Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

I’ve been wanting to cross shrimp and grits off my cooking list. Little did I know I would be making Indian Curried Shrimp and Grits.

I was only using the brand new bottle of organic turmeric that was calling my name. A savory bed of spinach and shrimp all nestled into a bowl of flavorful grits sounded so good!

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

I really had no intention of writing this recipe, as I was just making myself dinner and lunch for the next day.

Let me just say, it was so delicious, I knew I would have no leftovers for lunch as I would have to share with my honey when he came from work. My kids had already enjoyed leftover spaghetti. My baby girl did eat some of my grits and of course, even she loved them. (She really does have good taste!)

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

What I love about this dish is…everything!

I love how the savory grits complement the smoky curry flavors of the sweet shrimp and onions and slight bitterness of the spinach. The love how the steam created when covering the spinach, and mixed with the olive oil and curry spices, creates a rich broth that runs gracefully over the corn grits.

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

I love that each bite was as delicious as the first. And I love the light tang of Greek yogurt on top.

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

I’m sad that it’s gone. But I am happy that I wrote it down so I can make it again!

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

Cheers to a healthy gluten free dinner bursting with omega rich olive oil and lean protein!

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach with Grits

And now-I eat…

Please, tell me what you think!

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach Over Grits

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Number of servings: 2

Per Serving 256 calories

Fat 17 g

Carbs 17 g

Protein 12 g

2

Indian Curried Shrimp and Spinach Over Grits

Recipe may be doubled to serve 4. Recipe has been tested for 2 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup quick cooking grits
  • 3 cups water plus 3 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1/4 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt to taste
  • 6 oz frozen cooked jumbo shrimp, thawed and chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 4 Tb nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the water and chicken bouillon over high heat to boiling. When the broth is boiling, slowly whisk in the dry grits. Reduce heat to medium low and continue whisking until grits begin to thicken. Reduce heat to low and cook a few minutes more, until desired consistency. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes, cooking and stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook 2 minutes more until fragrant. Add the spices.
  4. Stir in the chopped shrimp. Cook and stir about 3 minutes until heated through. Season to taste with salt.
  5. Top with baby spinach. Remove from heat and cover until spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove lid and stir to combine. Serve ladled over grits. Top with Greek yogurt, if desired.

Chocolate in my Head – Giveaway #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar

With a mouthful of dark chocolate covered almonds, I flex my fingers and attack my keyboard, envisioning the glorious chocolate creations coming this week. Chocolate and I go way back. Back to age 4 and the bits of nut and raisin chocolate squares my grandfather would give me from the candy tin that he carried around in the breast pocket of his sweater. I always looked forward to those delicious bites.

Choctoberfest-2015-1

I am beyond excited today, because it is October 5…. and that means it is the first day of #Choctoberfest! 😀

#Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you’ll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. What’s not to love?

Here’s what this event is all about!

#Choctoberfest would not be possible without our sponsors, starting with our 2015 Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar has been a trusted name in family kitchens since 1843. Their sugar products and sweeteners are made from non-GMO cane sugar and ensure consistently delicious results. We’ll be using Imperial Sugar whenever we use sugar in our recipes this week, and can’t wait to share the sweetness with you!

You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Make sure you visit the recipes section of their website for some sweet inspiration, and you can also find coupons on their website if you want to try out Imperial Sugar yourself.

Imperial Sugar and our other sponsors have banded together to contribute some awesome prizes for our #Choctoberfest giveaway! Entering is simple – just click below to follow us on Pinterest. Here’s what you could win:

We also have a nonprofit sponsor this year – Rescue Chocolate! They make vegan chocolate treats and donate 100% of their proceeds to animal shelters.

