Monday, May 30, 2011

Orzo with Shrimp, Spinach, Tomatoes, Olives and Feta

Had some shrimp I needed to use and came up with this.

  • 1 lb Orzo, Whole Wheat
  • 1 lb Shrimp, Peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp Spanish Paprika, Hot Smoked
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, Juice of 1 lemon and the zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil, also some for sauteing the shrimp
  • 8 whole kalamata olives, quartered
  • 1 cup baby spinach, packed and chopped
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 6 ounces Greek Feta, crumbled

For the Shrimp: Mix the 1 tsp. Spanish hot smoked paprika and the 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Pat the shrimp dry and put them into a small bowl. With your fingers, evenly distribute the spice mixture onto the shrimp.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Pour in the shrimp and saute until pink and cooked through.
Remove from the pan and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boiling: Add 2 tbsp. salt and the Orzo and cook until just al dent, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile: Zest the lemon and measure about 3 tbsp. of juice into a large bowl. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

When the orzo is done drain it into a fine mesh colander, shake out the excess water and dump it into the bowl with the dressing. Mix very thoroughly and add chopped spinach mixing well until spinach begins to wilt. Let cool.

When cool mix in shrimp with accumulated juices, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes and feta.
Adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve.

Can be refrigerated and served later.

Source: Tracey Adams | 8 servings

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Curried Chicken with Potatoes and Spinach

I had thawed a couple of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and wanted to make something a little different with them. After much searching on the Internet I decided to come up with my own recipe.

I'd bought some Vadouvan Curry Powder from Williams-Sonoma and wanted to try it out.
This is what I came up with. We liked it so much, I'm sure I'll be making it again really soon.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
  • ½ cup yogurt, plain, whole milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne, or more to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp curry powder, Vadouvan from Williams-Sonoma
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder, or 1 clove minced fresh
  • 1 pound potatoes, Yukon Gold, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 large Italian plum tomatoes, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1" chunks
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain, whole milk
  • ¾ cup chicken broth, or as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1.Chicken Thighs: Preheat oven to 500 degrees and line a baking sheet with nonstick foil.
In a medium-sized bowl put 1/2 cup yogurt, salt and pepper, and 1 tsp. curry powder. Coat chicken pieces and place on baking sheet.
Place baking sheet in lower center of oven and turn heat to 400 degrees.
Bake for 15 min. and turn, bake for another 15 min.
Remove to plate, cover and let cool enough to cut into bite-sized pieces without burning your fingers.
2.In a large skillet: Heat oil over medium heat. In hot oil cook curry powder until fragrant, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Stir in potatoes and onions mixing thoroughly. Cook until onions are transparent and potatoes begin to soften. Add chicken, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste and stir well to combine.
Add chicken broth as needed to keep the mixture from drying out too much.
3.Cover: Continue cooking stirring frequently until potatoes are tender. Add yogurt, tomatoes and spinach.
Simmer uncovered for about 10 more minutes or until spinach is cooked and tomatoes begin to soften.
4. I served it over brown basmati rice.

Nutrition facts do not include rice.

Nutrition Facts:

Servings: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 189
Total Fat: 6.27g
Cholesterol: 14mg
Sodium: 144mg (the sodium will vary depending on how much salt you add.)
Total Carbs: 24.84g
Dietary Fiber: 3.53g
Sugars: 7.37g
Protein: 9.56g

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tracey's Vegetarian Chili

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ancho chile powder, rounded (Williams-Sonoma brand)
½ tsp smoked serrano chili powder, or to taste (Williams-Sonoma brand)
1 tsp smoked spanish paprika, slightly rounded
1 tsp thyme, dried and crushed
1 ½ tsp oregano, dried and crushed
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup roasted corn, Trader Joe's Roasted Corn in the freezer section
2 cans black beans, 15 1/2 ounce cans
1 can crushed canned tomatoes, 15 1/2 ounce can
1 can Del Monte Diced Tomatoes in Juice, 15 1/2 ounce can
2 cups broth, or more if it needs it.
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1.Preheat oven to 350°.
2.In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and sprinkle with a little salt, cook stirring until translucent (about 2 min.) and add garlic, stirring frequently until garlic is fragrant and soft (about 2 more min.). Add cumin and chili powders along with salt and pepper and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add both cans of tomatoes, the thyme and oregano and the beans. Stir to mix and add 2 cups of broth.
3.Bring to a boil and add the zucchini. Turn off the stove, stir, cover and place on lower middle rack in oven. Set timer for 25 minutes. When timer goes off add the corn, mix well, return to oven and cook for another 5 minutes just to heat through.
4.Serve with cornbread.
Source: Tracey Adams (6 servings)

Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes, Spinach, Mushrooms and Zucchini

Last night was another late night for Chris so I wanted to fix something tasty and quick. I threw together an old standby for me with a little twist to make it interesting.
1 lb. lg. Shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
3 lg. ripe Roma Tomatoes, diced
2 cups Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
1 small Zucchini, diced
6 oz. pkg Baby Spinach
2 cups Penne Pasta, dry
2 tsp. Williams-Sonoma Vandouvan Curry powder or any mild curry powder
3 tbsp. Brown Cow Cream on Top Plain Yoghurt
Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste.

Fill a large heavy pot with water and bring to a boil. Put the spinach in a colander in the sink.
Chop the tomatoes, peel and chop the garlic, slice the mushrooms and dice the zucchini.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan until just shimmering and add shrimp, some salt and pepper, and 1/2 tsp. of the curry powder. Saute the shrimp, stirring frequently until just cooked, remove from pan and keep warm.
When water comes to a boil add 2 tbsp. salt and the pasta, set timer for whatever your package says (if it says 10-12 min. set the timer for 10 min.)
Add a little broth or white wine to the pan to deglaze it and add the garlic, sauteing until fragrant, about a minute, next saute the mushrooms until they begin to soften then add the zucchini and tomatoes sauteing until zucchini is tender.
By now the pasta should have only a minute or two left to cook. Turn off the heat under the tomato mixture and add the shrimp as well as the curry powder and the yoghurt. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Remove a cup of the hot pasta water and drain the pasta into the colander with the spinach. Shake it gently to remove most of the water then pour it back into the pasta pan. Using tongs or a pasta fork distribute the spinach through the pasta, add the tomato, shrimp mixture to the pan and stir until well mixed adding some of the pasta water if it seems dry.
Cover and let sit for 2-3 min. so the pasta can soak up some of the liquid. Adjust the seasonings and server.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Birthday Dinner at Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles

Last night Chris took me to dinner at Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles for a belated birthday dinner. It's our favorite restaurant. They grow all of their own produce organically and buy their meats and seafood locally. It's a little difficult to find the first time you go because it's down an alley but it's well worth it. They seem to be the exception that makes the rule when it comes to location being important.

Chef Julie is an artist and you'll never find the usual on her menu.

Last night Chris and I both chose the seared giant scallops with forbidden rice and fresh strawberries, macadamia nuts, liche nuts, kumquat and grilled bok choy, heaven. Each bite was an explosion of texture and flavor in the mouth. My husband and I shared the grilled romaine salad with feta and Spanish white anchovies, which was absolutely delicious. For desert we shared the Italian olive oil cake with blackberries.

My only regret is that I forgot to bring my camera.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Review of Women's Timberland PRO® 6-Inch TiTAN®Waterproof Rigmaster Safety Toe

Originally submitted at Timberland

Get geared up this season. Take a look at our Women's Timberland PRO® 6-Inch TiTAN® Waterproof Rigmaster Safety Toe. Crafted from waterproof full-grain leather, these super-durable 6-inch workboots are engineered specifically for the jobsite.

Most comfortable boots ever!
By Bikracer from Atascadero, CA on 5/11/2011
5out of 5
Sizing: Feels true to size
Width: Feels true to width
Pros: Comfortable, Stable, Durable, Good Cushioning
Best Uses: Work
Describe Yourself: Athletic, Comfort-oriented
The moment I got these boots in the mail I took them out of the box and tried them on. They were a perfect fit and not only that they were comfortable right out of the box. I wore them all day spreading mulch out in our up and down yard the very first day I got them.
I've never had a pair of boots that were comfortable with no break-in at all. They have a high-top which with all of the boots I have tried in the past was very painful, NOT with these boots. The cushioning is just right and in the right places as are the seams. No painful rubbing seams.
The footbed is a dream to walk around in, even on rocky terrain.
I LOVE these boots!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Whole Wheat Penne with Broccoli, Shrimp and Goat Cheese

This is one of my favorite quick meals.
Really, really yummy.

2 cups penne pasta, Whole Wheat
2 cups broccoli, florets
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (Use more if you like)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ tsp coriander, ground
¼ tsp cumin, ground
⅛ tsp chile powder, chipotle
2 ½ ounces goat cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring 4 quarts water to boil. When boiling add 1 tbsp. salt to water and pasta. Set timer for 9 or 10 minutes.
Mix the seasonings (except the salt and pepper) together in a small bowl.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over med-high heat in a large skillet. Add broccoli and half the seasonings and toss to evenly coat. Sauté for about 5 minutes and add garlic. Toss to mix then add shrimp and sprinkle with the rest of the seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.
Lower heat enough to keep from burning the garlic and sauté while the pasta finishes cooking. Be careful not to overcook the pasta.
Scoop out 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and quickly drain pasta. Return to pan and mix in the goat cheese and pasta water stirring until a creamy sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if you like, and toss in the broccoli/shrimp mixture.
Let sit covered for 3 minutes and serve.

I used large shrimp from Costco so I cut them in half to make them bite-sized.

Source: Tracey Adams (Makes about 3 servings)