This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pompeian Olive Oil.
I’m a big fan of grapeseed oil. It has a light, clean taste, which means it’s a great oil to use in baking. Due to grapeseed oil’s high fluidity, it reduces excess oil from absorbing into food. This means a few less calories! In addition, it’s a good source of Vitamin E and antioxidants.
Grapeseed oil is perfect for all sorts of cooking from stir frying to sautéing. And due to it’s high smoke point, it’s a wonderful oil for deep frying and grilling. Since July is National Grilling Month, Pompeian, a leader in olive oils, is sharing simple tips and recipes to help you get a taste of the Mediterranean without leaving your backyard. For example, why not use Pompeian Grapeseed Oil instead of butter when sautéing fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market? Or try making your own marinades or salad dressings using Pompeian oils and fresh herbs from the garden? Healthier and way cheaper, too!
Speaking of price, it used to be that you could only find grapeseed oil at gourmet and health food stores – très expensive for even the smallest of bottles! So I was pleasantly surprised to find Pompeian Grapeseed Oil for only $5.75 for a 24 ounce bottle at my local grocery store. It’s even cheaper if you print a dollar off coupon on the Pompeian website. That’s why Pompeian Grapeseed Oil is now my official go to grapeseed oil brand.
While you’re at the store, check out Pompeian OlivExtra Mediterranean Blend. The oil blend is a healthy combination of canola, extra virgin and grapeseed oil, which represent key components of the Mediterranean diet. The higher smoke point and unique flavor combination of this oil blend make it ideal for everything from salads to grilling marinades.
Pompeian Olive Oil is partnering with Hungry Girl to create easy-to-follow, healthy grilling recipes that are inspired by the Mediterranean diet. Lisa Lillien, also known as Hungry Girl, has created three delicious grilling recipes using the Pompeian family of products for all of your summer cookout occasions, including: Hungry Grilled Romaine Salad, Spicy Mustard Chicken Kebabs, and this one for Jalapeno Peach Shrimp Skewers.
Jalapeno Peach Shrimp Skewers
- 12 ounces (about 20) raw large shrimp, peeled, tails removed, deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (not packed)
- 2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
- 2 cups canned peach slices packed in juice, drained and blotted dry
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Pompeian Grapeseed Oil
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes to prevent burning. (You'll need four.)
- To make the sauce, place 1/2 cup drained peach slices in a small food processor or blender. Add all ingredients except shrimp and remaining peach slices. Puree until smooth. Transfer half of the sauce to a small bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve (for dipping).
- Bring grill to medium high heat.
- Evenly thread shrimp and remaining peach slices onto 4 skewers. Brush both sides with some of the remaining sauce. Grill until shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side, brushing with remaining sauce as they cook.
- Serve with the refrigerated sauce for dipping!
- Serving size: 1 skewer
The folks at The Wine Bar recently hired me to create a recipe inspired by their wines. I told my contact there that I love Malbecs, Zinfandels and was open to a suggestion on a white wine, since I hadn’t made up my mind to create a beef or seafood dish. Soon a package arrived in the mail with three wonderful wines:
- Stellina di Notte Pinot Grigio (2011) – Imported from Italy, this wine has tropical fruit overtones with a lemony finish. Slightly chilled, this would go well with light dishes from salad to seafood.
- Dynamite Vineyard Zinfandel (2010) – Cellared and bottled in Sonoma, California this wine features smooth, fruity flavors that go well with boldly flavored foods.
- Stark Raving Malbec – Imported from Agentina, this wine has soft notes of berries combined with the smokiness of bacon.
While I enjoyed all three of the wines, the Stark Raving Malbec was my favorite. Immensely drinkable, this wine goes well with food or for sipping while preparing dinner. I’ll be on the lookout at my favorite liquor store for more wines from Stark Raving for sure!
What to cook? Must play well with wine!
When figuring out what I was going to make, I thought that I should use one of the wines directly in the dish. I also wanted the food to go with at least two if not all of three of the wines. In addition, the recipe had to be healthy, gluten free, and easy to make on a weeknight.