Enter now to win the #Choctoberfest prize. Hurry, because we’re picking the winner on October 12 at 8:00 AM, so if you don’t sign up before then, you’ll miss your chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A huge thank you to all of the other blogs participating in #Choctoberfest 2015. Check out their blogs throughout the week for chocolate recipes you won’t be able to resist:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmAloha FlavorAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAngels HomesteadBalancing MotherhoodBless this MessBusy-at-HomeChocolate SlopesCoconut & LimeColie’s KitchenCookaholic WifeCooking In StilettosCooking With LibbyCookistryCopyKat RecipesCravings of a LunaticCrumbs in my MustachioCulinary CoutureCupcakes Take The CakeDeliciously SavvyEat It & Say YumFairyburgerFamished Fish, Finicky SharkFarm Fresh FeastsFood Hunter’s Guide to CuisineFull Belly SistersGet Off The Couch and CookGrumpy’s HoneybunchHey What’s for Dinner Mom?Honey and BirchI Can Cook ThatJane’s Adventures in DinnerJessie WeaverLife on Food Life, Love, and Good FoodMajorly DeliciousMoore or Less Cooking Food BlogMother Would KnowOr Whatever You DoPoet in the PantryRecipes Food and CookingRhubarb and HoneySassy Southern YankeeSavory TartSeduction in The KitchenSerena LissySumptuous SpoonfulsTake Two TapasThat Skinny Chick Can BakeThatsSoYummyThe Chonchudo FilesThe Crumby CupcakeThe Dinner-MomThe Saucy SouthernerThe Spiced LifeThe Spiffy CookieThe Two Bite ClubThe Weekday GourmetVintage KittyWendy PolisiWhat A Girl EatsWhitBit’s Indian KitchenWit Wisdom & FoodZesty South Indian Kitchen

Are you a blogger who is interested in joining us during our next community event?

Sign up here now!

We’ll make sure you get an email about our next blogger event.

Choctoberfest is all about that! The joy chocolate brings to
Alison Boyer who blogs over at The Pintertest Kitchen

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce #TripleSBites

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

My second post of #TripleSBites features calamari. My husband and I often get calamari when we go out on date night (we actually get a date night!) therefore I give you this “sexy” appetizer. Seafood to me is always romantic. Some say even an aphrodisiac.

 

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

The perfect seasoning that I found for this calamari was Voodoo Chef’s Red seasoning which consists of a zesty mixture of salt, garlic, paprika and spices, making it perfect for almost any dish.

 

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

 

Crispy breading coats sweet calamari and is served alongside spicy creamy mayo sauce. Drizzled with a bit of lemon this is perfection. To top this off, it is sprinkled with Gourmet Garden’s Lightly Dried Parsley.
Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Ingredients:
2 lbs calamari rings and tentacles
2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp Voodoo Chef Red or other seasoning salt
2 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
1 Tb Voodoo Chef Red or other seasoning salt
Cooking spray
1/2 cup Intensity Academy Spicy Mayonnaise
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 Tb Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley
1 lemon, sliced into wedges

 

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

 

Directions:
Defrost the calamari if frozen, according to package directions. Mix together the calamari, buttermilk and 2 tsp seasoning salt in a large bowl. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a 13×9 baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. Spray generously with cooking spray.

In a pie plate or other type of dish, combine the bread crumbs and 1 Tb seasoning salt. Coating one piece at a time, gently shake off the buttermilk and dredge each calamari piece in the breadcrumbs.

 

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

 

Transfer the breaded calamari to the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat the tops of the calamari with more cooking spray.

 

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and calamari are firm.

In a small bowl, combine the Spicy Mayonnaise and sour cream. Serve the calamari with the Spicy Mayonnaise Dip and a lemon wedge. Garnish with lightly dried parsley.

 

#TripleSBites #Giveaway | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

This post was sponsored by Voodoo Chef, Intensity Academy and Gourmet Garden. I received a jar of seasoning, a bottle of spicy mayonnaise and fresh packaged herbs from the sponsors for participating in #TripleSBites. No additional compensation was received by me. All opinions, text, images, and recipe are my own. Feel free to substitute the branded ingredients as needed with a like for like product.

