Monthly Archives: November 2010

Pilaf with a Punch

Color is HUGE in this meal of a pilaf!  The recipe was snagged from Kashi and adapted for added flavor and variety.  I took this as a side dish for my families Thanksgiving meal and it was a HIT!  Even the picky eaters who snub their noses at anything ‘healthful’ had positive remarks about this hearty power-packed dish.  You can enjoy this as a one dish meal or as a gorgeous side.

Bon Appetit!

Pilaf with a Punch

Servings 8 (as meal) 16 (as side)

4 1/4 cups Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf

2 cups water

1 cup whole roasted peanuts

4 t toasted sesame oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 red onion, diced

2 carrots, cut into match sticks

1 cup red cabbage, diced

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 t ginger root, grated

1 T agave nectar or honey

1 t (or more) chipotle pepper flakes

2 T brown rice vinegar

5-6 T low sodium soy sauce

1 c golden raisins

2 t cumin

2 t coriander

Bring 4 c water to a boil in a large sauce pan and add the grains.  Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until grains are soft.

While the grains are cooking, saute the garlic and onion in the sesame oil in a large skillet.  After 5 minutes or so add the cumin, coriander and hot pepper.  Add 1/4 c water, carrots, raisins, cabbage, and soy sauce, cover and cook on low for 7-10 minutes and remove from heat.  In a large mixing bowl add all components and mix very well–if your bowl has a lid, cover and shake for a minute very well.   Serve and ENJOY!

Bright and LIGHT shrimp and couscous or quinoa salad

You can see the lime zest resting top! YUM!

Well, I am happy to report that I am slowly recovering from surgery.  Yes, I had major surgery 12 days ago!  The week before surgery I spent most of my time preparing meals for the freezer and prepping the house for an extended ‘down’ time.  I believe that I have finally made it through the worst of it and will start to reap the ‘rebound’ rewards from my well-planned recovery diet.  Yes, that is right, I have been very careful to maximize every morsel entering my body to provide me with all that I need to heal quickly.  I can fill you in on the details in another post if you are so interested, but that is not what this post is about.  Today I am excited to tell you about my first home cooked meal in almost two weeks!

So my ‘first meal’ criteria was pretty simple and probably fairly obvious considering my introduction with this post.  Here were the requirements:

1.  lots of color

2.  super simple

3.  flavor explosion

4.  dense with micronutrients

So, I armed Andy with a short grocery list and got ready for a fun evening in the kitchen!  I whipped up a beautiful Shrimp Couscous Salad in no time flat and without stressing my body with labor intensive prep work.  I must say, it was fantastic!  About half way through the meal Andy suggested we put this dish on HEAVY rotation at 488.  Man, was I happy to be back in the kitchen and back on my game!  I promise this simple and healthful dish will be a crowd pleaser at your house too!  As you enjoy this dish think about how good it feels to treat your body with the love and respect it deserves!

Bon Appetit!

Colorful and flavorful shrimp and couscous salad

Servings: 4-5

2 c plain couscous or 1 c quinoa

3 c water (reserve about 2 cups of the shrimp stock from your shrimp boil for the couscous or quinoa)

1-1 1/2# uncooked colossal shrimp (16-20 shrimp)–frozen is just fine and you do not need to thaw them

1/4 c red wine vinegar

1/4-1/2 c EVOO (depending upon your taste)

1 T minced garlic

2 t ground cumin

2 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more, to taste)

1 t dijon or brown mustard

2 t + kosher salt

3/4 c diced cucumber

1 c diced red bell pepper

1 c chopped cilantro

3/4 c diced tomato (about 2 medium tomatoes)

1 avocado, chopped

zest from 1 lemon or lime

sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a medium size pot add the 3 c water, kosher salt and a t of chipotle pepper flakes and cook over high heat until it boils.  Add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes, until done.  Remove the shrimp set to the side to cool–peel the shrimp once it is cool and set aside.   Bring the water back to a boil and add the couscous.  If you prefer, leave the crustaceans OUT and heat 2 cups of seasoned water for the couscous!  To avoid sticky pasta, add a dash of EVOO to the pot!  Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mix the red wine vinegar, EVOO, hot pepper, garlic, cumin, sea salt, ground black pepper, and dijon mustard together and set aside.

Put the couscous in a large serving bowl.  Add the chopped veggies and shrimp and either stir or put the lid on your bowl and shake well!  Taste the dish and adjust seasonings as needed.  Garnish each bowl with a generous bit of lemon zest or just mix it in with the veggies.  Serve the beautiful salad on its own or with a big chunk of gluten free bread!

Look at all of that great color!

Ginger Lime Shrimp Soup

Rich, creamy, and delicious!

One of the very few things that I really miss about living in Kansas City (besides our wonderful friends) is easy access to Eastern cuisine.  We do have a really good Sushi place right here in Ozark and Indian in Springfield, but Thai and Vietnamese are sadly under represented.  So when I head up to KC for my work trips, I find myself heading straight to some of my old favorites to get my fix for the month.  On my last trip to KC I had this exotically flavored soup called Shrimp Galangal Soup.  I happily stuffed myself and left the restaurant fully committed to recreating the dish at home for my hubby.  When I got home, I did just that and was THRILLED with the result!  I found a recipe with good reviews and an ingredient list that wasn’t too intimidating and went for it!  I had to sub in many of my stock items for some of the true Asian components, but it really was a good imitation of what I had loved so much at the Thai House in OP.  This soup was even better the next day when we heated it on the stove top and added more shrimp and green onion!  I think the next time I make it I am going to do it without the shrimp.  I have a feeling the gorgeous onion, lime, and ginger are strong enough to stand up on their own!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Andy is in favor of this soup!

Ginger Lime Shrimp Soup

Servings:  6

2 cans light coconut milk–use 1 can of light and 1 regular for a fuller bodied soup

2 cups water

1 t + sriracha hot sauce — or more to taste

1 1/2-2 T + red curry paste — or more to taste

1 # shitake mushrooms cut in bite size pieces.  You can also use baby portabello mushrooms if you have them on hand.

1 onion, sliced

1/4 c lime juice

4 stalks of lemongrass, bruised and cut into small pieces.  Or 3-4 T of chopped.

zest from one lime OR 10 kaffir lime leaves torn in half

1+ 2″ piece of peeled ginger OR Galangal, cut into fine strips

4 T fish sauce

1/4 c brown sugar

1 t chipotle pepper flakes

1/2 c + green onion, chopped.  Cut up a little extra for garnishing.

1 # uncooked shrimp–use peeled if you don’t want the mess, use unpeeled to add a bit more flavor to the broth

Cilantro for garnish

In a stew pot slowly warm the water, coconut milk, onion, ginger, lime zest, pepper flakes, lemon grass, red curry paste, sugar, lime juice, sriracha, and fish sauce.  Cook for about an hour minutes on low heat.  Add the green onions and cook for another 20-30 minutes.  Test the broth and adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the shrimp and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Remove the pieces of lemongrass.  Finely chopped lemongrass can be left in the soup.  Serve with a crusty french bread for dipping and a big green salad.

I recommend a buttery chardonnay to wash it down.  ENJOY!


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