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)

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)

Baked Mahi-Mahi with Dill Cream Sauce

Baked Mahi-Mahi with Dill Cream Sauce

When I was in 8th grade I decided I wanted to be a vegetarian.  My parents did not believe their daughter could succeed in our meat-loving family.  It might have been more believable if I had not broken this news to them as I devoured a grilled steak ;)

Well I was a vegetarian for 5 years.  Once a month my mom would force me to eat some sort of seafood, since she did not think I was getting enough protein through my vegetarian diet.  Believe me, convincing my stubborn self to eat seafood was an uphill battle –but their house, their rules.

Baked Mahi-Mahi with Dill Cream Sauce

Nowadays, I am no longer a vegetarian (foodie and limited diet don’t really mix in my opinion), but I definitely prepare a lot of vegetarian and pescatarian-friendly meals.  Mahi-Mahi is one of my favorite white fish to prepare.  It does not taste very fishy and it can easily be found in the frozen section at the grocery store.  Usually I purchase fresh seafood, but it is nice to have a bag of frozen shrimp or fish in the freezer for quick week night meals.  I prefer to bake or grill fish since it’s healthier than pan-frying and I can usually get something else done around the apartment while the fish is baking.  Minimal fuss–my kind of recipe.

Baked Mahi-Mahi with Dill Cream Sauce

When I was researching fish recipes, I knew I wanted to pair the fish with a citrus and herb-infused sauce.  Honestly both dill and parsley complement fish well and I was craving dill that evening, but you could easily substitute your preferred herb. This simple mahi-mahi recipe just got a bit more decadent by drizzling a creamy, yet refreshing sauce over the top.  But why trust me, you be the judge and add this to your meal rotation!

Baked Mahi-Mahi with Dill Cream Sauce

As Always,

Bon Appeteek

Recipe adapted from Quaintrelle’s Skinny Baked Lemon Dill Mahi-Mahi

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

The Players:

For the fish: 
2 pieces of frozen mahi-mahi
2 t lemon-pepper seasoning
coconut oil cooking spray

For the dill cream sauce: 
2 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
1 small lemon, juiced
1 T dried dill
1 t coconut oil
sea salt and cracked pepper

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to cook fish according to package (375 F in my case).  Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.
  2. Spray each side of the frozen mahi-mahi with coconut oil cooking spray.  Then season each side with 1/2 tsp of the lemon-pepper seasoning.  Place filets on baking dish and cook according to package directions (20-25 minutes, until flaky).
  3. When there are ~3 minutes of cooking time left for the fish, combine the dill sauce ingredients in a small microwave-safe dish.  Microwave for 30-60 seconds. Whisk to incorporate ingredients every 15 seconds during the microwaving process.  The sauce should be a smooth consistency.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. Remove the fish from the oven and spoon the dill sauce over the fish.  Serve immediately.

Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

 

Sometimes I like to pretend I am on one of those cooking shows where you have a mystery ingredient and you have to repurpose it or use it in a way that someone would not expect.

Exhibit A: Kale

Kale Pesto

Oh hey there curly, green, vibrant, nutritious vegetable. 

I have met so many people that raise their noses at kale.  They say they dislike the texture or the flavor.  I don’t think those people have attempted to utilize kale in anything other than a salad.  I throw kale into smoothies, stews, lentil dishes, hashes.  I roast, cream, and sauté it.

My proudest kale creation is…drum roll please...kale pesto.  If you think about it pesto is comprised of a few key ingredients: herbs, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and parmesan.  Why not switch out the basil for our superfood friend –kale?

Kale Pesto

Kale is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium.  It also contains sulforaphane, a chemical known for it’s anti-cancer properties.  Boiling kale loses some of the sulforaphane content, but steaming it does not.  I boiled/steamed the kale, because I don’t own a double-boiler (hello Christmas wish list) and I was too lazy to rig one up with a colander or two pots.

I also used walnuts instead of pine nuts in the recipe, because I had the walnuts on hand.  They do the trick!  This pesto is great tossed on pasta, spaghetti squash, chicken breast, pork chops, paninis, or even as a topping for crackers.  Give kale a second chance!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

The Players: 

10 oz bag pre-cut, pre-washed kale
1/3 C walnuts
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C fresh grated parmesan
2 garlic cloves, peeled
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

The Rules: 

  1. Bring a large pot of 2 cups water to boil (on high heat).
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, remove and toss out any large stems from the kale.  Add kale to the boiling water and cover pot with lid.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, stir the kale occasionally, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the kale begins to wilt down, but still has a firm texture.
  4. Transfer kale to a colander and rinse with cold water.  Allow kale to drain.  Remove excess water from kale by drying between 2 clean dish rags or pieces of paper towel.  You should end up with 3 cups of kale.
  5. Transfer kale and remaining ingredients to food processor.  Pulse until a pesto-like consistency.
  6. Store refrigerated in an air-tight container or serve with your favorite pasta, protein, or as a sandwich spread :)