Easy Shrimp Étouffée

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Here’s a yummy, easy recipe you might want to try. My friend, Staci, gave me the recipe and she’s Cajun as they come so it’s legit. So she says and I believe her since I’m not Cajun. :) It makes a lot so half it if you don’t want to have a lot leftover. You’ll need some steamed white rice.

You can use precooked frozen shrimp but you just won’t need to cook it as long.

Ingredients: 1 green, red, and yellow bell pepper, 2 onions, 2 cloves garlic, two sticks of salted butter, 4 cans cream mushroom soup, 4 cans cream of chicken soup, 3 cans Rotel (use mild if you don’t want it too spicy), and peeled and deveined shrimp (amount is up to you but we like a lot)
Melt butter and add chopped veggies.
Cook veggies until tender, then add soups and rotel. Cook 15 mins then add shrimp. Cook an additional 30 min.

Easy “Mexican” Chicken

I hate to even use the term Mexican because this is such a cheater meal it has to offend the amazingness of true Mexican cuisine. I just made this for dinner, though, and it’s a super easy dish made with stuff we normally have on hand. You could add to it and make it MUCH better with chopped green onions, cilantro, frijoles or whatever you like, but this worked. It’s fairly healthy and fast. It’s a one pan dish and doesn’t heat up your kitchen, although you could cook it in the oven if you wanted your cheese to brown but then that would heat up your kitchen and dirty two dishes. :)

Here goes:

Thaw a couple of medium to large chicken breast and cut into chunks (tip: if you cut the chicken while it’s still a little bit frozen it cuts SO much easier!)

Cook in a deep pan on the stove with some olive oil and seasonings you like. I used chopped garlic, smoked paprika and some sea salt

Add a can of Rotel (I use “milder” Rotel) and a can, or box in my case (for gluten free), of cream of chicken soup and a can of diced green chilies.

Stir it up and let it cook for a few minutes. Make sure the chicken is done.

Tear up some corn tortillas and cover the chicken mixture then put some cheese on top and allow it time to melt.

Voila! Serve with an easy lettuce salad tossed in lemon or lime juice and you have yourself a meal.

Enjoy!

Monkey Bread

I’m sure there are a billion recipes out there for monkey bread but this is how I make mine and I put recipes here so my kids will have them someday if they want them.

I usually make this for holiday gatherings and it’s always a hit. It’s one of those things I make that the results totally outweigh the effort put into it. It’s incredibly easy!

I made this for a buffet breakfast recently for Anna’s youth group and she texted me and told me that “Everyone loves it! I opened it and the leaders looked like they saw Jesus.” :)

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Note: This is not gluten free or healthy in any shape or form. :)

Ingredients:

1 pkg (2 dozen)  frozen yeast rolls (uncooked dough balls)
Pecan halves
Brown Sugar
2 sticks of butter

Add cinnamon, raisins or whatever you’d like to add to it.

Method:

The night before, place the frozen dough balls in a large greased lasagna type pan and put in the oven. Don’t turn the oven on. They will thaw and rise overnight and be ready to use by morning.

In the morning:
Spray bundt pan with cooking spray
Melt the butter

Place a layer of pecans, drizzle butter and generously sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of the bundt pan.

Tear apart bite sized pieces of the thawed/risen dough and drop around the pan.

Repeat the pecans, butter, brown sugar and dough until you use up your bread.

Place the bundt pan inside the pan you used to thaw the rolls in in case the brown sugar/butter overflows (it’s a mess to clean up in your oven if it does).

Bake on 350 for about 20-25 minutes. You can stick a knife down into the middle of it and make sure it’s done. Know will know. :)

Turn out the bread onto your serving dish. Trick: Place the serving dish on top of the bundt pan and flip it. The beautiful pecans that you placed in first will be on top.

Drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze if you like but it’s yummy as is.

Serve by cutting pieces or if you’re not a germaphobe, let people pull off sections as they will.

*You can make a version of this with cheese and bacon as well using the same layering process.