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Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 375 calories

Fat 16 g

Carbs 32 g

Protein 25 g

8

Voodoo Red Calamari with Spicy Mayo Sauce

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 10

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs calamari rings and tentacles
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp Voodoo Chef Red or other seasoning salt
  • 2 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1 Tb Voodoo Chef Red or other seasoning salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup Intensity Academy Spicy Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 Tb Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley
  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges

Instructions

  1. Defrost the calamari if frozen, according to package directions. Mix together the calamari, buttermilk and 2 tsp seasoning salt in a large bowl. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 8 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a 13×9 baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. Spray generously with cooking spray.
  3. In a pie plate or other type of dish, combine the bread crumbs and 1 Tb seasoning salt. Coating one piece at a time, gently shake off the buttermilk and dredge each calamari piece in the breadcrumbs.
  4. Transfer the breaded calamari to the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat the tops of the calamari with more cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and calamari are firm.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the Spicy Mayonnaise and sour cream. Serve the calamari with the Spicy Mayonnaise Dip and a lemon wedge. Garnish with lightly dried parsley.

Greek, Gluten Free, and Meatless-Garbanzo Bean Patties with Tzatziki Yogurt Dip

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I’m quite fond of Greek food, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post. And the versatility of making a lot of these foods gluten free is highly appealing when I need to make something for my finicky shark. Apparently gluten has an adverse effect in big thinkers like my autistic boy. Though getting him away from it is like taking candy from a baby. So when I can improvise, I will.

I found a recipe for these yummy Garbanzo Bean Patties used as patties on hamburger buns while perusing for a Greek meal for my Clean Eating Around the World.

What I came up with was a gluten free tender inside, flaky outside patty that we smothered in homemade Greek yogurt Tzatziki sauce. And I served it with a tangy sea salt doused portion of quick roasted potatoes. Of course, my kids covered theirs’ in ketchup and ranch.

And the added benefit of this healthy meal is I was done from start to finish in 30 minutes. And it is perfect for a Meatless Monday.

You want to make the Tzatzikik Sauce first so it has time to thicken up. If you don’t have cheesecloth, a coffee filter over a colander is a quick substitute.

Ingredients for Tzaziki Sauce

1/2 cucumber, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tb lime juice

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First grate the cucumber over some cheesecloth placed in a strainer over a medium bowl.

Press the cucumber with the back of a spoon to get any excess water out.

Add the garlic, salt and yogurt on top. Let sit while you prepare the Garbanzo Bean Patties.

In the last step below, the mixture is combined and the lime juice is stirred in.

 

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Greek Garbanzo Bean Patties Ingredients:
1 – 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 Tb lime juice
3 Tb water
3 Tb egg whites
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 Tb shallot
1 cup oatmeal
1 Tb ground flax seed

2 Tb canola oil for frying

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Dump the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans in the food processor and add the garlic and shallot. Pulse until well combined, then add the water, lime juice and seasonings and pulse again until mixed well.
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Add the oatmeal and flax seed and pulse again. Add the chopped bell pepper and pulse until desired consistency.
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Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the garbanzo bean mixture onto a large nonstick skillet that has been preheated with the 2 Tb of canola oil.
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Fry about 8 minutes until browned on one side.
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Using a turner, carefully flip the patties over and cook another 8 minutes, until desired crispness.
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Transfer Garbanzo Bean Patties to a serving platter.
Pour the strained Tzatziki mixture into a small bowl and stir in the lime juice. Combine well and serve with the patties.
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Serve in top of a crisp salad, a bed of cucumbers or on a whole wheat or gluten free bun.
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Add a delicious side of Greek Herb and Citrus Roasted Potatoes. This makes one healthy clean eating meal full of Greek flavors.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Garbanzo Bean Burgers.

I am definitely going to try this on a whole wheat bun with some Tahini Yogurt Sauce and some big juicy tomatoes.

