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 and Quinoa Spring Rolls

Alright, I have a confession.  Are you guys ready for it?  I splurged…big time.  I purchased my first, official pair of running shoes!  I tried to play it cool and wear my Nike Outlet and Nordstrom Rack Nikes while training for my first marathon.  I tried to convince myself that I did not need to walk into the new Brooks store (conveniently located off the running path…hello marketing genius).  But this Sunday, after a trip to the Fremont Sunday Market and Fremont Brewery (oops) I did the deed.

And I do not regret my decision one bit!  The sales associate was awesome and analyzed my gait and provided me with a few options.  I am so excited to continue my marathon training with my new shoes.  Also, SHOUT OUT to all the Boston Marathon Participants out there.  You are my inspiration.  Don’t worry seasoned vets, I will test drive my new kicks before I run my 17 mile long run on Saturday.  Mentally already exhausted.  But I get such a thrill running, especially with all the PNW beauty, that my running days are my favorite work out days :)

Shrimp and Quinoa Spring Rolls

Another healthy obsession of mine is Thai food.  Seriously, Thai recipes seem overwhelming, but really they require you to have the same key spices/ingredients on hand and then it all comes down to the balance of flavors.  Spring rolls are a great recipe to have in your culinary tool box for entertaining, using up veggies, or quick meals.  Honestly, you can combine a variety of proteins or veggies and if you dip it in peanut sauce…it’s going to taste AMAZING.  Hello happy taste buds and belly.  I decided to use spinach and quinoa in this variation since I had both on hand in the fridge.  But next time who knows what I’ll find in the kitchen and in my spring roll.

Shrimp and Quinoa Spring Rolls

Let me know what you love to put in your spring rolls and what your favorite running shoes are?!?!

Shrimp and Quinoa Spring Rolls

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 rolls

The Players: 

For the shrimp: 
24 large shrimp, peeled
1 t brown sugar
1 t chili paste
1 t sesame oil
1/2 t fish sauce

For the spring rolls: 
8 medium-size spring roll wrappers
1 C cooked red quinoa
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
2 C baby spinach
1/3 C fresh cilantro leaves (alternatively use thai basil)

For the peanut dipping sauce
1/4 C creamy peanut butter
1 T coconut cream (alternatively use 2 T light coconut milk in place of coconut cream and water)
2 T water
1 t brown sugar (if desiring sweeter sauce)
1 t fish sauce (alternatively use soy sauce)
2 t chili paste (use less if sensitive to spice)
1/2 t sesame oil

The Rules: 

  1. Place all ingredients for the shrimp marinade in a mixing bowl and coat shrimp.  Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. While the shrimp is marinating, prepare the veggies, and cook quinoa according to package instructions.  Set veggies aside and allow quinoa to cool.  (Note: I prepare quinoa in a large batch for the week and keep it refrigerated for later use)
  3. In a microwave safe dish, combine ingredients for peanut dipping sauce and microwave for 30 seconds.  Whisk until well-incorporated.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  Set aside. (Note: For a thicker dipping sauce, use 1 tbsp water; for a thinner sauce use 2 tbsp water)
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with non-stick cooking spray.  Cook shrimp 2 minutes per side, until pink.  Remove from heat.
  5. Pour simmering water into a large pan or bowl.  Place the spring roll wrapper in the water and rotate until moistened.  Lay the wrapper on a damp, clean work surface.
  6. In the center of the spring roll wrapper layer spinach, quinoa, carrots, red bell peppers, shrimp, and cilantro.  Roll up like a burrito, tucking ends in, and set aside.  Repeat step 5 and 6 for remaining 7 spring rolls.  (Note: I used 3 shrimp per spring roll)
  7. Serve spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce.  Store extra spring rolls in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

15 Minute Garlicky Shrimp and Zoodles

I would just like to take a moment to say how grateful I am to work with the people I do.  I think too often you hear people complaining about work and the stress of work.  It’s always easier to complain than to be appreciative and thankful.  Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of work that are not fun…hence why it’s called “work” and not “happy hour”.  But I am fortunate to be surrounded by amazing patient care coordinators, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, nurses, mid-levels, pharmacists (shout out to my people), and providers every day.  Not to mention every other person that keeps the machine that is a clinic working.  Yes, we do everything for our patients, but goodness some days it takes a lot of patience (hehe see what I did there?).  I always try to thank the people that work hard to make my day a little easier, but I wanted to give a cyber thank you to everyone else out there that’s giving it their all :)

15 Minute Garlicky Shrimp and Zoodles

Now with all that hard work, you can bet that I work up an appetite.  Sometimes the best meals take the least effort and time.  Stop right there…don’t take another bite of the microwaved entrée.  You can and should take time to reward yourself with a yummy home-cooked meal after a long day.  This is an easy recipe that comes together in minutes AND you can easily customize it for the number of people eating.  Oh yes, you better be intrigued.  Zoodles.  Zucchini noodles, my latest obsession.  They are great because they substitute easily for any pasta dish and you can cook them in the sauce.  Minimal dishes.  Man friend is happy (since he’s always on dish duty).

