The Great Catch Up

Hello All –

Though it’s been quite sometime since I’ve updated this blog, I certainly haven’t neglected to eat lean and continue to experiment with new recipes, some original, some modified from other cooks’ creations.

My goal is to step it up and bring this site back to life as its only purpose was to share recipes with friends and family (this site rarely gets outside hits).

With FaceBook, I’ve been able to get other comments and foodie tips and I want to bring those contributions to the site. If you have suggestions, tips for families on a budget, anything, let me know and we can share with all!

– JTG

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.