After having a wonderful meal out with my family at a local Italian restaurant, I thought that recreating that night’s dinner – shrimp puttanesca - would fit all the above requirements, especially since it takes about 30 minutes to make. Shrimp puttanesca is also the embodiment of the healthy Mediterranean diet – olives, seafood, tomatoes, garlic, wine and onions. In addition, I love puttanesca for its combination of spicy and salty.
While it’s usually served on spaghetti, I decided to do something different by serving the puttanesca on quinoa since I know many kids are fussy about shrimp. Most of the time they won’t eat them, which means two things: more shrimp for the adults (score!) and no protein for the kids. By serving the puttanesca on quinoa, the kids will still get a good serving of protein even if they won’t touch the shrimp. However, if you don’t have any quinoa in the house, feel free to serve the shrimp puttanesca on your favorite whole wheat or gluten free pasta.
Now, about the anchovies. I adore them, but feel free to leave the anchovies out if they’re not your thing. With the shrimp, you can use precooked, shelled, deveined, tail off shrimp from the freezer aisle at your favorite grocery or warehouse store – much more convenient! As for the grated cheese, even though I specify Pecorino Romano, you can use any type of Romano style cheese you like. But please, none of that “sprinkle cheese” from the green can! As Liz Lemon would say, “Blaarg!”
Shrimp Puttanesca with Quinoa
Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients for the puttanesca:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper paste or 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup white wine (I used Stellina di Notte Pinot Grigio)
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice reserved
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 25 Kalmata olives
- 3 tablespoons capers
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined with tails removed (if using frozen shrimp, defrost before cooking)
- 4 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden. (If your garlic starts to turn brown, lower the heat!)
- Add the onion, oregano, pepper paste (or flakes), and wine and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes along with their juice, olives and capers. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower to maintain a simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile cook the quinoa. (See below.)
- After the sauce has thickened, add the shrimp and (optional) anchovies. Stirring occasionally, cook shrimp until they start to turn pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. (If using precooked shrimp, cook until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.) Do not overcook the shrimp or they’ll get rubbery!
- To serve, place quinoa on plates and spoon sauce and shrimp on top. Sprinkle with cheese.
- For a more casual serving style, add quinoa and 1/4 cup of grated cheese to the skillet. Stir well to blend with the sauce. Serve in bowls with the rest of the grated cheese on the side.
Ingredients for the quinoa:
- 2 cups vegetable, chicken or ham broth
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
Directions for the quinoa:
- Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce temperature to low and cover with lid.
- Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until quinoa is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.
It’s not often that I find a recipe on a brand’s website that I fall in love with, but this one from Hunt’s Signature Recipes – Shrimp and Rice Skillet - is certainly an exception. It reminds me a little bit of Spanish rice or a New Orleans style rice and shrimp dish. Even better, it’s a perfect dish to celebrate American Heart Month.
But before I share the recipe with you, could you take a minute to fill out a quick survey about tomatoes? Thanks!
This was a big hit with my husband, Paul, who added a few dashes of his favorite hot sauce to spice it up. I found it very easy to make and something that I could cook up often, since I always have shrimp and peas in the freezer and cans of Hunt’s FlashSteamed Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce along with some long-grain white rice in the pantry.
I usually have onions on hand, too, along with a jar of caldo con sabor de pollo (Mexican style, powdered chicken bouillon that you can find in the Hispanic section of your supermarket). If you’re unable to find caldo con sabor de pollo or don’t want to use it because it contains MSG, you could substitute chicken broth for the water and add a big pinch of kosher salt.
Also, I did make one slight change to Hunt’s original recipe. I did NOT drain the can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes as I didn’t see the need for it. Also, while the rice is cooking during the final simmer, make sure to check it once in a while to make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the pan and browning. If you find that it is, lower the heat a bit and give the rice mixture a good stir.
Here’s a step-by-step video of the cooking process:
Hunt's® Shrimp and Rice Skillet
- 2 tablespoons Pure Wesson® Canola Oil, divided
- 1 pound shrimp, thawed if frozen, peeled, deveined
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
- 1 can (14.5 ounces each) Hunt's® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained
- 1 can (8 ounces each) Hunt's® Tomato Sauce
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons caldo con sabor de pollo (chicken bouillon)
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and pepper; cook 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet; set aside and keep warm.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add rice; cook 3 minutes more or until rice is browned lightly, stirring frequently.
