Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

SNAP SUNDAYS.  I will explain where this idea came to be in a second.  I am sure I am not the only individual that feels like summer flies by.  From weddings/festivities to concerts and weekends out of town… there never seems to a free moment, especially with busy work days.  I have been sad that I have not been able to dedicate time to the blog (and all of you).  Well Andy being the loving and supportive man that he is came up with the idea for “snap” posts.

Quick picture.  Quick recipe.  Quick blog post.

I mean we live in a society that is always on the go and time is something we all could use a little extra of.  Snap Sundays might be my new favorite blog post day :)

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

 

Avocado crema.  Also known as the poor man’s guac.  Let’s be real here, I wanted to make guacamole and did not have a few of the key ingredients.  Also, can you really find anything wrong with an avocado dip/spread/sauce of any kind…didn’t think so!  Grilled prawns are a summer favorite of mine and there is only so much grilled chicken, steak, or veggies a girl can eat.  These are a real treat :)

What’s your favorite, snappy recipe?  Also, snappy does not equal unappealing…presentation and plating make this recipe look like a fancy little hors d’oeuvres.

Avocado Crema and Grilled Prawns

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: less than 10 minutes
Servings: 20 shrimp appetizers

The Players:

For the avocado crema
2 large, ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves
1-inch piece of jalapeño
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
sea salt and pepper to taste

For the prawns
20 large or jumbo tail on shrimp, thawed and peeled
2 T butter

The Rules:

  1. Preheat the grill to 400F and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place 4-5 shrimp per skewer.  (Note: I used metal skewers.  If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling)
  3. Place shrimp on the grill and close cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, rub both sides with butter, then flip and grill other side for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. While the shrimp is cooking, place all ingredients for avocado crema in a food processor and pulse until smooth consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve shrimp with the avocado crema as a dipping sauce.  (Note: I place 1 tsp of avocado crema in the base of a white soup spoon and topped with shrimp)

Thai Chopped Salad

Outlets.  I’m not talking about shopping ladies (although I do enjoy a lovely outlet adventure).  I am talking about your stress-relieving and creative outlets.  What do you do to let your inner artist escape or to take the edge off?!?!?

Thai Chopped Salad

Exercise.  My stress-relieving outlet.  Probably not that surprising since I’ve posted about hikes and marathon-training.  I learned early in my pharmacy residency that my relationship would not survive if I did not work out.  I am apparently a much friendlier version of myself when I sweat out the frustrations.  Let me be honest, I don’t get much out of running on a treadmill.  I either want a group training class where a trainer is pushing me to limits I didn’t know existed OR I want to be immersed in the outdoors, running/hiking/swimming/paddle-boarding.  My next activity to tackle is road biking, but let’s just say that one might take a bit of practice ahem train wheels ahem.  Andrew filmed me in the parking lot testing out a road bike and could not stop laughing because of how nervous I looked :/  I may have almost crashed into a trash…oops!  FYI marathon training = insatiable appetite.  I apologize to anyone that has suffered the wrath of hangry me.  My life is a Snickers bar commercial.

Thai Chopped Salad

Food.  My creative outlet.  Probably even less surprising.  I really love getting crafty in the kitchen.  I must bore everyone I hang out with.  If I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about groceries, restaurants, food blogs, or Teek (my adorable weimy).  Teek has nothing to do with food, but I am equally as obsessed with food and Teek.  I apologize to all the friends out there that get bombarded with pictures of food (or my dog) I am either creating or eating (I’m not eating the dog…).  My creative foodie is inspired by the farmer’s market, that amazing meal we ate out, Food Network in general (when we had cable, yes canceling cable was a travesty in our household), any my personal favorite…when I challenge myself to make a meal with what I have in my kitchen.  No extra grocery trips allowed!

Thai Chopped Salad

This thai chopped salad came to be from one of those kitchen challenges.  We hosted a fiesta a couple weeks ago and I might have made enough jasmine rice to feed a small country.  I got a little carried away with the fiesta and we had left over rice for days.   I needed a break from Mexican cuisine and decided, why not make a veggie-filled salad with the rice as an added bonus?  I mean, I usually eat veggies with my rice anyway…so why not throw it all together?  Seriously, there are certain combinations that are meant to be in the world: peanut butter and chocolate, milk and cookies, ranch and hot sauce, wine and cheese, hot cocoa and whipped cream…add to the list this salad and the coconut, peanut, sesame, ginger dressing.  Anyone can throw veggies together and even add rice or farro to the mix.  I’m not claiming that this was an ingenious idea of mine.  What ties it all together and brings it to ANOTHER LEVEL???  Well, that would be the dressing.

