New Orleans “BBQ” Shrimp

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There’s nothing really BBQ about this. No sauce, no grill, don’t really know why it’s called that, just is ;) I kind of made up this version, based on a bunch of different recipes that I saw.

BBQ SHRIMP

2 lbs fresh shrimp (head off/tail on)
1/2 c melted butter
1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce
2 Bay Leaves
Cajun Seasoning (Tony Cachere’s)
1 lemon, sliced

Place cleaned shrimp in oven safe casserole or pyrex dish and season with Tony’s. Mix together next 5 ingredients and pour over shrimp. Put sliced lemon in dish and mix all together.
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Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times, until all shrimp are pink and cooked through.
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Now it’s time do get down and dirty. Make sure you have a roll of paper towels handy and a loaf of french bread to sop up all that glorious juice.

Thai Inspired Pork and Peppers

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As we all know, I’m always looking for a new sauce, marinade, condiment or flavor to add to my culinary repertoire. I think that the condiment aisle is my favorite in any store. Seriously, I could get lost there. There’s just so many different possibilities to ponder.

As I was perusing said favorite aisle at Target, recently, I came across a Thai Inspired grilling sauce.

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The first dinner date that the Hubs and I went on, was to a Thai restaurant. His favorite dish there is called “Pad Prik Pork”. It’s pork and peppers simmered in a red curry sauce. So I knew that when I saw this bottle, I could make something scrumptious that he would love.

Turns out, he fancies this recipe over my red coconut curry, so I’d call it a winner!

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I started off with lean, boneless pork chops… green and yellow bell peppers… onion.. and celery (all cut into bite sized pieces).

Cut the pork into small strips and Marinate with grilling sauce.

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Cook the pork in large skillet, then add all veggies once pork is no longer pink.

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Stir it all up, cover, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

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Serve over rice, if you like… and top with Sriracha for a spicy kick of goodness!

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If you haven’t tried Sriracha before.. For the love of all things spicy, Just Do It! It’s good on just about anything and everything :)

How do you eat enough, when you’re never hungry??

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So I have this dilemma… I know that I need to eat, but 20 hours out of the day, I’m not hungry. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have the occasional hunger pains, but usually by the time I’m done fixing my meal, they have passed. I think the meals I DO eat are Le-Git, but am I getting enough??

I’m SO not a breakfast eater! Never have been, probably never will be.

I Like lunch, it’s my big meal of the day, even though it’s usually around 2 or 3 o’clock, at the earliest, but better late than never, right? It’s the time that I get to be the most creative with what goes in my bowl or on my plate.

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So if a huge salad is consumed at 3……… or 4.. are you still hungry for dinner at 7 or 8:00??? Cause I’m not.

But since I’m a vampire, and can’t fall asleep before 2am… There I go into the kitchen around midnight wanting a wee snack.

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I’ve heard that you are supposed to eat at least 1200 and up to 2000 calories a day…. Confession, I can’t do that! If all I eat is vegetables and lean protein, there is NO Way, that I can hit that number, unless I stuff my ever.loving face with food.

So I ask myself…

Is it hurting my weight loss goal because I don’t eat ENOUGH?? It seems so contradictory to me!

Spicy Asian Turkey Meatballs

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We all know of my love affair with meatballs and Asian flavors.

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So I figured why not find a way to marry them together for a little protein filled snack.

Since the Hubs is back working nights, I don’t really “cook” for the boy and I, like I do when he’s home in the evenings.  I’m good with eating salads or soups…. or meatballs ;)  And the boy is pretty happy with anything simple I whip up for him. I mean, does this look like the face of a 6 year old that takes things seriously??

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But I digress….

I always have some crazy (or normal, if you’re like me) condiments hanging around, so I decided to mix up a few with some ground turkey and see how it went.

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These came out delicious! Spicy but Sweet and oh so Meaty. Perfect on their own, on top of an asian inspired salad, in a soup with zucchini and bok choy, However you like!

Now as some of you know, I’m not the measuring kind, so I have no idea (well I could guestimate) how much I put of anything exactly. I just add a shake of this, a glug of that, and a splash of this, and surprisingly, it usually works out :).

I’ll give you a list of the ingredients I used and a round about measurement, but feel free to adjust to what you have and make it your own.

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SPICY ASIAN TURKEY MEATBALLS

1lb Lean ground turkey

1-2 teaspoons of each….

Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Hoisin Sauce

Oyster Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce

Sriracha

Season to taste with…

Probably 1/2 teaspoon or so of each…

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Ground Ginger

Cayenne Pepper

Chives

Salt

Black Pepper

Bake in a pre-heated 375′ oven for 20 – 30 minutes until cooked through. 

Cajun Jambalaya – Chicken, Pork and Smoked Sausage

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Another Fight Night…. Another Menu Plan :)

I knew I wanted to do something a bit different this time,  and I planned a whole meal around Louisiana grub! I wasn’t sure how it would be received, but I was pleasantly surprised that everyone seemed to love it!