Beef & Broccoli

Those who know me know I rarely leave a recipe as it is. When I bake or when it’s a dish I’ve never made or certain ingredients I’ve never used before it’s different but when I’m making dishes that I can take freedoms with, I usually do. I’d like to think it’s the creative genius in me but I’m sure it has more to do with my control freak tendencies.

Beef & Broccoli is a dish I know what it’s supposed to taste like. There is some freedom in some of these ingredients but you can go overboard if you add to much so if you go changing things, start small and add if you need to.

I found this recipe online and used it as my foundation.

http://rasamalaysia.com/beef-and-broccoli-recipe/2/

If you’d like to use it, I’m sure it’s better than what I made but mine is pretty good and easier. I don’t typically stock corn starch or sherry or rice wine and I don’t like using sugar when it’s not necessary so I adapted this recipe based on what I had and what I like. I LOVE sesame oil so I usually throw in a little extra of that. I also adapted the method just to save a few steps and make it easier and quicker. All in all in probably took me about 30 minutes to prepare.

Start cooking your rice as soon as you begin prepping and it will be done just in time. Enjoy!

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Beef & Broccoli

Main Ingredients:

1 lb beef or venison tenderloin, flank steak or flap meat, cut into thin pieces
2-3 head of broccoli florets (depends on how much you like)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2-in ginger, peeled and sliced (big enough pieces to take out before serving)

Marinade:

1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Amino or Tamari)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice

Sauce:

3 tablespoon soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Amino or Tamari)
3 tablespoon oyster sauce (I use the Panda Brand Gluten Free)
2 tablespoon sesame oil
6 tablespoons water
2 teaspoon of corn starch for thickening (optional)

Method:

  1. Marinate the beef with all the ingredients for the Marinade, about 15 minutes.
  2. Bring the water to boil and add a few drops of oil. Blanch the broccoli florets in the hot water, about 10 seconds. Remove the broccoli immediately with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess water. Set aside.
  3. Heat the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Cook the ginger for a few minutes to infuse the oil. Add the meat and stir-fry until cooked.
  4. Add the broccoli and then the sauce, stir to combine the ingredients well.
  5. Stir fry for about 5 minutes or so until flavors are infused.
  6. Serve immediately over rice of your choice. We prefer Jasmine rice.

 

Easy Black Bean Stuff

I’ve tried for years to come up with a clever name for this dish but it always comes back to this – Easy Black Bean Stuff. And it is SO easy!!

The story behind this recipe…  I walked into a friends house one evening to take something or pick something up, many many years ago, and she was cooking this. It smelled so incredible I had to get the recipe from her. Cathy D, thank you SO much for this and even though I’m sure we’ve adapted it somewhat from what you told me way back when, I always think of you and your family and how much we love you guys when I make this. BTW, as I recall, Cathy didn’t have a name for it either. I think she may have even called it “Black Bean Stuff”. :)

Feel free to adapt as you’d like. Use natural veggies or canned, organic or not, add something in you’d like or take something out. Make it yours just make sure to keep it easy! I think you’ll love this so much that you’ll always want to keep the ingredients on hand. It’s a super quick and easy meal that our family enjoys frequently.

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Put a little bit of olive oil in your saucepan and saute’ the garlic, onion and corn

Combine the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan all together until flavors have blended

and heated through.

green onion, red onion, or white onion to taste, chopped fine

fresh chopped garlic or garlic salt

1 can milder rotel drained (sometimes I use this and sometimes I don’t)

1 can diced tomatoes, don’t drain, you will need some juice

1 can corn drained, I like white shoepeg corn because it’s crunchy.

fresh cilantro to taste, remove stems and chop

cumin lightly sprinkled over the top

chili powder, a little or a lot – up to you

the seasonings are really just whatever you have and whatever you like

You may need some juice so you can add a little water if needed.

Simmer with the lid on for a little while to blend flavors

then add:

1 can drained and rinsed black beans (or more if you’d like it really beany – yes, I said beany.

Cook until beans are soft and then serve over brown rice with grated cheese and sour cream if desired.

Serve with brown rice, quinoa, corn bread and/or tortilla chips. Top with cheese if you like. And if you need meat, grill, bake or pan fry some chicken. You can add the chicken into the mixture or serve with it.

