Heavenly Spiced Shrimp

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These shrimp. They are so good and I ate them hot and cold and loved them both ways. I don’t always think shrimp are great as leftovers, but I seriously ate these for 3 days straight. They are heavily spiced, but not too spicy, if you get what I mean. Unless you use hot chili powder and then you’ll get a kick. They have a ton of depth and richness to them that brightens up with just a spritz of lemon juice. I ate them plain, in a creamy sauce, on salad, as a snack…they were great to have on hand. If you don’t have access to a grill, you could probably cook them in a cast iron skillet and they’d still be delicious.

I like to use big shrimp for this, but I imagine you could cook a bunch of medium shrimp like this too and they would be easy to toss into salads or omelets or something. Play around with it. I hope you love them too!

Heavenly Spiced Shrimp

1 lb. extra large shrimp, uncooked but peeled with tail on

1 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

Lemon wedge

Directions

  1. Place olive oil and all of the spices in a large bowl.
  2. Add the raw (defrosted and rinsed if they started frozen) shrimp to the bowl and toss thoroughly. Use your hands and rub the spices all over the shrimp.
  3. Let the shrimp marinate in this dry rub for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill, including whatever tray or basket you plan to grill the shrimp on. If you prefer to use skewers, then go ahead and skewer your shrimp.
  5. Place the shrimp on the heated tray and close the lid.
  6. Let cook for about 90 seconds, then flip the shrimp.
  7. Close the lid for another 30 seconds, just long enough to grab a plate.
  8. When they are pink and opaque, remove from the grill.
  9. Spritz with a lemon wedge or two and dig in!

Serves 3-4

 

 

 

Bruschetta Salmon over Garlicky Zoodles

It’s entirely possible to get a delicious dinner on the table quickly. The key is to do a little prep work ahead of time and choose the right ingredients. Salmon and zoodles both take very little time to cook and the flavors of this dish are hearty and bold while staying light and refreshing for a hot summer day. It was so good that I kept saying “mmmm….” after nearly every bite.

I used my Spiralizer to make the zoodles the other day and salted them in a colander for about 20 minutes to get rid of most of the water. Once rinsed, I popped them in a container and stuck them in the fridge for tonight. I got home from yoga and was able to have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. It might have been even faster if I’d been focused instead of chatting and taking notes for the recipe.

I have to admit that I struggled with what to call this. I decided on Bruschetta Salmon because the topping is kind of like what you’d put on bruschetta but technically, “bruschetta” is the grilled bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil and the topping can vary. I thought about calling it Italian Salsa but that seemed equally confusing. Anyway, no matter what you call it, it’s still delicious. But if you plan on kissing anyone, make sure they have some too!

Seriously, though, this is the type of recipe to have in your back pocket for those rushed days when you still want to take care of yourself and celebrate the joy of eating healthy, fabulous food. Quantities are flexible here too. Use more or less tomato or garlic, or use parsley instead of basil. You get the idea. It will still be good. Just get in the kitchen and spoil yourself!

Bruschetta Salmon over Garlicky Zoodles

2 salmon filets (mine were skin on)

1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tomato

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 black olives, minced

1 Tbsp. minced sweet onion or shallot

4-6 basil leaves, julienned

1/3 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Make the topping by chopping the tomato into 1/4 inch pieces and adding to a bowl with the garlic, olives, onion, basil, vinegar and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Salt and pepper the salmon and lay face down (skin-side up) in the pan.
  3. Cook for 4 minutes and check to make sure the flesh is crispy and brown.
  4. Flip and cook skin-side down for another minute or 2, depending on the thickness of the fish.
  5. Once the salmon is just cooked through, remove to a plate, leaving the skin behind in the pan.

Garlicky Zoodles

2 zucchini

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Spiralize the zucchini and place in a colander over the sink.
  2. Salt liberally and mix through. Leave to drain for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse, shake dry, and set aside. (This can be done a day or two ahead.)
  4. Warm the olive oil over low heat for a few minutes.
  5. Add the pepper flakes and garlic to the oil and allow to sizzle for about a minute until fragrant.
  6. Increase the heat to medium and add the zoodles. Toss the zoodles until evenly coated in the garlic oil and cooked, about 2 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings and plate.

Bring it all together

  1. Plate zoodles.
  2. Top with the salmon.
  3. Add 1/2 the bruschetta topping to each serving.
  4. Celebrate the freshness of summer!

Serves 2

 

Langoustine Tails in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Langostino Tails in Mushroom Cream Sauce 2016

I actually was daydreaming about this recipe all day. I really wanted a creamy mushroom sauce and I had these langoustine tails just waiting for some love. It’s a bit soupy, which my husband wasn’t a big fan of, but I just slurped it all up and thought it was delicious so I decided to share anyway. If you don’t have langoustine tails hanging around, which would make total sense, you could easily swap them for shrimp and it would be just great too.

