Recipe: Shrimp & Spinach Summer Salad

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday-we’ve made it halfway! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. For me, it’s been busy but happy. Monday night I went to a new Bible study with my friends, and last night was my last Junior League meeting of the year. Tonight I’m at home, and will probably be scrambling to get my life together before I head to the beach on Sunday with my friends! SO EXCITED.

I threw this salad together Sunday night, and it was so yummy that I had it again for lunch on Monday! This weekend, I bought shrimp for dinner for a little something different. However, I asked for 1/4 of a pound, but walked out with 3/4 of a pound, and it was like $9 so I’ve had to get creative to use it all. This is just one way! This meal is perfect for lunch or a summer dinner!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-Spinach

-Shrimp

-Quinoa

-Goat Cheese

-Croutons (optional but delicious)

-Lemon vinaigrette (or whatever dressing you desire)

Since I’m going to assume you all know how to combine ingredients in a bowl to make a salad, I don’t need to include steps. But I will tell you how I cooked my shrimp!

  1. Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  2. Spread raw shrimp out on a cookie sheet. I got mine from the counter, and went with peeled and de-veined.
  3. Pour the butter over the shrimp, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  4. Toss until evenly coated
  5. Cook at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes until pink and curly!

So easy, and so quick! Also, the dressing I used was divine. I found it at the grocery store and thought it would be the perfect light addition to my shrimp salad. It’s called Leo’s Lemon & Caper dressing, and is pictured below. I also like Marzetti’s Lemon dressing, or you could make your own! I liked how the taste didn’t overpower everything else in my salad.

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That’s all for meow!

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Recipe-Spicy Shredded Chicken Sweet Potato

Hey Cats!

It’s only Wednesday? This week has been dragging on it seems! I’m going home this weekend, so that could be why. But it has been/is going to be a fun week! Monday night my friends and I made s’mores on the grill at my apartment complex, which was definitely an adventure. Then tonight, I have my end of provisional year party with the Junior League, and it’s Kentucky Derby themed! Stay tuned for pictures of my outfit, because I’m so excited about it.

On to the main event. Sweet potatoes are my new favorite thing, and I’ve been experimenting with different ways to make them for dinner. I’d seen a few recipes on Pinterest that had shredded chicken inside a baked sweet potato, so I decided to make my own version! It’s so easy and requires very little cleanup, which is always a plus!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 sweet potato

-1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

-2 tablespoons sriracha

-1/4 cup lemon juice

-2 tablespoons honey

-cilantro

-salt and pepper

-goat cheese crumbles

Here’s what you do:

1.First, bake your sweet potato and cook your chicken. I baked mine at 400 for 45 minutes, and boiled my chicken breast for about 20 minutes.

2. Once the chicken is cool, shred it.

3. In a bowl, mix together the sriracha, lemon juice, and honey. Adjust amounts to taste!

4. Chop the cilantro finely and stir it into the sauce, along with a sprinkle of salt & pepper.

5. Toss the shredded chicken in the sauce. You can let it marinade for a while if you’d like!

6. Top your tuber with the spicy chicken and goat cheese crumbles.

7. Enjoy!

See, it’s so easy! And if you’d like, you can bake a few potatoes and make more chicken to have it again for lunch or a quick dinner later in the week. I love the spicy chicken with the creamy sweet potato and tangy goat cheese. YUM!

That’s all for meow!

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One & Done Dinner- Salmon, Sprouts, & Sweet Potato

Hey Cats!

I hope everyone is having a good week! I’ve got a few projects coming up at work, so it has been a busy week, and it’s only Wednesday! When life gets busy, it can be really easy to eat whatever’s fast and doesn’t require a sink full of dishes. So basically Chick-Fil-A, pasta, or anything else that’s probably fried and severely lacking in nutritional value. However, I’ve found that eating crap when you’re busy makes you feel even worse and slows you down when you don’t have time to be slowed down. Lately, I’ve been experimenting to come up with healthy dinners that are more exciting than my usual chicken-quinoa-roasted brussels sprouts combo, and require less clean up. I crafted this little trio last week and it’s already made a repeat appearance! Pecan-crusted salmon, a baked sweet potato, and roasted Brussels sprouts (lol if you thought I could stray from this) with goat cheese- sounds pretty involved, right? False. Let me show you how it’s done.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 small sweet potato

-1 portion of salmon (I either get the 4oz serving from the fish counter or get a large piece and cut it in 3rds and freeze the rest!)

