Missing…but still busy!

I’ve been a little absent here for awhile – but that doesn’t mean I’m not keeping busy!

Since moving to a new apartment back in October, most of my free time has been focused on decorating and getting the place in order.  I’ve been posting some updates over here so check back to see the progress!

Don’t worry though, not all my time has been dedicated to home projects.  Recent cooking highlights include blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, spicy shrimp dumplings, some decadent chocolate peanut butter mounds bars and healthy (but delicious!) berry bliss oat squares.

And in more exciting news, I’m throwing a food filled holiday party this weekend in the new digs.  On the menu?  Oh, just some bourbon cranberry duck sliders and eggnog ice cream sandwiches.  Figured that will keep you interested for a bit…

Stay tuned!

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Spicy Shrimp Saute

Add some spice to your night with this quicker than takeout meal.  Even better, the marinaded shrimp also are great on the grill when cooking for a crowd

1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sambal oelek
1 1/2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger (ground works too if you don’t have fresh)
1 tsp sesame oil
6 large shrimp
1 cup green beans
Olive oil

In a bowl, mix together the first 6 ingredients.  Add the shrimp and let marinade for at least 10-15 minutes prior to cooking.

Place a skillet over medium heat and warm the olive oil.  Once heated, add green beans and saute for 3-4 minutes (normally you’d want to blanch the green beans first but I was just too lazy and didn’t want to deal with any extra dishes to do!)

After 3-4 minutes,  remove the shrimp from the marinade and place them in the skillet. Cook for 1 -2 minutes on the first side until pink then flip and cook for another minute before adding the marinade to the skillet.  Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.  Remove and serve!

(Wed.) Coconut Shrimp & Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Last year while vacationing in London with my sister, we enjoyed some totally awesome pub grub including  coconut shrimp & sweet chili sauce (read here for more of our overseas antics).  Of course, these weren’t necessarily healthy but they definitely were delicious – and a good meal before a night of partying!

Every now and again I have a craving for these tasty & sweet shrimp but don’t always want to waste my calories (and money) on the often disappointing version served here in the states.  What’s a girl to do?

Obviously, make your own healthier kind at home!  Served with sweet potato “fries” it’s really hard to think of this as healthy.

Coconut Shrimp & Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Key Players:

Shrimp: Another quick cooking protein, shrimp makes healthy weeknight cooking a breeze.  Although fresh is the best way to go, to make things easier, I keep high quality shrimp well sealed in the freezer until I am ready to use.  To defrost, simply run under cold water.

Sweet Potato: What is it about sweet potatoes that make them so darn appealing?  Is it the bright orange hue it brings to any dish?  Or is it the fact that with the word ‘sweet’ in the name, you think you’re eating something bad for you.  Whatever the reason, sweet potatoes are a staple in my  fridge during the cooler months.  If you are really stretched on time, simply prick the potato a few times with a fork and pop in the microwave for 3-6 minutes (depending on size).

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Shrimp & Bok Choy in Spicy Coconut Broth

shrimpbokchoy2

Next time you reach for the Thai takeout menu after a long day, why not give this recipe a shot instead.  You will be impressed at how a few ingredients can produce a dish so satisfying and just as good, if not better than your local Thai place.

Shrimp & Bok Choy in Spicy Coconut Broth

Serves 2

1/2 lb large shrimp
2 cups bok choy (about 3 large leaves), leaves & stems thinly sliced
2 cans light coconut milk
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sambal oelek (chili sauce)
1/4 cup water (optional)*
2 tsp olive oil (can also use vegetable oil or canola oil)
Salt
* I use a little water to cut the heaviness of the coconut milk but don’t feel obliged to do the same

In a large saucepan heat oil over medium-low heat.  Once heated, add garlic, ginger, sambal oelek and the stems of the bok choy.  Saute for 2 minutes and then add coconut milk and water (if using).  Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for at least 20 minutes so the flavors can develop**.   Add bok choy and season to taste with salt.  Cover and let simmer for another 5-7 minutes or until the bok choy begins to wilt slightly.  Add shrimp, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the shrimp are light pink.

** If you have more time, let simmer for longer for a more intense flavor.

Enjoy!