- Add drained tomatoes, sauce, water and bouillon to skillet; stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Return shrimp to skillet; add peas. Heat 3 minutes more or until shrimp and peas are hot.
- Serving size: 1-1/2 cups each
- Calories: 357
- Total Fat: 8g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Unsaturated fat: 7g
- Sodium: 1182mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 51g
- Sugar: 6g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 17g
- Cholesterol: 86mg
Remember, Hunt's diced, whole, stewed, and crushed tomatoes are naturally peeled with steam – FlashSteamed – not with chemicals like some other brands use. Plus, they add no artificial preservatives in the process. So you can feel good about using 100% natural Hunt's tomatoes in your recipes.
Disclosure: I’ve been compensated by Hunt’s for my time and efforts on their behalf. All opinions and experiences are my own.
For those of you unfamiliar with cioppino, it’s a fish stew originating in San Francisco. Cioppino has its roots in Portuguese and Italian seafood stews and is considered an Italian-American dish. My husband loves ordering this when we eat out, so I decided to make a batch up for Christmas Eve since it's a tradition with some people to eat fish or seafood that night.
However, finding fresh seafood is just about impossible in Athens, Georgia. Or should I say you can find it, but it’s not very affordable! That’s why I decided to create a recipe (based on one from Giada De Laurentiis) for cioppino that relies on frozen seafood. I used Trader Joe’s Frozen Seafood mix, which is a combination of shrimp, scallops and calamari and only $7.99 for a one pound bag. (You can also find frozen seafood mix in larger bags at Sam’s Club.) In addition, I bought frozen, shell off shrimp at Kroger and used the tilapia I had in the freezer from Costco.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find frozen mussels that weren’t breaded (blech!), so we had to forego the fun of picking them out of the soup. In addition, I couldn’t find fish stock at the store and didn’t have time to make any from scratch. After doing a little research and finding cioppino recipes that used either chicken stock or clam juice, I decided to do a mix of the two.
Even with the "dumbing down" of the more traditional recipe, my Easy and Healthy Cioppino Fish Stew was very tasty. And since it relies on frozen items, you can easily make a batch on the weekends when you have a little time to cook, but don’t want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. Try doubling the batch and freezing it for later. Also, the leftover cioppino heats up well in the microwave - just don't over reheat it or the seafood will end up chewy and rubbery.
Easy and Healthy Cioppino Fish Stew
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 large shallots, chopped
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 2 1/3 cups chicken stock
- 3 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 pounds Trader Joe’s Frozen Seafood Mix
- 1 pound frozen, shell off shrimp
- 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, shell off
- 1 1/2 pounds white, firm-fleshed fish fillets, cut into 2-inch chunks
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and sauté for 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes with their juices, wine, chicken stock, clam juice, and bay leaf.
- Cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Add the frozen seafood mix to the pot. Cover and cook until the seafood is cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, about 5 minutes
- Season the soup to taste with more salt and red pepper flakes, if needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
- Serving size: 1/6 of recipe
One summer bash I’ll never forget was a coworker’s crawfish boil party. Dennis and his roommates had 100 pounds of crawfish flown into Denver from Louisiana for the party and kept it in the bathroom tub on ice along with a few lobsters a few guests had brought. Each guest was asked to bring beer and $10 to share in costs.
Decorating was simple. On each newspaper draped table, there were large baguettes of French bread, butter, salt and pepper shakers, a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce, and a roll of paper towels. Once a batch was done, they would dump a mess of crawfish and corn on the tables. We’d stand around eating, pushing the used corn husks and crawfish shells to one side. Once everything was consumed, we’d gather up the newspapers, and throw the whole thing in the trash.
They used an outdoor propane burner to cook up the crawfish, and as the day went on the crawfish kept getting hotter and hotter due to the addition of more spices. We drank a lot of beer to cool off and had a great time.
If you’d like to throw a crawfish boil party, check out How to Host a Crawfish Boil Party on ehow.com for a comprehensive guide along with some tips on how to find a live crawfish delivery service online.
A campground seafood boil summer bash
Since we spend much of our summer weekends RV camping, we do a smaller version of the crawfish boil. Instead of crawfish, we buy seafood at the grocery store on the way to the campgrounds and split the purchase with friends.