-1 tablespoon of butter

-1 tablespoon chopped pecans

-1 tablespoon grated parmesan

-1 tsp dry ranch dressing mix

-1/2 cup brussels sprouts,  quartered

-olive oil

-honey

-goat cheese crumbles

-almond butter (optional but HIGHLY recommended. Highly)

Here’s what you do:

1.First, you’ll need to bake the sweet potato by itself for a bit. Wash your sweet potato and poke holes all over with a fork- just don’t stab yourself (I have done this. Raise your hand if you’re not surprised). Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your tuber. You can just place it on the middle rack of your oven, no pan needed!

2. While your sweet potato is baking, do what you need to do. Live your life. Unload your dishwasher. Throw a load of laundry on. Do your workout for the day. Sit on the couch and watch trash tv. Neglect to write a blog post. It’s up to you. This is your time.

3. When your timer has about 15 minutes left, prepare the rest of your dinner for baking. Cover a baking sheet with foil whilst rejoicing that this is the only thing you will have to wash.

4. Prepare the salmon by following steps 1-4 of this recipe. Yes, I’ve made this before, but it was solo. This time it has friends. If you’re not feeling fancy, you can always simply season your salmon with salt, pepper, and dill!

5. Next, prepare your sprouts. Here’s my process: chop off the hard stem on the bottom, hopefully taking the outer leaves with it. Peel off a few layers of leaves until it looks clean. (always wash them first, by the way) Chop the little sprout in half, then in quarters. If the quarters are still large, I’ll chop them again! Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper- this can be done on the pan!

6. Then, assemble the pan. Place the salmon on one side, sprouts on the other, and the sweet potato in the middle. Fits perfectly!

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7. Increase the heat to 425, and bake everything for another 20 minutes, until the salmon is cooked thoroughly and the sprouts are crispy!

8. Next, dress it up! I drizzled honey and crumbled goat cheese on the brussels sprouts, thanks to Bites of Bri. Ugh, so good I nearly cried. Then, instead of cinnamon and sugar on my sweet potato, I put a dollop of almond butter on top after a recommendation from my coworker (thanks, Natalie!). Changed. My. Life. It’s so creamy and delicious. I was afraid it would be too sweet but it is excellent. You will die. And then come back to life to thank me profusely.

9. Enjoy your gourmet dinner and then enjoy only washing one pan!

Side note: when I told my mom about this, I kept going on about how “it only took one pan!”. Eventually she asked me, “Is that because you only have one pan?”. No, it’s because I’m lazy. But honestly, I’m not even surprised, because I also told her that day that I had made toast in my oven in a loaf pan. Because I’m resourceful. And I’m not married so people don’t think I need/want nice kitchen appliances such as a toaster. I digress.

Do you have any one-and-done dinners? Please share, I hate washing dishes!

That’s all for meow!
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Recipe- Good Morning Green Smoothie

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Hey Cats!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Mostly because if I don’t eat it, I become irrationally hungry at around 9 am. For the longest time, I thought that I could never have “just” a smoothie for breakfast. “I need to EAT something, not drink it through a straw!”, I exclaimed. Well, a few weeks ago my friend Ashley Snapchatted (Verbs of 2016) me her green smoothie and something came over me like a wave of healthiness: I had to try it. So I tweaked her recipe a bit and now it’s my breakfast every day! This is a great way to make sure you get at least some fruits & veggies in your diet each day, and it’s a healthy way to start your morning!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-1/2 cup soymilk

-1 handful of spinach leaves

-1 whole banana, sliced

-1/4 cup pineapple (I buy the pre-cut chunks from the produce section and just throw a few in!)

-1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds

-1/2 tablespoon of almond butter

Here’s what you do:

  1. Load everything into your blender in the order listed. It’s best to have the more dense ingredients closest to the blade so you’re not left with big chunks! I use a single-serving blender similar to this one, so I start with the soymilk and work my way down!
  2. Blend it up until it’s smooth and enjoy!

This takes me about 3 minutes every morning, and it’s so delicious! At first I was just blending the milk, spinach, and fruit, but I was noticing that I would get really tired throughout the day, so I added the almond butter for protein! You can change this up any way you choose: my friend Ashley uses mango instead of banana, or you could add berries or use a protein powder. The possibilities are endless! Let me know what your favorite green smoothie recipe is!

That’s all for meow!

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Recipe-Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Cups

Hey Cats!

