Shrimp with White Beans and Garlic

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The minute I saw this recipe from Bon Appetit, I had to try it.  Just from the description, I knew it was very similar to the shrimp white beans appetizer I have had at Spanish tapas restaurants that I have been wanting to replicate at home.

I made some modifications to make my life simpler which resulted in the below which I can guarantee tastes better then it looks. 


6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (divided into 2 tablespoons each)
3 garlic gloves minced (divided into 1 minced clove and 2 minced cloves)
1/4 teaspoon of ground chipotle (recipe called for 2 dried chilles de arbol but I could not find it anywhere)
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can on diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 1/4 cup fresh tomatoes)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 pound of shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 teaspoon smoked paprika ( I plan to use more next time)
Parsley for garnish (optional)

Crusty bread for grilling (optional)


Preheat broiler. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in an oven proof skillet that fits you broiler.

Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, chilles or chipotle and bay leaf. Cook stirring constantly for about 1 minutes, don't allow the garlic to burn.

Add diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomato paste, cook till paste is red and begins to caramelize, about 3 minutes.

Add drained beans and broth, salt and pepper. Simmer till reduces slightly, about 5 

While the mixtures is simmering, in a medium bowl, combine shrimp, smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and remaining minced garlic. Mix to combine.

Add shrimp mixture on top of the beans. Place under broiler for about 3 minutes.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil and garnish with parsley. I used dry because I did not have fresh.

For grilled bread, I used a grill pan. I brushed it with olive oil. Heated till hot, about 3 minutes, added baguette cut across, flipped after about a 1-2 minutes. Grilled for another 1-2 minutes. 

I served this with a side of green beans in addition to the bread!

Hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

adapted from Bon Appetit'

Sauteed Soft Shell Crab

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

While I am not usually big into fried food,  when it comes to soft shell crabs, I say "Yes, please".
I usually serve them over a salad or with a side salad and limit myself to one or two so it's not too unhealthy.

These are surprisingly easy to make! I will be making them again tonight! Soaking the crabs in milk helps plump them up when cooked. Combining butter and oil results in crispy crabs.

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 4 small soft-shell crabs, washed and well dried on paper towels
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat with great results)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Ponzu sauce for dipping


1. Wash and pat dry the crabs with paper towels. Make sure they are well dried because you want them to soak up the milk, not water.

2. Place the milk in a shallow bowl large enough to hold the crabs in a single layer. Add the crabs and let them soak for 1 hour. Drain and discard the milk.

3. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dump it  into a large ziploc bag. Lightly dredge each crab in the flour.

4. Heat the oil and butter together in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and sautè the crabs in batches until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Add more oil and butter to the pan if necessary.

4. To serve, place a crab in the center of 4 salad plates and garnish each with a sprinkle of chopped parsley if using. I serve this with a sized of ponzu sauce, usually over a green salad. The salad in the picture is mixed greens with roasted asparagus, roasted potatoes (left over from the night before), fire roasted corn (from Trader Joe's)and market fresh radishes. 

Easy No Boil Noodles Meat Lasagna

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I have made lasagna in the past and though delicious, it was always an ordeal. This one, however, is a keeper. The prep time was short due to not cooking the noodles and the results were given two thumbs up. Both husband and older daughter asked for seconds! Not only that, I have left overs for another dinner!


1 pound of ground beef (I used grass fed 85% Lean Beef)
1 medium onion chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 table spoon of oil (I used grape seed)
1 15 container of ricotta ( I used part skim)
2 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella ( I used part skim)
4 1/2 cups of tomato herb sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan
6-8 lasagna noodles (depending on thickness)
1/4 cup hot water


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Preheat a large skillet with oil. Add onion, cook stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes till begins to soften.  Add beef. Cook stirring and breaking up into fine pieces. Continue to cook till no longer pink.

Add tomato sauce and garlic powder. Mix evenly with beef and heat a few minutes till sauce becomes warm.I did not add any salt because the sauce contained salt.

Beat one egg, combine with ricotta and grated parmesan. 

Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture into a rectangular pan, 11 x 7  inches. Top with 3-4 uncooked lasagna noodles depending on their thickness. Top with 1/2 the ricotta mixture and 1/2 of the mozzarella.

