Spicy Barbecued Shrimp, Quinoa and Fresh Corn with Scallions

by Jennifer

Both of these recipes are family favorites. The shrimp are spicy, so consider decreasing the chile paste if you’re making this for those who prefer less heat.  Any leftover sauce can be refrigerated for future use with chicken, fish, or tofu.  Serves 4 – 6.

Spicy Barbecued Shrimp – from Cooking Light

  • 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 – 4 tsp chile paste with garlic
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

Combine scallions through garlic in a large bowl;

add shrimp and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.  Prepare grill.

Thread shrimp on skewers and

grill 3 minutes per side, or until done.  While shrimp are grilling,

pour reserved marinade into a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes;  simmer until shrimp are ready to serve.   Serve shrimp with barbecue sauce on the side.

Quinoa and Fresh Corn with Scallions – from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter or ghee
  • kernels from 3 large ears of corn
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions, whites and some of the greens
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil in a medium pot;  add quinoa, cover, lower heat to simmer and let cook for 15 minutes.

Turn off heat and let quinoa sit, covered, for 5 minutes;  fluff with a fork.  Meanwhile, melt butter or ghee in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add corn and scallions and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, then stir into the quinoa.  Serve quinoa sprinkled with cheese.

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Ricotta and Spinach Frittata; Black Bean, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

By Ira,

This frittata is very creamy and easy to make. You first cook the onion, then add spinach, pour the eggs on top, add the ricotta in dollops and finish cooking it in the oven. You can put together the salad while the frittata is cooking.

Ricotta and Spinach Frittata 

Serves 4 – adapted from Clean Eating magazine

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag baby spinach (about 4 cups)
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set it aside.

In a 10-inch nonstick oven proof skillet over medium heat, add the oil, then the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic, and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the spinach in batches, and stir until each batch wilts down. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the spinach and onion mixture evenly across the skillet,

then pour the egg mixture evenly on top.

Add the ricotta in tablespoon dollops across the frittata. Let it set on the bottom for about 3 minutes, then transfer it to the oven and

cook for about 8 to 12 minutes or until eggs are firm.

Black Bean, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large cucumber, or 2 small ones, diced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients together and stir gently. Taste for salt and add accordingly.

Chickpea Salad with Cumin Dressing; Spicy Shrimp

By Ira

You can make this salad the day before. It’s very satisfying because of the chickpeas and feta, and it has a bright flavor because of the lemon, cilantro, and mint. The spicy shrimp is a nice addition and very easy to make.

You can start by marinading the shrimp, then making the salad, and finally cooking the shrimp.

Chickpea Salad with Cumin Dressing

Serves 5-6 – Adapted from Clean Eating magazine

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, or 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese

In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Whisk and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, then add the dressing, and gently stir to combine. Taste to check the seasonings and add extra salt accordingly. You can serve it immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Spicy Shrimp

Serves 4

  • 24 uncooked shrimp, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • salt and pepper

You can halve this recipe, or use just 18 shrimp where you can still use the same amount of marinade like I did.

If the shrimp is frozen, defrost it according to package directions, and dry it with a paper towel.

In a medium bowl, combine the grapeseed oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, sriracha sauce, salt, and pepper.

Add the shrimp and let it marinade for 15 to 30 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp one at a time without the marinade.

Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, turn each one, and cook on the other side until pink.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

By Ira,

If you think salads are boring, you should try this one. It’s delicious and light. The chicken is seasoned with smoked paprika and chile powder, then tossed with blue cheese and all the other vegetables. And don’t feel guilty about adding too much dressing: it’s just yogurt, buttermilk, onion, and hot sauce. You will notice that you’re eating all the colors of the rainbow in the one salad.

Serves 4 – Adapted from Clean Eating magazine

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 medium breasts)
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons coconut oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped into big chunks (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 5 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (or buffalo)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, left whole or halved
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, julienned or shredded
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • salt

Note: don’t substitute plain paprika for the smoked one. The smoked paprika gives it an amazingly deep flavor. If you can’t find red leaf lettuce, just substitute it with the romaine lettuce like I did. But by using the red leaf lettuce, you will have all the colors of the rainbow.

Place the chicken on a cutting board, cover it with cling wrap and pound the pieces so they become thinner (you can even cut the chicken in half so each chicken breast turns into 2). Sprinkle the pieces evenly on both sides with smoked paprika, chile powder, and salt.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil, then the chicken pieces, and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes depending on its thickness.