So zoodles…I have a spirulizer which makes the process really easy. I generally make my zoodles and then drop them in a strainer with some salt for about 20 minutes or more. Then I rinse them and barely cook them with whatever I’m doing. I’ve even made salads with them raw so they really don’t need much cooking.

Both the langoustine tails and the zoodles release their own water which is why this is a little more soupy than creamy. You could always reduce the sauce much more before adding the tails and zoodles, or even skip the broth, but I like the flavor combination of broth and coconut milk. Honestly, I really enjoyed it like this, so let me know what you think!

Langoustine Tails in Mushroom Cream Sauce

2 tsp. ghee

1 lg. shallot, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used my food processor)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. broth, chicken or veggie

1 c. coconut milk

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

12 oz. langoustine tails (or shrimp)

3 zucchini, julienned, salted and rinsed (directions in notes above)

Directions

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt the ghee.
  2. Add the shallots and sauté about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and salt.
  4. Cook until they have released their water, about 5 minutes more.
  5. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper and then the coconut milk and broth.
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes allowing the flavors to blend and the sauce to cook down.
  7. Add the langoustine tails and zoodles and mix everything together.
  8. Cook until the langoustine tails are done, about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 2-3

Tropical Tuna Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing

Tropical Tuna Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing 2015The time of year is coming when I begin making salad after salad after salad. It’s one of my favorite things to eat and, truth be told, I actually eat salad year round. My son has cringed on more than one occasion when I’ve made salad for breakfast. It’s really not complicated. I just love salads.

We like to make a giant tuna or chicken salad to serve as lunches throughout the week. It’s also something that I can quickly take for post-workout. I load my salads with so many vegetables that it really satisfies my desire to have a big plate of something delicious, too. Since I’m a fan of savory-sweet combinations, I often throw in some kind of fruit when I’m making one.

On this occasion, I added pineapple which also made an appearance in the dressing. If I’d had some coconut flakes on hand, those would have been nice toasted with a touch of salt and maybe a little allspice. I added red pepper flakes to mine when I served it and really appreciated how they kicked up the flavor. So go ahead and experiment – whatever helps get more vegetables on the plate seems like a great idea to me!

Tropical Tuna Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing

Salad

20 oz. of tuna, drained

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

16 oz. slaw (I used bagged slaw because it was fast)

20 oz. can of pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, reserving juice

1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing

1/4 c. of reserved pineapple juice

1/4 oz. fresh ginger, grated about 2 tsp.

zest of 1/2 lemon

juice from a whole lemon

2 tsp. rice vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 c. Paleo Mayo

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/2 tsp. salt

pepper or red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

1) In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.

2) Add all of the salad ingredients, except the toasted almonds, to the bowl with the dressing.

3) Toss the salad thoroughly, making sure all of the dressing is integrated.

4) Allow the salad to sit for about 10 minutes in the fridge so the flavors can meld.

5) Toss again, taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes as desired.

Serves 4-6

Confetti “Rice” Salad with Salmon

Cauliflower Rice

I’m a cookbook junkie. I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to cookbooks plus a few shelves on a secondary bookshelf and a new shelf in the pantry, but I don’t think anyone’s noticed that one yet… 😉 I was in my early 20s living in France when I first started reading cookbooks as if they were best-selling novels. I had a 90 minute commute on the metro and a regional train to the suburbs of Paris for work. When you spend that much time on public transportation, you go through a lot of books. I was also on a tight budget, so when I discovered a series of spiral-bound paperback cookbooks that covered individual topics, I was elated. They were about $2 a piece, and nearly every week I would buy a couple. I still have my collection today, but honestly, I don’t cook from them anymore. I just can’t imagine parting with them either. Over the years, I’ve collected many more cookbooks and periodically I do go through them and donate some. Each time it makes me smile to see how my tastes and cooking style have evolved over the years.

Lately, as I’m sure you can imagine, Paleo cookbooks have placed front and center and I recently got one called 500 Paleo Recipes by Dana Carpender. One of the things that I look for in a cookbook these days is that little something different, something unusual. I’m not afraid to combine exotic flavors or seemingly random ingredients to create a flavor or texture that awakens the palate and Dana does just that! I find myself wanting to try so many of the recipes and when I do, I want to make them again.

That’s what happened with this recipe. It is inspired by Dana’s own Confetti Salad but when I made it, I modified a few things along the way. It was so delicious that I immediately wanted to make it again and decided to record what I was doing so that I could share it with you. There’s something magical that happens with the soft, slightly briny artichoke hearts and the rich, toasted pine nuts with the gentle tang of white balsamic. It’s really special, I think. Just so you know, nobody out there is going to mind if you make a few of your own modifications (the original didn’t call for salmon so you could always skip it, for example) and make this your very own.