Repeat procedure. Spread remaining 1/3 of the mixture over the 2nd layer of mozzarella.

Slowly add hot water to the edges of the lasagna.

Cover with 2 layers of heavy duty foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

We had this with a side of sauteed kale. Would also be great with a side salad or a roasted veggie of your choice. 

*Adapted from Southern Living Magazine 2000

Black Cod in White Miso Sauce

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Love the texture and flavor of black cod. Cooking it in miso makes it that much more delicious. Though many recipes call for marinating it for a few hours or overnight, I did not not have the time to do that and it still came out delicious.

3 black cod fillets, about 5 ounces each
2/3 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of white miso paste
2 tablespoons of honey
Cooking spray

In a microwave safe dish, combine wine, miso and honey. Mix a bit.
Microwave for 30 seconds and mix well till smooth. Allow to cool a bit.

Wash and dry your cod really well.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Add fish and spoon half the miso mixture over it. Broil about 5 minutes. Flip over, spoon the rest of miso mixture and broil another 3-5 minutes. If cooking and browning too fast, lower the broiler rack to be further from heat. 

Serve immediately. We had this for dinner with baby bok choy and it was delicious.

Pan Seared Crispy Skin Striped Bass with Butter and Lemon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I am here to tell you that the fish skin can be delicious. Do not fear the fish skin! The key to the skin being tasty is getting it to be crispy. The key to it getting crispy is making sure the fillet is dry. More on this below.

3-4 Striped Bass Fillets (or another boneless fillet with skin)
1 tablespoons of oil with high smoke point. I use grape seed. 
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt to taste

1) Remove your fish from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to cooking. Sprinkle a bit of salt on it.

2) Wash and dry your fish really really well with a paper towel. Using a butter knife, scrape the skin. This will let out some more moisture. Pat dry again with a paper towel.

3) Preheat skillet, preferably non stick till it's really hot, about 2 minutes. Add oil and swirl it around. Heat another minute. 

4) Add your fish fillet skin side down. Sprinkle salt on meaty side. Press down with a spatula so the the skin flattens for about 10-15 seconds per piece. A metal spatula is best for this. Cook for about 7-10 minutes WITHOUT DISTURBING on a medium high flame. Most of the cooking should occur with the skin side down.

5) Flip over using a metal spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add butter and allow to melt for a minute. Turn off flame and baste with butter. Add lemon juice and allow it to combine with butter.

6) Serve immediately. We had this with quinoa and green beans and it was delicious.

*adapted from

Baked Spring / Egg Rolls Kid Friendly Style

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This healthy twist on the traditional spring rolls is a hit with adults and kids alike.
There is an opportunity here to play with the ingredients based on your/your kids preferences.

What I used:
1 tablespoon grapeseed  oil
2 shallots finely chopped
Bulb of 1 leek, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
Ground ginger
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of sweet corn (during corn season, I shucked and froze for later use)
Nasoya Eggroll Wraps--about 1/2 a pack
Coconut cooking spray.

In oil, saute finely chopped shallots and leeks. 
Added ground beef, when almost cooked (with almost no pink), added ground ginger, salt and sweet corn. Cook another few minutes.
Drain beef mixture and allow to cool a bit.
Stuff into NaSoya wraps as per directions on package into envelope like shape. 
Spray with coconut oil spray. 
Baked till golden at 400F, flipping over once for ~10 per side.


Breakfast Chia Pudding with Almond Milk and Berries

Monday, February 24, 2014

I have been seeing chia pudding cups popping up all over place these days: in local coffee shops and on pinterest alike. I have used chia seed in Overnight Oatmeal  and my kids sprinkle it over their cereal in the morning. 
They are a great source of fiber and omega 3s! What's not to love?

Figured why not try this pudding. The results were delicious, surprisingly filling and both of  my girls and hubby thought this tasted good enough to eat! Score!!!!


1 1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp of maple syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add all ingredients to either a bowl or a glass jar. I prepared these in a glass jar for easy mixing and transporting to work. If using a bowl, mix really well. If using a glass jar, cover and shake to  mix. Uncover and leave on the counter for about a half hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh berries and enjoy! I ate mine cold though I hear you can warm it up as well (though I have not tried this).

