Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Creamy Italian Shrimp and "Pasta" Salad

I didn't think I would like zucchini noodles the first time I made them, since I'm not terribly fond of raw zucchini, or cooked for that matter.  But, these are a great substitute, especially for cold pasta salads.  They're low in carbs, high in vitamins, and cheap.  Seriously, the things grow like weeds.

This is now one of my favorites, and super simple.  I actually threw this together in the 15 minutes before I had to leave for my volunteer shift, and prayed it would be good.  I almost inhaled it when I got home-it was that good!

This can be edited to suit many diets, but I was just going for low-calorie/high vitamin tonight.  I may have binged on pierogies made from scratch for lunch today. Sorry not sorry, but it does leave me with a small amount of calories left to fill up, get in my macro and micro-nutrients, and this does the trick.

You need:
2 small zucchini, or 8-9 oz.
6 grape tomatoes
6 extra large black olives
4.5 oz. shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
3 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt, fat free
1 tsp Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Dry Mix
Cabot White Oak Cheddar, 2 oz.
  1. Julienne slice your zucchini longways to make zucchini noodles or use a spiralizer.
  2. If you need to cook your shrimp, just before you do this, put the pot on to boil. Toss the shrimp in once it's ready, and cook for no more than 4 minutes.  Remember, when it comes to shrimp, O means Overdone, and C means Cooked. Then run those babies under cold water.
  3. Throw the zucchini in a bowl.  Add the veggies and cheese. Add the cooled shrimp.
  4. Mix the dry dressing and yogurt together.  
  5. Scoop into the bowl and toss thoroughly.  
  6. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Serves 2/ Approx 241 calories per serving

Monday, February 23, 2015

Simple Stove Top Applesauce

I love apple sauce and its many uses.  Tonight, I'm whipping up a batch for some cookies.  I'll use the rest for breakfast on its own, or perhaps I'll cook up some with onions and cinnamon for breakfast sausage.  Either way, plain applesauce never goes to waste!

You need:
28 oz. Granny Smith Apples (give or take an oz-this is 6-8 apples), chopped
1/4 cup liquid

Today I'm using Republic of Tea Hi Caf in PomBerry for a nice, neutral flavor, that just happens to be caffeinated.
  1. Combine in pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. About 18 minutes, until soft and mashable.
  3. Remove, mash, and store.
Makes 6 servings just shy of 5 oz. each/ Approx. 69 calories a serving

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Warming Squash and Bacon Soup

I'm not a huge soup eater, but after seeing all of these pumpkin bisques and such-nots in stores, I decided to give it a go. No recipe, just pure kitchen intuition, and I have to say, intuition never felt so good.

I save this one for bacon day.  What's bacon day you ask?  Bacon day is the day I bake the bacon my little piglet. You see, as someone in a single person household, I find it handy to have pre-cooked bacon in the house, but I wanted healthier than the store carried for pre-cooked bacon. So, I buy some nice, thick, center-cut, low-sodium bacon (Such as Wegman's Center-Cut Bacon, 45% lower sodium, 33% lower fat), and I bake so it is Perfect Bacon, some nearly done and some a tad crispy, and then freeze or refrigerate it in individual servings.  I can nuke or pan fry it as needed.

You Need:
1 acorn squash
6 pieces center cut, low sodium bacon, pre-cooked and cut into chunks, about 3-4 pieces a strip. I like to use the crispy here for extra flavor.  It will not be crispy after the soup cooks.
2 cups strong homemade poultry stock
1/2 to 2 tsp. cayenne (2 is about as spicy as a hot chicken wing)
  1. Poke holes in your acorn squash with the tip of a sharp knife.  Lots of them, and then place it on a plate and nuke for 6 minutes.  Flip it, and nuke for 6 more.  
  2. Let sit 5 minutes, then cut it and remove seeds. You can be all fancy here, and bake it. Acorn Squash bakes quite well halved, face down, in a lipped sheet, at 350F for about 30 min. But, let us be honest. Who want's to wait 30 minutes?
  3. Once cooled enough to touch, scoop it into the blender and add chicken stock a bit at a time, blending until smooth.  This may take more or less stock depending on your squash, so keep an eye on it.
  4. Pour into pot, add precooked bacon cut into large chunks, and cayenne.  Heat through.

Tada, done!

Make 3 hearty servings/Approx. 117-128 calories a serving.

Yeah, you heard me right.  Feel free to pig out.  If you make it following my directions, you're looking at 117 calories. If you make it another way, you honestly won't add much more. Acorn squash is only about 16 calories an oz. The average acorn squash is about 10-14oz once it's skinned and seeded. So, even a huge acorn squash is only going to add a few calories.

Acorn is so sweet, I substitute it to make pumpkin pie frequently. The chicken, bacon and cayenne help tone down while complementing the sweetness.