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BANG BANG SHRIMP PASTA…GLUTEN FREE

August 13, 2018

 

 

If you ever been to one of those somewhat fancy restaurants and ordered Bang Bang Shrimps, you are going to love this dish as a main attraction on the dinner table. And for those who are having a problem with wheat, I am making this one gluten free with one easy step. Rice pasta.

I am also removing the mayo and replacing it with plain Greek yogurt. This makes the dish lighter and I like to think healthier. Although it may look like a lot of steps and ingredient this is a rather easy mid-week meal. A lot of the ingredients should be in your freezer or pantry or there should be an easy substitution. For example, some recipes ask for specific brands which throws some people off when it comes to reproducing a recipe. I prefer you use any sweet chili sauce or how about Ketchup or tomato paste with chili powder, or mix cumin and cayenne to taste. And if you do not have Sriracha in your pantry try using hot sauce. There are plenty of hot sauces out there to use (Tapatio, Tabasco and Texas Pete etc.).

Also, this does not have to be a gluten free recipe. Go ahead, use your favorite pasta. Any size or shape and the dish will still be good and you have just made it your very own.

INGREDIENTS:
• 16 ounces rice spaghetti
• 16 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, (optional)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon with MSS

FOR THE SAUCE
• 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed/smashed
• Juice of a lime,
• 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
• Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together yogurt, sweet chili sauce, garlic, lime juice, Sriracha and red pepper flakes; and place in the fridge
3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta to an al dente texture.
4. Place shrimp onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, MSS and gently toss to combine. Place into oven and roast just until pink, approximately 6-8 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from oven and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, mix the shrimps and yogurt mixture. Gently toss into the pasta.
6. Serve immediately.

 

 

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FROZEN BERRIES CRISP

July 12, 2018

 

 

I am constantly carrying my share of frozen fruits in my freezer. I buy it in the biggest bags the market offers. There are a lot of great dishes to make with frozen fruits, but sometimes a sorbet or smoothie is not what you really, really want. So to make a dish I could serve with sorbet, yogurt or ice cream, and to still give me one of my 5 per day fruit servings, I came up with this treat. Although I used a medley of berries (4 to be exact), this is also a dessert you can swap out with any frozen fruit. And, you will probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry.

Another hint for butter is to freeze it. Stick the butter in the freezer an hour or so before you start.

And, you will also notice I mention grate and chop. I grated half of the butter using a hand held grater, and the second half was chopped for the topping of the crisp.
Although this is a dish for six and will last 3-4 days, I doubt seriously if it will be around that long.

Topping:
• 1 cup old-fashioned oats
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• Dash salt
• 1/3 cup unsalted butter chopped and grated
• Berry Filling:
• 4 cups frozen berries**
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon lime juice

 

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make the topping first by combining the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, grated butter and salt. You can use a wooden spoon or your hands for this part. If using your hands, do not mix for an extended time. The crisp will be a better dish if the butter is not melted but blended/mixed into the oats.

1. Set the topping aside.
2. In another bowl, combine the frozen berries and flour and mix well. Once the berries are covered with the flour, add in the sugar, salt and Lime juice and toss gently to combine.

 

3. Pour berry mixture into an 8×8’’. Top the berry mixture evenly with the oat mixture. Add the chopped butter to the top of the crisp mixture.
4. Bake for 1 hour or until the topping is golden brown and the berries are bubbling around the edges.
5. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool before serving. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or yogurt, if desired. This is good without the additional topping(s) and can be served hot, room temperature or cold.

 

P.S.  You can use rice flour and any flour of your choice to replace the wheat.

 

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QUICK AND EASY (A summer side)

June 26, 2018

 

Here is a quick and easy side dish for a warm pre-summer/summer dinner. This is very simple with a few ingredients that you may already have in the home.

4-6 cups of water
1 large cucumber
1 bell pepper (pick a color)
1 small to medium size onion
A pinch of pepper flakes
½ cup of sea salt
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of vinegar
Pickling spice (opt)
A medium size heavy pot

Bring the water to a boil and add in everything except the fresh veggies. Once the mixture comes to a rapid boil and the sugar has melted stir, turn off the heat and allow to cool. Before the mixture become too close to room temperature taste to see if there is a need for seasoning correction. I find sometimes I can be a little heavy handed with the salt. But then again, I am not a salt lover except for Himalayan or sea salt and a little of that goes a long way. If the mixture is still warm enough and addition sugar (or vinegar) is needed it can be stirred in. You may have to return the mixture to the heat. This should not be a problem.

 

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The pickling spice is optional because according to me it is sometimes a lighter side dish without it. In the fall of the year I tend to use more of it. In the spring and summer time I can go either way. If I am using the spice in the warm time of the year I will use less than a teaspoon. This is something you can try and decide for yourself. Another thing I will use is dill. Fresh or dried.

 

Back to the dish. Cut your veggies into bite size pieces. Before cutting your cucumber into bite size score the rind of the tube. This will allow more of the flavor to seep into the veggie and speed up the process. Remember this is a dish that should be ready to serve within a two hours’ time frame. But, if you allow this sit longer it only gets better. I found the next day or two is rather tasty.

This can be served as a side dish; as a relish or toss on a salad or a pasta dish. ENJOY.

Homemade Pita Chips

June 12, 2018

 

 

I saw something similar to what I made and the first line was, “Warning! These Homemade Pita Chips Are Addictive”, My only thought was, “how hard could it be?” You buy these chips in the store and there are so few in the bag it should be a law against such madness. So to go with my avocado yogurt dip I decided to make chips using whole wheat pita bread. 

 

Although I am using whole wheat pocket-less pita, you can use any type or flavor of pita bread. If you are looking for thin chips either slice the pita into halves or using the pocketed, pull each one apart.  Once you have decided on which bread to use, cut it into wedges depending on the size of chips you want. I cut my rounds into eight pieces.


Ingredients:

• 3-6 pita bread rounds
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½teaspoon MSS
• ½teaspoon Himalayan salt

 

 

Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Watch your oven, these chips may burn easily due to the thickness or thinness of the chips.
Cut each of the pita bread rounds into 8 wedges using a large knife. An easy method for cutting the rounds is to cut in half, then cut each half into half until there are 8 slices, similar to a pizza or cake. Arrange wedges on prepared baking sheet.

 

 

Step 2:
Brush pita wedges with olive oil (EVOO is my preference). In a small bowl, mix together your dry ingredients and sprinkle the mixture lightly over the wedges. If you do not have a kitchen brush, drizzle or spray the chips. I have one of those new pump gadgets used for olive oil rather than using the canned stuff that adds extra ingredients to the oil giving it an awful taste and smell.

 

 

 

Step 3:
Bake for 5-minutes, or until light golden and crisp. Allow chips to cool before serving.


 

 
You may never buy pita chips again. This is such an easy recipe and you know  what’s in your chips.   Also, change your ingredients to cinnamon, sugar and butter and this just went from savory to dessert.

Tomato with Yogurt Guacamole Dip Recipe

June 5, 2018

IMG_1187

 

Avocados are plentiful in the market this week and the prices are reasonable. This is a refreshing and simple recipe to whip up. I whipped this up and allowed it to chill while I was making the pita chips. Although I used the NutriBullet for this recipe you can use a blender, standing mixer or chop the tomatoes by hand. Chopping the tomatoes by hand will give you a chunkier dip. And sometimes texture is what you want.

 

Ingredients:
• 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and chopped
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1 cup of tomato
• 1/3 cup of plain yogurt
• 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic

 

Directions:
For this recipe I pulled out the NutriBullet. Using the largest canister that comes with your NutriBullet. Place all of the ingredients into the canister and blend for 1 minute. Check for consistency and seasoning. If needed, adjust and blend for an additional 30 seconds. Sprinkle additional Himalayan salt on the top of the dip and cover and refrigerate for at least 5 minutes. Serve with fresh baked pita chips. That was my second project for the day. Recipe coming soon.

 

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Pepperoni Tortilla Pizza for 2

May 17, 2018

This was a really quick and easy pizza for a holiday eve. I have come to the point in life where going out for dinner on holiday eve is more bother than pampering, and this was Mother’s Day weekend. I can only imagine that madness in the local eateries.

So I was searching through the fridge and, voila; I found all of the fittings for a pizza, but I am far too lazy to make a crust. It was just one of those days. And, I had sort of promised to someone a pizza several days earlier so I had to get at it. What do you do when you have no readymade crust in the fridge and you are not in the mood to make a crust? Tortillas!!! A lazy girls new BF.

Here are my ingredients and methods. You can change up the ingredients to suite your taste. If you feel like it, make you own sauce. You will also notice most of the ingredients in this recipe are not giving an amount. This is a do what you want to pizza. I used lots of cheese and just poured the sauce on until it looked right.

 

• 1/2 cup Prego Farmer’s Market Roasted Garlic (maybe a little more sauce)
• 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
• 1 large flour tortilla (8-inch or larger)
• Thinly sliced pepperoni
• 1 small green pepper, chopped/sliced (about 1/2 cup)
• Shredded provolone cheese
• Black olives sliced into thirds
• Thinly sliced onion
• Sliced mushroom
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
• Garlic powder
• Salt and pepper
• Pepper flakes (opt)

 

How to Make It

Step 1
You will need a super-hot oven for this one. After the pizza is prepared. I heat the oven to 400°F.
Step 2
I used a large pizza pan but you can also place the tortilla onto baking sheets. Spread the sauce mixture onto the tortilla not too close to the edge.

Top the sauce with half of the cheese, then place the pepperoni, the sliced veggies (as much as you like) over the cheese.

Top off the pizza with the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle the top of the pizza with oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder

Step 3
If possible, let the pizza rest for a few minutes before placing into the oven. Or, you can preheat the oven and pop into the oven when the layering is done.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Allow to cool a bit before cutting into wedges.

 

 

KIMCHI FRIED RICE

February 27, 2018

Hello and Happy New Year to all. It has been some time since my last write-up. Wow, it has been a rather cold and busy season for me and I hope all of you had a wonderful 2017 holiday season and a grand start to the new year. Although my time was filled with a lot of “to-do” things that did not stop me from cooking, photographing and creating. My only problem was time to sit in front of the computer and put all of the thoughts to paper. So to start off the year (a little late if I have to say so) I thought I would put Kitchen Crazy twist on kimchi rice.

This is not the heavy oily type fried rice and this is also a vegan style dish. I decided against the egg for this because I wanted to make something else the main attraction of the meal. This is also a dish that goes well served as Mexican and as an Asian dish. And if you are a seeker of new taste and fun dishes as I am, pull out a flour tortilla and wrap this with beans, cheese and it can become a breakfast, brunch/dinner treat. I served the kimchi rice with chicken enchiladas for dinner on the first go around.

 

• 2-3 tablespoons of light olive oil
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 cup of Mushroom chopped
• 1 medium Bell pepper chopped
• 1 ½ tablespoon of Garlic chopped
• Himalayan salt to taste
• 1 tablespoon of Sriracha
• 3/4 cup roughly chopped very sour Kimchi
• 1 cup Royal Blend rice blend
• 1 ¾ cups of cold water

 

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, mushroom, bell peppers garlic and salt.  Cook until the veggies begin to soften and just begin to turn transparent, about 10 minutes.  Add the kimchi and cook for 2 or 3. Add rice and stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients and to make sure the rice is well coated and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Bring pot to high heat and stir in the water and sriracha. Once the pot begins to boil turn down the heat to simmer. Stir once and cover the pot tightly.  Allow to cook for 15 minutes.  I also used MSS for seasoning of this dish.

 

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