Honey Garlic Shrimp

Have you seen the meme on social media that says “January was a hard year but we made it.”?  That makes me chuckle because it must be the universal feeling everyone is having, me included.  It was LONG month. Not bad, just long. I guess because November and December just flew right by, the slower pace of the new year seemed to crawl in comparison.  

January has finally come to a close and, while I’m not one to wish time away, I’m happy to see February… mostly because it’s one month closer to Spring.  

Food-wise, winter has been a season of belly-warming comfort foods for me.  I have fully enjoyed all the foods and have about 7 pounds to show for it. Time to stop eating like I’m participating in hibernation.  While I love comfort foods, I truly appreciate a dinner that is not so heavy. This Honey Garlic Shrimp is sweet and spicy and, of course, garlicy… hence the name.  It’s also super-fast to make. We’re talking like 15 minutes start-to-finish. Can’t beat that! I can throw this on the table after work in no time and have a meal everyone will enjoy!  That’s why it’s part of my weeknight dinner rotation. I’m confident it will soon be part of yours as well. ~Erin

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. medium-sized shrimp that have been shelled and de-veined
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil or olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. grated ginger root or 1/8 tsp. dry ginger
  • ½ c. less-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ c. water
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. honey
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste; optional
  • Chopped green onion
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Instructions: 

  1. Add the shrimp and cook about 4 minutes.
  2. Flip the shrimp and add the remaining ½ tsp. of oil, the garlic, and the ginger. Cook for 3 or 4 more minutes, until the shrimp is cooked and the garlic and ginger are fragrant.
  3. Remove the seasoned shrimp from heat and transfer to a plate.
  4. Return the skillet to the stove and turn the heat up to medium-high. Immediately add soy sauce and water to the skillet. When it begins to bubble, add the cornstarch, whisking continuously, until thickened. This will take just a couple minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and whisk in the honey.
  6. Return the shrimp to the skillet and stir to coat the shrimp and warm through.
  7. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

WW Freestyle info.: This makes 4 servings. Each serving is 3 points, not counting rice.

Smoked Tuna Dip

Y’all know, from a recent post of mine, that my husband and I recently went on a trip to Grayton Beach, Florida.  Such a lovely little laid-back beach town.  We ate at some great restaurants while we were there, the first of which was called The Red Bar.  It’s a local dive that was packed with tourists and locals alike.  Their menu was a bit of a shock, as it was written on a chalkboard that they bring to your table.  Apparently it changes daily!  They had a couple of appetizers, around 5 entrees, and 2 or 3 desserts to choose from.  One of the appetizers was Smoked Tuna Dip.  Confession:  I didn’t order it; I went for the artichoke dip instead (which was also amazing), but my friend ordered the tuna dip.  Of course she shared, and, OMG, I was hooked.  We proceeded to order Smoked Tuna Dip at every restaurant we visited in the Grayton Beach area for the rest of the weekend.  I guess it’s a Florida thing?  Sadly, we don’t get smoked tuna dip in Oklahoma…I guess that’s due to the lack of fresh tuna.  Bummer.  So, I’ve done the next best thing and developed a recipe using packaged smoked tuna.  You’re welcome.  I mean, it’s not fresh from the sea, but it’s Okie style and, dare I say, it’s just as good!  ~Erin

Ingredients:
  • 2 pouches (2.6 oz. each) smoked white albacore tuna (I do not recommend canned tuna)
  • 2 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 T. light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp. liquid smoke, optional (but it makes it more smoky)
  • ¼ tsp. creole seasoning or seasoned salt
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika, plus a dash for garnish
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • about a tsp. of fresh lemon juice

Instructions: 

  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Garnish with a dash of smoked paprika.
  3. Serve with pita chips or saltine crackers.

WW Freestyle Info.: This makes 5 servings of ¼ cup each. Each serving is 3 points.

 

 

 

Mahi Mahi Blackened Fish Tacos

I love, love, love a great fish taco, but I do not love the heavy, breaded fish restaurants too often throw into them.  This perfectly light and spicy blackened mahi mahi, on the other hand, can hold its own against the veggies for the perfect Mexican-flavored blend that a fish taco should have.

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Mahi mahi is in fact, by far my favorite ocean fish.  It’s a really lovely light mild flavor, and it’s a thicker fillet than most readily available fish, so it doesn’t get lost in a flavorful recipe like this one.  It is a little more expensive than some alternatives in my land-locked Oklahoma, but its quality makes it well-worth the extra dollar or two for me, depending on the market, for that just-right taco every time.

