Beware of the Sunchokes

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So I had originally intended on posting a super awesome recipe for sunchokes in my weekly recipe sharing post.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with sunchokes (as I had been until yesterday), they are a species of sunflower and they are cultivated for their tuber which is used as a root vegetable. They are also known as Jerusalem artichokes although they do not originate from Jerusalem and are in no way related to an artichoke.

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(This is a sunchoke)

 
Anyway, I was so excited when I received a pound of them in my CSA box because I had never tried them and I love experimenting with new foods for dinner! I actually even made them, took pictures of the prep and finished product then consumed a whole side dish of them last night and they were pretty yummy.  So why aren’t I sharing it with you? Let me explain.

I woke up this morning and something was just not right.  Like, Not. Right.  First I assumed it may have had something to do with the flax cereal I had consumed as an after dinner treat (I was STARVING last night and usually don’t eat a snack after dinner). Then, my husband informed me that he felt off too and suggested it might be the sunchokes we ate.  I kinda laughed at him but as the morning progressed and I felt more rotten I decided to do a quick google search to see what I could find out about sunchokes and gastro upset… I quickly stumbled across this blatantly informative article.  For those of you who are too lazy to click on it, I will give a brief synopsis.

Apparently these sunchokes aka Jerusalem artichokes are also known as “fartichokes”.  They weren’t given this name just to be funny, they were nicknamed this so because the sunchokes actually cause gastrointestinal upset due to a carbohydrate they contain called inulin.  Apparently our digestive systems can’t process inulin so it causes an Ex-Lax like effect.

I can personally attest to this, and I really feel the nickname “fartichoke” doesn’t portray the effect from consuming these tubers accurately.  Without being descriptive, lets just say I may have lost a pound or two this morning.

So in the best interest for all of those who were thinking of whipping up a yummy sunchoke side dish, I implore you to think again.  Sure, it sounds fancy and exotic to serve but I assure you the morning after is the furthest thing from fancy that you could imagine. If you have made or consumed sunchokes in the past without much distress then maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that can tolerate and process inulin.  All I know is that I will not be serving or eating them anytime again soon.

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Weekly Recipes Worth Sharing

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Hola! Guess it’s that time of the week again…time to round up all of the recipes I made this week that are worth sharing.  Unfortunately, the list is a little short this week as I was out of town Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then Sunday was Easter so no cooking for me 😉

Instead of belaboring the post with a long explanation of what I ate when and all that jazz, I will just get to the point and share the few recipes that I have.  First up:

Asian Turkey & Quinoa Muffin-Burgers

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So this recipe is similar to the one I shared last week in the sense that I used ground turkey and baked the meat in a muffin tin, I simply just changed up the flavors and added quinoa!

 Ingredients:

– 1lb ground turkey

-1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow box instructions)

-1 teaspoon of sesame oil

-garlic powder to taste

-onion powder to taste

-1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (I didn’t measure)

-1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and tablespoon them into a greased muffin tin.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  I ate mine on a gluten free muffin tin with a drizzle of pre-made ginger-sesame sauce.  I usually am against using store bought sauces but I happened to have this in my fridge and I didn’t think about making it homemade until the last minute.  I also accompanied the burger with homemade fries tossed in sesame oil and chili powder.

To make the fries I simply cut them into strips, tossed in the sesame oil, chili powder, salt and pepper and then baked them at 400 degrees until they were crispy (I didn’t time it, I really just kept an eye on them).  I also made steamed green beans and sprinkled them with sesame seeds so there was an all around sesame infused flavor.

Next up is a vegetarian/vegan dish that I made on Tuesday.

Zoodles Marinara Topped with a Grilled Portobello Mushroom

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Ingredients:

-2 whole zucchinis, spiralized

– 1 small can of tomato sauce

– 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with jalepanos

– 2 portobello mushrooms

This was really simple so I will just provide some quick directions.  Take the zucchini and use a spiralizer to make zoodles (place in bowl or on a large plate).  On the stove top, combine the tomato sauce and the can of diced tomatoes.  Season the sauce to your taste (maybe some salt, pepper, garlic and/or onions and red pepper flakes).  Grill the mushrooms but make sure they are brushed with an oil of sorts beforehand so that they don’t stick to the grill.  Once sauce is seasoned to your liking and the mushrooms are done (like 7 minutes or so on each side), place on top of the zoodles and enjoy!

