Shrimp Zucchini Boats

Tonight’s recipe: Healthy Shrimp Zucchini Boats! This dish will have you sailing through oceans of flavor. (See what I did there?!) First, cut your zucchini long ways and scrape out some of the center to create your “boat”.  Preheat the oven to 350 and season the zucchini with olive oil, salt and cayenne- for some heat! Pop these in the oven to start cooking. If you want a smokey char on your zucchini, stick them face down on the grill first!

On the stove top, heat some olive oil in a saute pan.  Add some chopped asparagus, cauliflower florets, garlic,  lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook this until veggies are JUST tender (but not soggy!). At this point the garlic has become fragrant and the oil has cooked away. Take the zucchini boats out of the oven and fill your boats with this delicious veggie mixture.  Pop it all back in the oven to stay warm and continue cooking together.

Now, its time to work with the shrimp! I chose raw, peeled, jumbo shrimp from my grocery store for this dish. Heat some oil in your saute pan. Coat the shrimp on both sides with a paprika, salt, pepper, thyme, cracked rosemary, and chipolte rub. Add them to the hot pan for 2-3 minutes with some lemon juice, flipping them when they begin to turn pink. Turn the heat off when they looked JUST cooked through. You do not want to overcook these babies!

It’s time to finish off your boats! Top the stuffed zucchini boats with the shrimp, chopped green onion, lemon zest, fresh basil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

*Feel free to add cheese to this dish for a creamier texture!


Bippity Boppity Bacon Brussels

While we’re on the topic of 4 ingredient dishes and a perfect balance of flavors… this was a side dish for tonight’s “somewhat-random-use-what’s-left-in-my-pantry-and-fridge” kind of meal ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Yes I am aware that mango salsa and brussels dont necessarily make a harmonious meal- but here we are ๐Ÿ˜‚). Okay okay on with the recipe, Andrea. We have Brussels sprouts roasted with chopped green onion, bacon, honey and balsamic vinegar- salt and pepper optional or “to taste”. No exact measurements are needed, just make sure to toss the brussels so they have a coating of honey and balsamic. I added the green onion and cooked the veggies in my oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. While this cooks, I crisped up my bacon stove top in a sautรฉ pan and added it to the mixture before serving (no judgement if you want to use quick microwaveable bacon or bacon bits- let’s face it, bacon is bacon ๐Ÿ˜‹.. but stove top will give you the best caramelization and depth of flavor!) ~Sweet honey ๐Ÿฏ, acidic vinegar, bite of green onion, bitter brussel sprouts, salty bacon ๐Ÿฅ“~ Just YUM 

Mad for Mangos

We have a 4 ingredient, “go to” summer salsa that doesn’t need to be dressed up fancy. The flavors just work on their own! The salsa includes mango, red onion, basil and lime juice/zest. You’ve got your sweet mango, acidic lime juice, the bite of the red onion and the fresh basil. No salt and pepper needed ๐Ÿ˜Ž

One Pan Fish and Veggies

One pan dishes >> ๐Ÿ˜Okay guys, this delicious and colorful meal only took me about 30 minutes to make! That’s my kind of meal- especially when it’s pretty darn tasty ๐Ÿ˜‹ There wasn’t much vegetable prep, so I washed my veggies (a colorful assortment of cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini). I tossed them in a square baking pan with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and some freshly torn basil. This went into a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes were about to pop. While this cooked, I prepared my white, flakey fish- I chose Green Turbot, which is similar to a halibut. I drizzled both sides with some olive oil and lemon juice, then seasoned it with salt, pepper and fresh garlic. This fish went directly onto my veggies to cook for another 15 minutes. To serve, I laid the fish on a bed of fresh sprouts and added some more basil, chopped green onion, lemon zest, and finishing salt to top it off! Winning meal tonight ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

Homemade, Restaurant Quality Food- Whole 30 Style

My husband and I have recently started The Whole 30. For 30 days, the goal is to cut out ALL artificial foods, added sugars, GMOs, MSG, grains, dairy, and yes, alcohol…in hopes to have a better quality of life. They preach that they are not a diet, but a lifestyle. The creator of this plan does not want participants to count calories or even weigh themselves while on this plan. Many people have claimed that by the end of 30 days their usual headaches subside, skin clears, energy levels are more consistent throughout the day, sleep improves, knowledge of day to day foods increases… and that’s only the half of it. 

The first couple of days have been hard, but I must say, this Whole 30 thing ain’t bad if I can make meals like this ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜‹ We have organic top sirloin steak that was cooked stove top with some olive oil and rubbed with generous salt and pepper. I got the pan nice and hot before cooking the steak 3 minutes on each side to result in a perfect medium rare (more on the rare side ๐Ÿ˜Š) After you take the meat out of the pan, lightly cover it with some foil and let it rest. This part is more important than it seems! If the meat does not have the proper time to rest, it can result in inconsistently cooked meat. Give it some time and let its juices distribute throughout the steak. It’s worth the wait! Moving to the right, we have mushrooms and onions that were cooked down in a pot with some garlic, coconut aminos. Next we have roasted colorful carrots that were simply dressed with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and cooked in the oven for 30 min at 400 degrees. For these golden potatoes, I cooked them stove top at high heat until they got nice and crispy! They cooked with some olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and I added garlic for the last two minutes of cooking time. I made sure to toss these often so they could get crispy on all sides. AND lastly, I cooked a Anaheim pepper over the open flame until it blistered and became soft (I’m in love with the smokey, spicy flavor). A bite of steak with that spicy pepper and some mushrooms… just wow. Bon Appetit! 

Hopefully there will be some noticeable change at the end of these 30 days (onto day 3! We got this). If anything, the Whole 30 will be a great learning experience for us. We will most likely introduce foods back in slowly, but hopefully we will become more educated about what’s in our food. This will help us know what is best to eat and what to avoid, allowing us to adapt this information into a realistic lifestyle for us. 

From Fast Food to Fresh Food

When people think of fast food the word “healthy” doesn’t usually come to mind. Well, Fresh Healthy Cafe is trying to change this perception! They have lots of healthy meals and snacks made right “in house”. They do super smoothies, pure smoothies, juices, power bowls, protein bowls, salads, wraps, and paninis! They have many different flavor profiles as well… they have Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican and of course American dishes on their menu. The dish I chose was the Kale Vegetarian Salad. I love a juicy steak as much as the next person… but sometimes a light, cleansing salad is just what I need! This salad consisted of kale, red peppers, red onion, feta cheese, black olives, sliced almonds, tomatoes and cranberries. It came with a lemon and olive oil dressing on the side. Fresh + tasty = sold. I’ll be back @freshhealthycafe

Breakfast of Championsย 

A protein, berry smoothie is just what I needed to start my day off right! I added frozen berries, Fage non fat yogurt, a splash of skim milk, one scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder, a spoonful of almond butter, and some almond slices all to a blender. (Sometimes I add half a banana for extra flavor). I blend this all together for a healthy, substantial, tasty smoothie! The frozen berries help to chill the smoothie. You can always add ice to the blender if needed! I topped my smoothie with a fresh mint leaf and dug in! 

A substantial, healthy breakfast can really make all the difference in how your day goes! Choose the healthy route, folks!