"Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shrimp & Veggie Pasta

This is a quick prep meal with easy clean up.  I like easy clean up as much as I like quick prep.
Knife, cutting board, maybe a strainer, pot with lid, cooking utensil, and a large skillet are all the tools you will need.  You do not really need measuring cups or spoons.  Just eyeball the ingredients and all will be well.  Really.  This dish has great flavor, and the perfect texture combination; some crunch and some soft chew.


Quinoa Pasta, spaghetti style, cooked according to package.
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 organic zucchini, sliced (or julienne...)
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup baby carrots (julienne, strips...or leave whole if you like the extra bite - I do!)
Cooked Shrimp (tails off; I leave tails on and just remove as I eat.  My children know to do this as well).
1 fresh lemon
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Sea Salt & Pepper (freshly ground is best) to taste
Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Splash of Tabasco Sauce (optional)
Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated

To cook Quinoa spaghetti, add to boiling water and cook for 4-6 minutes.  While Quinoa is cooking:

Add olive oil to large skillet.  On medium/high heat, saute  zucchini, mushrooms, & carrots for 2  minutes (until just tender).  Toss in shrimp & pasta.  Drizzle fresh lemon juice on top, and sprinkle with fresh parsley, sea salt & pepper.  Toss in skillet.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.  The cayenne pepper and/or Tabasco sauce can be added with the lemon juice, or omit if you don't care for the spice.  I love spicy food, so I will go the extra step.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lemon & Dill Salmon

This is such an easy and fresh dish that I bake at least once a month.  Add any steamed vegetable and side dish of Quinoa or wild rice for a delicious, healthy and very appealing-to-the-eye, dinner.


Fresh Salmon (2+ lbs)
Fresh Lemon (1 whole lemon, sliced in half - I use Meyers from my garden)
Olive Oil (about 1-4 Tablespoons; may substitute for Butter, melted)
Dill Weed (about 1-2 Tablespoons)
Sea Salt (unrefined is best, or Kosher salt will work)
Black Pepper (freshly ground)
Garlic, chopped (1-2 cloves) Optional


STEP ONE:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet with ~ 1 Tbsp. olive oil (or 1 Tbsp. butter).

STEP TWO:  Place salmon on prepared baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on top.  Squeeze 1/2 lemon over salmon.  Sprinkle with sea salt, ground black pepper and dill weed.  Turn salmon over and repeat on the other side with remaining ingredients.

STEP THREE:  In the preheated oven, Bake 25 minutes or until salmon is easily flaked with a fork.

Again, this salmon goes well with a Wild Rice or Quinoa side dish, and fresh steamed vegetables - like
broccoli or string beans.  My kids eat it all up, every time.

Stuffed Mushrooms

A favorite tradition of ours is to prepare stuffed mushrooms for any special occasion or feast day.

There are a lot of versions out there; however, here is our simple version.


Large fresh mushrooms (about 24)
Green onions, sliced (about 2)
Garlic clove, minced (1) (optional)
Butter (2-4 Tablespoons)
Cream Cheese (1 8oz. box, softened)
Bacon, cooked and chopped (about 6 slices)
Sea Salt (only a pinch if you are using bacon)


STEP ONE:  Rinse and drain mushrooms on a paper towel.  Remove the stems and discard about half.  (I use the extra in my morning omelet.  You can sauteed them in butter and add to egg.  They last a few days in the refrigerator.)  Saute the chopped stems in the butter.  Add green onion and garlic.  Cook until tender.

STEP TWO:  In a large bowl, mix together the sauteed stems, onions & garlic with cream cheese & chopped bacon.  Now you are ready to stuff mushroom caps with the cream cheese mixture.  Nota bene:  you can substitute the cheese for shredded cheddar, smoked Gouda, or crumbled blue cheese - However, you will then need to add a little fine dry bread crumbs;  about 2/3 cup.  We keep it simple with the cream cheese.

STEP THREE:  Arrange the stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes in a 425 degree oven.  Once baked, remove from oven and drain on paper towel.  Serve warm....