Grilled Steak with Tri-color Pearl Couscous and Rainbow Swiss Chard

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Ingredients:

For the steak-

– 1 big piece of steak (any cut you like) grilled to your desired temperature ( I like mine medium-rare or so)

For the couscous-

– 1 cup of tri-color couscous

-1 1/4 cup of water

-salt (dash or two)

-pepper (to taste)

-fresh or dried parsley (just shake, shake, shake it or if it’s fresh a few leaves will do)

-sprinkle of black truffle salt (to give it a mushroom flavor, skip if you don’t have any or don’t enjoy the taste of mushrooms)

Instructions:

Boil the 1 1/4 cup of water then add the cup of couscous.  Once couscous has absorbed most of the water, add the rest of the ingredients and flavor to your liking.

For the Rainbow Swiss Chard:

-1 bunch swiss chard, chopped including stems

-2 tablespoon of oil

-1 clove of garlic, minced (or a few dashes of garlic powder)

-1/2 onion, diced (or a few dashes of onion powder)

-1/2 cup of dry white wine

-1 tablespoon of lemon juice

-salt to taste

Instructions:

In a large pan, heat oil and cook garlic and onions.  Once they are cooked (or if you just used the powder, once the oil is hot), add in the Swiss chard and cook down a bit.  Add wine, lemon juice and salt.  The Swiss chard will be done once it is wilted.

Here is a bonus recipe that has nothing to do with dinner but I made it for breakfast and thought I would share.  It’s not really revolutionary or anything but it was quite tasty.

Crispy Kale topped with a Pan Fried Egg and Bacon

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Ingredients:

-1 egg

-handful of chopped kale

-drizzle of oil

-salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder (just a dash of each)

-1/2 piece of bacon

Instructions: 

Heat oil up in a frying pan and add the handful of kale.  Once the kale has softened a bit add the salt, pepper, onion and garlic and stir around making sure to keep it in a bunch in the middle of the pan.  Crack the egg on top of the kale and let it cook until it is no longer runny then remove from the pan with a spatula onto a plate.  Cook the piece of bacon in the pan if you desire or heat it in the microwave for 90 seconds to ensure that it is extra crispy then top the egg and kale with the bacon and enjoy!

So that is it for the week as far as recipes go, unfortunately I wasn’t around to cook more.  I promise that next weeks post will be a little more creative than this 😉

 

 

Weekly Dinners & Other Recipes Worth Sharing

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After haphazardly writing out each of my dinners the last two weeks I’ve decided to change the format up a bit. To make it more reader friendly I’m going to just post my dinner recipes that I feel are worth sharing. I’m also going to include other non-dinner recipes I made during the week that I have found from other blogs/sites!

So to get right into it, here are the dinner recipes I made during the week that I feel are worth blogging about.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo Over Zoodles

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Please excuse the messy plating, that was my husbands doing 😋. Anyway, here is the recipe:

-1 bag of frozen precooked shrimp
-2 zucchini’s made into noodles using spiralizer
-1 can of diced tomatoes with zesty jalapeños.
-1 can of tomato sauce
-1 chopped onion
-1 clove of chopped garlic
-salt, pepper & red pepper flakes to taste

Defrost shrimp and remove the tails, reserve until after sauce is made. Chop onion & garlic and cook in a heated pan with olive oil until the onions are no longer opaque. Add both the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add in the shrimp and let it all simmer together for another few minutes. Plate the zoodles and serve the shrimp and sauce mixture over the top. Enjoy!

Crockpot Sesame Honey Pork

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I actually found this recipe here and did little to modify it. Mine came out with a little less sauce because I slow cooked it for about 8 hours and in pretty sure they made theirs in the oven. For full cooking instructions visit the link. I’ll just list the ingredients that I literally threw into the crockpot & cooked on low for 8 hours (probably too long but we ate dinner super late that night).

Ingredients:
-3 boneless pork chops
-1 tbsp of honey
-1 tbsp of sesame oil
-1 tbsp or so of ground mustard
-1 tbsp fresh rosemary
-1 garlic clove
-1/4 cup chicken broth

I actually whisked all the ingredients from the honey to the rosemary together and poured over the pork chops after I put the chicken broth in. I then threw the garlic in and let it cook on low all day!

I also made beet chips for the first time.

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Here is the link to my early post with the recipe.

