Friday, July 13, 2012

Ginger-Lime Grilled Shrimp and Satrawberry Savoy Cabbage Salad

Pfew, it was a long week! Since the 4th fell in the middle of the week last week, my schedule felt completely thrown off and this week dragged on and on and on. I am looking forward to the weekend to celebrate my birthday (including a sure to be decadent cheat meal at Maude's Liquor Bar) and catch some of the CrossFit Games on TV. Next year Tim and I are definately going to go watch the games! I can just imagine the palpable excitement and energy swirling around LA right now. It's extremely motivating to see the fittest people in the world doing what they love. Makes me want to go do some snatches and burpees!

Who doesn't love grilling out? Summer is synonymous for grilling, even if it's on your electric counter top grill. Oh how I wish I had an outdoor space to get a grill and sit outside and enjoy a meal! Hopefully next year I can invite friends over for a grill-out insted of a grill-in.

This shrimp recipe couldn't be easier! The flavors are bright and interesting, and the slight spice plays really well with the strawberry and savoy cabbage slaw I made to acompany the shrimp.

Here is what you need: (photos show double batch)
  • Juice of 1 larger lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
    • TIP: Freeze your fresh ginger before grating. Room temperature ginger tends to turn to mush when grated (especially with a Microplane), where frozen ginger comes out a lot better!
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
    • I asked the fish monger at Whole Foods to do this for me, as the task is not fun. Luckily, they already had some prepared!

In a small bowl, squeeze the lime juice, then add the red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Mix well with a fork, then drizzle in the olive oil, stirring constantly.
Add the shrimp to a medium bowl, mix with the marinde until the shrimp are coated, cover tightly and refridgerate for 20 minutes. Don't skip the marination, or the lime juice and ginger won't be able to work their magic.
While the shrmp is marinating, preheat the grill on high.
Cook the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes per side. When shrimp are raw they look grey...
When they are cooked, they will be a nice pretty pink!
Shrimp adapted from Well Fed
For best results, enjoy immediately. I have found that shrimp do not reheat very well, as the microwave tends to turn them to rubber. The leftovers, however, were very good the next day cold on top of a salad. 

For the Strawberry Savoy Cabbage Salad
  • 1 head of Savoy cabbage
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • about a 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Splash or 2 of red wine vinegar (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Sorry this recipe is not very exact. I combined the raw sliced cabbage with the strawberries and played around with the seasonings until I felt it tasted right. I suggest you do the same! General rule of thumb for vinagerette is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. Stick to that and you can play around with your oils (olive, walnut, avocado) and your acids (balsamic or red wine vinegar, citrus juice, etc).
Enjoy, al fresco if you can!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Want an easy side dish that looks gourmet but is really foolproof? Good, cause that's what you're getting tonight. I love salty pork parts, and have gone into great detail about my love for bacon. I may love prosciutto even more! Its like the cuter, skinnier older sister to bacon. It's also more expensive, but worth the splurge when you feel like gettin' a little fancy.

Here's what you need:
  • large bunch of fresh asparagus
  • package of all natural prosciutto
  • oil of your choice (olive or avocado works great, do not recommend coconut for this recipe)
  • balsamic vinegar
  •  Preheat oven to 350 F
    Cut the ends off the asparagus, wash, and dry with paper towel.
     Cut the prosciutto lengthwise into three equal strips. Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet and toss with a little bit of avocado or olive oil. I didn't measure this out but it was around a tablespoon. Carefully wrap the prosciutto strip around the asparagus and arrange on the cookie sheet.
    Roast in the oven for abut 20 minutes, carefully flipping the asparagus about halfway through. Keep a close eye on it so the prosciutto does not burn.
     Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. If you like, lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar. (as you can see in the photo, we couldn't wait long enough to even get a proper photo before devouring)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Infused Spa Water

News flash! It's hot outside. Hopefully everyone is staying well hydrated and enjoying the weather as much as possible.

I have always had a problem with drinking enough water. I have even resorted to setting reminders on my phone throughout the day because I will leave work and realize that I literally have not had a sip of water! Not good.

 Whenever I make Infused Spa Water (aka water that looks fancy and has junk thrown in it), I always seem to drink it more frequently.

Lemon, Blueberry and Mint

Strawberry Basil

Other combinations I like
  • Cucumber and Lime or Lemon
  • Watermelon and Mint
  • Raspberry and Lime
  • Pineapple and Mint
  • Blackberry and Sage
  • Ginger and Lemon
This is a great way to use fresh herbs before they go bad, and the possibilities are endless! Leave a comment with other combinations you have tried and loved.

As a side note, I know you are very curious for an update on my kitchen assistant, Minnie. She has a new man in her life! His name is Buddy and I think he makes her very happy. His mom Danielle and I couldn't be happier! This little love fest was from a few weeks ago when I was watching Buddy while his mom moved into her new charming and adorable apartment. I see many play dates in their future.

They snuggled on the couch...
 Had some deep convos about life...
 Napped on top of each other...
 And ultimately became best fur-pals for life!
I know I'm a crazy dog lady and I wouldnt have it any other way.

Happy weekend friends!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pizza Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite quick weeknight meals. It makes a great side dish to any protein and saves well for a few days as leftovers. In the Paleo world, sweet potatoes can cause some confusion. While traditional potatoes are most definitely on the NO list, sweet potatoes toe the line. Different Paleo autoritues will have different opinions on whether sweet potatoes are an OK paleo food. While they are very carb-dense, they are extremely nutrient-rich and just plain tasty. After doing some research on Mark's Daily Apple, and Whole 9's websites, I feel good about eating sweet potatoes on a semi-regular basis.

This Pizza Sweet Potato recipe was a big hit in my house. It is very dense and comforting, and reheated really well as leftovers. Play around with the toppings, putting whatever you would traditionally order on your pizza. I would have loved to add mushrooms to this, but my fiance is "emotionally allergic*" to them. It makes me very sad that I can never cook with mushrooms, as they are one of my favorites, but you have to make compromises for the ones you love.
*The term "emotionally allergic" came from when we were once eating out, and he told our waiter that he was allergic to mushrooms. A few glasses of wine deep, I blurted out "no he isn't!" His response was that he was "emotionally allergic." The waiter, Tim and I all started cracking up, and the term has just stuck. For those of you who know Tim, you know he is the king of coming up with these kinds of verbal gems on the regular

I'm done talking, let's hunt and gather the following to get started.
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 orange bell peppers, sliced
  • any pizza toppings you like will work
For the Sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to400ºF.

Prick and place your sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Let them roast until their insides are soft, about 30-40 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust to your preferences, then set aside.

In a large saute pan, crumble and brown the sausage. Remove the meat from the pan, reserving the rendered fat.

Toss in the peppers and onions. Let them cook until the peppers and onions are soft.

Once the potatoes are done, slice them in half (lengthwise) and arrange the halves nicely on the baking sheet. Smash and loosen the sweets' insides with a fork.
Ladle a few spoonfuls of sauce on top of the sweet potato, followed by the pepper/onion saute, and sausage.
Put the baking sheet back in the oven for a couple minutes, to re-warm everything.

adapted from Health-Bent