Spicy Sauteed Shrimp


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Shrimp is one of those food I am always craving.  Shrimp cooks fast and it can be used in many cooking applications. It is also quick cooking, and if you buy tail on and deveined shrimp, they are a convenience food. This recipe is so simple, but incredible delicious.

Shrimp also has many health benefits. Besides helping your balance your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, shrimp are an excellent source of B-12 and selenium.

Spicy, Sautéed Shrimp

Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp defrosted, deveined, and shell removed

4 tbs melted butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee

3 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbs hot sauce or to taste

1 tbs butter

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 cup flat leaf parsley or cilantro

2 tbs butter

pepper to taste

juice of one lime

drizzle of olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the shrimp, 3 tbs of fat, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and salt. Stir to coat – the shrimp should be glistening. If you are using olive oil as your fat, you can store this bowl covered in your fridge overnight to make the next day.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of your fat. Your pan is ready when the oil shimmer or the butter stops bubbling. The fat should not smoke.  If it begins to smoke, clean the pan and start the fat again.
  3. Add the shrimp to the pan. They should sizzle.  Keep stirring the shrimp until they become opaque and firm.  This took me about five minutes.  You can add more fat at this point if it looks like there is not enough.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the extra butter and pepper.
  5. Finish the dish with the parsley, olive oil. and butter.

I put this over a bed of sautéed greens for an easy meal.

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Some Great Cauliflower Recipes


As you know I love cruciferous vegetables and during winter I love to roast them. I have been experimenting with some recipes for curried cauliflower and cauliflower and onion gratin that are almost ready for the blog, but I have also found two amazing recipes that you have to try.

Today, I discovered a great recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Red Chile, Cilantro and Lime at REMCooks. Roasting sweetens the cauliflower and adds a caramel flavor which should be enhanced by the cumin and the spice in this recipe.  I am a huge fan of cilantro and lime in any combination. They both brighten the dish and add an almost floral quality to the dish.

Another recipe I have tried is the Cumin Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt over at Smitten Kitchen. This is another recipe that relies on roasting to being out the sweet flavor of cauliflower and cumin to add smokiness.  What I love about this recipe is the tang that feta-yogurt sauce adds to the equation. Again it brightens the flavor and the roasting and the salt both mellow out some of cauliflower’s inherent bitterness.  This might be a good recipe for any supertasters in your life.

Please go over and check them out.

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Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf


Look at that tight bacon weave

It’s bacon! Sometimes I just need to wrap things in bacon.  I learned about bacon tapestry when I made a bacon explosion for my husband’s birthday. Sometimes I need my food in loaf form. This meal satisfied both of these desires in a big way. I made this loaf with a combination of turkey and hot Italian sausage because that is what I had in my fridge and because I thought it would be awesome. Turns out, it was awesome.

 

 

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1 tbs butter

1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 lb ground turkey

1 lb hot Italian sausage

6 oz tomato paste

1 tsp white wine vinegar

Meatloaf raw next to the less successful porcini mushroom meatloaf.

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

4 tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 large eggs

3/4 cup ground flax seed

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 pound bacon

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Over medium heat, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and butter until the butter is melted.
  3. Add the onion and heat until they are translucent and tender.
  4. Add the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and cumin and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the tomato paste and mix with the other ingredient. Saute for another 30 seconds to add some caramel flavor.
  6. Finally, mix in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Remove the mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. In a large bowl, mix the meats, eggs, ground flax seed and skillet ingredients. I use the tips of my fingers so I don’t over squish the meat and make the meatloaf dense.
  9. On a sheet pan or in a lasagne pan, form the meat into a loaf.
  10. You can either weave the bacon on top or just place it to cover the loaf.  The weave does look cooler though.
  11. Sprinkle the bacon with smoked paprika and some grinds of black pepper.  This would be the appropriate time to take pictures for facebook, twitter, or to text your friends your dinner to make them feel jealous.
  12. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. If the bacon is not crispy enough for your taste, turn on your broiler and cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
  13. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. This would be another good time to take pictures.

I loved this meatloaf. LOVED! This would pair well with roasted veggies and a salad.

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Flavored Kale Chips Recipes


Image via Wikipedia

As I mentioned before, I have been experimenting with homemade veggie chips.  My favorite chips have become the kale.  They are crispy, pleasantly salty, and have a nutty flavor.  I grow kale in my home garden and

There are so many flavor possibilities with these chips and I thought I would share a few.