Another notable recipe I found but wasn’t dinner related is a breakfast quinoa dish from feedmecolor’s blog. Here is the link

Coconut Quinoa with Ginger Pears

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These are the ingredients:
– 1 cup cooked quinoa
-half a pear
-coconut
-egg whites
-dash of sugar
-almond milk
-ground ginger
-walnuts

You can visit feedmecolor’s blog for specifics and full cooking instructions. I thought this was a very tasty breakfast dish and didn’t take too long to prepare. I also sprinkled the finished dish with some cinnamon just to give it a bit more depth but it wasn’t needed.

I also experimented with cashew cream cheese and made a portobello burger which was just two grilled portobello mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and herbed cashew cheese.

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The recipe for the herbed cashew cream cheese is in my previous post 🙂

So that pretty much concludes it for the week! I’m hoping to find some new and different recipes for the upcoming week and experiment with pearl couscous!

Have a happy week! 😊

Oven Baked Beet Chips

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So I had three beets just hanging out in my fridge now for the last 6 days or so and I needed to use them. I’ve made just plain roasted beets the last like 4 times I had them and I initially thought I’d find a recipe to use them for baking, but I didn’t like any that I found. While on my search for some recipe inspiration I came across “beet chips”, genius! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that! It seemed so simple & easy! Heck, I make sweet potato chips all the time, how hard could it be?

Well, it’s not that hard unless you’re a sleepless mom of two minions, then it’s nearly impossible! Ok, I’m exaggerating a little but I did have a few moments of failure while trying to make this stupidly simple recipe.

Here are the ingredients/directions:
-3 beets
-olive oil
-salt
-pepper

Cut the three beets with a mandolin. Toss with oil, salt & pepper. Place beets on top of a wire rack over a baking sheet so you don’t have to flip them over. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 mins.

Sounds pretty simple right? Here’s what happened:

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Ok great, so far so good. I take my mandolin and start by cutting the stem off…and it went horribly wrong. I cut it so it was lopsided…time to switch tactics.

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Nope. That knife didn’t work either…one more time.

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Ok, good much better! Now I’m actually getting somewhere and my slices somewhat resemble a chip! Here’s a quick tip: leave the root of the beet on so you can hang onto it while you’re slicing. Like this:

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Oh and make sure you set the oven before you start and have your bowl out and next to you (unlike me who didn’t think ahead) because your hands will end up looking like you murdered someone temporarily.

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Anyway, I pretty much had smooth sailing from there. I placed the beets on the wire rack over the baking sheet like this:

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And they came out crispy like this:

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Then I served them next to my turkey burger & ate them!

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Yum! 😋

Weekly Dinner Recipe Round up 3/23 – 3/28

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At the beginning of the week I had written up a menu plan for dinner each night.  I have to say I pretty much stuck to it with the exception of Saturday (3/29).  We were supposed to make shrimp fra diavolo but we decided to go to the mall and out to dinner at Cantina Laredo instead.  I ate healthy for the most part sans a skinny margarita or two 🙂

Anyway, here are the recipes (or descriptions for some rather), for our dinners from Sunday through Friday 🙂

Sunday:

Homemade Chicken Soup

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This was actually made by my husband and to tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure how he makes it.  I know that he uses a whole organic chicken and cooks it in chicken broth with fresh cut up carrots, onions, garlic and escarole.  Once the chicken has cooked thoroughly, he takes it out and shreds it then discards the unusable parts and puts all the meat back in the soup and lets it cook for a bit more before we eat it.  It’s really quite delicious and I swear it’s our cure to any cold or ailment!

Monday:

Chili Rubbed Wild Caught Cod served with Rainbow Swiss Chard

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To prepare the fish, I squeezed fresh lemon then seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder, thyme and chili powder.  To give it a bit more lemon flavor I grated fresh lemon over the top and drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil.  I baked the fish at 375 degrees for about a half hour (I think).  I honestly wasn’t paying that close of attention to the time and this was a HUGE piece of fish so if I recall it took a bit longer than normal.

For the Swiss chard, I chopped up a bunch including the stems.  I then sautéed it in a large pan with olive oil, lemon juice, a little bit of water, lemon zest, salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes.

I served the fish over a bed of brown rice (at the request of my husband) alongside the Swiss chard!

