Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Last year we gave you fish tacos (which we’re still dreaming about). So this year, we’re bringing you shrimp tacos! Btw, can we talk about how an entire year has already gone by?! Anyway…here is your unofficial official “summer taco”.

*Makes 4 tacos.

Tacos

  • 16 pieces of small shrimp, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (If you need a reason to keep cumin stocked, we have you covered.)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 corn tortillas

Mango salsa

  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 mango, pitted and diced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced

*For a more “island” taste, toss in 1 tbsp of coconut milk.

In a bowl, toss together your chopped and diced ingredients for the salsa – onion, cilantro, mango, and avocado. Set aside. Whisk together the spices for the tacos – chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and sea salt. Toss the shrimp in the spicy mixture until fully covered. Throw the shrimp on the grill for approximately 4 minutes (2 minutes per side) until cooked and slightly charred. Just before the shrimp is done cooking, heat the tortillas on the grill. Layer the shrimp on the tortilla, and top with the mango salsa. Enjoy with our ginger beer and tequila cocktail!

Shrimp Tacos

Happy Eating, XO.

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Nouveau Seekh Kebabs

Don’t get startled by the fancy French word in front of an old Pakistani or Punjabi classic. I am just taking a family favorite and adding a short cut or twist, hence the new or nouveau seekh kebabs. Ok so let me back up for some of you novices. A seekh kebab is just like any other kebab because its base is ground meat, but the reason for it being different is that the meat is wrapped around a skewer when grilled so when it’s served there is hole running through it. In culinary speak, this is done so the cooking time is shorter and the kebab stays moist instead of drying out (also so the kebab stays whole). Ok so typically this is made with mutton, I just didn’t have time to stop at a specialty store to get that so I went with ground beef, but note you can make this with ground chicken or turkey if you want to lighten this snack up as well.

Here is the nouveau secret: instead of chopping cilantro and using an egg as a binder I used Trader Joe’s cilantro dressing. That’s right, my seekh kebab mixture has salad dressing in it! Ok so I know aunties everywhere are cringing, but try this out and tell me if you don’t love it.

  • 1 lb. ground meat (mutton or beef) **Note I used 80/20 beef since I wanted enough fat to add flavor and moisture.
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin or jeera powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of garam masala
  • salt to taste and chaat masala to dust on after cooking
  • finely chopped onion (1 medium is what the recipe said and that was definitely way too much, go half an onion at the most)
  • 2-3 tbsp. of cilantro dressing
  • finely chopped green chili (3 if using the Indian ones and 2 if using a jalapeno or bigger chili)
  • don’t forget salt & pepper, I did and it just killed it with no salt

If baking, set the oven to 475 degrees and oil your hands when molding into kebab shape so they don’t stick. If you are cooking it on the charcoal grill or grill pan, cook it on high heat. Do not even try to get around the using a bamboo/metal stick. If you have noticed there is no filler in these kebabs so they WILL fall apart unless cooked in the traditional seekh kebab fashion around a skewer. Hope you enjoy!

Served with hummus, ketchup, or mint chutney.

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Happy Eating, XO.

Spicy Detox “Teas”

Over the holidays I got a bit of unpleasant news – I developed a stomach ulcer. Yuck. And ow. After going to the doctor they told me that I need to change my diet a bit. Cut back on spicy foods, no more tomatoes/tomato sauce (sigh, goodbye red sauce) and eat more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day. Challenge accepted.

A couple of years ago I went to an Ayurvedic cooking class with a friend, which teaches you how to incorporate healing spices in to your diet. I decided now would be a good time to really pay attention to what I learned. Turmeric helps with heartburn and an upset stomach, so what better place to start?

In your comfiest mug, fill it with hot water and these healthy ingredients:

  • 2 dashes of turmeric
  • 1-2 drops of honey or Agave
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice (or lime if you’re in a pinch)
  • 1 dash of cayenne pepper if you’re feeling frisky (although not recommended for getting over a stomach ulcer…)

After doing a little more research on spices that promote a healthy stomach, cumin, anise and nutmeg were at the top. So for a something a little sweeter:

  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 dash of nutmeg
  • 1-2 drops of honey

 

Turmeric tea

You can find more information on healthy herbs from the Huffington Post.

(PS. This your friendly reminder to go get your yearly physical!)

Happy (Healthy) Eating, XO.

Firehouse Chili

Football season is in full swing. However, as much as I love me some pizza and wings during NFL Sundays, I am trying to conserve some money. I figured chili is just the way to cook at home, eat yummy Fall food, and still have enough leftovers for the Monday night game. So fire up the crockpot when you wake up next Sunday and have a delish serve your self “buffet” set up for all day game watching. Your wallet will thank you and you can always check out the cute delivery guy next Sunday.

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic (fresh not powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds Hot  (or Mild) Italian Johnsonville Sausage crumbled (and then 1 pound ground beef, or turkey or even all 3 lbs. sausage, you pick!)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)
  • 2 packages McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix (any flavor)
  • 2 –  15 oz. cans Bush’s dark or light red kidney beans
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped small
  • 2 cans yellow corn
  • Pinch of cumin & red pepper flakes to taste (I ended up just throwing in a jalapeno instead of red pep flakes)
  • chicken broth, as desired for thinner consistency chili. It can also be stirred in at end.

Dump all ingredients in the order listed above and cook for 6-8 hrs. in crockpot. (I stirred half way through to make sure the meat was cooking evenly). I served with a platter of “garnishes” such as: shredded cheese, sour cream, pea shoots (or shredded lettuce), diced green onion, chopped avocado with a side warm baked corn bread. (don’t hate, but I cheated and used the store bought mixes vs. making from scratch). You can even skip the cornbread and crush up some tortilla chips as a topping as well. That’s why I love chili, its so versatile. Spicy, mild, whatever meat, veggies, and toppings galore, just eat and enjoy how you like it best!

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Happy Eating, XO.

Pseudo Salad

Can I just tell you, I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE the Morrocan chicken salad at CPK (You know California Pizza Kitchen, yes food blog people DO go to chains) Anyway, I am obsessed with it, BUT its SOOO expensive! Literally, I spend $16-$18 on the salad (the range is because the tax/tip usually makes it $17) which is totally cray to spend on a salad and yet I do. A) because of the convenience of grabbing it after work en route to my night MBA class B) because it is beyond delish! It has all the taste bud pleasing elements you can think of: sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, etc! Anyway work was slow this week and I have an online class this semester so I am not running around as much and I figured its time to replicate this salad. Especially because I need to save my money for pedicures. Oyi my feet are looking rough! woof! Ok back to the tasty salad prep. As always this is going to reuse ingredients from other recipes. At CPK they use a champagne vinaigrette, so I grabbed a bottle of the Trader Joe’s pear champagne vinaigrette used in one of our salad recipes and a chicken dish to toss my greens with. Then the beets were in the last salad recipe as well-ha can you tell I really like them?! Might be the new truffle, lol just kidding that would never happen.

  • 1/3 cup Dates (Sliced in halves or quarters depending on how big yours are, I did mejdool dates)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Toasted almonds (I tossed them in a pan to toast when I was boiling the eggs)
  • 6 oz. Beets (Drain all the water if using the canned stuff and chop vs. slice)
  • 10 oz. Roasted butternut squash (I just did it with salt, pepper, and paprika)
  • 1/2 cup Cranberries (I bought dried packaged ones from the store)
  • 3 Grilled chicken breasts (I just did it with cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, & paprika)
  • 1 Avocado (dice into cubes)
  • 1 medium Red bell pepper (try for the same sizes as the beets and avocado).
  • 1 package or 8-10 oz. Mixed greens (tossed w 1/3 cup of the bottled dressing)
  • Chopped up boiled eggs (I did 2, but 3 without the yellow of the 3rd would be good too)

Heat up a nonstick pan (I used my grill pan since it was washed & ready from the last time I made burgers) with some olive oil and sear the chicken breasts (I had them coated & rubbed in with the spices on both sides of the breasts) until cooked through about 5-7 minutes on each side. Let the meat rest before slicing and adding to salad. While you are cooking the chicken you can toss the squash with some oil & spices as well and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While the chicken and squash cools, chop the other veggies and eggs and mix well. This is how pretty the colors look:

I called this recipe the pseudo salad because its a knock off of the one from the restaurant and its much more filling than a regular old salad. This is meant to be an entrée and that’s why there is a bit more cooking involved than most salad recipes. Anyway its yummy, don’t worry about what the title means, just devour.

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Happy Eating, XO.