Monday, March 27, 2017

Skinny Shrimp Piccata with Zoodles

I'd been wanting to try a spiralizer for the longest time, but I really didn't want to spend $50 on one of the better models.  And then I ran across this OXO hand spiralizer costing just $15.  I thought I could try it and if I liked it, then I might spring for the better models.

No need.  This thing does such a great job and it's so easy to use.  I wasn't sure how the "zoodles" would come out knowing how it's so easy to overcook sliced squash.  But these things not only came out with texture after being cook, they still had a crunch when I ate the leftovers two days later!


4 small, thin zucchini (I used half zucchini and half yellow squash)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
garlic salt
1 lemon, cut in half
3 Tbsp EVOO, divided
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp capers
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Spiralize zucchini then add to a colander set atop a bowl.  Lightly salt the zoodles, toss with your fingers to coat, then cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or an hour to drain.  Pat or gently squeeze excess liquid from the zucchini with paper towels or a kitchen towel then set aside.

Pat shrimp very dry between paper towels then season both sides with garlic salt and pepper.  Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a large, 12" skillet over heat that's just a touch above medium then add half the shrimp and saute until cooked through (time depends on the size of the shrimp).  About 30 seconds before the shrimp are fully cooked, drizzle in a little lemon juice then remove shrimp to a plate once the lemon juice has evaporated.  Heat remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in the skillet then saute remaining shrimp, repeating the lemon juice step at the end.

Melt butter in the skillet then add the garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add zoodles then turn heat up slightly and saute until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes.  Add a drizzle of lemon juice, the capers, Parmesan cheese, and S&P to taste, then toss to combine.

Plate then top with cooked shrimp and serve.

Recipe Source:  Iowa Girl Eats

Saturday, March 25, 2017

City Cafe Oriental Chicken Salad

There is a restaurant (actually three) here in Chattanooga that Jim and I used to go to every single Sunday morning.  This place has the most incredible, diverse menu and, for me, the selling point was that you can order anything on the menu 24 hours a day (and for someone not overly fond of breakfast foods, this is a blessing to me).  Anything.  Feeling like fried catfish at 7 a.m?  No problem.  Eggplant Parmesan at 9 a.m?  No problem.  Any breakfast item you like, but of course!  And a salad?  Absolutely!

I love their salads.  And their portions are ginormous.  I would generally get three meals out of one salad.

So this really isn't a recipe, but ingredients to make up a great salad.  They offered the salad with the basic restaurant salad dressings, but I used a recipe for a teriyaki vinaigrette I found somewhere on line (I Googled it again, but couldn't find it.  But there are a handful of different recipes you can use if you want).

So here's what I put in my salad.  You can see the City Café menu at the link below.


Lettuce (Romaine, Mixed Greens, Iceberg, your choice)
Sauteed sliced onions and green and/or red peppers, cooled to room temp
Strips of boneless, skinless chicken breasts marinated in teriyaki sauce (I use Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce), grilled
Roasted red pepper strips
Hard-boiled eggs
Toasted slivered almonds

Salad Dressing of your choice

Recipe Idea Source: City Cafe Menu

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spicy (or not) Sausage Pasta

OK, pay attention!!!  This is just about the best recipe I have found in a long time.  I made it a few weeks ago but lost the photos so, alas, I had to make it again.

And not is it divinely delicious, it's a super-easy one-pot meal.  Make a green salad for a complete meal.

NOTE:  The original recipe calls for Rotel tomatoes with green chiles which are a bit too spicy for me.  I used a can of petite-diced tomato.  Perfection!

SPICY (or not) SAUSAGE PASTA (4 servings)

1 Tbsp EVOO
1 lb smoked sausage (I used turkey)
1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups lo-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, mild, or 1 can (14.5 oz) petite-diced tomatoes
1/2 cup regular or heavy cream
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 tsp each S&P
1 cup Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

Add olive oil to oven-safe skillet over medium heat until just smoking.  Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, and S&P and stir.  Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.  Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions.  Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Image result for happy st patrick's day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I love this day, not because I'm Irish, but because it's a wonderful excuse to make corned beef and cabbage.  This year I'll be making mine in the pressure cooker.  I love using the pressure cooker because everything comes out so tender.  Mine is a digital PC unlike the stove-top version my mom used to use which scared the bejesus out of everyone (I still don't know exactly why, but can only imagine).  The 21st century version is completely safe and easy to use.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Louis Salad Dressing

Whenever Publix has their lump crab meat on sale (BOGO, half-price!) I always grab a couple of containers to make one of my favorite salads!  Looking at different salad recipes, you can add whatever toppings you like.  On this one I used romaine, Campari tomatoes, black olives, asparagus, and a hard-boiled egg.

But this is about the salad dressing.  I ran across this years ago in the South Beach Diet book.  I could drink this stuff!  Quick and easy to make, it's good on any salad.