Garbanzo Bean Patties with Tzatziki Yogurt Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 7

Per Serving 239 calories

Fat 6 g

Carbs 33 g

Protein 15 g

7

Garbanzo Bean Patties with Tzatziki Yogurt Dip

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 6

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Tzaziki Sauce

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tb lime juice
  • For Greek Garbanzo Bean Patties

  • 1 – 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tb lime juice
  • 3 Tb water
  • 3 Tb egg whites
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tb shallot
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 Tb ground flax seed
  • 2 Tb canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. For the Tzatzkike Sauce: First grate the cucumber over some cheesecloth placed in a strainer over a medium bowl.
  2. Press the cucumber with the back of a spoon to get any excess water out.
  3. Add the garlic, salt and yogurt on top. Let sit while you prepare the Garbanzo Bean Patties.
  4. In the last after the garbanzo patties are done, the mixture is combined and the lime juice is stirred in.
  5. For the Garbanze Bean Patties: Dump the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans in the food processor and add the garlic and shallot. Pulse until well combined, then add the water, lime juice and seasonings and pulse again until mixed well.
  6. Add the oatmeal and flax seed and pulse again. Add the chopped bell pepper and pulse until desired consistency.
  7. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the garbanzo bean mixture onto a large nonstick skillet that has been preheated with the 2 Tb of canola oil.
  8. Fry about 8 minutes until browned on one side.
  9. Using a turner, carefully flip the patties over and cook another 8 minutes, until desired crispness.
  10. Transfer Garbanzo Bean Patties to a serving platter.
  11. Pour the strained Tzatziki mixture into a small bowl and stir in the lime juice. Combine well and serve with the patties.
  12. Serve in top of a crisp salad, a bed of cucumbers or on a whole wheat or gluten free bun.

What is your favorite meatless burger?

You may also enjoy Shrimp and Crap Burgers

Lightened Up Charro Beans and Baked Taquitos

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So you’ve ate all the turkey you could eat and shopped all the Black Friday sales you could shop. The holiday season is approaching there is no better time to focus on you. Put the stretchy pants away, remain focused and healthy and get a jump start on your New Year’s resolution, if it’s getting in shape and eating right of course.

That’s what I’m doing anyway. I’ve begun a new Beachbody workout routine by Shawn T called T25. I’m on day 3 and love it so far! But to work the body you need to fuel the body. And I’m gonna do it all around the world.

Starting off with Charro Beans. In case you’ve never heard of this wonder food, it is typically a large pot of pinto beans cooked almost like a soup, with chunks of chorizo, bacon and maybe hot dogs, with a large ham hock for flavor and plenty of tomatoes, onions and chiles. Topped with cilantro it is goodness in a bowl. You can order this dish at many Mexican restaurants by the name of Frijoles Charros de la Hoya, which means Charro Beans from the Pot.

But this doesn’t exactly sound like a clean way to start eating clean, so I’ve made this lighter version, based on this slow cooker recipe by Slender Kitchen, and oh is it good!

Here are the Charro Bean stars:

1 lb pinto beans
1 large onion
2 large tomatoes
2 jalapeños
3 cloves garlic
4 oz lean ground turkey
6 oz Canadian ham
1 Tb bacon grease
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup cilantro

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First I quick soaked my beans in the morning. Pick through the beans for any rocks or dirt. Pour them in a large pot or bowl and cover them with boiling water you’ve heated in a kettle. Cover and let them soak all day, about 8-12 hours.

(You can also make these in a slow cooker all day! Pick through and rinse the beans as above and set aside; sauté everything as below; add the veggies to your slow cooker, then add the beans and boiling broth and set it for 8-10 hours.)

After the beans had soaked all day, I rinsed them under clean water and heated another kettle of water. Then I began by chopping the onion, tomatoes and jalapeños, mincing the garlic and dicing the Canadian ham. I browned the turkey and diced ham in the bacon fat in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.

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When the turkey was browned, I added the onion, tomatoes, garlic and jalapenos and cooked until the onions were slightly tender, about 4 minutes.

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Then I added the pinto beans.

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I poured 6 cups of the boiling water over the bean mixture and added 6 tsp of chicken bouillon to make a chicken broth.

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Then I covered the beans and let them cook about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until they were tender and gave when smashed with the back of a spoon.

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That’s it. Then these were removed from heat, ladled into bowls and sprinkled with chopped cilantro for a fresh green taste.

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My don’t those look good! My husband really enjoyed these-he had two bowls and ate it like soup.
Looking for a quick clean eating breakfast? Try making charro beans and egg whites!

