Tag Archives: healthy eats

Salsa Verde Shrimp

This recipe is super easy. You can get fresh, local shrimp driven up from the coast at the Farmer’s Market. The hardest part of this recipe is popping off the heads & tails, peeling, and deveining the shrimp.

Here’s what you need:

  • Shrimp (1.5-2 lbs for 4 people, available here in Simpsonville from the Lazy Farmer or Shem Creek at the Farmer’s Market)
  • Hampton Farms Salsa Verde (available at the Farmer’s Market)salsa verde shrimp
  • Persian Lime Olive Oil from Carolina Olive Oil
  • Fresh corn from the Farmer’s Market (multiple vendors have corn!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • Rice and/or quinoa (if desired)

Here’s what you do for the shrimp:

  1. Heat the oil (about 1tbsp) in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add shrimp and garlic. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the salsa in the skillet. Reduce heat to low. Cook until shrimp are cooked through.
  4. Serve over rice/quinoa with corn.

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Blackened Ahi Tuna Steaks with Mango Salsa

Last night, I made a truly delicious meal.  It was inspired by this jar of Hampton Farms Mango Salsa that I picked up at the Simpsonville Farmer’s Market.  I’ve been trying to think of how to use it.  This turned out to be a great way! It was delicious–such a wonderful blend of flavors!

What I used:

  1. Ahi tuna steaks.
  2. Persian Lime Olive Oil from Carolina Olive Oil
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning Blend (sometimes I make my own seasoning blend, but store-bought works when busy!)
  5. Hampton Farms Mango Salsa (again, I could make homemade Mango Salsa, but this easier and made locally)
  6. Uncle Ben’s Rice (because…quick & easy)
  7. Some spinach (because I like to “eat my colors,” and this needed some green)

What I did:

  1. Prepped the tuna steaks with some Persian Lime Olive Oil from Carolina Olive Oil and minced garlic.
  2. Covered & put in fridge.
  3. Went to Jazzercise & hung out downtown at Simpsonville Sings for a while.

    simpsonville sings 7.23

    Simpsonville Sings downtown 7.23.2015

  4. Came home, and took a shower; then took the tuna steaks out of the fridge.
  5. Lightly rinsed steaks.
  6. Put some Persian Lime Olive Oil in large skillet on medium heat.
  7. Dipped steaks in blackening season (first one side; then the other).
  8. Put tuna steaks in the skillet–cooked one side for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Pulled steaks out & put on plate, added more oil to skillet, waited for it to heat up.
  10. Put tuna steaks back in skillet (flip side) for 2-3 minutes.
  11. Pulled tuna steaks out, wilted some spinach really quickly in leftover oil.
  12. Served tuna over rice & spinach with Mango Salsa.

What it looked like:

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Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and White Lemon Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

This is an easy but yummy pasta salad dish.  I usually pack it up to take with me to work for a healthy lunch.  But it makes an2015-07-12 14.46.04 equally good side dish–especially for something like a neighborhood potluck.

What I use:

  1. 6 ounces uncooked pasta (I used Garden Delight Trio Italiano this time, but I’ve also used bow tie pasta)
  2. 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved (I had some grape, some cherry, and quite a few Roma from the garden, so I used a mix this time)
  3. 1 cup seedless green grapes, halves
  4. 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  5. 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (I used white lemon balsamic vinegar from Carolina Olive Oil, but a plain white balsamic works fine)
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped shallots (I omitted these this time because I forgot to pick up shallots at the grocery!)
  7. 2 teaspoons capers
  8. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  9. 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (I used fresh)
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  12. 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used Persian Lime olive oil from Carolina Olive Oil because I thought it would make a nice citrus-y summer dressing when paired with the white lemon balsamic vinegar, but again, you could use plain extra virgin olive oil)
  13. 1 (4-ounce) package crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

What I do:

1. Cook pasta. Drain. Combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, grapes, and basil in a large bowl.

2. While pasta cooks, combine vinegar and ingredients 5 through 11 in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil to vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle vinaigrette over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Add cheese; toss to combine.