15 Minute Garlicky Shrimp and Zoodles

I use a Paderno 3-Blade Spiralizer to create my zoodles.  My ratio is 1 large zucchini per serving.  I serve 5 shrimp per person and add as many mushrooms as I have on hand.  Feel free to use an entire 10 oz container.  Everything cooks in one pan and you can easily double the recipe and feed a larger crowd.  I kept the recipe dairy-free, but you could grate some fresh parmesan on top of each serving if you want to kick it up another notch.  Simple, fresh, flavorful, and quick.  Who wouldn’t want to reward themselves after a long day with a bowl of some Garlicky Shrimp and Zoodles?!?!  Tomorrow is Friday, take a moment to thank someone at work for what they do before you run out the door to celebrate the weekend ;)

15 Minute Garlicky Shrimp and Zoodles

As Always,

Bon Appeteek

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

The Players: 

5 oz sliced crimini mushrooms (half a container)
1/2 shallot, diced
20 large shrimp, peeled
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 zucchini, ends removed
1/4 C diced sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 T freshly sliced basil (~5 large basil leaves)
salt and pepper to taste

The Rules: 

  1. While your veggies and shrimp are sautéing, use a spiralizer to transform your zucchini into zoodles.
  2. In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, mushrooms, and shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Place shrimp and garlic in the pan and cook an additional 2 minutes per side until pink.  Remove shrimp and mushrooms from pan and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, sauté zoodles  and sun-dried tomatoes in the same pan.  Stir occasionally and cook until zoodles are tender (5-7 minutes).
  5. Add the shrimp and mushrooms back to the pan and toss with fresh basil.  Serve warm.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend.  Sunday is typically my rest and recover day.  I love having the day to workout, run errands, blog, get creative in the kitchen, catch up on Netflix tv shows.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

Today we had our last softball game of the season, before the playoffs.  Let’s just say we refer to ourselves as “The Little Rascals.”  I mean I should have known the teams we would compete against would be pretty impressive since this was the pre-season to Summer league.  Oops.  Don’t get me wrong, I am super competitive and love being active, but I am no Babe Ruth.  Our record was 1-4 prior to today’s game.  Not only was it difficult to piece together enough players today, but it was pouring rain.  We have had such a mild winter, I really should not complain about one day of rain.  Standing outside for an hour, getting soaked, chasing around a neon ball…not quite R&R if you know what I mean.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

Oh well, it was totally worth it!  We won :o)  It has been awesome to see how our team has come together through the season and it was a close game, which kept things interesting despite the weather.   There is no better feeling than winning after bearing the elements.  Okay, well in my honest opinion…there is no better feeling than a hot shower and cozy meal after a rainy day, but winning was the cherry on top of the sundae (Sunday, get it?).

Shrimp & Farro Salad

What does this have to do with my shrimp & farro salad?  Absolutely, nothing.  But this salad is a winner in my books.  It’s light and refreshing.  Packed with flavors, textures, and vitamins.  Farro is an awesome grain to throw in soups and salads, because it will maintain its texture/bite and is larger than quinoa or cous cous.  However, if you don’t have farro, you can easily substitute pasta or quinoa.  You will feel great eating this salad and I bet you won’t be able to put the fork down.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 

1 C uncooked farro
20 large raw shrimp
1 T coconut oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 persian cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 C diced roma tomatoes (~1 1/2 tomatoes)
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large lime, juiced
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 C fresh chopped cilantro (use less if you prefer)
salt and pepper

The Rules: 

  1. For the farro:
    1. Place farro in a medium sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups water and salt and bring to a boil.
    2. Then reduce to a simmer and replace lid, cooking for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
    3. Allow farro to cool (~ 1 hour).
  2. While the farro is cooking, prepare the shrimp:
    1. Remove tail and shell of shrimp.  Rinse and dry with paper towel.
    2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil and add shrimp.  Season with salt.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until pink and cooked through.
    3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked shrimp, farro, and remaining salad ingredients.  Toss with a spatula to maintain some shape to the avocado.  Taste and re-adjust seasonings as desired.  Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.