A Healthy Alternative to Pasta Dinner: Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Grass-fed Lean Beef, Tomatoes and Spinach

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Who does not love a hearty pasta dish? But if you are watching your diet like I am, you ought to try this delicious recipe. You won't miss the pasta a bit! 

1 medium sized spaghetti squash
1 can on diced tomatoes, drained
2-3 shallots, diced
2 cups of washed and spun dried baby spinach
1 pound of lean ground beef (any meat would work well with this)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon of everything rub (combination of garlic powder, chili powder, cumin). 
    *feel free to use any other seasoning here (oregano, parsley, etc)
1 tablespoon of oil for frying (I used grape)
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 425. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Poke with a knife on the skin side a few times. Spray both sides of squash with cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet bottom down. I placed foil under the squash to minimize clean up.

Roast for about 20 minutes, flip over and roast another 15 or so till you can peel off "spaghetti" with a fork.

In the meantime, preheat skilled with oil. Saute shallots till they soften. Add beef, cook breaking it up into chunks. Add salt and seasoning. When beef is cooked through, remove it with a slotted spoon. Spill out most of the oil. Add beef back to the skilled. Add spinach, allow to wilt. Add tomatoes. Mix well.  Keep warm.

Once squash is almost cooked, carefully remove the spaghetti. Combine with beef mixture. Top with grated parmesan.


Balsamic Glazed Turkey Meatloaf with Zucchini

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I think that besides the fact that having this page has helped me to get more organized with my recipes, the second unexpected benefit is that it has also been driving me to try new recipes! This tasty turkey meatloaf was a big hit and I have a feeling will be a frequent flyer in my cooking rotation. 

2 pounds of lean ground turkey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large zucchini diced into small pieces
1 cup panko (I used whole wheat panko)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps aged balsamic vinegar
5 smashed garlic cloves
Cooking spray (I used coconut from Trader Joe's)
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1 large egg lightly beaten
1/2 freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley (I used about 2 tablespoons of dry)
3/4 cup ketchup divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup (I used Annie's brand)

Preheat over to 425 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook chopped zucchini with garlic, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of  red pepper flakes till soft for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. I think next time, I will also add some chopped shallots. (The original recipe called for red and yellow bell pepper but I omitted since my family are not huge fans).

In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk egg, add parsley and thyme. Add turkey, panko, cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and cooled zucchini mixture. Mixt until combined, best done by hand. Don't over mix.

Spray a 9 x 5 inches loaf pan with cooking spray. Press turkey mixture into it. 

In a small bowl, prepare your graze by combining  1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4  cup balsamic, 1/4 teaspoon of  red pepper flakes. Brush glaze over entire loaf.

Bake for about 1 hour. Internal temperature for well done is 165 F. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. I served this with a side of sauteed kale. 

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flays Vegetable Meatloaf 

Baked Bison Quinoa Meatballs

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Really into making baked meatballs lately. What's not too like?  A hit with the whole family, make excellent leftovers, great over a salad,  and even freeze well. And so,  the meatball obsession continues. For other meatball recipes, you can view my blog here Baked Beef Ricotta Meatballs or here Bison Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce.

Presenting a new version of bison and quinoa meatballs here! I made these with bison but you can substitute beef with similar results. Quinoa lends these a tasty juicy flavor. 

1 1/2 pounds of ground bison
1 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa (cook per package directions)
2 eggs, beated
2 gloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cups of grated parmigiano
Salt to taste
1/2 fresh chopped parsley or 2 teaspoon dry parsley
Cooking Spray
1 1/2 cup of marinara sauce of choice

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. I used my Breville Convection oven which I rave about almost every post but if you don't have one, get one. No really regular oven is fine.
2. Line a large baking dish with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray ( I use Coconut Spray from Trader Joe's).
3. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix all the ingredients except the marinara. Combine well. Using ice cream scooper or hands, for 2 1/2 inch meatballs.
4. Arrange meatballs on a baking dish, bake about 12 minutes, flip over and make another 12 minutes.
Top with marinara and bake another 5 minutes, till sauce is hot.

Notes: I always set aside a few meatballs to be sauce free--my younger daughter does not like tomato sauce. If you plan to freeze, I recommend skipping the sauce step.

*Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine