Saturday, June 28, 2014

Love and Shrimp Scampi



I have recently become obsessed with topping my dishes with a fresh arugula salad. 

Arugula is a bitter green, with a little bit of bite but when you add a little olive oil, fresh lemon juice and parmesan cheese, it's lemony and simply refreshing. 

It is especially delicious when served with seafood! I've topped salmon, pasta and now shrimp scampi. It adds a level of freshness to the dish which just lightens it up and makes it oh so good. 

I've never cooked shrimp before but it is actually quite easy. It turns a beautiful red color and you know it's just about done. 


This recipe is a lightened up version so it will be healthier, lighter but still delicious.

It was also really simple and only had a few ingredients! 

Time to start cooking!


Ingredients
Servings = 2

3/4 lb of peeled, deveined small shrimp
Whole Wheat pasta, about half the box
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice 
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Arugula, 1 cup

Also...olive oil, salt and pepper and (optional) a little butter.




Instructions

Begin by cooking the pasta, using the instructions on the package.

You can also use this time to begin making the arugula salad. Combine arugula, lemon juice and olive oil (1 tbsp of each), salt, pepper and about a tbsp of parmesan cheese. Toss and set aside.


For the shrimp, start by heating up a little olive oil. On medium-high heat, add the minced garlic and shrimp and begin to cook. Stir and flip the shrimp so it cooks evenly. Season with salt and pepper.

[Side-note: if you like onion, you can begin by sautéing that before you add the shrimp and garlic. It will add another depth of flavor.]

Once they turn a beautiful red color, add the white wine and let it reduce, about 3 minutes. You can add 1-2 tsp of butter to add a little silkiness to the flavor, but this is optional.

Once the wine reduces, add the pasta directly into sauté pan. Toss the sauce into the pasta.


Serve it with a little of the arugula salad on top. 

Deeeeelicious and easy!

This would also be good with spaghetti squash or without the pasta all together. 

Make it how you love it!


As always, hope you enjoy.

Lots of LOVE,

Eva

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Love and Lavender-Lemon Chia Pudding

When I found out this month's theme for the Recipe Redux was Floral Flavors, I was immediately scared.

I love the smell of some flowers, but to be honest, a few flowers have an aroma that is  just way too strong for me.

Especially lavender. 

So why on Earth am I making a lavender recipe?

Well, I like the challenge and I was curious if the taste would be too strong for me too.

I've also been thinking of ways to spice up chia pudding and I thought this was just the idea I've been looking for.


Let me tell you though, lavender for cooking/drinking/consuming purposes is not an easy thing to find. But after much searching, I finally got my hands on some dried lavender flowers at Philly's own Reading Terminal Market.

Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with chia seeds, they are these awesome little nutrient packed seeds that are filled with a bunch of goodness.

They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (those GOOD fats you're always hearing about), fiber, protein and other nutrients and minerals including iron, zinc and calcium. 

All that in those little seeds? Count me in!

They also expand when you put them into liquid and thus, create a pudding like texture. This is a recipe you have to make ahead time, as the chia seeds must sit in the liquid for a few hours (or overnight) so they can expand into the pudding.



Lavender pairs well with honey or lemon, so I decided to go with lemon because I was out of honey at home. But I am glad I did! 

It's really amazing how pairing ingredients can have such a drastic effect. 

I made this initially sans lemon, but as expected, it was too strong in flavor. But as soon as I added some fresh lemon zest and a little squeeze of lemon juice, the flavor completely changed. 



An important thing to remember here is that I used soy milk. If using dairy in this recipe instead, the lemon juice will make the milk curdle so it may best to opt out of lemon and try it with honey instead!


Enough talking, let's get cooking!





Ingredients
Serving: 1

1 cup soy milk (plain or vanilla)
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp dried lavender flowers
dash of cinnamon
fresh lemon zest


Begin by warming up the soy milk, on medium to low heat. You can add little or a lot of cinnamon at this time. 

Watch it so it doesn't begin to boil or burn. When it is warm, add the lavender and remove from heat. Warming it should only take a few minutes.