Flavored Kale Chips

Spicy, Smoky Kale Chips

Pizza-Flavored Kale Chips

Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips

Sweet and Salty Kale Chips

Chili Lime Kale Chips

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

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Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin


Two weekends ago, I went to an amazing restaurant and ordered the spice crusted pork loin.  The spice and texture on the meat was amazing. It was so juicy! I set out to recreate this dish and I was surprised how quickly it came together. I was able to create the whole dish in about 30 minutes. I am not sure if I used the exact spices they used at the restaurant, but the blend I put together compliments the meat well. I set out the tenderloin to defrost in the refrigerator the night before. I normally brine pork before roasting in the oven, but the meat in the restaurant did not seem to be brined.

Try this recipe for a flavorful, juicy tenderloin that comes together quickly.

Spice Crusted Pork Loin

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Ingredients:

2 small pork loins  (about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds)

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tbsp garlic cloves

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp caraway seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and pat dry two pork loins. Trim of excess fat and remove the silver skin.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper to taste. I normally use 1/2 tsp of each. Set aside.
  4. In an eight-inch cast iron skillet or saute pan toast the whole spices for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  5. Combine the spices with olive oil and stir to combine.
  6. Coat the pork loin on all sides with the spice mixture.  I put the spices and olive oil in a loaf pan and rolled the loins in the spices, pressing them down gently.
  7. In a large, oven-proof saute pan on medium-high heat place the pork loins turning to brown on all sides. Mine took about two minutes on each side. Some spices with come off the loin during cooking and that is alright.  You will still have enough left to create a great crust.
  8. Place the pan into the heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
  9. Cover the finished pork loin and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

This meal will combine well with the curried Brussels sprouts of the creamy, cheesy cauliflower.

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Easy Salmon Salad with Green Apples and Sunflower Seeds


Image via wikipedia

Sometimes I need an easy lunch option and don’t have any protein leftover from dinner. On these days ,I like to make a salmon or tuna salad with homemade olive oil mayonnaise and flax-seed crackers. I get lost of omega 3 fatty acids with minimal effort. I paired the salmon with a green apple to cut the fattiness of the dish with acidity and tartness. For the lemons in the recipe, sometimes I juice several lemons at the beginning of the week and keep it in a container because who squeezes a lemon for only a little bit of juice.  I do the same with the rind and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for later use.

Salmon Salad with Green Apples and Sunflower Seeds

Ingredients:

10 oz cooked wild salmon (can be in a can, pouch, or leftover fillets)

1 medium green apple

2 tbsp sunflower seeds (unsalted)

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil mayonnaise

1/4 tsp kosher salt

pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, break up the salmon.  If you are using a salmon fillet be sure to remove the skin and check for bones. Remember to use wild salmon.  Even though it is more expensive, the flavor is much better and they have more omega 3 fatty acids.
  2. Cut up the apple in a small dice leaving the skin on. I usually use organic apples because they are a more manageable size and I don’t worry about eating the skins.
  3. Add the apples and sunflower seeds to the salmon.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. The lemon juice also prevents the apple from browning if you are going to eat later.
  5. Mix in the olive oil mayonnaise. I like a lot of mayo, so I might add more than the 2 tbsp. Add what you like.

I pair this with baby greens for a hearty salad or eat it with my flax-seed crackers.

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Flax-seed Crackers


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Flax seeds are tiny powerhouses of nutrition.  They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble and insoluble fiber. I buy whole seeds and grind them in my trusty coffee grinder. Ground flax can be used in many baking applications, such as muffins, breads, brownies, and crackers.   Whenever I have made something with ground flax, I am always amazed at how bread-like is the final product.

The final mixture for this product is paste-like and sticky.  I discovered that I should wet my fingers before spreading out the crackers to avoid club fingers. The final product is crunchy and makes a good vehicle for nut butters, dips, and tuna or salmon salad.

Flax Seed Crackers

Ingredients:

1 cup ground flax seed

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbs garlic powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 cup water

2 tbs whole flax seed (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flax seeds, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add water little by little until the mixture forms a paste.
  4. On a silicon mat or parchment paper lined pan, spread the mixture out to 1/8th of an inch. I used my fingers, but you can use a spoon or a rolling-pin. I remove the ragged edges so they won’t burn.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of the “dough” with the whole flax seeds.
  6. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the “dough” to the desired size.
  7. Cook the dough for 15 – 18 minutes.  This varies depending on humidity. Keep them in the oven until they are crisp.

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