When done, set it aside on a clean cutting board for a few minutes before slicing it into strips. If your skillet is too small, then cook two chicken breasts at a time and keep the cooked ones warm under foil.

Meanwhile, in a blender, add the yogurt, buttermilk, onion, and 1 tablespoon hot sauce.

Blend until smooth. Taste to see if you’d like to add the additional 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (I did because the buttermilk and the yogurt mellow the spiciness of the hot sauce).

Divide the lettuce between 4 plates, then top it with the bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, and cheese.

Drizzle the dressing on the salad.

Top with the chicken, then drizzle more dressing on top if you wish.

Vanilla Pudding with Summer Berries

by Jennifer

This recipe, from Gourmet magazine, is one of my favorite summer dessert recipes.  It’s easy to put together, can be eaten warm or cold, and with your favorite berries.  The original recipe served 2;  since there are 5 in my family, I tripled the recipe to make 6.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups berries of your choice

In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt.

Whisking, slowly add the milk until well-combined.

Whisk in the egg yolks.  Place pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking frequently.

Once boiling, whisk constantly and boil for 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla and almond extract.

Layer pudding and berries in wineglasses, starting and ending with fruit.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes for a warm pudding, or longer for cold.

Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots, Swiss Chard “Salad”

by Jennifer

The beets and carrots can be roasting, the lentils can be cooking, and the chard can be blanched and cooled all during the same time period;  this dinner can be ready in about 40 minutes, barring interruptions, of course!  The lentils are delicious warm or at room temperature.  One of my kids was sick today so while we hung out at home I decided to make some Semolina Bread to go with dinner, which turned out to be a huge hit with the kids (who says jam with bread can’t go with lentils?).  Serves 4.

Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots – adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • 3/4 – 1 lb beets, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 parsley sprigs plus 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • grated zest from two lemons

For vinaigrette:

  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss beets and carrots with 2 tsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast

until tender, about 35 minutes.

Place lentils, onion, bay leaf and parsley sprigs in a medium pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cooking the lentils until tender, about 25 minutes.

Drain lentils and discard the bay leaf and parsley sprigs.  Combine lemon juice and shallot and let it sit for 15 minutes;  whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine roasted beets and carrots, lentils and onions, chopped parsley, lemon zest, and vinaigrette, stirring gently to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Swiss Chard “Salad”

  • 1 lb Swiss chard
  • 2 TBS pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Remove stems and ribs from chard and

thinly slice the leaves.  Blanch chard by cooking it in the boiling water for 20 seconds,

then drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking process.  Squeeze chard dry.

In a small bowl toss the chard with the oil, then the vinegar, seasoning with pepper and adding the pine nuts.

Malaysian Barbecue-Glazed Grouper, Brown Rice, and Cucumber Salad with Garlic and Ginger

by Jennifer

This dinner was delicious and great for summer;  quick to put together, light, and the salad is very refreshing.  The longest thing is marinating the onions for the salad, which takes an hour;  get those going and then do something else for a bit, say, like make a vodka tonic and check your e-mail, which is what I did…. Dinner serves 4.

Malaysian Barbecue-Glazed Grouper 

I’m fairly certain this recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine, and it calls for halibut, which I couldn’t get, but the grouper substitution came out well.  Depending on the thickness of your fish, you may need to cover the pan after searing the first side to help it cook through faster.  Serve with brown rice.

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs halibut, grouper, or other firm white fish
  • 1 TBS neutral oil
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS fresh orange juice
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chile paste with garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat;  add fish and cook, turning once, until cooked through (fish flakes easily), about 10 minutes total.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil for 20 seconds,

then brush glaze over fish;  repeat with remaining glaze after you’ve placed fish on dinner plates.

Cucumber Salad with Garlic and Ginger 

This recipe, from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, called for red onion which I didn’t have, so I substituted a small Vidalia onion;  he also has you mash the garlic and ginger with a mortar and pestle, again which I didn’t have, so I finely chopped them both.  It was still fantastic.

  • 3 TBS rice vinegar
  • 2 TBS neutral oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small red or Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs cucumbers
  • 1 TBS toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 TBS chopped cilantro

Whisk together vinegar through sesame oil;

add the onions, mix well, and let sit at room temperature for an hour.

Slice the cucumbers lengthwise, and use a spoon to remove the seeds.  If they’re large, slice each half lengthwise, then slice crosswise at an angle, cutting the cucumbers into about 1/4” pieces.

Place cucumbers, remaining ingredients and onions with their marinade in a large bowl and toss well to combine.  Let the salad sit for 10 minutes, then stir well before serving.