The lavender flavor will quickly infuse into the milk. If you like a more intense flavor, you can keep it in longer. However, if you're like me, only keep it in there for about 4-5 minutes



Strain the milk and discard of the lavender. Add the lemon zest, just a little. Taste the milk and add more if you like it. You can also add a little sugar to sweeten this up!

Then add the infused milk to the chia seeds. Stir well, cover with some plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until the next day!


When you awaken, it will look a little something like this.

Floral, delicious and HEALTHY!




The lemon zest balances the intensity of the lavender, while adding a sweetness to this pudding that will be sure to liven up your breakfast.

Chia pudding can be adapted in many ways, so if you are looking to switch it up, use the chia seed to liquid ratio that I used and experiment!

As always, I hope you enjoy!
Lots of LOVE,

Eva




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Love and Greek Lettuce Wraps


I joined this AWESOME recipe challenge group called the Recipe Redux a few weeks ago. It is run my dietitians and connects different healthy food blogs together.

Every month they have different themes so look out for those coming your way soon!

They also send out other ideas and challenges going on, which is where this deliciousness comes in.


I recently received an email about a challenge from the Mushroom Council.

First thought - where is the mushroom council and how do I join?

It is part of the Mushroom Council’s Facebook Swap It or Top It Contest...you can find more info at www.swapitortopit.com!

Who knew there was such a thing? Anyway, they have shared this technique called the "blendability technique" which involves taking finely chopped mushrooms and mixing it with a ground meat.

This adds some consistency and moisture to the meat, while also adding a vegetable and cutting down on some of the fat and calories from the servings. I was instantly intrigued because, if you haven't noticed, I love mushrooms.

I decided to try to make some kind of meatball blend with ground turkey.



I have tried to make burgers and such from ground turkey before and they tend to turn out a little dry and sort of bland. 

This time was totally different.

This is SUCH a cool/tasty/awesome way to add flavor and juiciness. 

I was actually shocked by how moist and delicious these guys were.

Add a little something fresh and different to go with it and you have one AWESOME dish. 

I present to you my Greek Lettuce Wraps!


Ingredients
Serving: About 20 patties

Patties
1 pack ground turkey or chicken (leanest option available!)
Fresh basil
Blend of mushrooms, about 15-20 mushrooms (I used portobello and cremini)
2 tbsp. (reduced sodium) soy sauce
Garlic

Lettuce Wraps

Bibb Lettuce
1-2 carrots
1 cucumber
Any other crunchy vegetable you like
Feta Cheese


Tzatziki

1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Fresh Dill, a few sprigs, chopped
1 cucumber
Fresh lemon juice, about 1 tbsp
Finely minced garlic, 1-2 cloves


To begin, you need to FINELY chop the mushrooms. If you have a food processor, this will be a lot easier but if not, it just takes a little chopping. It should look a little something like this.



Once these are all chopped up, saute them until brown and cooked through.

Then add them to your ground meat. Add the soy sauce and about 2-3 cloves of finely minced garlic. Add a little salt and pepper. 

Take about 8-10 leaves of basil, chop and add into the meat!






Make a small patty and saute in a little olive oil on medium heat, about 5-7 minutes each side until beautifully grilled. Taste the first one for salt and pepper, and add according to flavor. If you like it, saute the rest!


The tzatziki is easy. Just add all the ingredients in a bowl.

The cucumbers can be grated, but if you do this, make sure to drain some of that extra water that will come out of the cucumbers. 

Add the yogurt, dill, lemon juice and garlic. 

As always, season with salt and pepper. 


Once they are done, plate your lettuce wrap components with the bibb lettuce, julienned carrots, cucumbers and some fresh basil. I also added a little red cabbage.


Serve with tzatziki and crumbled feta.


Pile it up together and ENJOY! 

Savory, juicy and so fresh. 

Loved this recipe.

You can make the patties and use different vegetables for the lettuce wraps, based on your likes! 

This is an amazing, gluten-free, guilt-free, diabetes friendly dish.

Also, it tastes AMAZING. This is not your usual bland turkey meat patty.


You HAVE to try it. You will not regret it.

Trust me.

As always, hope you enjoy!

Lots of LOVE,

Eva




By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.