1/2 cup mayo (I use half regular and half reduced-fat)
2 Tbsp chili sauce
1 Tbsp grated onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp cream or half-and-half
hot sauce, to taste
S&P, to taste

Blend together.  Let stand a few hours to allow flavors to meld.

Recipe Source: The South Beach Diet, 2003, p. 226

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Skillet Ravioli Lasagna

I don't know why I've happened upon so many 20/30 minute meals of late, but this is another one that came out really well.  And easy.  And it just so happened I had everything on hand (I keep a bag of Celentano Cheese Raviolis on hand for quick, delish dinners).  Add some jarred spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, cheese, spinach, and basil for this meal-in-one entrée.  I cut the recipe in half for the two of us.


8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
2 Tbsp EVOO, divided
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 25 oz packaged frozen cheese ravioli, thawed on counter or in microwave (you won't use them all), or refrigerated ravioli
2 (23.5 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
16 oz mozzarella cheese, divided, plus extra for serving
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided, plus extra for serving
2 cups fresh spinach, rough chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground back pepper

Saute mushrooms in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp dried oregano.  Set aside.

In a 12" non-stick skillet, drizzle 2 Tbsp oil.  Spread about 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce over the bottom of the skillet.  Sprinkle about 2 Tbsp Parm over the sauce.

Layer enough of the ravioli to almost cover the sauce layer, about 10-11.  Sprinkle grated mozz over the ravioli, to your liking, covering all the ravioli pieces and depending on how cheesy you like your lasagna.  Place about 1/3 of the mushrooms over the mozz.  Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp of the fresh basil over the mushrooms and mozz.  Add half of the chopped spinach, spreading over everything.

Cover this layer with more sauce to thinly cover.  Sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan over the sauce.

Repeat with another layer of ravioli, mushrooms, mozz, basil, spinach, sauce, and Parmesan.

For the final (top) layer, place only 3-4 more raviolis over the layers, more sauce, then more Parmesan and mozz.  Add the rest of the mushrooms and sprinkle more basil, using all or some of what you have left, to your liking.

Now sprinkle Parmesan once more over everything and grated from black pepper on top.

Turn heat to medium until sauce starts barely bubbling through the ravioli.  Turn to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Cover and cook until mozz topping has melted and lasagna is nice and bubbly, approximately 5 minutes.  Uncover and try not to let any moisture accumulate on the lid and drip back into the skillet.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

NOTE:  If you want to add meat to this recipe, brown one pound of ground beef (or half beef and half Italian sausage) until no longer pink on the outside.  Drain and then remove the meat to a plate.  Using the same skillet, start your layers adding the meat into the sauce layer during assembly.

Recipe Source:  Good Dinner Mom

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Salmon Provencal

I try to serve salmon at least once a week, preferably twice.  I haven't been too good about that lately, so I was excited to find this elegant restaurant-quality dish that includes capers (I do love my capers!)  It's another quick (20 minute) dinner.  Serve it over rice or another grain (I used red quinoa this time).


1 large vine-ripened tomato
2 salmon filets (4-6 oz each)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp capers (more or less, to taste)
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp butter

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Score an "X" on the bottom of the tomato then add to the pot and remove once the skin beings to peel back, 30 seconds.  Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the tomato and discard, then finely chop tomato and add everything (flesh, seeds, and juices) to a bowl.  Measure out 1/2 cup of the tomato and juices then set aside.

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over heat that's just a touch above medium.  Season salmon filets generously with S&P then place skin side up in the skillet and saute for 2 minutes.  Flip then saute for 3-4 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.  Transfer filets to a plate then let skillet sit off the heat for a minute to cool down slightly.

Add garlic to skillet then stir constantly until golden brown, 30 seconds, then add wine, chicken broth, tomatoes, and capers.  Turn heat up to  bring to a boil then turn back down and simmer until liquid has reduced by half, 2-3 minutes.  Squeeze in a bit of fresh lemon juice (you can always add more).  Add butter and swirl until melted.  Taste then add S&P if necessary.  Plate salmon then top with sauce and serve.

Recipe Source: Iowa Girl Eats

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken

Here's a quick and basic busy night dinner.  A 20 minute meal using ingredients you probably always have on hand.  Serve it over rice or another grain and add a green vegetable or salad and you're set.


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cornstarch
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp EVOO
Hot, cooked rice or other grain, for serving

Lightly season chicken with S&P. 

Whisk together the chicken broth, garlic, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot and rippling.

Add chicken in a single layer and cook, without stirring for a minute or two until the chicken begins to turn golden.  Flip the chicken pieces. 

Whisk the sauce to recombine and stir it into the skillet; bring the mixture to a simmer.

Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken has cooked through. 

Serve over hot rice or quinoa.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe