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!

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Not Your Average Lettuce Wraps 

Guilt free, delicious eating is right at your fingertips (literally- you’ll be licking them clean), with my shrimp lettuce wraps! I am always looking for unique flavor/texture combinations that marry well together in a dish. I truly enjoy this exploration process and look forward to when a meal just hits the jackpot- like tonight! In addition to finding delicious food combinations, I also have a passion for healthy living and finding food alternatives that taste just as good! Here is a dish that mixes these two passions of mine. 

I started by cutting into my cabbage and gently peeling away the layers that I wanted to use as the base of my lettuce wraps. Next, I cut the fruits and vegetables for the salad or healthy “slaw” that would go into my lettuce cups. This included thinly sliced (julienned) mango, green apple, and red onion, diced orange pepper, jalepeno, cucumber and chopped fresh cilantro. I dressed this in some lemon juice and a drizzle of rice wine vinegar to add that Asian flair I love so much. Subtle Asian flavors will be apparent in my sautéed shrimp, creating harmony within the dish. I added a nice helping of this healthy slaw into my lettuce cups. 
Onto the shrimp! I purchased farm raised, raw, peeled jumbo shrimp (that’s a mouthful- and it’s about to be literally 😉) from my local grocery store. It’s at a great price right now and such a quick protein to cook! Considering that I started creating this dinner at 7:00pm, the time saver is a huge plus!  I tossed this shrimp previously in a spice mixture that included sweet Hungarian paprika, sea salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, chipolte, rosemary and thyme. I added some sesame oil to my sauté pan and got it nice and hot. I added my shrimp in with a drizzle of soy sauce and cooked them for 3 minutes on each side. 

I added this beautiful and tasty protein element on top of my slaw with some lemon zest, feta cheese and chives. 

This combination of ingredients was extremely fresh and texturally pleasing to the palate. The sweet, soft mango, the crunchy, tart apple, the acidic notes from the lemon and vinegar (which toned down the biter bite from the red onion), the creaminess of the feta cheese and the hint of heat from the jalapeños made for a delicious, balanced dish! Stay tuned for more creations to come!

Shrimp Avocado Cups 

Okay food family, this recipe is to die for and one of my top favorite homemade recipes! I started with prepping all of the parts to the dish. First up, basil pesto! In a blender, I combined 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, juice of one lemon, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of shredded parmesean cheese and salt/pepper to taste. I poured this beautiful combo in a bowl and set it aside. Next, I cut up my veggies (orange pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, green onion, and  jalapeño). I put the peppers, red onion and jalapeño into a sauté pan with some oil and let them soften. Meanwhile, I sliced two avocados in half long ways and took out the pit. Using a spoon I took out most of the avocado (except for the rim) – creating a cup for the rest of my veggies and protein. I made guacamole with the extra avocado and added red onion, salt, pepper and lime juice. I set this aside as well. The peppers and onions were softened and fragrant, so I took this off of the flame and set this aside and started cooking my beautiful jumbo raw shrimp! This shrimp had been tossed previously with some olive oil and chipolte lime dry rub. I added this to a pan with some oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. I let them cook for about 3 minutes per side (or until pink and cooked through). Once cooked, I set these aside to cool. NOW the fun part begins! Time to assemble the avocado cups! Add a bit of your pepper/onion/jalapeño mixture, topped with some pico de gallo, a couple pieces of cut up chipolte-lime shrimp. Add as much pesto and guacamole as your heart desires with a topping of chopped green onion and a squeeze of lime juice. There you have it! One of my very favorites- a healthy, beautiful meal without compromising flavor!

One Pan Fish and Veggies

One pan dishes >> 😍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 😋 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 🙌🏻

Restaurant L-3rd Course

Are you keeping up with my Restaurant L experience? Check my last two posts for details! Here is our 3rd amazing course from this fine dining restaurant…American red snapper with steamed, artichoke, pine nuts, smoked paprika oil, lemongrass ginger relish. This was a juicy, succulent, flakey fish with so much flavor from the broth and relish topping. Get ready seafood fans, this one is just mouthwatering!