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!

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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!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles

On tonight’s menu: cilantro, lime shrimp zucchini noodles 😋 I know I know, you’re thinking this can’t be as good as regular pasta…but I’m going to prove you wrong with this killer recipe. All you need is whole zucchini, raw (peeled) shrimp, garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, fresh cilantro and lime. I started my food prep by mincing the garlic, chopping the cilantro, zesting the lime, juicing the lime and spiralizing the zucchini. (Don’t have a spiralizer? Invest in one! You can use them to make so many different “noodle” dishes, and get creative in the kitchen! ) Okay, so this recipe has 3 main steps…

1. Heat some oil in a pan until frothy…and add shrimp- cook on one side for 2 minutes…flip shrimp and add a couple pinches of red pepper flakes and the garlic. Cook for another minute. 

2. Remove the shrimp. Add white wine and the juice of one lime to deglaze the pan. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini noodles slowly. (They shrink as they cook and tend to release a lot of water- 3 spiralized zucchinis fed just two people)!

 3. Once zucchini is softened add the shrimp back in and toss with lime zest, cilantro, salt and pepper. And it’s ready to serve!

Tapas At Home

When I am inspired in the kitchen, I usually have so many ideas in my head and can’t always pick just one recipe to try.  I’ve decided that I don’t always have to! It’s fun to have a couple different flavor profiles on the plate sometimes. Therefore, we have a couple of homemade tapas made by yours truly. I have created…

– a cucumber, dill , shrimp salad 

-a watermelon, basil, mint, feta and balsamic salad 

– An arugula, pecorino, blackberry salad with lemon/ olive oil dressing

I’m always trying to create fresh and easy dishes that can spice up my week!