Shrimp Avocado Salad

Avocadoshrimp

There are some people who are always on the lookout for a quick and easy meal. One that tastes just as good as the time that was saved. Even better- a recipe that can also be used for meal planning!

The creamy texture of the avocado blends well with the crunchiness of the cucumbers peppered in with the occasional cayenne spiced shrimp. To elevate the experience, consider adding some sliced almonds or feta cheese.

The elements of this salad are very simple (serving size varies based on amount of ingredients):

  • Salad greens: spinach leaves, spring mix (neutral), romaine lettuce (crunchy) or try arugula (spicy bite)
  • Avocado: diced (Pro tip: you can tell a ripe avocado by removing the nub of the stem; if it is ripe it will be green underneath, if overripe then it will be brown, and if it isn’t ready then the nub wont come off)
  • Cucumber: peeled and diced
  • Shrimp: 1 pound seasoned with cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, pepper, and tossed in a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice; sauté for about two minutes per side or until pink
  • Other options: sliced almonds, raisins, cranberries, figs, feta cheese, black beans, tomatoes 

Simply toss all of these ingredients together and drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper!

**Remember: avocados have more potassium than bananas! Remember that the next time you hear someone say they are low on potassium and need to eat more bananas (which are carb heavy!).

Click here to read about my Asian Inspired Shrimp Salad with a Peanut Sauce for another variation.

avocadoshrimp2

Hope you enjoyed today’s simple recipe of the day!

What other quick meal plan ready recipes would you like to see posted on the blog?

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

I recently went to a local Indian restaurant that opened up in town where I ended up ordering Chicken Tikka Masala which came with some basmati rice and naan. It turned out to be a little on the sweet side and the naan was an embarrassment- a thin and small piece of pita bread that supposedly passed for naan. No pictures survived the incident haha. If I ever go back, I’ll have to order another dish to see if another menu item will be able to redeem themselves.

A few weeks later, I decided to recreate the meal and take a shot at making homemade naan too. The meal was a success. The Tikka Masala was rich and silky with an acceptable spice level. The creamy tomato sauce was perfect for scooping up with naan. Sooo the naan. The joy I felt was indescribable after seeing the naan rise on my cast iron pan and that first fluffy soft bite sealed the deal. The best part about it was that I was able to use it in other dishes even breakfast. The naan recipe will be coming soon so keep posted this weekend!

Chicken TikkaChicken Tikka Masala

Printable Recipe Here

Servings: 2

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

For the Tikka Masala Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients: the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Mix in the chicken with the marinade and refrigerate for an hour. If you are patient or have some extra time, you can refrigerate it for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Cook the chicken on a grill or in an oven or pan and set aside. I used an indoor grill and it took about 15-20 minutes to cook it because of the heavy marinade. Timing will vary based on the size of cuts and cooking method.
  3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and garlic until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Season with the  garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and paprika. Stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the tomato sauce.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens over low heat. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with rice and chopped cilantro.

Tips

-If you do not have garam masala I suggest checking the ethnic foods aisle at your grocery store or going to your local Indian grocery store. I ended up making my own garam masala and I found it to be a good substitute for me. Recipe can be found here. You can click on the serving size and change it to 5  otherwise you will have some extra garam masala.

-One of the key parts to making a sauce is taste, taste, taste! Always taste it after adding spices and adjust it to your own liking.

-Double the recipe for a larger serving size since this recipe is only for two. Be careful with spices though because the ratio does not apply to them. Best option would be to add spices slowly and taste as you go.

Chicken Tikka

Fried Portabello Tacos w/ Cilantro Lime Ranch

Taco bout the perfect lunch! Recently, I’ve been trying to be healthier & I have found a solution to cook more instead of baking more. It really is discouraging seeing cup after cup of sugar being added to a baked good, so there are positives and negatives to seeing what goes into what you bake haha. Anyways, a recent visit at a local taco restaurant inspired me to make this scrumptious lunch. The taco was pretty simple consisting of either salmon or a fried portabello, along with a cilantro lime sauce, corn salsa, various greens, cheese, a slice of avocado, and a handful of pomegranate seeds for a ruby splash of color to top it off. I couldn’t resist but add an addicting side dish of seven layer dip on the side.

Image

Fried Portabello Tacos

Simple mix of the following in any order:

Fried Portabello (recipe below)

Corn Salsa (mix together and set aside)

  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup onions
  • a tablespoon of lime
  • salt and pepper for taste

-Cilantro Lime Ranch (blend the following and set aside)

  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp ranch
  • 1 tsp lime juice

-Various Greens

  • 1/2 Cabbage, shredded
  • 1-2 Green Bell Peppers, sliced
  • 2 Avocados, thinly sliced

-2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese

-1 Pomegranate, deseeded

Fried Portabello

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound portabello mushrooms, sliced (remove stems/gills)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup egg wash (2 eggs whisked)
  • oil as needed, for frying

Directions:

  1. Fill a pan with oil and heat as you get the rest of the set up ready
  2. Lay out three bowls and fill according with 2 cups flour, 2 eggs whisked, and the last bowl with the panko
  3. Coat each mushroom with flour, then dip it into the egg wash bowl, and lastly in the breadcrumbs to coat it evenly
  4. Fry in the oil until golden brown & place onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the oil

Image

Image

Lebanese Baked Mashed Potatoes with Meat!

Lebanese cuisine has some of the most interesting and unique foods from around the world. I first saw this dish on Tabkhet el yom’s blog which, by the way, features the best of the Lebanese food out there. At first look, you’d say that this is a bland dish because of the simplicity of it. I made it not knowing what to expect and even surprised myself by how much I LOVED this dish! If you have many potatoes and don’t know what to do with them, then definitely take this recipe into consideration :)

Ingredients:

  • about 10 medium sized potatoes (or 1 kg)
  • 1/3 lb of ground beef, cooked
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (grenadine molasses)
  •  1 tbsp corn oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of seven spices
  • handful of pine seeds
Directions:
  1. Boil the potatoes until they are tender and can be peeled (may take about an hour). Mash them in a medium sized bowl and mix in the teaspoon of salt and 1 tbsp of butter as well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onions. Fry until they are are caramelized and then add the pine nuts. After the pine nuts are golden brown, add the cooked meat to the mixture.
  4. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses, and the seven spices.
  5. Put half of your mashed potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish and flatten out. Cover with your meat mixture and then add another layer of mashed potatoes to the top.
  6. Spread your remaining tbsp of butter on top of the mashed potato surface and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until well done.
For more pictures check out this recipe on Tabket el Yom’s page.