Monday, August 14, 2017

Grilled Zesty Lime Shrimp Salad

This evening I wasn't sure what to make for dinner. I remembered that I had a big 5-pound bag of large 16/20 wild raw shrimp in the freezer, so I poured some of the frozen shrimp out into my colander and ran them under cold water for about 5 minutes to thaw them, then peeled and deveined them. I debated whether to make shrimp marinara or to marinate them and grill them to put on top of a bed of tender baby romaine salad mix. I opted for grilling them for a salad. I whisked together a quick and easy lime marinade and then tossed them around in the marinade and let them marinate for about 1 hour in the fridge. I used my Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan to grill them on top of my Weber Gas Grill because I didn't want to lose any of the shrimp by having them fall through the grates. They only take a few minutes per side to grill, but as my luck would have it, it was bright and sunny when I started and as soon as I flipped them over to cook on the other side...the sky opened up, the thunder and lightning rolled in...and I scrambled to get them off the grill and inside...but I succeeded! Whew! It was a quick and easy meal to put together. I simply opened up a container of Sprouts organic baby romaine salad mix and placed it in big bowls, cut up a ripe tomato and topped the salad greens with the tomato and shrimp. I drizzled on a bit of vinaigrette and we enjoyed a healthy delicious main dish salad.




Grilled Zesty Lime Shrimp

Ingredients:

Juice of 1 lime
Zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash onion powder
Dash garlic powder
Pinch of dried cilantro
Few drops liquid stevia (or favorite sweetener), optional
2 dozen large raw wild shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except for shrimp in a medium bowl. Taste for seasoning (I added just a faint hint of sweetness to enhance the lime flavor with a bit of stevia but you can omit any sweetener). Add shrimp and stir until coated. Cover and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour, turning once. Heat grill to about 350 to 400 degrees. Spray a cast iron or oven safe grill pan or griddle with oil and place on grill until hot. Using a pair of tongs, place shrimp on grill pan; cover and cook approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 2 min. Serve on a bed of baby lettuces, if desired.

                

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Roasted Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon w/ Old Bay Lemon Butter

Today was a busy day. Breakfast was easy though because I just heated up a slice of my Roasted Tomato, Vidalia & Bacon Frittata leftover from last night's dinner. I do believe that it was even more delicious today than it was last night. Hubby said the same thing. Not sure if the flavors just had a chance to mingle overnight or what...but it was really good.

For lunch, we decided to try a new restaurant that was having it's "soft opening" today. I just happened to stumble upon that in my Facebook feed and immediately made reservations to have lunch there today. It was really good and a beautiful place, too. It felt like we were eating in a midtown (Atlanta) eatery instead of a place in the outlying suburbs. We enjoyed it and will definitely try it again for dinner once it is in full swing. For those of you that may live in the Atlanta area, it was called Parkside District. I had their "Double District" which was a double gourmet bacon cheeseburger made with dry aged beef, topped with Applewood smoked bacon and it had cheddar cheese and Vidalia confit in between the burgers. I had them hold the brioche bun it came with. Hubby had a Pork Belly BLT served on a ciabatta bun and they served hand cut fries alongside of which I admit to sneaking a few. I can't wait to go back and try it for dinner.

We also went shopping to Costco (big shock, right)? I wanted to let all you Costco folks know that I was pleasantly surprised (actually shocked) that they had fresh WILD Alaskan Sockeye Salmon for $9.99/lb. It was the exact same price as their farmed. I must say that I was quite shocked to find a number of people putting the anemic colored farmed salmon in their carts instead of the wild because obviously price was definitely not a factor. I do believe that there are still many out there that equate the word "farmed" with 'farm fresh" as in eggs, milk, etc. instead of farmed in overcrowded cesspools filled with toxins and wastes. I wanted to stop each of them and say something but I know it's none of my business so I just walked away stunned. Now, back to the wild salmon...I picked up 3 large packages that had 2 fillets in each package. Did I mention how excited I was??? I prepared it  for dinner this evening and kept it very simple. I decided to add an old favorite from my past to the lemon and butter...I used Old Bay Seasoning (the 30% lower sodium version). It turned out AMAZING! I didn't overdo the Old Bay because I wanted to enhance the salmon not mask it. It was perfect and I will definitely make it this way again. I guess it was sort of like the Cheseapeake Bay met Orca Bay in one delicious dish. I roasted two large fillets on the grill for about 11 minutes. I snapped a few photos and included the easy peasy recipe below. Enjoy!