We usually do this on 4th of July weekend since that’s also when we celebrate my husband’s birthday. However, we did something similar with just lobster and shrimp for my mother-in-law’s birthday. Nothing like fine dining when you’re camping!
Seafood Boil with Corn and Potatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
- 4 lemons, halved
- 6 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 large garlic heads, halved horizontally
- 6 medium onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 dried chilies
- Coarse salt
- 16 springs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
- 1 pound clams
- 1 pound mussels
- 2 pounds of new red potatoes, unpeeled, halved if large
- 8 ears fresh corn, shucked and broken in half
- 2 pounds tail on shrimp, uncooked (frozen is o.k.)
- 6 lobster tails, uncooked (frozen is o.k.)
- Butter, hot sauce and French bread for serving
- Fill a large stockpot with 4 quarts of water. Squeeze lemons into water and add rinds.
- Add bay leaves, seasoning, garlic, onions, chilies, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and thyme.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes and simmer 12 minutes.
- Add corn and simmer 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp, lobster, clams and mussels to pot. Cover, and simmer until lobster is opaque, about 5 minutes.
- Pour off liquid and serve out of the pot.
- Serve with melted butter and/or hot sauce.
- Squeeze and spread the cooked garlic on French bread.
- Serve the corn and potatoes with butter and salt and pepper.
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Orbit® gum via Glam Media but such compensation did not influence any opinions expressed herein. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Orbit® gum.
With Cinco de Mayo just a few days away , I wanted to feature some healthy Mexican recipes this week. This recipe is courtesy of 901 Silver Tequila, a tequila that is triple distilled using only 100% Blue Weber Agave.
Campechana is a Baja Mexico-style seafood cocktail – like a cross between gazpacho and shrimp cocktail – that’s a favorite of my husband and his buddies when they fish in La Paz each year. You can serve this as an appetizer with tortilla chips.
If you want to have 901 Shrimp Campechana as a healthy lunch dish, serve it on top of brown rice in a bowl.
- 1 cup 901 Silver Tequila, plus 2 tablespoons reserved
- 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 cup tomato paste (for a spicy kick, use 1/2 cup chile sauce instead of tomato paste)
- Juice of two limes plus 1 cup of lime juice (for poaching)
- 1 small sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 small cucumber, seedless or seeded, peeled and roughly diced
- 1 small Serrano chile, seeded and stem removed
- 5 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1/2 cup Spanish olives, pitted
- 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 1 cup fresh grape or cherry tomatoes, diced or quartered
For the shrimp:
- Add 3 tablespoons of salt, 1 cup lime juice, 8 cups water, and 1 cup of 901 Silver Tequila to a large pot and bring to a low boil.
- Toss in shrimp then remove pot from heat.
- Allow to poach gently for 4 minutes or until shrimp is pink and cooked through.
For the sauce:
- Combine tomatoes, paste, lime juice, onion, garlic, Serrano chile, cucumber, basil and cilantro, olives and 3 tablespoons salt, pepper and horseradish to a food processor and pulse gently until incorporated.
- Once shrimp have cooled, toss them in with the tomato mixture.
- Slowly add in the avocado, fresh chopped tomato and add to a cocktail glass such as a martini or highball glass.
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of 901 Silver Tequila and serve.
- Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
Recipe and photo courtesy of 901 Silver Tequila.
Are you still dealing with Thanksgiving leftovers? Fried rice may be the perfect way to use up those last bits of peas, ham or turkey from your holiday meal.
Recently, I had some leftover peas, rice, eggs and shrimp in my refrigerator. So I created Easy Shrimp Fried Rice with a little help from a packet of Fried Rice Seasoning Mix from Sun-Bird Seasonings.
I just followed the recipe on the back of the packet with a few substitutions like diced onion for green onions and gluten free tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. I healthed up the recipe a bit by using 1/3 egg whites for one of the egg and cutting back on the oil. I also used more shrimp and peas than the recipe called for since I wanted to use up my leftovers.
You can make this even healthier by using brown rice instead of white rice and adding more veggies. (Edamame or frozen mini lima beans would be a great substitute for the peas!)
Sun-Bird Seasonings are a great way to make a quick, healthy meal from leftovers and whatever you have on hand in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. What’s your favorite way to use up leftovers?