Enjoy!!

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Thai Beef Salad

This quickly became a family favorite after my Thai friend, Paunnee, had us over for a cooking lesson and then our family’s enjoyed the meal together. It’s so so so easy! I’ve looked at other recipes out there and they all look so much more involved than the one I make but my Thai friend taught me and she should know right? Plus, I’m all about easy!! I didn’t write down exactly what we did so I’ve adapted a few things on my own but the ingredients are the same.

Thai Beef Salad

*Good fresh, crispy lettuce or Chinese cabbage

*Quality boneless steak (get a lot, the meat will go fast!)
Sprinkle with sea salt and lime juice, broil and slice very thin. Drizzle the juice from the beef back on top of the beef after cooking.

*Chopped Coriander (Cilantro). If you can find it, use Thai/Vietnamese Coriander. Image is below.

*Purple onions (sliced thin and gently massage with sea salt in a ziploc)
*Chopped spring onions
*Sliced cucumbers
*Limes (You’ll need a lot of limes for this dish. In Singapore I could find seedless limes and that was nice but I haven’t seen them in Texas.)

Build your salad with the lettuce on a large plate (or individual plates if you prefer), then sliced beef, then top with cucumbers, chili’s, coriander, spring onions and lime juice.

Optional ingredients:
Tomatoes
Chopped red chili’s (I put these on the side for those who would like to add heat)
Mint (I don’t use mint but a lot of recipes do)

Thai/Vietnamese Coriander

Thai/Vietnamese Coriander

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Share and enjoy!!

Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer

Update: I’ve been making this for about a year now and think I finally perfected it to my taste. The basic recipe below is fine but I now use a can of organic coconut milk that has a thick layer of cream on top of it and my homemade vanilla, organic coconut oil and a free range/no hormone egg. When it sits in the fridge overnight it gets super thick and you almost have to scoop it out with a spoon but it makes my coffee SO smooth and creamy! I’m still amazed that I don’t miss the sugar!

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When we lived in Singapore my coffee creamer of choice was the liquid flavored Coffee Mate. It’s full of sugar, though, and generally not healthy. Not to mention it cost about $11-15 USD for the small sized bottle of it over there. I bought it anyway for a long time because I loved it. Over the years i have tried to drink my coffee black numerous times so I could enjoy the coffee but without the sugary mess but I just never have been able to.

I posted this homemade recipe on my recipe blog a while back and it’s good. I did actually make it for a long time and at least felt good that I wasn’t spending a lot of money for good tasting creamer. If you read that recipe post you’ll see how excited I was about finding that recipe. I’m 100 times more excited about this one!

In late 2012 Tommy and I started on an eating journey. Tommy wrote about it here, Food For Thought. We started eating Paleo and then went to mostly whole foods, nothing processed. I had to find something natural and sugar free (not even sweetener) that i could enjoy. And I did! And it’s SO healthy. The benefits of coconut oil and coconut milk are many. The best thing about this creamer, though, is that I don’t need sugar. The combination of ingredients is perfect and makes for a super smooth and creamy cup of coffee. I love to use the ArroyD brand of coconut milk for this. It was easy to find in Singapore but I order it on Amazon here in the US. It’s pricier than most coconut milks so I use other brands to cook with and use this kind only for my creamer. It’s that good! My Thai friend told me about it when we were shopping one day in Singapore. It’s what she uses and she said it is superior and after I tried it, I totally agreed.

When I’ve shared the recipe, most people turn their noses up at it. I think because of the egg. But if the egg is fresh you’re fine! It stays in the fridge and is used up within a week anyway. The creamer is not for everyone but it certainly is for me! I love love love it!

The basic recipe is:

Carton of coconut milk (16 oz or so)
1 egg (1 large or two small) – cage free/farm fresh if possible (the egg keeps the oil from separating and makes the creamer very frothy/fluffy)
2tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp(ish) of vanilla (I use A LOT of organic, fructose free vanilla!)
Mix in the blender until creamy and smooth. Store in the fridge for no more than a week. It’ll be used up by then anyway so no worries.

Check out this link for more details and then get inspired to create your own version.

A Primal Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer