Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

Summer is just around the corner, which means two things: 1) less cooking time (because your house it too hot already) and 2) lots of fresh, vibrant flavors. Enter, this beautiful quinoa salad.

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I did roast the shrimp in the oven, but you could also grill them for an even quicker meal.

To roast the shrimp, and stay in E mode, start by preheating your oven to 400. Place the shrimp onto a large baking sheet lined with foil, spray lightly with coconut oil spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Roast the shrimp at 400 for about 6 minutes – it may be more or less depending on the size and thickness of your shrimp. When they’re done, they will be firm to the touch, pink and opaque on the outside.

All that’s left is to assemble the salad!

Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl, and add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, red onion, lemon juice, and feta.

For the cucumber, make sure that you take the time (2 seconds, really) to cut out the seeds of the cucumber – yes, even if it’s “seedless”. The seeds have more moisture and will cut the shelf life of your salad significantly. You don’t want the whole batch going bad over some cucumbers! That would just be silly.

To cut the seeds out of your cucumber, slice the cuke lengthwise into quarters and cut into it on an angle so the whole “log” of seeds comes out in one cut.

Give the salad a big toss, taste for seasoning, then add your shrimp and serve.

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The great thing about this salad is that it’s wonderful at room temp or cold from the fridge. In fact, as it sits in the fridge the flavor gets even better.

The lemon juice adds a fantastic  acidity to the salad, while the herbs add tons of fresh, green flavor. This salad just screams summer to me, and it couldn’t be easier to make!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • about 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 c finely diced red onion
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 4 scallions, whites and green parts, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Spread shrimp onto a large baking sheet, spritz with coconut oil spray, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then roast at 400 for about 6 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with all other ingredients. Give it a big toss, taste for seasoning, and serve.

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Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This was my first time making Baba Ganoush, and let me tell you just how EASY and flavorful this dish is.

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Bana Ganoush is a Levantine dish that’s based on cooked eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and spices.

Eggplant can be notoriously bitter, however I roasted it along with a whole head of garlic to bring out its sweetness. Roasting caramelizes the sugars in the vegetables, making them slightly smoky and a little sweet.

Don’t be intimated by roasting vegetables! Just follow my straight-forward method, and you won’t have any issues.

Let’s start with the base of our Baba Ganoush – the garlic and eggplant.

Start by preheating your oven to 400, then slice your eggplant. Don’t over-complicate it – I cut the stem off of it, then cut it into 4 big wedges. That’s it! The skin will come off later, so don’t worry about peeling or anything.

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Next prep the garlic by cutting off the top of your whole garlic bulb. Again, don’t worry about anything else – leave the skin on, leave the bottom stem on (that’s how it stays together). 20170315005437_IMG_2706

Spray it with a little coconut oil, then wrap the bulb in a small piece of aluminum foil.

I wrap it taller than I do small because that makes it easy to peek on the bulb (without burning yourself) while it cooks. Place it and the eggplant on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Give the eggplant a light spray of coconut oil as well.

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Pop it into your oven, and roast away! The garlic will roast the longest, for about 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your bulb). The eggplant, on the other hand, will only roast for about 20-25 minutes, and it’s easy to take that garlic bulb right off the sheet and leave it on the oven grates to finish roasting. Once the eggplant has some deep color, place it into a heat-safe bowl and cover with aluminum foil (you can totally recycle that piece you used on the baking sheet!) or plastic wrap. This helps finish cooking the eggplant, while also lifting the skin away from the flesh of the eggplant making it easier to peel.

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With the garlic, I primarily go by smell to know when its done. When you start smelling the roasted garlic, check on it about every 10 minutes until you see a deep, golden color.

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Look at that! Golden, a little crispy on the edges, and soft. Roasted garlic almost makes a paste because it’s so soft, and I’ll show you my easy-peasy way to get all those roasted cloves out of your bulb in just a minute.

Back to the eggplant! Once its cool enough to handle, take a sharp pairing knife to begin peeling the flesh away from the skin of the eggplant. I started on the skinny, pointy end of the wedge and made a small cut right between the skin and flesh. Then run your knife close to the skin, allowing the flesh to gently peel away. It’s OK if it doesn’t come off all in one piece, you’re pureeing this anyway – no one has to know!

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Peel away all that soft eggplant flesh, and place it right into your food processor.

Next is the garlic. Take the whole roasted bulb into your palm and angle it over the food processor. Squeeze the bulb from the bottom, and all the cloves begin to release from their skins out through the top.

Easy, right?!

Now, it’s time for the rest of your ingredients.