Creamy. Sweet. Citrusy. Spicy. Nutty. Salty. Savory. Easy.

One bowl. One whisk. Magic.

Thai Chopped Salad

This salad was so delicious.  I decided to make it again.  It’s really not an addiction, until you catch yourself licking the dressing bowl…guilty.  I used farro the second time because I needed a break from rice and wanted to see if the grain in the salad could easily be swapped out.  You can also adjust the veggies to what you have on hand.  The first time I made the salad I left out the carrots, subbed shredded brussels sprouts for the cabbage, and used toasted cashews instead of roasted peanuts.  I love recipes that lend themselves well to adaptation :)

Thai Chopped Salad

I’m curious, what are your outlets: stress-relieving or creative?

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes

The Players:

For the salad
8 oz uncooked farro (alternatively 1 C uncooked jasmine rice)
1 C julienned carrots
1 C cooked edamame
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
3 scallions
2 C broccoli florets
1 C purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1 C cilantro, chopped
1 C roasted peanuts

For the dressing
1/4 C coconut milk or cream
1/4 C peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1/4 C light brown sugar
2 T toasted sesame oil
2 T fish sauce (alternatively reduced sodium soy sauce)
1 T chili paste (alternatively Sriracha or hot sauce)
1 lime, juiced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced

The Rules:

  1. Cook the farro according to package instructions. (Note:  I place equal parts water to farro in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid for 10 minutes.)
  2. While the farro is cooking, prepare your vegetables:  dice the peppers, thinly slice the scallions, chop the broccoli, etc.  Place all the vegetables and the peanuts in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drain any excess water from the farro and transfer the farro to your mixing bowl.
  4. Place all the dressing ingredients in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds.  Whisk to combine.  Pour over the salad and toss until veggies and farro are coated in dressing.  Serve immediately or store refrigerated.

Bang Bang Shrimp

Wow I cannot believe that I took a little hiatus from my blogging?!?!  It was a busy, BUSY weekend and I was reminded yet again how lucky I am to live in the PNW.  Saturday a large group of us celebrated the Kentucky Derby in style.  We went to a local Seattle Restaurant and enjoyed brunch and some southern-inspired cocktails (thinks gimlets and mint juleps) before heading to the Emerald Downs to bet on some horse races and watch The Derby.  We shuttled back to the restaurant after the main race and danced the afternoon away to a local band.  I never thought I would learn how to tie a bow tie from memory, but I definitely got my practice in on Saturday helping all the men get spiffed up ;)

Derby FinestAndrew hates when I get posty to social media, but look how nice he cleans up for the Derby ;)  (sorry for the grainy image) 

Sunday we traded in our dresses and over-sized hats for some hiking shoes and enjoyed the stunning views surrounding Seattle.  After a 1000 ft-per-mile elevation gain, trek through some snow, and a scramble to the watch tower we summited Granite Mountain.  It is amazing what adventures are waiting in your backyard, especially in this little corner of the U.S.  My itch to hike is officially back in full force and I am now dedicating hours researching the trails I want to explore this year.

Granite Mountain Summit  If you look closely you can see Mt. Rainier in the distance. 

Okay enough about my weekend fun, I’m sure you’re curious about the Bang Bang Shrimp.  Other than having an awesome name, this dish is delicious and simple.  It’s a fun one to make when you have company over for summer cook-outs or if you want to switch up your Taco Tuesday and throw some seafood into those corn tortillas!

Bang Bang Shrimp

This recipe was inspired by Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer.  If you’re from the Midwest and have not been to Bonefish Grill, go there NOW and order that starter.  Your taste buds will thank me, your waist-line not-so-much.  With that being said, I decided to make a healthier version of the dish.  The shrimp are grilled instead of breaded/fried and the sauce subs greek yogurt for mayo.  The flavor is still finger-licking good.  Think creamy, sweet, spicy…aka the perfect combination.  It is SO good that Andrew dipped tortilla chips in the leftovers and was legitimately sad when I washed out the mixing bowl (hehe I am such a meanie).