Read More »

Kidlicious-“Baked” Pumpkin Black Beans with Hoctopi

This is my tale of two chilis. My quest in using up pumpkin from Halloween. With my pumpkin I made Spicy Pumpkin Black Bean Chili with Turkey and these sweet “Baked” Pumpkin Black Beans. My kids like to call any form of sweet baked beans candy beans, because of their distinct flavor.

This batch of beans are similar, but almost soup like, and were very much enjoyed by my kids. Especially when I topped them with Hoctopi, as my 9 year old called them. Turkey sausages (you may use hot dogs) split into legs to create octopus is what I used.

Please note: I’ll add the ingredients and cooking technique for the Hoctopi as well, but it WILL NOT be included in the recipe below, as you may vary it as you want and is just a guideline to creating a meal for finicky sharks. For the Hoctopi, you will only use the Baked Pumpkin Black Beans as a side dish, not a main dish as below.

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This is the recipe for the “Baked” Pumpkin Black Beans.

What you’ll need:
3 Tb bacon fat or canola oil
1/3 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups black beans with liquid
29 oz pumpkin puree
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp liquid smoke
dash cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tb ketchup
2 Tb apple cider vinegar

First refer back to this post to make the fresh black beans and pureed pumpkin. Or substitute canned. If using canned, DO NOT use the liquid from the beans. Instead, rinse and refill with water, then use that liquid. The cooking liquid from homemade beans is not as salty as the canned type, so that IS used in this recipe.

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In a large saucepan, heat the bacon fat (keep a jar of strained bacon grease in your fridge and refill every time you make bacon) over medium heat.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender and transparent, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

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Cook over medium heat, uncovered about 45 minutes, until thickened and reduced.

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Cool slightly, garnish as desired, and serve. Makes 6 main dish servings.

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Baked Pumpkin Black Beans

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 hours, 45 minutes

Total Time: 11 hours

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 632 calories

Fat 9 g

Carbs 113 g

Protein 30 g

6

Baked Pumpkin Black Beans

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 16

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tb bacon fat or canola oil
  • 1/3 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups fresh black beans with cooking liquid
  • 29 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tb ketchup
  • 2 Tb apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the bacon fat or canola oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender and transparent, about 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook over medium heat, uncovered about 45 minutes, until thickened and reduced.
  5. Cool slightly, garnish as desired, and serve.

Notes

If using canned, DO NOT use the liquid from the beans. Instead, rinse and refill with water, then use that liquid. The cooking liquid from homemade beans is not as salty as the canned type, so that IS used in this recipe.

Now to make this meal Finicky Shark (and autistic son) worthy.  We’ll use the beans as a side dish here.

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“Baked” Pumpkin Black Beans with Hoctopi

You’ll need

2 – 14oz packages of Jennie-O Turkey Sausage
1 Tb canola oil
1/2 red onion
1 apple
1 bottle of any beer (gluten free if needed) or chicken broth
3 cups of preferred vegetable for a side (I used zucchini)…

Read More »

Pick Your Protein-Spring Rolls with Apples and Peanuts

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Spring Rolls are one of the most creative and refreshing ways to eat a salad wrap in Asian culture, in my opinion.  I remember the first time my family and I went to a Vietnamese Pho Noodle House.  The Pho was delightful, full of flavorful anise spiced broth and fat rice noodles.  I could eat that for days.  We ordered it with an appetizer-shrimp spring rolls.  Delicious!  These spring rolls were filled with lettuce, shrimp, and rice noodles.  So simple, yet so good.  The special ingredient is the dipping peanut sauce, with yummy hoisin and nutty flavors, it just finishes the spring roll perfectly.  My friend Laura and I are addicted to these.  We can almost never go to our local Vietnamese restaurant without ordering at least one.  Nor can my husband.  If I get that for lunch at work, I best be bringing an order home for him! 😉

So if I want a quick and light meal at home, Spring Rolls are a pretty quick and easy one to make.  It is healthy and clean eating goodness, gluten free and filling.  Now these spring rolls are not typical Vietnamese fair, but they are delicious.  And I will be creating more versions.  For now, read on how to make these yummy Pick Your Protein, Apple Peanut Spring Rolls.

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With just a few simple ingredients:

For the Spring Rolls:
8 spring roll wrappers
3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 oz bean threads, uncooked, or optionally vermicelli rice noodles
2 1/2 Tb chopped peanuts
1/2 apple, raw, sliced thinly
12 oz shredded cooked chicken, thinly sliced BBQ pork or steak, 8 jumbo shrimp, halved lengthwise, OR 12 oz tofu, grilled lightly, OR any combination of the above

For the Protein marinade:
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce

For the Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tb peanut oil
1 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes

First prepare all the ingredients.

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Combine the meat marinade and soak over Protein choice.

Boil the bean threads rapidly for 5 minutes, rinse with cold water and drain well.

Chop the peanuts and slice the apple thinly.

Shred the lettuce.

Next fill the spring roll.

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Soak the spring roll wrapper in warm water until it softens, about 15-20 seconds.  Transfer to a plate, let the water absorb about 10 seconds longer, then start filling it.  Layer on slightly over a 1/3 cup of lettuce, 3 Tb of bean threads, 3 Tb of meat, 1 tsp of chopped peanuts and 3-4 apple slices.  (If you are using shrimp, layer the shrimp last, so it displays prettily through the spring roll.)

Roll the spring roll like a burrito, pinching tightly but carefully, so not to tear the wrapper.  Put the filing about 1/3 away from the edge, roll the long end, then fold in the short ends and continue rolling.  Press lightly to seal.

Set aside the spring roll to a plate and cover with plastic wrap while making the rest.

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Make the dipping sauce by combining the ingredients.  Plate out 2 spring rolls and 2 Tb dipping sauce per person.

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These spring rolls are quite refreshing and very satisfying.  This version is similar to a crisp Chinese chicken salad, without the crispy noodles.  If you are feeling daring, go ahead and throw some of those in!

If these last past dinner, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and enjoy them for lunch the next day. You can also enjoy these as an appetizer, one per serving.

Happy rolling!

Chicken Spring Rolls with Apples and Peanuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 392 calories

Fat 17 g

Carbs 33 g

Protein 27 g

4

Chicken Spring Rolls with Apples and Peanuts

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 10

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Spring Rolls

  • 8 spring roll wrappers
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 2 oz bean threads, uncooked
  • 2 1/2 Tb chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 large apple
  • 12 oz shredded cooked chicken
  • For the marinade

  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • For the Dipping sauce

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tb peanut oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Prepare all the filling ingredients. Combine the marinade and soak over chicken.
  2. Boil the bean threads rapidly for 5 minutes, rinse with cold water and drain well.
  3. Chop the peanuts and slice the apple thinly.
  4. Shred the lettuce.
  5. Next fill the spring roll. Soak the spring roll wrapper in warm water until it softens, about 15-20 seconds.
  6. Transfer to a plate, let the water absorb about 10 seconds longer, then start filling it.
  7. Layer on slightly over a 1/3 cup of lettuce, 3 Tb of bean threads, 3 Tb of chicken (or meat of choice), 1 tsp of chopped peanuts and 3-4 apple slices. (If you are using shrimp, layer the shrimp last, so it displays prettily through the spring roll.)
  8. Roll the spring roll like a burrito, pinching tightly but carefully, so not to tear the wrapper. Put the filing about 1/3 away from the edge, roll the long end, then fold in the short ends and continue rolling. Press lightly to seal.
  9. Set aside the spring roll to a plate and cover with plastic wrap while making the rest.
  10. Make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients. Plate out 2 spring rolls and 2 Tb dipping sauce per person.

Notes

Try this with any Protein: 12 oz shredded cooked chicken, thinly sliced BBQ pork or steak, 8 jumbo shrimp, halved lengthwise, OR 12 oz tofu, grilled lightly, OR any combination of the above. Nutrition information calculated for Chicken. Nutrition INCLUDES dipping sauce.

What is your favorite protein pick?

You may also enjoy Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

Spooky Graveyard Spaghetti

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It’s the week of Halloween and the kids want a meal extra creepy, extra spooky and extra yummy.  What do you make?  How about Spooky Bloody Worms with Monster Meatballs and Headstones, otherwise known as Graveyard Spaghetti.

My boys absolutely loved this meal.  They even loved it in their lunchbox Thermos.  So how about you make some for your ghouls this week.  They will be sure to thank you for it.

Graveyard Spaghetti

Make the meatballs first by combining the below ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mix by hand or with a stand mixer.

2 lbs regular ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 Tb ground flax
2 eggs
1 Tb tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
4 cloves garlic pressed
1/4 cup feta cheese

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Nicolas decided the meatballs needed one extra garlic clove.   Don’t worry, I included the addition in the ingredient list.

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Shape the meat mixture into 12 large meatballs weighing 3oz each.

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Brown the meatballs evenly in one Tb of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, about 10 minutes.

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For the Spaghetti Sauce

1 family size jar Ragu Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 cup water
1 Tb oil
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
Dash salt
1 Tb parsley

Meanwhile heat one Tb of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Sautee until tender.  Add the jar of spaghetti sauce.  Add a bit of water to “rinse” the jar and add that to the sauce as well.  Stir in the parsley.

Look at those beautiful monster meatballs!

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Add the meatballs to the pasta sauce once they are browned evenly.  Turn the heat to medium low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.

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While the meatballs and sauce are heating, cook one pound of spaghetti noodles according to package directions.

Finally make your favorite garlic bread recipe into headstones.  I made a quick version of spreadable butter, garlic salt and melted mozzarella.

Pipe on “RIP” for Rest in Peace, using a zip seal sandwich baggie with corner cut away with just a Tb of cream cheese and a few drops of black food coloring mixed inside.

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My quick garlic bread Headstones
4 short slices of French bread, cut into 12 portions
1/4 cup margarine
4 oz mozzarella
1 tsp garlic salt
1 Tb Parmesan

RIP Piping:
1 Tb cream cheese
Black food color

Decorate the meatballs with olive slices for eyes and grated Parmesan for hair.

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The spaghetti dish serves 8 regular portions of 1.5 meatballs each or 6 hearty with 2 meatballs each.

Spooky Graveyard Spaghetti

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 811 calories

Fat 44 g

Carbs 63 g

Protein 39 g

8

Spooky Graveyard Spaghetti

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®:

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Monster Meatballs

  • 2 lbs regular ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 Tb ground flax
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tb tomato paste
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • For the Bloody Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 family size jar Ragu Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tb oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Dash salt
  • 1 Tb parsley
  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • For the Garlic Bread Headstones

  • 4 short slices French bread, cut into 12 portions
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 4 oz mozzarella
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 Tb Parmesan
  • For the RIP Piping

  • 1 Tb cream cheese
  • 5 drops black food coloring
  • For the Meatball garnish

  • 2 Tb sliced black olives
  • 2 Tb shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Make the meatballs first by combining the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand or with a stand mixer.
  2. Shape the meat mixture into 12 large meatballs weighing 3oz each.
  3. Brown the meatballs evenly in one Tb of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile heat one Tb of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic with dash salt. Sautee until tender.
  5. Add the jar of spaghetti sauce. Add a bit of water to “rinse” the jar and add that to the sauce as well. Stir in the parsley.
  6. Add the meatballs to the pasta sauce once they are browned evenly. Turn the heat to medium low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.
  7. While the meatballs and sauce is heating, cook one pound of spaghetti noodles according to package directions.
  8. Finally make garlic bread into headstones. Spread the slices with margarine, sprinkle on garlic salt and mozzarella.
  9. Bake at 400F for 8 minutes.
  10. Pipe on “RIP” for Rest in Peace, onto each "headstone", using a zip seal sandwich baggie with corner cut away with just a Tb of cream cheese and a few drops of black food coloring mixed inside.
  11. Plate the spaghetti.
  12. Decorate the meatballs with olive slices for eyes and grated Parmesan for hair.

Notes

The spaghetti dish serves 8 regular portions of 1.5 meatballs each or 6 hearty with 2 meatballs each.

Have a Ghouly Good Halloween!

