Fabulous Recipe: Lime Shrimp with Coconut Rice! Quick, easy and delicious!

LimeShrimpCoconutRice WmSonoma

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Williams-Sonoma has a fabulous recipe. It’s quick, easy and comforting. The way the flavor of the coconut milk gives the rice just a faint taste and makes it nice and creamy is just so comforting! The shrimp cooked in a little butter with lime zest, juice and green onions is perfection. Click HERE for the link to the original Williams-Sonoma recipe that you can print.

Below is my version. I cooked the full amount of rice, and made half the shrimp portion, since there are only two of us. The first time I made it there wasn’t much of a lime taste. The second time I upped the zest and lime juice and it was perfect! If I was making this for four people I would double the lime zest and juice and serve with a big tossed salad, some nice hot bread and olive oil!

MY VERSION OF LIME SHRIMP WITH COCONUT RICE – Serves 2 (Click HERE to view/print my version of the recipe):

Ingredients...

The ingredients… butter, white rice, water, coconut milk, lime, garlic, shrimp, green onions

(Note: I did not use cilantro… you either like it or it tastes like dish soap. I taste JOY dish soap. Pthewy!)

The rice

THE RICE

Start by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of rice and cook, stirring constantly, until well coated with butter (about 1 minute).

adding the coconut milk/water combo

Then stir in 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook until liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (about 20 minutes).

THE SHRIMP

get ingredients ready...

I get the ingredients ready to use. Grate or mince the garlic, chop the green onions, zest and juice the lime, rinse and dry the shrimp and then proceed as follows:

While the rice cooks, grate the zest of one small lime and squeeze the juice from that same lime. About 5 minutes before the rice is ready, in a large fry pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.

adding the lime zest, juice and garlic

Add the garlic and lime (zest and  juice from 1 lime) and stir until the mixture is bubbly.

add shrimp and green onion

Add the 1/2 pound peeled, deveined shrimp (more or less to taste) and the 4 chopped green onions (white and green). Saute until the shrimp are just opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes (do not overcook). Stir in half of the cilantro if using.

FINISH THE RICE

Fluff the rice and gently stir in the remaining cilantro (if using). There are four servings of rice, which you can use to heat up for a quick side dish. Spoon some rice onto a pretty plate and top with shrimp mixture.

Serves 2.

Wait. Until. You. Taste. It! See how quick and easy it is? The main portion is cooked in 5 minutes, right before the rice is ready! Woohoo, love that!

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).

Catch you back here tomorrow!

What’s for dinner? Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken – quick and delicious!

Just seeing this salad makes my mouth water… It. Was. That. Good. Super healthy with a high tasty factor built in. Did I mention how quick it is to whip together? An added bonus for sure. Like all salads you can add whatever toppings you like. I kept mine simple. Tomato, Cucumber, Olives, Grilled Chicken and Feta. Period. OHMYGOSH. That hot grilled chicken makes the feta a little soft and to-die-for… There really isn’t a recipe per say, just tossing ingredients together… this is what I did:

Coat the skinless boneless chicken breasts (or whatever parts appeal to you) with olive oil. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Once the grill is hot, toss it on and cook like you normally would. Make sure it’s completely cooked.

Meanwhile, assemble the salads, if you finish before the chicken is done, place them in the fridge and keep them cold…

Place the salad in bowls, this time I used FRESH EXPRESS TRIPLE HEARTS which was really nice, it’s a combination of Romaine, Green Leaf and Butter lettuce.

Cut up a Tomato and a Cucumber and add to the salad. Toss on some Olives and sprinkle (I like copious amounts) of Feta, this is what makes it special!

Drizzle a little olive oil and a little rice wine vinegar (very mild, or another vinegar if you prefer)… add a light sprinkle of Salt and Pepper. You can add a small sprig of fresh Thyme if you like, I didn’t… it truly doesn’t need it!

Once the chicken is done, cut it into bite size pieces and place on top of the salad… you can serve with a baggette if you like. We didn’t and it was plenty of food for dinner!

This salad is so refreshing on a hot day! I hope you enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A quick and tasty dessert for a hot blistery day!

How is this for a nice tasty dessert on a day that is so hot and steamy? The temperatures are brutal throughout the country… so once in a while you need a little treat… something quick and easy, and SOOO good!

I bought some fabulous ice cream cones at EarthFare, they’re organic, I bought these because I didn’t want all the other unpronounceable ingredients… these had REAL ingredients, and they are C H E A P, no sugar and barely a calorie!

That along with some good ice cream and WELLA! A treat that can’t be beat! Sometimes a little cone just makes the day even better! This is a fast and fun dessert that will make your tastebuds smile!

Enjoy!  Catch you back here tomorrow!

Microplane, the wood working tool that crossed over to the kitchen!

The Microplane Classic Series Zester/Grater

This is one awesome tool. Made by Microplane, this is the Classic Series Zester/Grater. It makes a molehill out of a mountain, so to speak… It takes the toughest job and makes it a snap. Did you know that the smaller garlic is chopped the higher the health benefits? I use my Microplane zester mainly to make a wonderful paste out of garlic and/or ginger. Therefore no big hunks of garlic, just nice and flavorful, AND it only takes a few minutes! I originally bought it years ago to use with Parmesan cheese, but these days it’s all about the ginger and garlic… if you don’t have one, give it a whirl, I’m sure you’ll wonder how you did without it for so long! As they say at Microplane, it’s the woodworking tool that crossed over to the kitchen, and boy am I ever glad someone thought of it!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

How to make hot chocolate from scratch… Quick and easy!

Have you ever wondered how to make hot chocolate from scratch? Well wonder no longer… here’s the scoop, and you will flip when you see how quick and easy it is! I have fond memories of hot chocolate! Growing up in Michigan as a young kid my mom told us we had to drink something warm before we walked to school (you heard me… back in those days we walked… miles i think it was, over mountains, through streams, in extremely cold temperatures. Ok, so I exaggerate a little but not a lot!) – so it was usually hot chocolate. I didn’t grow up drinking a latte for breakfast while in kindergarten, darn… that would have been nice, ha ha… Anyway, a tasty treat indeed… 

Ingredients include… UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER (like Ghirardelli or Hershey), Sugar and Milk

Fill your liquid measuring cup with 1 cup of milk (I use organic 1%, but any milk will work). Place it in the microwave until it’s hot (every microwave is different, mine takes 1 minute 30 seconds). (If you prefer not to use a microwave you may certainly use your stove! Heat the milk on low until hot.)

Add 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of sugar (I use unbleached cane sugar, but any will do). [A note on the quantities here… this recipe is from Ghirardelli, from the actual container of unsweetened cocoa, if it’s too chocolately for your taste, cut the amount the next time, same with the sugar…] 

Stir the cocoa powder and sugar together until it’s all mixed up…

Now add the hot milk to the cocoa powder/sugar mixture… 

Stir it well. Get all those hunks of chocolate sweetness mixed in. Give it a taste… if it’s not hot, toss place it back in the microwave for a few seconds till it’s warm again!

Ahhhh, now the best part (and it’s totally optional), give it a good swirl of whipped cream (REAL whipped cream or Redi-Whip, but not that chemical laden “non-dairy” whip stuff that comes in a tub in the freezer section… *GASP!* Just say NO! Friends don’t let friends eat Cool W… oops, sorry, got carried away…

Enjoy, you will be surprised how quick and easy… and remember… cocoa… GOOD FOR YOU!!! Not so much the sugar… if you can wean that down, pat yourself on the back!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Meatless Monday: Martha’s Tomato, Basil and White Bean Salad

Image: MarthaStewart.com

Let me start by saying. This. Is. Awesome. AND more importantly, I’m not really a bean eater. Some beans are OK, black beans, chili beans, but I don’t seek them out… this recipe changed my outlook on beans. This is one quick dish that is out of this world good. This tastes like it came straight from Italy. The only thing you heat is the oil and mainly to infuse the garlic into it. Trust me, this recipe will quickly become a family favorite!

Click HERE to go directly to Martha Stewart’s site to easily print the recipe, or see below… either way… ENJOY!

MARTHA’S TOMATO, BASIL and WHITE BEAN SALAD

Prep/10 min.  Total Time/35 min.  Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound small roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.

Steak fajitas… quick and easy! Delish!

Quick and easy fajitas

You know when you need to get out of a rut and try something different? Summertime is the hardest time for me, in the winter I can think up all kinds of things that bake, stew, roast, all with the oven on slowly making a meal into a masterpiece while heating the kitchen all at the same time. Then it’s summer. It’s hot and the last thing you want to do is spend too much time with the stove/oven on… enter FAJITAS. I usually make them with chicken, but on this day we needed a break from chicken. So I ran to the store and got 1/2# of flank steak. I whipped together a marinade in a ziplock with a clove or two of garlic (use the microplane!), some olive oil, and some lime juice (one nice big wedge squeezed into the bag). I then mixed the ingredients in the bag by mushing around with my hot little hands, then tossed in the hunk o’beef and let it sit and fester for a while (in the fridge of course!). Actually that night dinner plans changed so it sat in the bag for about 12 hours which was perfect! Fred threw the hunk o’meat on the grill, then right before it was ready he took it off, wrapped it in foil and allowed it to rest. Then we sliced it at an angle against the grain. We heated up some tortilla’s that we had, cut up some tomato, green onion, grated some cheddar and threw on a nice plop of greek yogurt! (We use it instead of sour cream). Oh, and we had some of that tasty salsa from Trader Joe’s… nice touch. It’s quick, you can put what you like on it, you can spice it up more (or less), add avocado, onions, etc. Use chicken, tofu, steak, fish or whatever else you may have. As they say… No rules, it’s just right.