Bang Bang Shrimp

What’s your favorite restaurant appetizer?  I’d love to try it and improvise a healthier version in my mini test kitchen.

Bang Bang Shrimp

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 

40 large shrimp, deveined and peeled
cooking spray (I used coconut oil cooking spray)

For the Bang-Bang sauce
1/3 C non-fat greek yogurt
1 T sweet n sour sauce
1/2 t chili paste
1 t sriracha
1 scallion, ends removed and thinly diced

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat grill to 400 F (high heat) and place shrimp on skewers.   Lightly coat shrimp with coconut oil cooking spray.  (Note: If using wooden skewers soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before adding on the shrimp, this will prevent the skewers from burning)
  2. Place shrimp on grill and cook until pink with slight char marks, ~2 minutes per side.
  3. While the shrimp are cooking, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.  Taste and readjust seasoning as desired.
  4. Remove the shrimp from the grill and baste both sides with bang bang sauce.  Serve immediately.

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sriracha-Peanut Sauce

Oh hey there March Madness.  Can I just say how nervous and excited I am about the Wisconsin Badgers playing tomorrow night?!?!? Proud lil alum here. Don’t get me wrong, I am no sports fanatic, but I am a BADGER FAN.  We are the number 1 seed and North Carolina is the number 4 seed.  It’s going to be a nail-biter and if they win (when they win), the subsequent game is going to be even more stressful.  It will be either Xavier or Arizona that we play if we advance.  Ahhhh the suspense is killing me.

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sriracha-Peanut Sauce

Moving on to something that I do know about… flavorful meals that are ready in a pinch.  I love peanut butter and I love sriracha.  Oh yes, I really love sriracha.  Why did I not think of combining the two into an awesome spicy, peanut sauce earlier?!?!  Man was I missing out before I whipped up this little number.

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sriracha-Peanut Sauce

I was really craving a stir fry tonight and of course it needed to be spicy.  Ta-da PERFECT spicy, peanut sauce meet yummy, veggie-filled stir fry.  I made a batch of roasted cauliflower rice as a base to this concoction.

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sriracha-Peanut Sauce

Seriously, this stir fry hit the spot in every single way.  I dare you not to eat a second-serving.

Shrimp Stir Fry with Sriracha-Peanut Sauce

As aways,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players:

For the stir fry
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
3 C broccoli florets
15-20 large shrimp, peeled
3 garlic cloves, minced
non-stick coconut oil cooking spray

For the sriracha-peanut sauce 
1 T crunchy natural peanut butter, melted
2 T reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T honey
1 T rice vinegar
1 T siracha

optional toppings: chopped peanuts, fresh scallions

The Rules:

  1. Whisk ingredients for sauce in a small mixing bowl until well-combined, set aside.
  2. In a wok or large sauté pan coated with cooking spray, over medium-high heat, sweat onions and cook pepper for 3 minutes.
  3. Add rinsed broccoli florets to the pan and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.  Set veggies to one side of the pan.
  4. Coat pan with additional cooking spray if needed.  Place shrimp on other half of pan and cook for one minute per side until pink.
  5. Combine shrimp with veggies, add minced garlic, and drizzle with sriracha-peanut sauce.  Stir to combine, remove from heat and allow sauce to thicken 1-2 minutes.  Serve over desired grain or carb (Note: I used roasted cauliflower rice)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I love snacking.  I am pretty much a professional grazer.  I eat every 2-3 hours and constantly am perusing the grocery store for my next snack choice.  A snack connoisseur if you will.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus.  Now this is a snack I get down with every week.  I figure why purchase store-bought hummus, when you can make a healthier version in less than 5 minutes.   You can also make any flavor you want.   Avocado, eggplant, olive, pesto, jalapeno are just a few I have toyed with.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I will usually use garbanzo beans (chickpeas); however, white bean hummus has an amazing creamy texture.  Here’s a white bean recipe for you: https://bonappeteek.com/2014/10/12/reduced-guilt-hummus/

You can store the hummus in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, but it doesn’t last more than a day when Andrew joins me in snack mode.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

As always,

Bon Appeteek

The Players: 

15.5 oz can 50% less sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 roasted red pepper (I use Trader Joe’s fire-roasted red peppers)
1/8 C extra virgin olive oil
2 t ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper

The Rules: 

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, creamy consistency.  (Note: you can leave the hummus chunkier if you would like)