Brushed w/ Old Bay Lemon Butter - ready for the grill



Roasted Wild Alaskan Salmon w/ Old Bay Lemon Butter

Ingredients:

1 pound wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillet
2 tablespoons melted or softened butter
Juice from half of a large lemon (1 to 2 tablespoons)
Zest from half of a lemon
Old Bay Seasoning (I used the 30% less sodium version)

Directions:  

Preheat grill (or oven) to 425 degrees.

Place salmon fillet in center of large sheet of foil. In a small bowl, combine butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir in Old Bay Seasoning, to taste (I used a scant 1/4 teaspoon or less). Brush seasoned butter over top of salmon. Gently crimp and form foil into a packet around salmon fillet to hold butter and juices as it roasts (keep packet open on top while roasting). Place on hot grill and close lid. Try to maintain grill temperature between 425 and 450 degrees F. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Remove and transfer foil packet to a platter or baking sheet. Crimp and close packet tightly to allow salmon to continue cooking gently off the heat for about 5 minutes. Dust lightly with a pinch of additional Old Bay Seasoning, if desired.



            

Friday, August 11, 2017

Roasted Tomato, Vidalia & Bacon Frittata - Low Carb

This evening I decided to use what I had on hand to make dinner. I had a big container of very ripe NatureSweet tomatoes on the counter that needed to be used and it was way too many to put on a salad. I also had a bag of Vidalia onions on the counter and some leftover cooked bacon in the fridge from earlier in the week. The plan just sort of came together. I decided a quick and easy frittata was in order. I halved about 2 cups of grape tomatoes, tossed them with olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, then placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet and popped them into a hot oven to roast for about 30 minutes. I sautéed a diced Vidalia onion until it was translucent and caramelized which enhances their natural sweetness. I cut up 6 slices of cooked bacon and then grabbed a bag of thick cut sharp cheddar cheese (Sargento's Traditional Cut) from the fridge. By the time the tomatoes were done roasting, I lowered my oven temp and whisked the eggs, half-and-half, tomatoes, onions and cheese together and poured it into my Calphalon oven proof skillet and then cooked it on the stove top for a few minutes and then popped it into the oven to cook for about 30 minutes until it didn't jiggle in the middle. The deep flavor of the roasted tomatoes, herbs, salty bacon, sweet caramelized Vidalia onions and sharp cheddar cheese was absolutely amazing. It was a satisfying and delicious meal and it used what I had on hand. What's even better is that I have plenty leftover to reheat for a quick and yummy breakfast tomorrow. This combination of flavors was so good but you could swap out the cheese for whatever you had on hand or use browned sausage in place of the bacon or whatever your heart desired. I snapped a few photos below and included the easy peasy recipe. Enjoy!





Roasted Tomato, Vidalia & Bacon Frittata

Ingredients:

2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 small Vidalia onion, diced
8 large eggs
1/3 cup cream or milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used Sargento traditional cut)
6 slices crumbled cooked bacon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss halved tomatoes in a medium bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Spread out in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes begin to shrink up a bit, brown and caramelize. While tomatoes are roasting, add olive oil or butter to 10-inch oven proof skillet. Cook onions until softened and caramelized (golden brown). Set aside while preparing the frittata. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cream together. Stir in cheese, onions, bacon and roasted tomatoes. Heat greased 10-inch Lodge cast iron or other nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Pour egg mixture into hot skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes (this hastens crust formation and keeps it from sticking to the pan). Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. 


         

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler - Low Carb & No Added Sugar

I'm reposting one of my favorite desserts for summer when peaches are at their best and naturally sweet, ripe and juicy. I had received many requests for a grain free peach cobbler recipe...so I created a recipe for Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler that I shared on a guest post a couple of years ago. This recipe is very similar to one that I used to make from Southern Living years ago, except this version is grain and gluten free as well as sugar free. It's very easy to make and there is simply nothing better in the summertime when peaches are at their peak as far as I'm concerned. I love it topped with a scoop of sugar free vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. It's also amazing with a simple drizzle of heavy cream. You can use this same basic recipe to make a variety of other fruit cobblers as well by swapping the peaches for other fruits. Check out the photos and recipe below. This is definitely one to try. Enjoy!








Peach Cobbler
Serves 8 to 10


Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners style Swerve, divided (or other powdered sweetener)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
4 cups fresh ripe peach slices, peeled and pitted (approximately 4 large peaches)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Directions:


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, 1/2 cup powdered sweetener, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined. Pour batter over top of butter (do not stir together).

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add remaining 1/2 cup powdered sweetener, peaches and lemon juice. Heat just until boiling; stir in ground chia seeds and return to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Spoon peach mixture over top of batter (do not stir into batter). If desired, top with chopped pecans.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm topped with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or drizzle of heavy cream, if desired.  

        

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Strawberry Mascarpone Dessert Cups - No-Bake & Low Carb

Here's an easy no-bake recipe that I shared on a guest post that I did a while back. It's perfect for this time of year because it requires no baking whatsoever...nada, zip, zero...none! My No-Bake Strawberry Mascarpone Dessert Cups are a healthier and updated, more gourmet-ish version of the old Strawberry Pretzel Salads of yesteryear (which aren't even a salad to begin with...I mean WHO refers to a dessert as a "salad")!

For those that don't know what a "strawberry pretzel salad" is, it's a salty-sweet crust made using crushed pretzels, topped with a no-bake cheesecake-type filling and a final layer of strawberry gelatin and strawberries. Once again, it's a dessert, NOT a salad! It's a delicious, cool, no-bake dessert to help you usher summer out with a bang! To make these extra special, I made them in my cute little Weck Tulip Jelly Jars, but you can make this in a square cake pan as well and simply cut into squares to serve.

Check out my photos for No-Bake Strawberry Mascarpone Dessert Cups below. They have a salty-sweet nut flour crust to take the place of pretzels; it has a to-die-for sugar free vanilla bean mascarpone and cream cheese filling; and it's topped with my Strawberry Chia Jam. It is "knock your socks off" good! The recipe is listed below the phots. Enjoy!






No-Bake Strawberry Mascarpone Dessert Cups
Serves 6

Ingredients:

2/3 cup ground walnuts
1/3 cup Swerve Sweetener (or other granular type sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
6 ounces cream cheese (brick style), room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons confectioner’s style Swerve Sweetener (or preferred sweetener, to taste)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup Strawberry Chia Jam (or other preferred jam or sweetened strawberries)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, ground walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetener, and salt. Add melted butter and cut in with a pastry/dough cutter or fork until crumbly.

In a separate bowl, beat together mascarpone, softened cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream and 6 tablespoons sweetener until smooth. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into filling mixture and add lemon zest; stir until evenly blended.

Divide crust mixture between 6 “6 to 8-ounce sized” custard cups or ramekins. Lightly press or tamp down until packed tightly. Divide cheese filling among custard cups and spread snugly to the inside edges of custard cups. Chill for about 1 hour or until cheese filling is firm. Top with strawberry chia jam and chill until ready to serve.

*Notes: If desired, mixture can be layered in an 8-inch square pan and cut into square to serve. If topping with fresh sweetened strawberries instead of jam, add them at serving time.

           

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Marinated Grilled Chicken w/ Brussels, Bacon & Onions

This evening was another not-too-hot and not-too-humid evening. Another perfect night to grill dinner. I marinated boneless chicken breasts that I pounded to less than 1/2" thick to even out their thickness and then marinated them for a couple of hours in a delicious new dressing/marinade that I purchased at The Fresh Market. It was a Cracked Black Pepper Dressing/Marinade made by Tessemae's and it was delicious. I added a pinch of sea salt and crushed a teaspoon of dried rosemary and placed everything in a large Ziploc bag for 2 hours. I grilled it for about 5 to 6 minutes per side over a hot grill (about 400 degrees F). 

I quartered, halved and trimmed a 2-pound bag of Green Giant fresh brussels sprouts that I picked up at Costco and prepared them with bacon and Vidalia onions on the stove top and browned everything in a bit of butter so they would be just like roasted sprouts without heating up the kitchen with a hot oven. I used my nonstick wok and they turned out great! I prefer using my wok to a skillet because of its depth, and there isn't any splattering on my stove. I included the easy peasy recipe for my Brussels, Bacon & Onions below as well as a few photos. Enjoy!








Brussels, Bacon & Onions

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds of fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
1/2 of a small Vidalia onion, diced
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
4 - 5 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place brussels sprouts in a 2-quart microwave safe, covered casserole dish along with 1/2 cup water. Cover and steam in the microwave on high for 2 minutes to soften slightly. While sprouts are steaming, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick wok or skillet; add onions and cook until translucent and beginning to brown and caramelize. Drain sprouts well. Add to skillet with onions and increase heat to medium-high. Add butter and stir-fry uncovered for a few minutes until sprouts begin to brown. Cover and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add crumbled cooked bacon and cook an additional minute.