This recipe is the perfect mix of spicy blackened fish, veggies, & lime juice.  It tastes like summer, and I’m all for anything that makes me feel like I’m on a beach somewhere!

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Your mahi mahi should have this lovely golden coloring once it’s cooked up in the blackening seasoning.

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Ingredients:
  • 12 oz. mahi mahi fish fillets (fresh is always ideal but I got mine frozen at the grocery store and they were great)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 6 Ole Extreme Wellness high fiber low carb tortilla wrap (8 inch)
  • ½ c. yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ c. pico de gallo (fresh pico de gallo can usually be found in the produce sections of major grocery chains)
  • 2 c. cabbage, shredded
  • ½ c. cilantro, rough chopped
  • 2 limes for juice
Blackening Ingredients:
  • 1 ¾ tsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 T. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic salt

Instructions: 

  1. If mahi mahi is frozen, thaw completely.
  2. Mix blackening ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Reduce cayenne pepper if you prefer less heat; ½ tsp. makes for a rather spicy blackening.
  3. Once thawed, pat fish dry so that seasoning will stick.
  4. Sprinkle blackening seasoning onto a plate (a plate with a lip is best so it’s less likely to make a mess) to lay fish in and coat thoroughly. Flip and coat the second side of each fillet well.
  5. Heat olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Add fish and cook on medium heat until cooked through — approximately 4 minutes on each side, flipping only once. Fish will be an opaque white color and will flake easily when cooked (internal temp should reach 145° F).
  6. Set cooked fish aside. Because there is very little oil in the pan already I do not recommend setting on a paper towel-lined plate, as it may remove too much of the blackening.
  7. Chop the fish into bite sized chunks once it’s cool enough; each taco will need about 1.5 oz. of fish.
  8. For each taco, I pile the Ole Wellness Wrap with a healthy sprinkling of yellow onion, then a small bed of cabbage, followed by the fish chopped into bite-sized chunks, a healthy serving of pico de gallo, and a good-sized pinch of cilantro sprinkled across the top. Finally, I drizzle it all with fresh-squeezed lime juice to taste.

WW Freestyle Info.: Each taco is 3 points. Enjoy!

Smoky Blackened Tilapia

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Growing up, I loved to fish. It was one of my favorite ways to spend time with my dad — and his parents, Mammaw and Pappaw, before they passed.  They were big crappie (important note: pronounced “croppy”) fishers, which is still my favorite fish to eat.

My dad and I have clocked many hours at my aunt & uncle’s pond, on the river (for catfish, but no noodling for us, thank you very much!), or–when we could get there, out on the lake, usually angling for bass. I am still filled with peace picturing being out on the water at Pine Creek Lake in SE Oklahoma as the sun rises with a thick mist across the water, surrounded by pine trees.  It never really matters if they’re biting on a day like that.

Having a big fish fry after a morning of fishing was almost as much fun as the fishing itself.  As I’ve gotten older I a) have less time to do the fishing myself, alas, and b) have been trying to find healthier ways to prepare it than the cornmeal frying I grew up with — though I still love a big fish fry now and then. Don’t get me wrong!

Fortunately, I also get my love of all things spicy from my dad’s side of the family, and this blackened tilapia I threw together tonight after some fiddling with different possibilities is simple to make, a really fast meal, and scrumptious!

~Robin

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. tilapia, 4 fresh fillets (about 4 oz. each when cooked)*
  • 34 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ tsp. to 1 1tsp. ground cayenne pepper (depending on desired spiciness—1.5 was pretty warm, but I love spicy food so that was perfect for me)
  • 2 T. smoked paprika (I like McCormick’s organic)
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients except fish and olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.

Pat fillets of fish dry with a paper towel.

Sprinkle seasoning on the fillets of fish generously & coat evenly on both sides.

Heat 2 T. of olive oil in a large skillet on med-high heat.

Cook all fillets for about 3 1/2 minutes on the first side, then 3 minutes on the 2nd side — or until cooked through, opaque white and flaky.

Weight Watchers Info.: 4 SmartPoints on the Freestyle plan for a 4 oz. filet; 5 SmartPoints under the old plan.

*If you have frozen fillets, be sure to thaw and pat dry with a paper towel before you begin cooking.