Squeeze of half a lemon – hold it cut-side up so that the seeds stay with the lemon, instead of going into your processor.

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Then the tahini – if you’re unfamiliar with tahini, it’s just sesame seed butter. I found it very easily in the bulk section at my local Sprouts. It’s nothing but sesame seeds!

I spiced this really simply with a little bit of smoky ground cumin, a few leaves of fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. [I know, super complicated, right?]

Place it all into your food processor, and get ready to whirl!

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Start it whirling, then stream in about 1/3 c of olive oil (EVOO, in my world).

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The Baba Ganoush is ready when it reaches this loose paste-like consistency. Think, a loose hummus.

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Gorgeous! Transfer it to your serving bowl, sprinkle with a tiny bit of smoked paprika, more fresh chopped parsley, and a quick drizzle of EVOO.

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Seriously, how beautiful is that? AND…it’s ALL veggies! No dairy, no beans, no problem.

You can serve this with cut veggies (cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, fresh zucchini, cauliflower, I could go on…) even some baked low carb pita triangles or parmesan cheese whisps would work. Any way you serve it, it’s equally delicious.

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This dip has a smokiness from the roasted eggplant and cumin, then you get a little sweetness from the roasted garlic and tahini, and it has a fruity quality with the raw EVOO. Simply divine!

Make this Baba Ganoush for your next party, and your guest will be begging for your recipe.

Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush

  • Servings: Multiple, Makes about 12oz of dip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 4 wedges, leaving the skin on. Cut the top off the bulb of garlic, leaving the bottom stem intact. Spray both with coconut oil. Wrap the garlic in a small piece of foil, and place the eggplant onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Roast the eggplant for about 20-25 minutes, and the garlic for about 30-40 minutes. Place the eggplant into a bowl and cover with foil or plastic to continue the cooking process.
  4. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, separate the flesh from the skin with a nice, sharp pairing knife. Place it into a food processor fitted with its blade.
  5. Hold the garlic bulb over the processor, and gently squeeze from the bottom to release the cloves of roasted garlic.
  6. Add the cumin, parsley, tahini, salt and pepper to the food processor and begin a constant blend.
  7. Stream in the EVOO until a paste-like consistency happens. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  8. Place into a serving bowl and garnish with smoked paprika, parsley, and a drizzle of EVOO.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.


 

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Low Carb Salmon en Papillote (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This is one of those meals that sounds (and looks) super fancy, but takes minimal effort (win!).

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“En Papillote” is a French dish that simply means “in parchment.” Wrapping each portion of fish in parchment paper is so smart because 1) each packet makes its own little lemon butter sauce which coats the fish and veggies and 2) the only clean up is throwing away paper (easy, right?!).

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Let’s start by talking about the fish. You do not want to go cheap on the salmon here – you want fresh, vibrant flavors and it’s hard to get that from frozen filets. I always get this large plank of fresh salmon from Costco. They take great care in butchering the fish by removing all the pin bones (I’ve never gotten one bone from Costco fish) AND the skin. I’m not partial to fish skin, so I appreciate that they take care of that part for me. At the end of the day, where you get your salmon is entirely up to you, just make sure it’s good because you’ll need about 2lbs of it. (I’m going to show you a fantastic lunch or dinner rollover meal later!).

Slice the lemons, squash, and mushrooms, then filet the plank of salmon into individual portions (I got 7 portions from mine). To filet the fish, use a sharp, long knife to make deep, long cuts. That way your filets won’t look like you’ve been sawing away at the fish.

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Cut 1 10-12in piece of parchment paper for each portion of fish, and pile them all up to make your assembly easy.

I made a shortcut by using frozen green beans for the bottom. I didn’t thaw them out or cook them before putting them into the parchment packets, and they were perfectly cooked after roasting.

Assemble the packets by taking a piece of parchment paper, piling a portion of green beans on the bottom. Stack on the sliced squash and place the mushrooms around the sides. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Carefully lay the fish filet on top, season it with salt and pepper, tear off a few pieces of fresh dill, lay the sliced lemons over the fish, then top with a pat of soft butter.

Next, you’ll get to wrapping the fish, nice and snug. Take the longest ends of the paper up together, make about 1-inch fold and keep folding and creasing down to the surface of the fish. Grab one of the small ends, pinch and crease it then tuck it under the fish – same goes for the other end.

That’s it! keep wrapping and rolling until all of your portions are wrapped. This can be done up to 1 day ahead of cooking. You don’t want the fish sitting too long with the lemon, because it will start to cure.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375, and place the packets onto a large baking sheet. They won’t leak (so long as there aren’t any holes in your packets), so you shouldn’t need extra foil or anything. Pop them into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.