Tuesday:

Chicken Stir Fry

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I realize this isn’t the best photo but really this dish is not only simple but it’s super tasty. To prepare, I just cut up a few chicken breasts so that they were bite sized and cooked it in a large wok style pan.  Once the chicken was cooked I added fresh broccoli, carrots, snap peas, onions and garlic and let that cook until the vegetables were soft.  For the sauce we used a tiny bit of soy, tiny bit of sesame oil, some red pepper flakes, ground ginger, salt  & pepper.  My husband had his with some brown rice, I chose not to have any with mine.  This meal is kind of our “I’m too lazy to be fancy, lets cook something quick and yummy” dinner.  Nothing crazy or complicated about it but it’s pretty satisfying!

Wednesday:

Pot Roast with Kale and Roasted Golden Beets

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Ok, I really disliked the picture I took for the stir fry but this is just plain ugly and doesn’t do the meal any justice.  I tried my hardest to make this look pretty but there was not getting around it.  I slow cooked this meat along with the kale in the crockpot and this is just how it came out.

It was really easy to prepare, I just threw the roast in the crockpot with onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder and about a third cup of dry red wine.  I added the kale later but it still managed to get a bit mushy because we ate a lot later than I had intended.  Oh well, it was still pretty yummy in my tummy.

The golden beets were a lot easier to prepare than the red beets that we ate last week.  Since they don’t bleed red everywhere you can just simply peel them, dice them and toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Then you roast them in the oven for about 20 mins or so (depending on the size you dice them) at 400 degrees.

Thursday:

Roasted Pork Loin with Dandelion Greens and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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To prepare the pork loin I just seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and topped with sliced onions and baked at 400 degrees for about an hour, took it out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes then sliced it thin.

For the sweet potatoes, I just cut them up into small wedges, tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven for the last 20 minutes while the pork was cooking.

While the pork and sweet potatoes were cooking I prepared the dandelion greens.  First I boiled the greens in some salted water for about 10 minutes then drained and cooled them by running under cold water.  I then sauteed them in with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  I just cooked them long enough to take on the flavor.  They can be really bitter but I actually enjoy that flavor and think it paired well with the pork and sweet potatoes.

Friday:

Quinoa, Mushroom & Black Eyed Pea Stuffed Collard Greens with BBQ infused Tomato Sauce

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Ok, so this wasn’t exactly dinner for my family but it was a dish that I brought for dinner with my book club and it took me like an hour to make but it was totally worth it.  I found the original recipe here.  It called for just the black eyed peas, mushrooms and collards with a homemade bbq sauce.  I thought it could use something like quinoa to bulk it up a bit and who the heck has liquid smoke lying around to make their own bbq sauce anyway?!?

I will give you a quick recap of what I used to make the recipe but for exact measurements refer to the recipe above.  I  started with two bunches of collard greens.  I picked out 15 of the biggest and whole leaves that I could find and gently rinsed them.  I then chopped the remainder of the greens to be used in the stuffing.  I sliced up roughly six cremini mushrooms and had about a cup of quinoa that I had prepared beforehand to use for the stuffing as well.

While the water was boiling to soften the collard leaves to be used for the wraps, I cooked the mushrooms and greens until they were soft then added the can of rinsed and drained black eyed peas.  Once the water was boiling, I submerged the whole collard leaves and let boil for about six minutes or so.  While they were boiling I took an chopped onion that I had prepped while cutting up the mushrooms and greens and cooked them in a sauce pan. Once they were no longer opaque, I added a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and seasoned with some salt, pepper and garlic powder ( I could have added real chopped garlic but at this point in the game I was running late and I was short on time). I then added maybe 2 tablespoons of bottled bbq sauce to the tomato sauce and let that simmer while I removed the collard leaves, rinsed and let cool.

While they were cooling I stirred in some of my sauce to the stuffing mixture (just enough to give it some flavor, not so much that it was saturated). Once the leaves were cooled it was time to stuff and roll these bad boys.  You have to be delicate because the leaves are fragile but somehow I pulled it off, made it look pretty and used the rest of the sauce to pour over the leaves.

Phew! It was a process then and that just took me way to long to type up since I provided the original recipe anyway.  I just wanted to give you a true idea of how much of a process this dish was.  It looks easy but it takes a lot of prep work and I think I probably dirtied 5 pots in the process!