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Black Bean Burgers of Awesome

So I’ve never been much of one for veggie burgers. But in keeping with my commitment to new, healthier foods in the new year, I decided to give these a shot.

What I Used:

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (via food processor, of course)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (again, via food processor, of course)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 3 slices toast (turned into bread crumbs via food processor…of course)

(Note: the recipe I linked calls for bell peppers, but I think I’ve mentioned a few times how my husband doesn’t eat those)

What I Did:

Mucho Yummy-o! I didn’t even tell Trent what I was making before I had him try this. He agreed with my assessment: these are a keeper. We just had them for the second time, and this time I made a double batch, freezing four patties for an easy dinner sometime in the very busy future. And I highly recommend you give them a chance, too! Trent enjoyed some frozen french fries with his, while I had some of my beloved Mojo Corn Salad–which was a perfect accompaniment.

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Homemade Pizza Love

I am pizza lover. Pure and simple. I could probably survive on pizza alone and be completely happy. And I like all kinds of different pizzas. Unfortunately, ordering pizza is both expensive and (generally) unhealthy.

So since my 2014 commitment is to cook more, order out less, and eat healthier, I figured–after 2 months without it–that I needed to ry some homemade pizza.I could have gone all out and made on of those cauliflower crusts I’ve got save on Pinterest. But I didn’t. I bought crust.  In fact, I bought some thin & crispy personal-sized crusts because I was pretty sure Trent would want pepperoni and LOTS of cheese and have no interest in my planned veggie pizza. I may have bought the crust, but I did make the sauce myself instead of relying ons something in a jar.

I used this recipe. Here’s confession number 2: while I think it definitely would’ve been better in both taste and health to use real tomatoes, I did not do that this time (I plan to next time–maybe this summer when tomatoes are more in season)

Of course, sauce alone does not a pizza make! I decided my pizza would be veggies, specifically mushrooms, red onions, spinach, Kalamatta olives. I actually had a dream about making this pizza last weekend, which is what started this whole thing. So I basically followed my dream to make mine. 😉  First, I chopped up all my veggies (except the baby spinach leaves).  Then, I sautéed them in a pan with EVOO over medium heat until the spinach leaves wilted. I used feta cheese for mine because feta is one of the lower calories, healthier cheeses (so sayeth Google). Also, it’s just a yummy treat on pretty much everything.  I used a store-bought 3-cheese pizza blend for Trent’s pizza.  We actually got three meals out of this: 2 dinners and a lunch (3 total mini pizzas each!).  The first time I did Trent’s I put the meat under the cheese; he requested that I put the pepperoni slices on top of the cheese to see if it would make his pepperoni crunchier, which it did.  Overall, this was a hit–and something I’ll do again.

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Back to the Kitchen for Argentinian Red Shrimp Arrabbiata

When I posted the picture of this completed meal to FB and Instagram, I’m pretty sure people might’ve actually drooled on their laptop/mobile devices.  I got a lot of request for the recipe.

As you know, if you know me, I learned everything I know about cooking from Google. And most of my new year healthy recipes are on Pinterest. And that’s where this one for Shrimp Arrabbiata came from too (although I am now becoming more daring/confident and I’m not always–gasp!–following a recipe!).



I highly recommend you make this yourself because it was AMAZING. Trent and I both loved it. Devoured it. And writing about it right now and looking at the pics again just makes me want to make and eat it again. So.

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 ounces fresh linguine (I used the Garden Delight kind for the extra nutrients. Trent thought this would taste terrible. He was wrong.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used Trader Joe’s Argentinian Red Shrimp because that’s what we had in the freezer.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Here are the directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt; add shrimp to pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done. Transfer shrimp to a bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add onion, minced garlic, basil, and crushed red pepper to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add tomato paste and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or just until sauce begins to thicken. Return shrimp to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add parsley to the pan, stirring well to combine. Serve over pasta.