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My first EVER. from scratch Jambalaya, Corn Maque Choux, Green Beans wrapped in Bacon, of course my Velveeta/Rotel Dip, cause I think they might never come back if I didn’t have it, haha and some green cuppycakes since it was St. Patty’s day weekend. I think it went over well with the crowd, because I had nothing left.. AT ALL.. at the end of the night :)

I was a bit nervous, because I knew I had to do my heritage proud, but the only Jambalaya I had ever made came out of a box… (I know.. shoot me now..) But I was determined to make this one to remember. Honestly, it couldn’t be simpler.

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If you have a little bit of time and just some basic ingredients.. you can do this. And the great thing about it, is that you can customize it to your taste. Throw some shrimp in there, use a whole chicken… next time I’m definitely adding some Tasso! I actually recently saw a recipe for “low carb” Jambalaya that incorporates zucchini instead of the rice, trying that one out soon, for sure!

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CHICKEN, PORK AND SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts (cut into 1″ cubes)

1 pkg Turkey Smoked Sausage (cut into rounds/halves/quarters.. whatever shape you fancy)

2 lbs Pork (I found some beautiful boneless sirloin steaks, but again, whatever you prefer… cut into 2″ cubes)

I large onion.. diced

1 large green bell pepper.. diced

1/2 red bell pepper.. diced

2 stalks celery.. diced

Cajun Seasoning (Tony’s is my favorite)

4 cups long grain rice

8 cups water

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Season meat generously with Cajun seasoning and brown in batches. Saute onions, bell pepper and celery until semi soft. Add meat back to pot and stir.

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Just cover with water ( I used about 3 cups or so). Bring to boil, and reduce to simmer. Cover and let the meat braise for 2 hours.

When that’s finished, strain braising liquid from meat and measure the liquid, so you can add the remainder of water to equal 8 cups. Then add 4 cups of rice, another few rounds of Cajun seasoning and stir well. Over med-low heat, cover the pot, and let it cook for another 20 or 30 minutes (DON’T PEEK!) until the liquid is absorbed.

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Stir to fluff, and eat your heart out! Top with green onions if you so desire

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Banana Soft Serve

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Do you ever wonder what to do with your bananas when they start to turn brown and nobody in the house will eat them?

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Or are you looking for a new Cool and Creamy treat? Well, my friends, this one’s for you!

This has quickly become my new favorite breakfast, and just in time because the weather is finally starting to warm up here.

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All you do is slice up your ripe bananas, throw them in the freezer, and take out what you want when you want!

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It is SO SIMPLE and SO HEALTHY. 3 easy ingredients, blended together for a wonderful bowl of dreaminess, that you don’t have to feel the least bit guilty about!

I’ll end that thought with a little Banana song that my Granny taught me when I was a wee little girl, that I will never forget

“I’m Chiquita Banana, and I’ve come to say… Banana’s have to ripen in a certain way. When they are flecked with brown and have a golden view, banana’s are the ripest and the best for you.

You can put them in a salaaad, you can put them in a pie..yie. Any way you want to eat theeeem, it’s impossible to beat them.

Banana’s like the climate of the very very Tropically weather, So never put banana’s, in the refrigerator. No no no no”

 

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BANANA SOFT SERVE

1 Sliced Frozen Banana

1Tbsp Plain 0% Fat Greek Yogurt (or your  personal favorite variety)

Handful of ice

Place all ingredients into a blender and Blend until smooth!

I use my handheld immersion blender, but use whatever is your favorite

“Don’t stop till you get enough”… :)

Carnitas… Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

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This, my friends, is all about the Meat. Succulent pork, seasoned with Mexican spices and braised for hours in it’s own juice. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!!

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I have made these a few times now, and they just get better. This time I had the help of a nice, new little Cast Iron Dutch Oven we got for a wedding present.

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I’m telling you, this dish couldn’t be simpler and it’s SO TASTY!. If you have a couple hours, want some Latin flair, or just need an alternative to put in your Taco Tuesday repertoire, try this out :)

Now, I make my own “Mexican” Spice/seasoning blend. About a tablespoon of each… Salt, Black Pepper, Chili Powder, Cumin, Ground Mustard, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Paprika.. Cayenne pepper is optional, but I put it in everything ;).  I have an empty bottle that I put the remaining mixture that I don’t use, for any ‘ole time I want it

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Now, I think the “typical” cut of pork used for this is Shoulder or Butt, but to keep things on the lighter side, I prefer a Sirloin roast or even tenderloin which basically has no fat.  Trim up your pork, cut it into about 2 inch pieces, season well with your spice mix and brown on all sides in heavy bottom pot.

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P.S. … Don’t overcrowd your meat when trying to brown it, it’ll steam instead and that’s not what you want… Brown Food is Good Food, so you may have to do it in two or three batches, it’ll be A’ight :)

One you have browned all your pork, put it all back in the pot and cover it about 3/4 of the way up with water.

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Bring to Boil, Reduce to Simmer… and let it go for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. When all that is said and done, remove pork from pot

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It’s going to want to fall apart on you, but let that pork know who’s boss ;)

With the braising liquid that is left in the pan, crank the heat up to med/ med-high and let reduce about 20 minutes or so. You want it to be of almost a syrupy consistency

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When THAT magic has happened, return the pork back to the pot, and coat with all that reduced goodness, while breaking the meat apart.

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Traditionally served as tacos, but pick your Flavor, Saver… Ummm what?? ;)

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Hope you guys like this as much as we do!! :)