Disclosure: Guenther, the parent company of Sun-Bird, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own
Looking for a different but healthy side dish for your Fourth of July party? My friend and cookbook author extraordinaire, Holly Clegg shares her recipe for Seafood Cornbread in today’s guest post. I love cornbread and I adore seafood, so this recipe is bound to be fantastic!
If you love Cajun food, make sure to check out her book trim&TERRIFIC® Gulf Coast Favorites Cookbook [affiliate link]. You can also find Holly at The Healthy Cooking Blog and HollyClegg.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
My favorite healthy cornbread recipe
I recently appeared on a TV show with my Seafood Cornbread recipe. With so many recipe requests, I knew immediately what recipe to feature to round out your Fourth of July Menu!
When it comes to barbecues, everyone seems to have their own style of grilling and classics such as potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw grace the summer menu. So, what about the bread?
This cornbread recipe is scrumptious, outstanding and melts in your mouth. I know since I live in Louisiana where seafood is plentiful. However, this recipe works well with canned or frozen seafood as well. A fun preparation is to make in muffin pans (mini or regular) and serve in a basket. And, yes, cornbread freezes if you have any left.
If you don’t like seafood, just leave it out for a wonderful variation on cornbread. Diabetic friendly as it is low in fat, carbs, and sodium is the best surprise of all!
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose regular or gluten free flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
- 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper slices (found in jar)
- 2 cups combination seafood ( small peeled shrimp, cooked; crabmeat, or crawfish)
- Preheat oven 350°F. Coat 13 × 9 × 2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and sugar.
- In another bowl, combine milk, egg, and oil.
- Add remaining ingredients except seafood. Mix well.
- Stir into flour mixture. Gently stir in seafood.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Bake for 55–60 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serving size: 1 square
- Calories: 87
- Calories from Fat: 29 (33%)
- Total Fat: 3g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Unsaturated fat: 2g
- Sodium: 130 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 10g
- Sugar: 2g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 5g
- Cholesterol: 27mg
Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 lean meat
Weight Watchers POINTS = 2
Picture and recipe used with permission
Last week I was invited to a special VIP I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter event in NYC to find out who would be their new spokesperson. The night before my fellow food bloggers and I tried to pry the big secret from the PR people. Was it Paula Dean? Rocco DiSpirito? Justin Bieber?
We were kept in suspense until the following day when we were taken to Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s Butter Restaurant. (Or as it was called for the day, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” Restaurant.) She’s the Food Network star of the show Alex’s Day Off.
Chef Alex sat down with us and shared how she felt about cooking with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. She was surprised how well it worked in her recipes with very little fiddling. She said, “It tasted good and worked as advertised. It was an eye opening experience.” Chef Alex told us she used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! in all kinds of cooking including making spreads with herbs, berries or marmalade. (Check out her recipes for Fresh Cranberry Spread and Savory Herb Spread.)
She then explained that since her mom was a cookbook editor (she editing The Cake Bible) she grew up eating the best food available. Even so, her mom always had I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in the refrigerator. “It’s all about the taste,” Chef Alex said.
The main event
After we talked with Alex, we were ushered into the main dining room at Butter to sample some of the spreads at a “toast bar.” (See the picture above.) Not me, unfortunately, since I have to avoid gluten and most grains. Then, along with members of the press, we were welcomed by Christin Cea, Director of Marketing Communications at Unilever and Barry Sands, Senior Brand Manager at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
Dr. Douglas Balentine, Director of Nutrition Sciences at Unilever, spoke to the importance of lowering saturated fats. One of the things I like about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light (the kind I usually buy) is that it only has 1.5 grams of unsaturated fat per serving. Other buttery spreads and even the “natural” ones like Good Earth, are much higher in saturated fats per serving.
Food sensitivity wise, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter has a teeny bit of milk solids. However, other spreads like Good Earth (original) have corn oils in them, so not a good fit for me. Whatever your food sensitivity is, make sure to read the label - even the various types within one brand will have very different ingredients, so check closely.
Kim Cattrall, star of the new I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter campaign
Then Kim Cattrall was introduced. She looked fantastic – slim, beautiful, glamorous. Kim’s funny and plays the “sexy cougar mama” persona to the hilt.
As she’s quoted in the official campaign announcement, “Enjoying I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! is kind of like finding a deliciously gorgeous man, and then discovering he's single.That's the spirit that we're playing with in this campaign – we're showing women they can have it all – delicious taste, with fewer calories and less fat than butter.”
She just came back from Argentina filming four commercials - “Naughty & Nice,” “Dish,” “French Toast,” and “Muscle.” We were shown a teaser reel with outtakes from the commercials. As usual, Kim looked gorgeous and was playfully flirtatious with several very handsome younger and older men. The commercials will come out in March, I believe, and will be entertaining and a lot of fun.
Dining at (I Can't Believe It's Not) Butter
We were then treated to a brunch cooked up by Chef Alex and her staff – Unbelievable Biscuits, Crustless Quiche with Goat Cheese and Scallions, Buttery Grilled Shrimp with Tomatoes, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Cookies.
Most of the food bloggers I talked to loved the biscuits and cookies. However, not everyone was crazy about the quiche since they didn’t care for goat cheese. (Are they crazy? I love goat cheese.) Still several thought having crustless quiche in a ramekin was a cool idea.
I only had the shrimp, since I couldn’t eat anything else. (I only found out about the cumin and lemon later, but didn’t have any ill effects from those ingredients.) It was tasty and wished I had more of it. Why no one doubled up the serving after learning I couldn’t eat the rest of the dishes was beyond me.
Here’s the recipe for you to try.
Buttery Grilled Shrimp With Tomatoes
Preparation Time: 10 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 10 Minute(s)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 3 Tbsp. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spread
- 30 colossal or jumbo shrimp (about 3-1/2 lbs.)
- 1-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, divided
- 1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper, divided
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 6 medium tomatoes, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 tsp. honey or agave syrup
- Heat cumin in 8-inch skillet over low heat until warm and slightly toasted, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat, then stir in I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spread until melted; set aside.
- Brush shrimp on both sides with Spread mixture, then season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Grill, turning once, until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.
- Toss shrimp with lemon juice and 1/2 of the basil; set aside.
- Arrange tomatoes on serving platter, then sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper, honey and remaining basil leaves. Top with shrimp and their juices.
- Calories 320
- Calories From Fat 80
- Saturated Fat 2g
- Trans Fat 0g
- Total Fat 8g
- Cholesterol 10mg
- Sodium 870mg
- Total Carbohydrates 10g
- Sugars 5g
- Dietary Fiber 2g
- Protein 47g
- Vitamin A 40%
- Vitamin C 40%
- Calcium 15%
- Iron 35%
Weight Watchers POINTS = 7
This Mama’s food sensitivities substitutions
- Use something spicy and smoky instead of the cumin like smoked paprika, chili powder or even coriander. Or you could go Italian and use basil, oregano and parsley.
- Eliminate the pepper and add a bit more of the spicy or smoky ingredients or a bit more basil.
- Use lime instead of lemon. Or if you’re using Italian seasonings, maybe a some dry white wine or even grapefruit juice would work.
- For honey or agave, use stevia instead.
Disclosure: I received an all-expense paid trip to NYC from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
Today, I’m off to Boulder to meet Holly Clegg, cookbook author and frequent guest poster here at This Mama Cooks! She’s doing several book signings here in Colorado to support her new women's lifestyle cookbook: Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secret To Sizzle At Any Age. Check out her blog, The Healthy Cooking Blog and her website, HollyClegg.com, to find out if she’s doing any book signings or TV and radio appearances near you.
I love how Holly takes something not-so-healthy and makes it good for you. This recipe for healthy pizza topped with shrimp and vegetables like spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes is from her cookbook, Gulf Coast Favorites.
You can make your own pizza crust using my healthy whole wheat pizza dough recipe or buy premade pizza dough at the store. If you’re gluten free, use a two of Udi’s Gluten Free pizza crusts. I like keeping a supply of their gluten free pizza crusts in my freezer so I can make pizza any time I’m in the mood.
You could also turn this recipe into a party appetizer by serving it on flatbread or making mini pizzas.
Healthy Shrimp Deluxe Pizza
- 1 (12-inch) premade thin pizza crust
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
- 1/4 pound sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 pound medium peeled shrimp, seasoned and cooked
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or 1 cup shredded, part-skim, mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven 400°F. Coat crust with oil and garlic. Sprinkle with basil.
- In a small nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté mushrooms bout 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, stirring until wilted.
- Evenly spoon spinach mixture over crust and top with remaining ingredients. Bake 8–10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust
- Serving size: 1 slice
- Calories: 189
- Calories from Fat: 66 (35%)
- Total Fat: 8g
- Saturated fat: 3g
- Unsaturated fat: 5g
- Sodium: 265mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 17g
- Sugar: 29
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 13g
- Cholesterol: 65mg
Diabetic Exchanges - 1 starch, 1 1/2 medium-fat meat
Weight Watchers POINTS = 4
Picture and recipe used with permission.
Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.
After a very meat-heavy July 4th weekend, I’m looking to make something lighter. This recipe from Northwest Cherries fits the bill – quinoa, shrimp and cherries. Yes, cherries, which are on sale this time of year and oh-so-good for you.
Not only is this dish high in protein and fiber, it’s low in calories and gluten free, too. If you’re doing Weight Watchers, each serving is only 4 POINTS.
Update: I made this dish tonight and it was terrific! I doubled the recipe, substituted jalapeno peppers for the Anaheims (and used half the amount). I also used 2 tablespoons dried parsley instead of 1/2 cup fresh. It was slightly spicy, but not overpoweringly so.
From Northwest Cherries Yield:6 servings Ingredients:
Cherry Quinoa & Shrimp
From Northwest Cherries
- Saute onion and garlic in oil.
- Add broth, quinoa, Anaheim pepper, salt, and ground pepper. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 12 to 18 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff mixture with a fork and gently stir in cherries, shrimp, and parsley.
- Serve with salsa, if desired.
215 Cal., 13.1 g protein, 5.5 g fat (23% Cal. from fat), 29.5 g carb., 74 mg chol., 3.3 g fiber, 596 mg sodium.
Weight Watchers POINTS = 4
This Mama’s Tips:
- If you don’t have a cherry pitter, you could try using a chopstick or plastic straw to remove the pits. In this recipe, a few torn apart cherries is no big deal. But take my word for it, buy a cherry pitter.
- You can make this vegetarian by using veggie broth instead of chicken broth and substituting tofu for shrimp.
- Check out the Northwest Cherries website for the latest health information about Northwest cherries as well as recipe ideas and tips on freezing, canning and drying cherries.
- You can learn more about cherries at Health Castle’s Food of the Month – Cherries.
Today’s guest post is from cookbook author, Holly Clegg. Holly will be sending me recipes from time to time to feature here at This Mama Cooks! I’m thrilled to be working with her! You can check Holly out at The Healthy Cooking Blog, her website HollyClegg.com, on Twitter @HollyClegg, and Facebook,
This recipe comes from Holly’s cookbook Holly Clegg's Trim & TERRIFIC Gulf Coast Favorites. Holly writes: Busy and no time to cook? Here’s a meal in minutes, an easy throw together soup, while the weather is still cool. Everyone has a shrimp and corn soup recipe, but this recipe is only six ingredients and it is TRIM & TERRIFIC!! Just open cans of corn and tomatoes, toss in shrimp for this simple yet superb soup.
Quick Shrimp and Corn Soup
- 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans cream
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 pounds medium peeled shrimp
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- In large nonstick pot, combine cream corn, corn, tomatoes and green chilies, tomato sauce, until heated.
- Add shrimp, bring to boil.
- Lower heat, cook until shrimp is done, 5–7 minutes.
- Sprinkle with green onions, serve.
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 162
- Calories from Fat: 13 (8%)
- Total Fat: 1g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Unsaturated fat: 1g
- Sodium: 825mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 24g
- Sugar: 6g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 15g
- Cholesterol: 112mg
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 very lean meat
Weight Watchers POINTS = 3 per serving
Summer has finally arrived in Colorado, meaning it’s hot and the AC and fans are most of the day. In this heat, the last thing I want to do is cook. Actually, I want to lie down next to one of the vents and read books all day. (I’m not good in the heat.) So finding easy to make, healthy salads – and sharing them with you - is my mission this week.