And here’s what it looked like:

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Lemon Salmon with Lima Beans

So far I’ve been doing pretty good with my new commitment to healthier eating. Part of that commitment is a commitment to cooking more meals–you know, as opposed to take out, delivery, or heating up frozen, processed foods. I didn’t learn a lot about cooking growing up, so this is really an adventure of sorts. I’m not sure how I’d do it without Google, which comes in handy for figuring out strange cooking terms I’ve never hear before in addition to figuring out techniques for making food.

Another thing we’re trying to do is sit down at the kitchen table to eat together and talk–you know, as opposed to sitting in front of the TV, eating off TV trays. We even got some new chair cushions for the kitchen chairs, so they’re actually comfortable enough to sit on for more than just a minute. So far, so good. I hope we can keep it up–I’m really enjoying it.

Anyway–one of my recent kitchen adventures was this Lemon Salmon with Lima Beans recipe. We had a piece of salmon in the freezer and a bag of frozen lima beans. All the other ingredients were also already on hand (this is really one of the keys to successfully making good, healthy homemade meals on a regular basis–keeping the kitchen stocked with the right ingredients, so they’re always on hand). I’ve been trying to do that, too, and again, so far, so good.

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Even though I accidentally put all the paprika into the yogurt mixture, this came out good. Both Trent and I enjoyed it, and Trent noted that the sauce would be good to use on other fish dishes in the future. He really liked it. So we’re filing this one under “Make Again.” Success.

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Seafood Blend with Garlic & Basil Linguine and Romano Cheese

So a few days ago, in honor of the new year, I went a little pin crazy over on Pinterest, pinning new, healthy, quick recipes.  See–I need to get back to getting healthy.  I really fell off the wagon last year.  So there’s no time like the present to get back on, right?  My new thing is Mediterranean or Italian meals made with fresh ingredients whenever possible. That started with an e-mail I subscribe to, Daily Recipes and was reinforced when I read this article called “Why Your Grandparents Didn’t Have Food Allergies” and this one by a mother who moved to Italy and what she learned about our culture, theirs, and eating habits. Plus, I’ve always like Mediterranean and Italian food in general.

Tonight I tried my hand at making something based of one of those pins. Let’s call it “Seafood Blend with Garlic & Basil Linguine and Romano Cheese.” Basically, we were at Trader Joe’s, and I saw the frozen bag of Seafood Blend, which has scallops and shrimp and calamari rings, and I thought, “Hey, this will

Garlic Basil Linguine from Trader Joe's

Garlic Basil Linguine from Trader Joe’s

probably be just as good as seared scallops…and maybe easier.” So I got the bag. (SN: I will probably actually try searing scallops one day–just not today)  From there, I pretty much followed the recipe with a few exceptions:

  1. I don’t know where people get fresh linguine, but it ain’t in any of the groceries near my house. Instead, I hit got a bag of garlic and basil linguine noodles from TJ’s.
  2. I killed my herb garden. Yup, that’s right. So I used that cool “as close to fresh” basil from the grocery store.
  3. Because I used the frozen blend, I traded the directions in step two about searing the scallops for the direction on the bag, which told me to cook the seafood in a pan with oil (I use Extra Virgin, obviously) and to add garlic if desired. I desired (obviously).

So. It was pretty good. I would definitely make it or a variation again. It wasn’t too hard or time-consuming. And it tasted good.  Plus, it was better for us than, say, ordering another pizza.  I hope to be able to take the time to cook more actual meals for us over the coming months.  I’m going to try anyway. We’ll see.

I’m also hoping that I can get our friend Shellie from down the street to join me in a “Girlfriends’ Diet Plan” like I read about in Eating Well magazine this month (Come on, Shellie, come on!).

Oh, and start going back to the gym on the regular.

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