Confetti “Rice” Salad with Salmon – inspired by 500 Paleo Recipes

4 tsp. Paleo mayonnaise

4 tsp. white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. dry thyme

1 1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

1/3 c. artichoke hearts (I used about 1/2 a can)

1/3 c. thinly sliced bell pepper, preferably red/orange/yellow

1/2 c. thinly sliced celery

1 1/2 c. steamed cauliflower rice*

3-4 oz. cooked salmon (canned okay)

2 tsp. pine nuts, toasted

1 scallion, sliced

pepper to taste

Directions

1) In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, thyme, curry powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

2) If the artichoke hearts are large or need trimming, quarter or cut off any tough parts and place in a medium salad bowl. Add the bell pepper slices, celery, and cauliflower rice. Add the salmon and dressing and mix gently so the salmon stays in nice-sized pieces.

3) Taste and adjust seasioning with any additional salt, pepper, or curry powder. Top with pine nuts and scallions and serve.

Serves 1-2 (If serving 2, some hard-boiled eggs and tomato slices on the side would be nice.)

*Note: To make cauliflower rice, place florets in a food processor fitted with an s-blade and pulse 10-12 times until it looks like grains of rice. It might take a few batches so it doesn’t turn to mush. Put the rice into a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for about 6 minutes. Let cool and then either use immediately or refrigerate to use later in the week for salads like this!

Tuna-Apple Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Tuna Salad with Tarragon DressingMy husband always gives me a hard time when I make anything with tarragon. You see, back in 2004, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with a bunch of friends in a gorgeous villa in Tuscany. At the time, I loved tarragon and when I came across a tarragon pasta dish in this teeny-tiny, beautiful little restaurant, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, what was served was completely inedible. There was so much tarragon, and I think it had been allowed to grow past the slender leaves into something more bitter, that the whole thing was totally overwhelming. Reluctant to send it back, my husband came to the rescue and gave me his lunch, while he battled his way through mine. True love! Now that a decade has passed, I think I’m ready to start loving tarragon again. This salad is a tribute to that lovely, herb with a hint of licorice.

After a good workout in particular, one of my favorite things for lunch is tuna salad. I love getting some solid protein with a dose of Omega-3s for their health benefits, and tuna salad comes together fast. This salad felt particularly special because I wanted to add a little crunch and decided to caramelize some walnuts in honey for a little something extra. I try not to use sweeteners very often, and this salad was already getting some sweet with the apple, but every once in a while, you just have to go for it. The walnuts were screaming honey and the salad satisfied me all day long. Can’t beat that!

Tuna-Apple Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing

Salad

2 small cans of tuna (I used albacore)

1 apple, cored and chopped

1/2 an English cucumber, finely chopped

2 scallions, minced

Honeyed Walnuts (optional)

Dressing

1/4 c. Paleo mayo

1 small garlic clove

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1) Put the drained tuna in a large bowl with the chopped apple, cucumber, and scallions.

2) In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, minced tarragon, minced garlic clove, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3) Pour the dressing over the salad and mix gently. Taste to adjust the seasonings, plate, and top with a few honeyed walnuts.

Serves 2

Buffalo Shrimp and Spaghetti Squash

This one’s a bit unusual. My husband really likes buffalo chicken so I’m always trying to think of ways to try something new, while giving him the flavor that he loves. When I don’t have a lot of time, or any meat defrosted, shrimp often comes to save the day.

You definitely get the kick from the hot sauce in this, but it’s tempered by the coconut milk which lends a bit of a tropical flair. It’s surprising at first, but once you settle in, it’s really tasty.

Buffalo Shrimp with Spaghetti Sqhash 2013

Buffalo Shrimp and Spaghetti Squash

10 oz. uncooked, peeled shrimp

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/8 + 1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. bacon grease

1/2 small onion, chopped, about 1/2 c.

1 c. full fat coconut milk (I like Native Forest)

1/3 c. Frank’s RedHot Original (NOT buffalo sauce which has some unsavory ingredients)

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

4 cups of roasted spaghetti squash (directions below)

2 T. cilantro, chopped

2 scallions, finely sliced

Squeeze of lime, about 1 tsp.

Directions

1) Squash: Preheat oven to 415 degrees. Cut the squash lengthwise and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Place face down in a glass baking dish and add about 1/4 in. of water. Bake for 45 minutes, until cooked but still al dente. Allow to cool face-up and then shred with a fork to look like spaghetti noodles. Check out my post with pictures here.

2) Shrimp: In a medium bowl, massage shrimp with crushed garlic, paprika, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.

3) Melt bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add coconut milk, Frank’s hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Turn heat down slightly and simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Add shrimp and 4 cups of cooked spaghetti squash (reserving any extra for another use). Stir to coat everything in the sauce and allow to cook for 7-8 minutes, until the squash is hot and the shrimp are cooked through.

5) Turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro, scallions, and a squeeze of lime.

Serves 2-3