Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

I don't really know what to call this. On a basic level, it's shrimp with some vegetables. Any mixture of vegetables is called a salad by default around here. Clearly I need to up my creativity game when it comes to names.

Fresh flavors mixed with fresh vegetables earned several compliments from hubs during the meal. Even though hubs is not a picky eater, I consider it a win any time I can get compliments on a veggie-heavy meal. (Adding shrimp usually does the trick)

Surprisingly, we really love the veggie spiralizer. I didn't think we'd use it so much. The humble zucchini gets fancy with the flick of a wrist.

I used fresh sage in this dish, and the plant I have right now leans toward the lemon side of things. I've had sage plants that lean toward the pungent, sagier side of things, which is nice, but I'm really enjoying this one's milder, more versatile flavor. When paired with lemon juice, it gives this (or any) dish a depth of flavor that really makes it special.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 c. cooked shrimp, thawed & drained. I like the mini shrimp because you get some in every bite, effortlessly
1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese (I store mine in the freezer and use it as needed)
1/2 lemon's worth of juice
4 sprigs of fresh sage (get that spring garden growing!)
sea salt, to taste
fresh asparagus, cut into reasonable pieces

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet (lined with foil, easy cleanup-style), and place in the oven on the broil setting. Broil until things start to get slightly browned and yummy-looking. Like so:

Serve over 1 raw spiralized zucchini with 2 diced tomatoes.

The AFTER shot: Yes, we dined alfresco and covered the pollen-encrusted table with an old towel. Classy.

Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch

Sunday, March 29, 2015

This week's menu

Trying some new recipes this week. Most are being adapted so that they are gluten free. If they turn out great, they'll show up here! If not, they'll be quietly never mentioned again.

Monday- Garlic Parmesan Shrimp
Tuesday- Hawaiian meatballs
Wednesday- Brunch Enchiladas
Thursday- Ham and potato soup
Friday*- Grilled Fish

*I always put fish on the menu for Friday because 1. It's quick and 2. I usually take leftovers for the next day's lunch at work, and I hate being the girl who stinks up the microwave with fish.
Easy fix-- cook fish on a day when lunch leftovers are not a thing. Besides, reheated fish is usually not the tastiest.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Coffee cake bites with cream cheese streusel

There's nothing like a sweet treat on a Saturday morning when the sun decides to shine between the cracks in the blinds and creep around the curtains and demand that you enjoy the gloriousness.

gluten free coffee cake bites with cream cheese streusel topping

The truth is, these muffins would be mediocre without the streusel topping. I'm not above admitting that.
This streusel is not just any streusel. It's a cream cheese streusel. Because I saw it in the fridge next to the butter and thought, "Why not?"
It's not the first time I've subbed cream cheese for butter, and once again, cream cheese enabled these mediocre muffins to become special. [With the help of our friends sugar and flour, of course.]

Coffee Cake Bites with Cream Cheese Streusel

1 c. GF flour mix
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
2 T. light olive oil (or melted butter)
1/2 t. vanilla

Streusel topping:
Using forks or a pastry blender, crumble together:
1/2 block cold cream cheese
2 T.  GF flour mix
1/4 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and oil.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into a greased mini muffin pan.
Top with the streusel.
Bake 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

gluten free coffee cake bites with cream cheese streusel topping

Makes 24 mini muffins

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

I must clarify: Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan-ISH*. That's what happens when I adapt recipes to be crock pot friendly. Because sometimes it's not as much about authenticity as it is about having dinner ready when I get home.

Skip the breading part because it would fall apart in the crock pot anyway, and simplify. I don't think you're ready for how easy this is:

Put in a crock pot:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar of spaghetti sauce

Cook on low heat all day, until you come  home from work. I've let this go for as long as 12 hours and it's totally fine.

Serve with brown rice and steamed vegetables. Dinner is done in no time, especially if you already have cooked brown rice in the freezer.

Typically chicken parmesan would also be served with mozzarella and parmesan cheese melted on top, but I was in NO mood for that extra step tonight. And you know what? The world did not implode.

*Even if Chris said it looked like some "slop he'd eaten in Afghanistan."
*Could also be described as chicken spaghetti. Go ahead, serve it over noodles.
I don't care what you call it, it's still pretty tasty.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Black bean zucchini enchiladas

I've been trying to fix a meatless meal at least once a week, and in general serve more vegetables with our meals. Great strides have been made over the past couple of years, but sometimes the same old vegetable gets boring and needs to be incorporated a different way-- or hidden!

I first heard of shredding carrots into ground meat from a friend who used the trick to fit more vegetables into her son's food and also stretch her meat budget. I thought it was a genius idea, and have used it myself a few times. [Like in these turkey meatballs- made GF by using crushed chex instead of bread crumbs]

As most of my recipes go, this one started with another sad old zucchini sitting in the fridge. I don't know why I always have sad vegetables sitting in the fridge. Wait, yes I do. I just talked about not liking vegetables. Moving on.

Black bean enchiladas were on the menu tonight. Black beans have made an appearance on our meatless menu more than a few times. [tacos, with sweet potatoes] They're just so easy and tasty and filling. It was super easy to add the zucchini to the party. Since zucchini shreds really easily using a cheese grater, minimal extra work is required.

Black Bean Zucchini Enchiladas

In a pan, heat up 1 clove minced garlic in a splash of oil until it's browned.
Stir in:
1 (15 oz) can of black beans, drained
1 (4 oz) can of chopped green chiles
1 zucchini, shredded
1/4 block of cream cheese
1/2 t. cumin
salt, to taste (depends how salty the beans and chiles are)

Heat the mixture until the cream cheese melts and it thickens. How thin it starts depends on how well the beans are drained, and how much moisture the zucchini releases.

Once it's ready, spoon the filling into GF corn tortillas. Roll them up and place face down on a cookie sheet or a casserole dish. I line mine with tin foil because easy cleanup rules.

Pour a can of GF enchilada sauce over the top, and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until everything is nice and hot and the cheese is melted.

Serve with greek yogurt/sour cream and of course avocado. I add a couple of chips to scoop up the stuff that falls out of the enchilada.

For the record, hubs complimented me on this meal 3 times.
Makes 8 enchiladas

Saturday, March 21, 2015

This week's menu

This week's menu is brought to you by a new springtime menu background, and an actually planned menu! Also by the fact that we've finally eaten enough the deer sausage that there is now room for other types of meat in the freezer. I went to HEB this weekend and stocked up. Renewed flexibility! It was good to use up what we had, though.

What did you miss? Most notably- A pretty decent vegetable quinoa soup that I threw together after a weekend of steaks and hot dogs (can't complain), a ground turkey and noodle casserole that hid some shredded zucchini, and St. Patrick's day corned beef and cabbage, courtesy of mama.

So here's what we've got cookin' this week:

Monday- Black bean Enchiladas
Tuesday- Grilled Pork Chops
Wednesday- Chicken Parmesan- going to try it in the crock pot
Thursday- Sloppy Joes
Friday- Fish

Still lacking inspiration, so pop in and leave a comment about what you're eating this week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Zucchini salad

Tonight I noticed I had all of the ingredients for this Spiralized Raw Zucchini Salad. Pinned solely because I'm trying to eat more vegetables.

I didn't ever plan on trying it. But I lack inspiration lately and all the ingredients were right there on the counter. I admit, I was skeptical at first. Zucchini and avocado? I wasn't sure the flavors and textures would jive. But I had the ingredients and rather than let the veggies get all sad and rotten, I forged ahead. It turns out, they do jive. Very well.

So yes, a salad. I'm posting a salad recipe.  No lettuce! No kale! No baby spring greens! But I call it a salad because I'm not sure what else to call it.

The simple fact that I'm posting a salad-ish recipe should tell you how good it is.

When Chris saw what was for dinner, he scoffed and asked where the meat was. See? Another clear sign that we need to eat more vegetables. Nothing but vegetable skeptics around here. Halfway through eating it, though, I got a thumbs up and a request to add it to the regular rotation. That's right.

I modified the recipe slightly, but the original one includes basil and chive and can be found at the link above.

Zucchini Salad

1 zucchini, ends trimmed off and spiralized
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/2 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
fresh black pepper, to taste
1 diced avocado
shelled cooked edamame
cherry tomatoes, halved

Put everything into a bowl and toss to mix. Done.

Honestly this would probably be served in the future as a side, or with some cold leftover chicken like a pasta salad. It's a great basic recipe that can be mixed with whatever happens to be in the fridge-- my favorite!