a homemade salsa – with the main ingredient being shrimp. It is so incredibly refreshing during these hot summer months – just pair with a cold beverage (I mean, it doesn’t have to be a beer), kick back on the patio and enjoy!

Shrimp Salsa (Serves 4  / 2 WW pts. per serving / adapted from “SkinnyTaste“)

8 oz. pre-cooked shrimp

2 medium tomatoes

3 Tbsp. red onion, diced

2 Tbsp. fresh jalapeno, diced

1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Pinch garlic powder

Tortilla chips (I tried Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues Chips, they are sprinkled with cayenne and have a great kick to them!)

Remove tails from shrimp and pat dry. Chop shrimp into 3 or 4 pieces each.

Chop your tomatoes and dice your onion. Add to a medium bowl and add lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add chopped jalapeno, cilantro and shrimp to bowl. Mix well and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Taste and add salt if necessary.

This is even better after a day or so when all of the flavors have really blended…so don’t be afraid to double the recipe if you are expecting a crowd!

Remove from the refrigerator, grab your chips and dig in!

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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!

Chili-Mango Shrimp

So I don’t know about y’all, but the weather in Memphis has been pretty glorious lately! It’s starting to warm up – lots of food festivals (the Memphis in May BBQ Fest is going on this weekend) and I’m loving soaking up whatever outdoor time I can get!

Which also means lots of patio time…which is where I am currently blogging from right now!

For me, the summertime means lots of delicious seafood. It also means some glorious fruit! I love anything with a citrus flavor to it – or any fresh berries or “tropical” type fruit. I am an equal opportunity fruit consumer!

I think the seafood thing is because my family has always spent time on the coast of Florida during the summer – which means days (or a solid week if I’m lucky) of some fresh and amazing seafood.

So I decided to create a dish that combines seafood and fruit – with a little spice to it, of course. The husband and I love our spice!

This is one of those easy dishes to throw together and pair with a salad or just plain rice. Since it has an Asian influence, I paired it with my vegetable fried rice. Make it with whatever you want – but I promise, you’ll love it (and it’s good for you, of course!).

In each bite you get a little heat and a little sweet…

Chili-Mango Shrimp (serves 2 – 6 WW points/serving)

8 oz. pre-cooked shrimp, tails removed

1/2 Tbsp. sliced pickled ginger, diced

1/2 cup chopped mango

2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce

1/4 tsp. Sriracha

1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped

1/2 Tbsp. peanut oil, for cooking

Pat your shrimp dry and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add soy sauce and minced ginger. Add chili sauce, then cornstarch and sesame oil. Add your green onion and Sriracha and whisk until blended.

Add shrimp and toss to coat.

Add your mango. Now, I have read “how to” cut mango and I still find it difficult. So I pretty much just hack away until I have as much as I want. The core is pretty tough, so just start by trimming away the outside and removing the peel until you have good tender “meat”.

See? Pretty!

Now add the mango to the shrimp mixture and toss to combine.

Refrigerate at least 30-45 minutes.

Heat your peanut oil in a medium skillet until hot. Using a slotted spoon, add shrimp (try to reserve as much sauce and mango as you can for now) and saute 3-5 minutes. When you flip your shrimp, add the remaining sauce and mango. Cook another 5 minutes until shrimp is cooked through and sauce thickens slightly.

Serve and devour! Like I said, I served mine with some fried rice – but as I’ve also mentioned before, I’m one of “those people” who doesn’t like my food to touch – so I don’t top it. But if that’s your thang, go right ahead! I’m not here to judge…

I just provide the deliciousness and let you do the rest!

Thanks for stopping by – and be on the lookout tomorrow for a special guest blog from my friend Brittany over at “Everyday Thoughts“!

Cajun Shrimp Casserole

On a beautiful weekend, I found myself upstairs doing more garage sale labeling – which was fine since I got a little time by the pool on Saturday while hanging out with my Mommy!

I got to a box of old cookbooks and started to label them, when I realized it was a ton of cookbooks I had won at a silent auction. I put them in my parents laundry room when I was living with them – and suddenly, I was moving into an apartment, working full-time, planning a wedding and getting married. They never made the move with me…

I had never looked through them – and man, there were some jewels in these cookbooks! It was definitely fun doing some “research” as I like to call it. Sometimes, I just like combing back through to see if something sticks out that hasn’t before or inspires me to create something on my own!

I have also found Pinterest is a great resource for this when I’m feeling a little on the lazy side because I can see pictures versus reading through ingredients and instructions.

Well, I found my second Pinterest recipe (I hate to remind you about the first one, because it is definitely not in the healthy category like this one!) that I just HAD to make and I really feel like I branched out a little, because, well, I don’t like casseroles.

Actually, that’s not true. I don’t like “main dish” casseroles. I LOVE casseroles that are side dishes – particularly when they involve potatoes. But for some reason, casseroles that serve as a main dish kind of eek me out.  I have one or two I know I can handle – I’m not sure if they are too bland or if it’s just mixing everything up together…

I know, I know. I’m weird and it’s totally a “me” thing. But I’m also the person who wishes plates with dividers were appropriate for occasions other than barbecues because I don’t like my foods touching. So I think that plays a major role in my completely irrational behavior toward casseroles.

Well, I just went crazy apparently and decided to make this beauty and man, am I glad I did!

Cajun Shrimp Casserole (3 servings – recipe halved from original)

1 pound shrimp, tails removed

1/2 Tbsp. margarine

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped orange bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup sliced okra (fresh or frozen)

1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/2 can cream of celery soup

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

3 Tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

(Also worth noting, you can buy a 10oz. bag of frozen chopped peppers and onions – just to shave even more time off!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt margarine in large skillet and add onions and bell peppers and saute 5-7 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute an additional minute.

Stir in okra, lemon juice, salt and Cajun seasoning. Saute 3-5 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook 5-6 minutes until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.

Add soup, wine, soy sauce and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

Pour mixture into lightly greased baking dish. Add rice and stir until incorporated. Top with grated Parmesan.

Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbling slightly. Let set about 5 minutes before serving.

I should just call this “Gumbo Casserole” because that’s pretty much what it tasted like to me!

The husband re-heated some for leftovers and said it may have been even better the second time around, so I might make sure I have 2 pounds of shrimp the next time I make this so we can have more to go around – because I have found a casserole I LOVE!

Bang Bang Shrimp – Lightened Up

I would hope the fact that I love cooking is clear to you all by now, considering I have started this blog about how much I love cooking.

As much as I love it, it is such a nice treat when I don’t have to cook sometimes. Now that can mean ordering pizza if I’m lacking energy and the husband and I need a low-key night with a movie from Redbox. But sometimes, it’s nice to have a date night where the husband and I get to go out somewhere nice where we get to sit down, be waited on, drink a glass of wine and use cloth napkins!

So one of our go-to places is Bonefish Grill. It’s a great atmosphere, they make great cocktails (hellloooo Pomegranate martinis) and the food. Well, the food is always delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever walked out of there anything less than satisfied completely stuffed!

Well, if you’ve ever been you know one of their appetizers that they are well-known for is their “Bang Bang Shrimp” – delicious fried shrimp in a yummy spicy sauce.

So, I tried my hand at re-creating it in a “lightened-up” way – it obviously doesn’t taste exactly the same – but I think it’s pretty bangin’ delicious! I made this for a main course, but I’m sure you could serve it as a delicious appetizer for a few people as well!

Lightened Up “Bang Bang Shrimp” (serves 2)

8 oz. uncooked medium shrimp

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

2 1/2 Tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce

1/2 tsp. Sriracha sauce

2 tsp. canola oil

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp.. whole wheat white flour

1/2 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs (plain)

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chili sauce and Sriracha until smooth.

Remove tails from shrimp and heat oil in skillet.

Toss bread crumbs, cornstarch, flour, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper together in a bag or bowl. Add shrimp to mixture and coat.

Add shrimp to oil in a single layer and saute for 3-4 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Flip shrimp and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Turn off heat and add sauce to shrimp, tossing to coat.

Serve and devour!

You could add to a bed of lettuce, but I was fresh out and just had to lick the plate…

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!


