Corn and Shrimp Chowder

CORN AND SHRIMP CHOWDER

Still doesn’t feel very Spring-like around here and all I can think about is hot soup!  Inspired by a delicious bowl of corn and potato chowder that Andrea made, I came home to see what I had in the pantry that could be turned into something similar for dinner.  This soup was a big hit in my house and was pretty easy to prepare.  One thing I love about soup is this; SOUP IS NOT A SCIENCE!  Be creative, throw in what you have on hand that you think may work together.  Taste-test throughout in order to adjust seasonings as you go.

 

2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 large vidalia onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

4 large yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed

8 oz frozen shrimp, peeled, thawed, and chopped in half

4 c chicken broth

1 c milk

1/4 to 1/2 c half and half

1 T dried thyme

salt to taste

 

Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in large soup pot.  Add onion and saute a minute or two.  Add celery, carrot, and potato and continue to saute until slightly soft.  Add the broth, milk, navy beans, salt and thyme.  Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook for 30 minutes or so until potatoes and carrots are cooked through. ( I used an immersion blender at this point to mash it up a little, not too much, but this gives it a creamier consistency)  Stir in the half and half and shrimp and continue to cook until shrimp is heated through.  Enjoy!  (Great day one, AMAZING day 2!

 

Peace and greens,

Melissa

National Oatmeal Day Tomorrow

Oatmeal doesn’t get all the recognition it deserves these days.  With “quinoa” this and “farro” that, oatmeal has sadly been left behind.  Well, it’s time to celebrate oatmeal again (who knew it had its own day??).  Here is a great article that outlines the benefits of adding oatmeal to your diet and includes a few yummy recipes to try as well.

Caramelized Roasted Tomatoes

Here is a terrific side dish for fish or chicken.  I actually made a big pot of quinoa and had the tomatoes over quinoa tossed with a little lemon olive oil and parmesan cheese…a perfect lunch!

I love the small heirloom tomatoes available at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I used one container for this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

1 container small heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or 10 plum tomatoes

4 T extra virgin olive oil

1  1/2 T balsamic vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 t sugar

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half and arrange (cut side up) on foil-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper.  The garlic is messy but I placed a piece on each tomato one by one. ( I didn’t want any to be left out of the party!)  Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to caramelize.  May be served warm or at room temperature.

Peace and veggies,

Melissa

Super Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw

Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp Tacos

Love it when I find something this easy and this delicious! The mix of orange from the mango, pink from the shrimp, and green from the avocado made these tacos very appealing…unfortunately you have to trust me on this since I forgot to take a picture! Hate when I do that!

To make this recipe super fast and easy I went to Trader Joes and bought a bag of cooked frozen shrimp and a bag of shredded cabbage.

Thaw and rinse 3/4 lb bag of medium deveined shrimp. Whisk together:
2 T olive oil
juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t cumin
Toss shrimp in marinade and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the mango slaw.

For the slaw, whisk together the following:
2 T light mayo
1 t Sriracha or other Asian chili sauce (use more if you want a big kick)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 t sugar
1 T water

Toss this dressing with:
3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 12oz bag shredded cabbage
1 mango, peeled and diced

Set slaw aside. Peel and chop 2 ripe avocados, lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Heat large non-stick skillet over low heat with a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Toss out marinade and heat shrimp until just heated through.

Heat flour tortillas or hard corn taco shells according to package directions. Place scoop of slaw on tortilla or in taco, top with shrimp and diced avocado. Serve with a slice of lime. Oh my! I want another!

Sweet Carrot Puddin’

My two youngest children have a fun book called The Giant Carrot, by Jan Peck. The last page offers up a recipe for Little Isabelle’s Carrot Puddin’. I think Charlie has been talking about trying this recipe for at least a year and we finally got around to it yesterday. It was super easy to make and so delicious and comforting on a chilly day that I just had to share. I love that it uses honey as the sweetener but I actually cut the amount in half. The recipe calls for one cup, I used just a half cup and it is plenty sweet!

Of course, it doesn’t hurt when dessert can be good for you too! Most of the previous research has focused on the benefits from their carotenoids and antioxidants, but now we have another reason to eat more carrots. A recent study from the Netherlands shows that carrots offer great protection against cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

Enjoy!
Melissa

Little Isabelle’s Carrot Puddin’

Combine and blend until smooth:
(I used my Vita-mix on low speed and pulsed a few times…worked perfectly)

1 c peeled and grated carrots ( I threw 2 c of baby carrots in the blender with the following ingredients)

1/2 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T butter
1/2 to 1 c honey

When smooth (you still want it to be chunky enough that you see the carrot shreds), stir in gently:

4 slices whole grain bread cut into cubes
1/3 c raisins
1/4 c chopped nuts (optional, we omitted these)

Pour into greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve warm, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Super Green Smoothie

IMG_0511You know I LOVE my green smoothies but sometimes I do get a little bored and like to tweak things a bit. Well, thanks to http://www.thekitchn.com for providing me with the inspiration for this yummy twist! If you are bored with your morning fuel, try this for something new and delicious…sure to put a spring in your step!

1 large handful chopped kale or spinach
1 banana
1/2 sliced avocado
2 T almond butter
1 c pure unsweetened coconut water or coconut milk
1 T ground flax seeds
1/8 t ground cinnamon
a few ice cubes

Drink up!
Melissa