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The best part is that this is a complete meal in a packet. You can transfer the packets straight from the baking sheet to a plate, then tear open the tops to reveal your beautifully roasted salmon and vegetables.

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Just look how gorgeous that is! I topped it with a touch of fresh chopped parsley and called it a day. The lemons roast down and become a little sweet, so squeeze those babies over the top of your fish. The butter and lemon drip down to the veggies, making them perfectly seasoned and buttery. The salmon is flaky, soft, and just a little crispy on the outside.

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My kids enjoyed this meal as is (they LOVE salmon), and I had a side green salad with mine. It was a beautifully light S meal!

Salmon en Papillote (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-7
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • roughly 2lbs fresh salmon, cut into individual portions
  • 1lb frozen whole green beans
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 lemons, thinly sliced (3 pieces of lemon per fish filet)
  • 6-7 tsp soft unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley for garnish, optional
  • parchment paper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Prepare the parchment packets by tearing one 10-12inch piece of parchment per fish filet. Stack them up and begin assembling.
  3. Green beans on the bottom, followed by sliced squash and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Gently lay one fish filet over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Tear off a few fronds of fresh dill, and lay them over the fish. Fan the lemons over the top, then top with a pat of butter.
  4. Wrap the fish into snug packets, and lay onto a large baking sheet.
  5. Roast the packets at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Place the packet directly onto a plate, cut or (gently) tear open near the top, and garnish with fresh parsley.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin & Baked Apples

Pork chops and apples is one of my all-time favorite Fall combinations. It’s probably my dad in me, because he’s an apple man unlike no other.

Growing up, I remember (somewhat fondly) having Stouffer’s baked apples. It must have been my dad’s favorite side dish, because we had it a lot. I haven’t had those apples in years, because with their sugar content they might as well be candy. Since I’ve stopped eating sugar, my palette has changed and I just don’t enjoy crazy-sweet things anymore.

That’s why these baked apples are the bomb. The sweetness comes from pure apple-y goodness, and I spiced them up with a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a little salt. I added a little xanthan gum to the mix to make a light sauce, and it all came together perfectly.

The pork tenderloin, I kept relatively simple with light seasoning, searing it in my cast iron skillet, and finishing it in the oven.

I topped it all off with some FP gravy from last week’s turkey feast.

All in all, the perfect Fall-inspired meal.

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin (THM FP)

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs lean pork tenderloin
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Season the tenderloin with the sage, thyme, salt, and pepper and rub it into all sides of the meat.
  3. Place the meat into the hot pan, and sear it about 3 minutes on all sides.
  4. When flipping the meat onto the final side to sear, remove from heat and place into the oven to finish. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until desired internal temperature is reached.


Baked Apples (THM E)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2lbs apples (any variety or mix that you like. I used Honeycrisp)
  • 1 Tsp softened butter
  • 2 palmfuls ground cinnamon
  • 1 palmful ground ginger
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Peel and slice the apples. Mine were on the larger side, and I used an apple cutter, then halved some of the larger pieces. The only thing to note here is the thinner you slice them, the faster they cook. Place the sliced apples into an 8×8 pan.
  3. Season the apples with the softened butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and sprinkle on the xanthan gum. Stir to combine and place in the oven uncovered to bake for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Stir halfway through to help activate the xanthan gum.
  5. Let stand for 5-7 minutes, and serve.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is one of my Fall favorites. Aside from the roasting of the squash, the soup comes together very quickly. It’s warming, filling, and slightly sweet from the squash-apple combination. Perfect for a chilly night!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (THM FP)

Serves 12

  • 1 small butternut squash, or 1 package of frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 3 apples, peeled and diced (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, diced
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 32oz containers vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c plain 0% fat Greek yogurt (if nondairy, you can use equal amounts of unsweetened plain almond milk or light coconut milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

I cut the stem off my squash, halved and seeded it. You can go the whole nine yards and peel and dice it, if you wish. If you have the bag of frozen cubes, you’re good to go.

Spritz the squash with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Roast for about 1 hour, or until fork tender. Let the squash cool until you’re able to handle it.

Heat a large pot over medium heat, add 2 Tsp butter and saute the apples and onions. When they start to soften and get some color, season with salt, pepper, ginger, and sage, then pour in the vegetable broth, cover and boil for about 8-10 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low. Add the squash, pumpkin, and apple broth mixture to a large blender and blend in batches until everything is incorporated. Put the soup back in your large pot, whisk in the yogurt and adjust for seasoning, then keep it on the heat until everything is heated through.