Shrimp Scampi

Once upon a time, when we weren’t married and didn’t own a home, the husband (previously “the boyfriend”) and I would spend time at each others residences. I lived in an apartment and he shared a house with 2 other guys, which was surprisingly way cleaner than you would ever imagine.

So, I loved going over there and cooking! We’d rotate weeks – particularly when our favorite show “24” came on each Monday night. It was fun – I loved that he could cook. And as I said before, he loved that about me as well – in fact, I think that’s how I tricked him into marrying me! 😉

We were craving something with seafood and pasta one night – but something that just tasted light and was easy. So, I introduced him to Shrimp Scampi. Now, back then – we were okay loading up on the pasta and the butter. Obviously, that’s not so WW friendly. But have no fear my followers (or people who I guilt into coming here by posting my recipes on Facebook!) – this one was easy to lighten up. And it’s easy to make. And, of course, it’s totally delicious.

Shrimp Scampi (serves 2)

8 oz. cooked shrimp, tails removed

4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

2 tsp. olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

Lemons – (1/2 of one lemon zested, 1/2 Tbsp. juice, 1/2 a lemon sliced)

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp. parsley

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan for the pasta. Add pasta to water and cook according to directions.

Melt butter and olive oil in a medium skillet and add garlic. Stir until melted and cook about 1 minute.

Remove tails from shrimp and pat dry. Add to skillet along with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until cooked through.

On the side, prepare your lemon zest. I find it’s easiest to zest over wax paper. I have to say that my zester is my favorite kitchen gadget – you just move it back and forth over the lemon and collect the zest on the wax paper.

When shrimp are done cooking, remove from heat and add parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

Drain cooked pasta and add back to pot. Pour shrimp and sauce over pasta and toss to coat.

And voila, dinner is done in less than 30 minutes! Goes great with some crusty bread or a crisp salad.

Thanks for reading!

Stir-Fry Shrimp

It has totally been one of those weeks. The really busy and crazy kind. The kind where I feel like doing nothing when I get home other than having a glass of wine or a cold beer on the patio and getting lost in a good book until the sun goes down. And that’s pretty much what I have done!

I also got to dog-sit for my parents this week, so the 4-legged ladies got to enjoy patio time with me – the 3 sweetest golden retrievers you will ever meet! Snuggling with them has also added an extra layer of “I don’t want to be productive,” so I followed Ginger’s orders and read some more on the couch with her after dinner. I mean, who can resist this face?

"You don't really need to do laundry...come snuggle with me instead!"

Anyways – as I said before, I must have a craving for Chinese-type cuisine or else it just doesn’t sound appealing. The craving struck this week. I had some shrimp waiting to be cooked – so I decided to throw together a stir-fry shrimp with snow peas. My was it delicious!

I’d highly recommend going home and making this…resist the urge to call for take-out and just do it yourself! Makes for a great date night, especially if you can throw in some fortune cookies!

Stir-Fry Shrimp (serves 2)

8 oz. shrimp, tails removed

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. Sherry cooking wine

1/2 Tbsp. pickled ginger, minced

1 tsp. chili-garlic sauce

1/2 tsp. Sriracha

1 cup snow peas

1 Tbsp. peanut oil

Remove tails from shrimp and pat dry.

In a medium bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry and minced ginger. Add your brown sugar. Then your cornstarch.

Throw in your chili-garlic sauce. Then add a little kick with some Sriracha – you can add more if you like it extra spicy, I thought the 1/2 tsp. was pretty mild!

Whisk together sauce and add your shrimp. Toss to coat and let marinate at least 30 minutes – 1-2 hours is probably best though!

Heat peanut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.

When oil/pan is hot, use a slotted spoon and add your shrimp. Step back – it will probably crackle quite a bit! Cook about 3-4 minutes and then flip shrimp.

Add your snow peas. Cook another 3 minutes and stir, incorporating the snow peas.

Then, add the remaining sauce. Cook another 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick – but allow the sauce to thicken.

I served mine with my vegetable fried rice – which I would highly recommend!

After this crazy week, I’m glad I at least have something to look forward to…

Have a great weekend everybody!