Ok, that’s it for and I probably have a variety of spelling and grammar errors but I’m too tired to care 🙂 Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!!

Weekly Dinner Recipe Roundup

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Lately I’ve been getting more creative in the kitchen. Partly because I’m bored of eating the same thing for dinner and enjoy cooking but mostly my weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box with it’s variety of vegetables forces me to! I receive a weekly delivery full of fresh vegetables and fruits (sometimes meat if I add it on) from our local farm. It’s all seasonal and varies from week to week. A lot of what we get I would never think to buy in the store but that’s what I love about it! I’m forced to incorporate new foods and learn new recipes and I have to say I’ve made some pretty killer dinners in the past few weeks! So I decided that I’m going to post my dinner recipes on the blog at the end of each week!

This week I only cooked four nights because we had a joint birthday party for my girls yesterday and had guests staying since Friday. I did make some pretty delicious meals Monday – Thursday though. Here they are:

Monday
Mustard-Parsley Baked Chicken with a side of Quinoa and Kale Pilaf

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For this recipe I simply took 3 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder then generously coated the top of the breasts with mustard powder and fresh parsley.
I placed them in a 9×13 glass baking dish, cut up one onion and spread it around and in between the chicken and added a bit of chicken broth to the bottom of the pan so it wouldn’t burn. I finished off by drizzling the tops of the chicken with just a bit of olive oil and stuck it in the oven on 350 degrees for about an hour.

For the quinoa and kale pilaf- I cooked the quinoa according to the box instructions with chicken broth in place of water and seasons with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder. While that was cooking, I chopped up the kale and cooked it down in a pan with some chicken broth, olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Once the quinoa was fully cooked (all the water had been absorbed) I combined it with the kale & mixed! Very quick, simple and yummy. My 3 year old even ate the kale & quinoa!

Tuesday
Flank Steak, Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad with Drizzled Honey Vinaigrette

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For this recipe, I prepped the beets first because they took the longest. I first cleaned the beets, chopped off the stem & leaves and cut off the long part of the root. I then wrapped them in foil, put it on a baking sheet and baked them at 400 degrees for about 20 mins or so. Once a bit soft, I took them out, let them cool, peeled the skin off and chopped them up into cubes. I then seasoned them with salt, pepper and thyme and drizzled with olive oil. I stuck them back in the oven for about 15 minutes and let them roast.
While the beets were roasting I cooked the flank steak. I chose to grill it but it could be cooked on the stove top as well. When the steak was about a medium rare, I pulled it from the grill and let it rest a few minutes before thinly slicing it.
To prepare the salad, I placed a bed of arugula on a plate, topped with the shaved steak, roasted beets, goat cheese, walnuts drizzled with a honey vinaigrette.
To make the honey vinaigrette, I simply whisked together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a little bit of honey and a dash of salt & pepper!
This was soooo good but side note; beets eaten in excess amount turn your pee red. I have never been a big beet eater until recently and was briefly alarmed until I put two & two together 😉

Wednesday
Pear & Onion Roasted Pork Loin with a side of Brussels Sprouts

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This dinner was soooo delicious and really simple. For the pork loin, I seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder and placed in a baking dish. I then chopped up one Bartlett pear and an onion and placed around the pork loin. For extra flavor and to ensure that the meat didn’t dry out, I poured about a cup or so of dry red wine into the dish. I baked at 400 degrees for a little over an hour (it is done once the middle of the pork is a very light pink.
After it was done, I let it cool then sliced it thin and served with a side of steam in the bag Brussels sprouts! (I was feeling pretty lazy). I really do love those those steam in the bag veggies though. They’re perfect for a quick and healthy side when you don’t have fresh produce.

Thursday
Southwestern Shrimp Salad

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I haven’t made a shrimp dish in a while & I wanted something fresh and clean for dinner, so I decided to make this. I took frozen pre-cooked shrimp, defrosted, removed the tails and sautéed with chile powder, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, lime juice and a squirt of sriracha.
I then took the sautéed shrimp and put them on a bed of romaine lettuce along with corn, black beans, avocado and tomato. I drizzled the salad with lime vinaigrette which I made by whisking lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and just the smallest touch of honey! Really simple dinner and really clean.

So there you have it; my dinner recipe roundup for the week. Sorry about the lack of measurements for the recipes. I cook much like an old Italian woman; dash of this, pinch of that haha.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday & a great week 😄