What is your favorite Halloween meal?

You may also enjoy Extra Meaty Restaurant Style Spaghetti

Protein Pumped Pumpkin Pancakes

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I have to to admit something. I’m a pumpkin addict. If I could put it into all of my baked goods, I would. For now I’ll share these pumpkin pancakes with you. Because we all know we have to have some more pumpkin in October!

These were really just a typical spin off another pumpkin pancake recipe, made just as easily in a blender. What I love about this recipe is the inclusion of whole grain oatmeal, whole wheat flour and protein powder. Yum!

Pumpkin protein pancakes
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Scoop protein powder
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups soy milk

In a blender with a tight fitting lid, pulse all the dry ingredients until the oats are a flour like consistency.

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Add the milk and eggs and pumpkin puree and blend until the batter is well mixed.  You may add more milk for a thinner pancake.

 

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Pour the batter into 1/4 cup portions on a griddle placed over medium heat that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

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When pancake begin to get dry around the edges, flip them.  And smoosh lightly with the back of the pancake turner to be sure they cook through.  Cook about 1-2 minutes per side.

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And serve plain, with maple syrup, or with cool whip.  This is a pumpkin spice latte.  Just add 2 Tb pumpkin puree with your standard latte and a bit of pumpkin pie spice, and viola.  My 9 year old’s favorite request-of course, he gets decaf.

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Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 177 calories

Fat 3 g

Carbs 31 g

Protein 6 g

8

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 4

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Scoop protein powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups soy milk

Instructions

  1. In a blender with a tight fitting lid, pulse all the dry ingredients until the oats are a flour like consistency.
  2. Add the milk and eggs and pumpkin puree and blend until the batter is well mixed. You may add more milk for a thinner pancake.
  3. Preheat a griddle over medium heat on the stovetop. Spray with cooking spray.
  4. Pour the batter into 1/4 cup portions onto griddle.
  5. When pancakes begin to get dry around the edges, flip them.
  6. Smoosh lightly with the back of the pancake turner to be sure they cook through.
  7. Cook about 1-2 minutes per side.

Notes

Makes 16 pancakes. Serve plain, with maple syrup, or with cool whip.

What is your favorite drink to go with your pancakes?  My husband likes milk.  I prefer any coffee or latte.  And you like…?

 

Super Vegan, Super Delicious-Carrot Raisin Cookies

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I made some wonderful Vegan Carrot Bread not long ago and was inspired by the fact that baked goods can actually taste delicious without dairy or egg products.  I sought out a carrot cookie recipe, as I was really enjoying the sweetness of carrots in my baked goods.

And I found a yummy carrot cake cookie recipe and spun it into a delicious tender vegan cookie.

Here’s what I used.

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1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c apple sauce
1 1/2 Tb water mixed with 2 Tb ground flax
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 Tb powdered sugar, for dusting

 

First I whisked the dry ingredients together.

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Then I creamed together the brown sugar and coconut oil.

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See how fluffy it is?

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Then I added the applesauce and ground flax and water mixture.  Just like beating in an egg.

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Then I slowly mixed in the flour, a little at a time.

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Finally I mixed in the carrots, raisins and pecans.

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And my cookie dough was done.

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And ready for the oven.

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And when they were done, they were coated with a nice dusting of powdered sugar.

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These were gobbled up by my kids before dinner was even ready! That night we had Albondigas. Such a treat to have these after a warm bowl of soup…it was such a healthy night!

Vegan Carrot Raisin Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Number of servings: 36

Per Serving 73 calories

Fat 3 g

Carbs 12 g

Protein 1 g

36

Vegan Carrot Raisin Cookies

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tb water mixed with 2 Tb ground flax
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 Tb powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Cream together brown sugar and coconut oil.
  4. Add applesauce, flax mixed with water and vanilla and beat well.
  5. Slowly mix in flour mixture.
  6. Finally add carrots, raisins and pecans.
  7. Scoop dough into rounded teaspoons onto a large cookie sheet.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes, until springy to touch.
  9. Cool on wire rack and dust with powdered sugar.

Do you have a favorite cookie that you made even healthier?