My first choice comes from Holly Clegg. I’m a big fan of her freezer meal bible, Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals. She personally sent me a few of her cookbooks, including her latest KIDS COOKING for Mommies, which encourages parents and children to cook together. Love it, but I wish it had pictures and an index, too.
However, the book that really intrigued me was Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific Gulf Coast Favorites. I lust after Cajun and southern cooking – but don’t like it’s high fat content. (Justin Wilson anyone? Love him! Only he could make pork stuffed pork.) Instead, Holly uses her usual culinary magic to create every day dishes that are healthy and delicious. Each recipe comes with full nutritional info including diabetic exchanges. Trim & Terrific Gulf Coast Favorites also features vegetarian and freezer friendly make-ahead recipes and menus.
Shrimp and edamame are always in my freezer and wasabi paste is always in the fridge, so this salad is first on my list after I get more cherry tomatoes from Costco. The ones I bought last week have magically disappeared. (Burp.)
Marinated Shrimp and Edamamae Salad
Makes 6 (2/3 cup) servings
This salad packs a protein punch – 19 grams! - for the 3 Weight Watchers POINTS per serving.
- 1 pound medium peeled shrimp, seasoned, cooked, and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup shelled edamame, cooked according to directions
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, edamame, tomatoes, and green onions.
- In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and toss with shrimp mixture.
- Refrigerate until serving.
Calories 153, Calories from fat 26%, Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 147 mg, Sodium 198 mg, Carbohydrate 8 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Sugars 4 g, Protein 19 g
1/2 carbohydrate 1 2 1/2 lean meat
Weight Watchers POINTS per serving: 3
Dr. Manny Alvarez is a senior health correspondent for FOX News and a leading OB-GYN. His diet book, The Hot Latin Diet: The Fast Track Plan to a Bombshell Body reveals how women can stay slim and maintain sexy, natural curves by incorporating the “Seven Latin Power Foods” in their diets:
- Tomatillos – antioxidants
- Garbanzo beans – fiber, protein
- Avocado – good fat that lowers cholesterol
- Garlic – immune boosting, increased blood flow
- Cinnamon – lowers blood sugar levels
- Chiles – reduce inflammation and provide natural pain relief
- Cilantro – removes toxins from the body.
Do I think that Dr. Manny is on to something magical? Not on your life. But his recipes are healthy and look delicious. In fact, it’s possible that flavorful, spicy foods may leave you feeling more satisfied so you you’ll eat less. They’re certainly a lot tastier than living on bland, no-fat cottage cheese!
His recipes reminded me of a dish I had the other night. We hadn’t visited one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in a long time, and the menu had changed for the better. Now there were several enticing healthy seafood entrees. I was excited!
I ordered a cold shrimp salad – grilled shrimp served with raw red onions, cilantro, carrots, and slices of oranges, avocados, and cumbers. The sauce was made of pico de gallo mixed with orange and lime juice. It was very spicy, delicious, and something I could easily make at home – with a little less spice. (I’m a wimp.)
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Well I guess I should call this Guest Posting by Debbra S. Week, because she sent me another fabulous recipe – Roasted Corn and Grilled Shrimp. Not only does she give the Weight Watcher POINTS info, but it’s a perfect dish for summer grilling.
As she writes,
“This recipe appeared in Food & Wine magazine and they credited David Bouley, the NYC chef, with originally serving it. I have revised the recipe somewhat, reducing fat, etc. Again, it may seem like a lot of points, but I serve it for dinner. I often make gazpacho with it which is filling and has hardly any points.”
Debbra has cooked the shrimp in a pan, and on a George Foreman grill. George Foreman grills ROCK! They’re great presents for a grad on his or her way to college or for dad to take car camping or in the RV. We bought a counter top sized one for my mother-in-law to grill steaks since she didn’t have a balcony to grill on in her seniors apartment building.
And they’re great for dieters. You cannot believe how much fat cooks off your burgers, steaks, and chicken breasts when you grill them on a George Foreman grill. We have a platinum George Foreman GRP4P Next Grilleration 4-Burger Grill with Removable Plates. The grill is a work of art and it does a great job quickly grilling up our food. Clean up is very easy too, just wipe it off with paper towels when it’s still a little bit warm.