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This soup is a FP, which means it can go with S or E meals. This soup has about 9g of carbs per serving, so make sure you’re careful with other carbs should you have this with an S companion. If you want to go into E mode, have it alongside a turkey sandwich on sourdough, some grilled chicken or other lean protein.

This recipe makes a TON of soup. So, if you’re  feeding a crowd it’s great. If not, you can still package up the leftovers and freeze it as an easy dinner for later.

Do you make soup a main dish, or do you like to enjoy it as a prelude to your main?

Chicken Stuffed Squash

I’ve had this one on the menu for a couple weeks, and I’m glad I finally decided to make it. It tasted great, and definitely had us all in a Fall type of mood.

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Chicken Stuffed Squash (THM E)

Serves 5-7

  • 2-3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1.5lbs ground chicken
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used the seasoned kind with garlic, onion and garlic powder)
  • 1 1/2  – 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 Tsp butter or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350.

Spray each half of the squash lightly with coconut oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover with foil (for 4 halves, I used 2 small sheets), place on a baking sheet, and roast for about 45 minutes. You want the squash to be mostly fork tender at the end of 45 minutes, but still a little hard towards the skin.

In a large skillet, heat the butter or coconut oil and saute the onions, bell pepper, and carrots for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute, then add the ground chicken. Season with Italian seasoning, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Saute about 6-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add the tomatoes without draining them, and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes soften slightly. Stir in the cooked rice, and taste/adjust for seasoning.

Fill each half of the squash liberally with the chicken and rice mixture. Cover loosely and roast for another 15-20 minutes until the squash is fully cooked. 20161010064052_img_1753

YUM.

Quarter the squash, and dig in!

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Veggie Joe’s and Ranch Roasted Potatoes (Yes, It’s As Yummy As It Sounds)

Believe it or not, in making the Veggie Joe’s I had my very first lentil encounter. I had never eaten lentils before, and I’d certainly never cooked them before so this was a whole new experience in the kitchen.

Come to find out, making lentils is pretty easy and tasty! Next lentil adventure in soup perhaps? Could be. Let’s just take it one step at a time.

Sloppy Joe’s is one of those fun, easy weeknight meals that can go one of two ways: healthy or unhealthy. The way I always had Sloppy Joe’s growing up was with ground beef (I’m guessing not lean) and a can of Manwich (is that how you spell it?). I’m taking a shot in dark and saying they probably weren’t the healthiest thing I could have been putting in my mouth.

When I thought about making these Veggie Joe’s, I imagined something that would not only be tasty but also healthy for the whole family. I realize that getting getting some people, ahemMENANDCHILDRENahem, to eat vegetables is not an easy task. I don’t exactly take the uber-sneaky approach like Jessica Seinfeld does with her “Deceptively Delicious” cookbooks because that’s too much work. I like to think of myself as more of a veggie-ninja. I don’t grind them up so small that you don’t see them coming, a la Jessica, I just make them small enough to where it’s a pain in the ass to dig them out. On the other hand, I make them tasty too! Pretty good compromise, I’d say.

Veggie Joe’s

  • 1/2 cup ketchup (you could also use tomato sauce)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely
  • 2 Tsp Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped (about 1/2 of an 8oz package of whole mushrooms)
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp Dale’s low sodium sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)
  • 4-5 dashes hot sauce *optional
  • 3/4 – 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tsp olive oil

Heat a medium, deep skillet with olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and saute until tender (about 5-6 minutes). Add the chopped mushrooms and saute until just soft (about 3-4 minutes). Add the cooked lentils, grill seasoning, and ketchup to the cooked veggies and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the Dale’s, hot sauce (if using), and vegetable broth, cover and simmer on medium-low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After simmering, the liquid should have fully evaporated into the lentils and made a thick sauce. If not, leave the lid off and keep simmering until the remaining liquid cooks out.

Ranch Roasted Potatoes

  • 4-5 cups chopped potatoes, any variety (I used red potatoes and some leftover gold fingerling potatoes I had on hand)
  • 1 Tsp dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 Tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400. Combine the parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mix it with your fingers. This mixture makes a little more than you’ll need for the potatoes, but you can save it in a plastic baggy for later. Put the chopped potatoes in a medium-sized bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with roughly 2 Tsp of the Ranch mixture. Use your hands to toss and pour them out in a single layer on a small baking sheet lined with foil. Toss them in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, stir about halfway through to make sure the potatoes are browning on all sides.

NOM!