When it comes to planning ahead, sometimes I’m really on top of things, and sometimes I find myself winging it. Actually, that’s most of the time. One instance in which I have found myself without a plan and in a pickle is when it’s 8:34 and I’m pouring my coffee to-go thinking, “I should already be in the car, and also what am I having for lunch today?” Granted, there are a few fast food restaurants within walking distance of my office, so it’s not like I’ll starve or anything, but I like to bring my lunch as often as I can, because getting lunch every day can get pretty expensive, and I can only eat so much Chick Fil A before I start to feel like an actual chicken nugget. So more often than not, I’ll throw some quick items into my lunch box and hope for the best. This can include at least three of the following: a cheese stick, packaged crackers, almonds, fruit snacks, or yogurt. I realized that this was an issue when I opened my lunchbox one day to find yogurt, a cheese stick, and cheese sandwich crackers. Straight diary. Whoops.

I decided that the challenge was to make or find something healthy that I could throw into my lunchbox when I was already running late. I also wanted something that wasn’t too expensive and wouldn’t make my grocery list excessively long. Quinoa, my favorite superfood was on the forefront of my mind, since I had recently made pizza quinoa bites for lunch. But I was out of pepperoni and Parmesan. Then I found the broccoli, and this recipe was born!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-2 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)

-2 eggs

-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-1/2 cup fresh broccoli, finely chopped.

Here’s what you’ll do:

First, cook your quinoa. You can make it just for this recipe, or this is a great way to use leftovers!

Next, mix in the eggs, cheese, and broccoli until fully incorporated. For the broccoli, make sure you chop it into very tiny pieces. I did not, and didn’t love the taste of biting into a broccoli tree. I also removed most of the larger stems.

After it’s all mixed together, scoop into a greased muffin tin. If you fill each one about 3/4 of the way full, you should be able to make a dozen!

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until set. The egg should be completely cooked but still a bit fluffy, with kind of a quiche-like texture.

Optional: top each bite with a sprinkle of cheese and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Simple, right? I divided them into portions of 3, so I had lunch for 4 days! I placed each portion in a Ziploc bag and stuck them all in the freezer door. I zapped them for about 45-60 seconds at work for a yummy, healthy lunch! You can also bring marinara sauce to dip them in for a little more zest. This takes about 45 minutes on a Sunday afternoon, and you’ll have lunch for (nearly) the whole week!

That’s all for meow!

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Parmesan Pecan-Crusted Salmon

Hey Cats!

I know I usually do “Wednesday Pins-Day” on Wednesday, but I haven’t been too active on Pinterest lately, so I’ve decided to skip a week! But hopefully once you try this recipe, you’ll forgive me! When I was in middle school, my family would frequent Rockfish, a seafood restaurant, and I would order pecan-crusted trout, which was a bold choice for an 11-year-old, but I was obsessed with it.

These days, salmon is a staple in my diet, and I’m constantly looking for new recipes. I remembered how much I loved the trout, and decided to see if I could make it myself. The first try, I made it with bread crumbs instead of butter, and it was good, but I told my sister about it, and she said she wanted to try the recipe once I posted it. She has celiac, so I had to find a way to make it gluten free, which was great because I actually like this way better!  Also, this recipe, like most of mine, are just for one serving. However, for two or three servings, just double or triple the recipe!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

-One serving of salmon (mine was about 4 oz)

-One tablespoon of butter

-One tablespoon of chopped pecans (I used pre-packaged cookie bits)

-One tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

-1 tsp dry ranch dressing mix

-Salt & Pepper

Here’s what you do:

1. First, soften the butter, but don’t melt it. You can do this by microwaving it in 15-second intervals.

2. Next, add in the pecans, parmesan cheese, and ranch. Smoosh with a fork until thoroughly combined.

3. Place the salmon in a baking dish, prepared with cooking spray. Season it lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Then, spread the butter mixture evenly over the top of the salmon, making sure it’s not too thick.

5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. I know that sounds like a long time, but I recently had an unfortunate encounter with some undercooked salmon, so I didn’t want to risk it again!

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I made rice and a salad to go with this, but I made minute rice in the microwave and cooked it until it was a solid rice cake, so it wasn’t fit for photography…oops!(Slash it’s kind of hilarious that I can cook everything EXCEPT rice). If you’re looking for a new, healthy dinner idea, you should definitely try this out! Let me know how you like it!

That’s all for meow!

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