Coconut Thai Shrimp w/ Mango Avocado Salsa and Spinach Lime Rice

IMG_0058This time of year is perfect for fresh seafood – especially in New England. Lately I have been consuming about a 75/35 diet…the 75 being vegetable/plant-based meals and the 35 being meat based meals. I am working towards consuming the recommended 8-12oz of fish/seafood per week according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, however my budget does not always allow it, especially when trying to consume wild caught fish/seafood. Living below the poverty line, trying to make ends meet, and living on a tight budget can make things a difficult and frustrating when trying to eat healthy and buy fresh ingredients all the time. I have been living this way for quite a while now, and for the next year, that tight budget of mine just got even tighter! So here are a few little tips and tricks that I have found helpful and put to use:

  • When I find a good deal on wild caught seafood, I buy a little extra and freeze it into appropriate portion sizes.
  • Search the frozen section – some times you can find wild caught pre-frozen shrimp, tuna, or salmon – pick up a piece or two and save it for a raining day.
  • Shop local – small independent grocery stores and farmers markets usually have some great deals.
  • Eat Seasonally – the best prices for items are when they are in season, that should be no surprise.
  • Coupon Clipping – I kid you not, this has helped me so much. I do not clip coupons for items that I can not eat or that I do not use, that would be a waste of money and time. Sign up for coupons from Mambo Sprouts – usually they have lots of great gluten-free related coupons.
  • Frozen Veggies and Canned Goods – I know it is not “gourmet” but you can make one heck of a meal with these items…if buying canned goods, buy them with no or low sodium, and be sure to rinse them well. I buy my beans canned because it is quick and easy and they are full of nutrients.
  • Think of side of the box – instead of spending loads of money on meat proteins, I use a lot of alternative proteins like tofu, tempeh, and beans
  • Whole grains – they fill you up and are very versatile.

Below is a simple, yet flavorful shrimp recipe that can be prepared inside or on the grill and is perfect for this beautiful weather. You can serve it with our without the rice, in taco shells, or however you choose.

I found the Coconut Thai Seasoning at The Spice and Tea Exchange in Newport…I have no idea how I never realized this little gem was so close to me, but it was probably a good thing for me (not them) that I didn’t! I walked into the shop and instantly was in heaven. It’s a small shop, packed with spices, teas, salts, etc. The staff was very helpful and friendly as well, especially when helping me with gluten-free blend options. I picked up a few different spice blends but had to try the Coconut Thai one first.

Coconut Thai Shrimp with Mango Avocado Salsa and Spinach Lime Rice

IMG_0061Coconut Thai Shrimp – Ingredients

  • Shrimp                                                         1/2 pound
  • Coconut Thai Seasoning                         2 teaspoons
  • Olive Oil                                                       1 teaspoon

Mango Salsa – Ingredients

  • Lime Juice                                                  2 tablespoons
  • Lime Zest                                                    1 teaspoon
  • Salt, Kosher                                               1/4 teaspoon
  • Cayenne Pepper                                       1/8 teaspoon
  • Mango                                                         1 – fine dice
  • Red Onion                                                  2-3 tablespoons, fine dice
  • Avocado                                                      1 – fine dice
  • Bell Pepper, Orange,Yellow, etc.            1/4 cup, fine dice

Spinach Lime Rice – Ingredients

  • Basmati or Jasmine Rice                        1 cup – uncooked
  • Water or stock                                             2 cups
  • Spinach, Baby                                             1 1/2 cups
  • Lime Zest                                                     1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro                                                         1 tablespoon, fine chop

Method of Preparation

  1. Peel and devein shrimp
  2. Mango Avocado Salsa – In a medium bowl add lime juice, lime zest, salt, and cayenne pepper – mix well.
  3. Add diced mango, red onion, avocado, and bell pepper, mix well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  5. Coconut Thai Shrimp – In a medium bowl add, Coconut Thai Seasoning and Olive oil, mix well
  6. Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly, set aside in the refrigerator for 10 minutes
  7. Spinach Lime Rice – In a small stock pot bring two cups of water or stock to a boil and add rice. Stir and cook until done (usually about 15-20 minutes depending on rice)
  8. During the last two minutes of cooking, stir in spinach and stir to wilt the spinach leaves. Set aside.
  9. Right before serving add lime zest and freshly chopped cilantro into the spinach rice and toss to evenly incorporate.
  10. To cook the shrimp – either heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook 2-4 minutes per side or place on a hot grill for the same amount of time.
  11. Serve with spinach lime rice, and mango salsa – top with fresh cilantro and lime wedges if desired.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cheesecake Cups {Good Cook: Sweet Creations Bake-A-Bowl}

photo 2(6)Spring has officially sprung! I love this time of year for all the beautiful flowers blooming and the fresh fruits and vegetables, I can’t wait for the farmer’s markets to really pick up. Spring time also means it’s time for lots of celebrations…graduations, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. So if you are looking for an easy and super delicious treat to share at any one of these occasions look no further. I was originally going to make a salad for this recipe, but Bryan said it was “too simple” and I should do something sweet instead. I didn’t want to do anything with brownies so I though of the cheesecake that I make Bryan for his birthday that has a chocolate chip cookie crust that he loves and decided to make some adjustments; turning this into a lovely spring treat. I kept the cookie crust but decided that since the bowls were already baked, why not do a no-bake cheesecake filling, make it bright with some lemon juice and lemon zest and then top with fresh berries. I love the tangy flavor of the 1/3 fat cream cheese and always use that in my cheesecakes.

Good Cook has done it again with their Bake-A-Bowl pan – it is a 6 cup pan with two pieces that you fill, top, and bake to create the perfect little bowls! You can pretty much make anything with this pan…brownie bowls, cookie bowls, pancake bowls, tortilla bowls, cornbread bowls, etc. Much to Bryans dismay I have an obsession with kitchen equipment, but my defense is I use everything I have! So if you are like me, and love playing around with fun with new kitchen goodies, you have to check this out.

photo 1(8)

Check out my recipe for Cheesecake Cups using a cookie crust and a no bake cheesecake filling topped with delicious fresh strawberries, perfect for Mother’s day – I promise she will love these!

Cheesecake Cups

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  • 1 package of cookie mix (chocolate chip, sugar cookie, etc. – follow directions on package to prepare)
  • 1 – 8oz package of 1/3 fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 1 pint fresh berries (strawberries – sliced thin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare cookie mix as directed on package
  2. Spray both the bottom and top pan lightly with non-stick spray
  3. Evenly divide prepared cookie mix into six portions and place into the bottom of the Bake-A-Bowl pan, be sure to not fill past the “fill line”
  4. Take the top part of the pan and press it in to place
  5. Bake according to package instructions (you made need a little bit of additional time, these baked for 22 minutes)
  6. Remove from oven and let cool – do not remove top of pan until completely cooled.
  7. Once cooled, remove bowls from pan and set aside.
  8. Using either a stand mixer or electric mixer beat together the softened cream cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest until soft and smooth.
  9. Add in whipping cream and mix on low until incorporated and then turn it to medium-low and mix until it becomes thickened.
  10. Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated
  11. Poor into chilled bowls and refrigerate for several hours (or over night if making this ahead of time).
  12. Wash and then slice strawberries thinly and place in a bowl
  13. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and toss to coat. This will help the natural juices release.
  14. To assemble the cheesecakes, remove from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temp for 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Top with fresh berries or your favorite cheesecake topping.
  15. Enjoy!

photo 4(3)Again there are so many great ways to use this pan:

  • Sweet treats: brownies, cookie, etc.
  • Bake in the top part of the bowls as well – can be used as fillings inside the bottom of the bowl
  • If making bread bowls – but a baking sheet over the top of the pan to weigh it down…this will help with the bread from rising too much.
  • Non-sweet treats: cornbread bowls for chili, Tortilla bowls for tacos or salad, Bacon bowls etc.
  • Breakfast: Bacon bowls filled with scrambled eggs, pancake bowls, hashbrown nests, etc.
  • Have fun, and be creative!

You can buy Sweet Creations products online from Good Cook and get a 25% discount with the code BAKEBOWL.
Check out more great recipes and ideas here!

#goodcook #goodcookkitchenexpert #sweetcreations