Enjoy a fajita tonight! Catch you back here tomorrow!

What to do with your garden’s bounty? VEGGIE PASTA! Dinner this eve…

The stars of the show...

Are you wondering what to do with a garden full of fresh veggies? Here is one quick and easy idea. What’s better is that this can be made with whatever you have on hand each day, so it’s completely different! Mushrooms, celery, walnuts, chicken, shrimp, hey… whatever you have will work! For this evenings meal, I have a zucchini, part of an orange pepper, some cremini mushrooms and some onion. Like I said, use what you’ve got…

Throw on a pot of water while you cut up the veggies. I like them cut small, my mom cuts big, it really doesn’t matter, do what you like (isn’t that liberating??)… Heat a skillet (you can use non-stick, I prefer a regular skillet or a cast iron skillet) with some olive oil, enough to lightly cover the bottom (don’t be too chintzy, you’ll need it to coat the pasta), toss in the cut up veggies (once you hear a SIZZLE when you slide a piece into the pan, cook it on medium high until it starts to get lightly brown… owwwwieee. you’re getting close to heaven now… won’t be much longer. Go ahead and toss the pasta into the boiling water. I usually use angel hair (capellini) because it cooks so quickly! Once the pasta is done, drain it well then toss it into the pasta and stir around. Turn the skillet off. I use tongs to coat the pasta with the oil and veggies. I realize I’m not giving amounts here, use what you like and whatever amount you like. You see what I used and that was for two people. I probably use about 1/3+ of a package of capellini… then sprinkle with PARMESAN… woohoo… you can also add fresh basil or any other herbs along the way. It’s hard to mess this up. It will become a go to meal when you can’t think of anything else to make (or don’t have time).

Tada... Dinner is served!

And there you have it… dinner is READY! As you can see in this picture I added a fresh cut up tomato.

Another option to change things up a bit… once the veggies are done, add the cooked/drained pasta, then add a few spoonfuls of PLAIN REGULAR yogurt (flavored is weird and Greek yogurt is too thick), stir it in with the veggies and pasta, then (hold on to your hat, this is the best part…) grate some pepper jack cheese over the top… throw a lid on top of the skillet just until the cheese melts… oh heavens. Tasty!

Catch you back here tomorrow!!

Something quick and easy to toss on the grill!

We had been out all day and were starving! What’s quick and easy to throw on the grill and call a meal?? Kabobs! We picked up some chicken Italian sausage, whew! It was out of this world, along with some potatoes, onions and peppers we had a meal! It’s important to use cooked Italian sausage unless you’re really going to monitor to be sure it’s completely cooked… this meal was QUICK… To keep this moving along quickly, we did put the potatoes in the microwave until barely able to pierce with a fork, then finished on the grill. We quickly soaked the skewers while we cut up the veggies and sausage… anything else that sounds good, go ahead and add it!  Corn on the cob broken into 2-3″ sections would have been good. Prior to adding to the grill we brushed with olive oil and lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper… had some nice sweet watermelon afterwards. Yum!

It would have been really nice if I would have taken more than a “before” photo… Trust me… the “after” photo would make your mouth water… I guess I was too hungry to snap a quick picture, heavy sigh…

Catch you back here tomorrow!!

For dinner tonight… chicken pita with tzatziki!

Chicken Pita with Tzatziki

This is such a quick and fabulous meal! Perfect for those hot days when you want to get out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. You can also add whatever you like, add onions, olives, cheese, you could use steak instead of chicken, endless possibilities, so see what you have hanging out in your fridge and toss this together, sit down and enjoy!!

CHICKEN PITA WITH HOMEMADE TZATZIKI

2 Chicken Breasts (boneless/skinless)
1-2 T Lime Juice (more or less to taste)
2 Fresh good pitas
1 Tomato, chopped

Tzatziki: 1 cucumber, greek yogurt, some garlic, fresh or dried dill and a splash of lemon juice.

In a skillet with olive oil (or canola) sauté the chicken, when its close to being done cut it up (while it’s still in the pan) into bite size pieces (I use scissors, it’s much quicker), then continue to cook until just about done. Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken in the skillet, and cook until absorbed. This makes the chicken turn a beautiful golden brown color. You can also throw in some onions if so inclined..

Finely chop up a cucumber with seeds removed, add to plain greek yogurt with fresh or dried dill and a splash of lemon (squeeze a wedge). You can use a microplane to get a little (or a lot) of garlic added, stir it together and set aside while you assemble the pita.

I like the pita heated. It’s not necessary, just a personal preference. I heat the pita wrapped in wax paper and a tiny sprinkle of water and put in microwave just until warm. Take it out and place one pita on each plate, put chicken on top, cut up tomatoes, a spoonful of tzatziki, some black pepper and a sprinkle of dill. 
Oh la la….  ENJOY!

Catch you back here tomorrow!