Shrimp with Rice Noodles and Sweet and Sour Dressing

 To Start:

  • Box of Rice Noodles
  • Shrimp
  • Peanuts for Garnish

Sauce:

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine or Mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar

Dressing:

  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 4 TBSP rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 bunches chopped scallion
  • 2 bird’s eye chilies, minced (or a pinch of chili pepper)

Cook noodles as directed on package then drain.

Combine ingredients to make sauce, heat over medium low and add shrimp.  Cook 1-2 minutes per side.

Combine ingredients to make dressing.

Place noodles on a large serving platter, drizzle with dressing and arrange shrimp and sauce mixture over noodles.  Garnish with chopped peanuts.

Serves 4

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Lettuce Soup!

Yes, lettuce soup! My mission has been to find ways to incorporate more veggies in our meals at home and in the winter a cold salad doesnt always cut it. And worse, I hate to throw out vegetables with a short shelve life just because I’m bored with them. More recipes on lettuce to come as I continue to experiment!
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 shallots, chopped (or 1 medium yellow onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 whole fresh rosemary sprig (can omit, I like for flavoring but remove before serving)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian dish)
  • 1/2 instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped lettuce (any kind will do, I like spring mix lettuce for colouring)
  • Salt and PEpper
  • Optional garnish: Worcester or low-sodium soy sauce*
In a pot, heat oil over medium heat. Once heated through, add carrots and shallots and sauté for about 5 or 6 minutes or until shallots turn clear but not yet browned.  Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Whilst simmering, stir in the potato flakes.  Check to see if the veggies are done (they will be soft) and feel free to add more potato flakes if you want a thicker soup. Add the lettuce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve and garnish with a dash of Worcester or soy sauce. Makes 3 cups. *See notes below.
*Most people don’t know that Worcester sauce contains anchovies so this is not suitable for vegetarians if you make this for vegetarians with vegetable stock.
*Soy sauce is excellent for sauces, stews and soups. A lot of chefs use to give food a kick.
*Potato flakes are excellent for thickening soups and stews. They add a nice smooth consistency, great cream-free alternative,  and gets you a little fiber and calcium.

Kickass Shrimp Marinade

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
Also makes kickass grilled chicken.  Whisk all the ingredients and marinate the shrimp in a bowl or plastic bag for 30-60 minutes (any longer and the lime can start to break down the shrimp).
The hot pepper sauce really makes this and actually does not create as much heat but smoky flavor. Grill and enjoy!

Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean and Feta Penne

Here is a great recipe from Clean Eating Magazine.  I didn’t have the veggies called for, but used as a base. I’ve never tried pasta and white beans together and it was great! We used tomatoes, asparagus and a dash of white wine in our version and tossed with shrimp.  The combo of feta, pasta and beans added an almost creamy texture and we will definitely make again!

  • 6 oz whole-grain penne pasta
  • 1 cup cooked canned white beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into eighths lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta (we stick to regular feta)
  1. Cook penne according to package directions, adding beans during the last minute of cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, vinegar, basil, pepper flakes and salt; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet over medium high heat, tilting skillet to coat bottom lightly. Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes or until edges begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook for 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in tomato mixture and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp oil. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Drain penne-bean mixture, place in a serving bowl, sprinkle evenly with rosemary and all but 1/4 cup feta. Spoon vegetable mixture over top and finish with remaining feta.

Braised Haddock with Mushrooms and Shrimp

This is a great receipe modified from Food and Wine. Original recipe served with Halibut here.  The dish was great halved for me and the Other Half, but when served for 4 in this recipe below, we found the original recipe did not have enough garlic, so I’ve modified below.  FYI we served this to our very first dinner guests at our new home and it was a hit!

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound white or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Four 8-ounce haddock filets, cut 1/2 inch thick
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet and, when it’s hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until any liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are browned, about 7 minutes. Push the mushrooms to the side of the skillet and add 1 more tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sliced garlic and cook over low heat until golden, about 1 minute. Toss the garlic together with the mushrooms in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms and garlic to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Season the haddock steaks with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet. Cook over moderate heat for about 3 minutes, then carefully turn the haddock. Add the white wine, cover and cook until the haddock is just white throughout, about 2 minutes longer.

Return the mushrooms to the skillet along with any accumulated juices.  Add the shrimp and stir gently until heated through and shrimp are pink. Remove the skillet from the heat and season the pan sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer the haddok steaks to plates. Spoon the shrimp, mushrooms, and white wine sauce over the fish and serve immediately with crusty bread or boiled potatoes.

Homemade Ranch Dip

I love Ranch dressing and dips, and my favorite dip used be a packet of mix and sour cream. Last year I realized that I couldn’t pronounce most of the ingredients from the mix pack, and realizing that the main seasonings are garlic and onion powder, decided to play and make my own cleaner version.

I use Greek-style lowfat yogurt, and sometimes mix in a little mayo if it’s on hand. Eyeball the herbs, keep salt low (the flavors will blend after a few hours of chilling), and change it up with what’s ever on hand in your herb cabinet.

For one cup of yogurt, I add the following:

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Add anything else. . . . I know many people add dried thyme, basil or parsley.  Mix and chill. Enjoy.