Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shrimp Tacos With Greek Yogurt Salsa

I love shrimp tacos, a summer twist on a traditional Mexican dish. There are so many wonderful recipes for shrimp tacos that I can't wait to try. For my first experience of making them, I wanted to keep it simple. I actually adapted this recipe from a fish taco recipe that used Tilapia. I created a Greek Yogurt Salsa for the topping. By now you know my love for Greek yogurt as a healthy substitute for sour cream and other ingredients. It was the perfect experiment. The Greek Yogurt Salsa was surprisingly creamy and added a unique flavor. It is very versatile; I think black beans and/or corn would add another dimension of flavors to the yogurt sauce. Be creative with this one!

Processing the shrimp in the Marinade Express makes a noticeable difference with shrimp and fish. It helps to eliminate of the "fishy" smell and taste. Santa Fe Salsa MX seasoning highlights the flavors for these tacos with cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, and more. It is one of my favorite flavors to work with.

Shrimp Tacos With Greek Yogurt Sauce

Shrimp Tacos Adapted from My


For Tacos:
MX Seasoning: Santa Fe Salsa    
Mexican shredded cheese mix (or cheddar)
1 pound fresh shrimp
1/2 white onion, cut into strips
3 to 4 mini sweet bell peppers cut into strips (any colors you prefer)
8 six inch flour or corn tortillas
1 small jalapeño thinly sliced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

  • For Greek Yogurt Salsa:
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • zest of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

1) Peel shrimp, removing legs and tails. Process the shrimp in the Marinade Express for 7-8 minutes.
2) While the shrimp is being processed in the Marinade Express cut up the onion, peppers, and cilantro.
3) In a large sauté pan that has been greased sauté strips of onion and peppers. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.
4) Add shrimp after the onion and peppers have cooked for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep a close eye on the shrimp; don't overcook or they will become rubbery. Remember that proteins prepped in the Marinade Express usually cook faster. Cook them just until they turn a whitish-pink color.
5) In a small mixing bowl add Greek yogurt, Cajun seasoning, salsa, cilantro, lime zest, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
6) To assemble the taco add cheese, followed by shrimp and pepper mix, then top with Greek Yogurt Salsa. Garnish with thin slices of jalapeño, if desired, and cilantro. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Green Goddess Salad With Mint Yogurt Dressing

My mom bought me this awesome cookbook, Delicious Salads, An Irresistible Collection of Perfect Salads by: Love Food. This salad cookbook has unique, artistic salads. Each recipe has gorgeous colorful photographs that make my mouth water every time I look at them. This was the first recipe I have made from this cookbook. It was a great salad to have with my Perfect Steak and Mushrooms dish. I can't wait to try more recipes from this book; I highly recommend this cookbook to help spice up your salads.

(Image From

Green Goddess Salad With Mint Yogurt Dressing is not your typical Green Goddess recipe. It has a perfect marriage of green veggies. The crunchy green peppers, zucchini, and green beans are perfect with the bold, spicy watercress. The mint yogurt dressing is the ultimate creamy topping; it accommodates all of the veggies, it is simple to make, and adds protein and calcium to your salad.
The Perfect Steak & Mushrooms With Green Goddess Salad

Green Goddess Salad With Mint Yogurt Dressing
Adapted From Delicious Salads

Serves 4

2 zucchini, cut into thin sticks
1 1/2 cup green beans, cut into thirds
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 bunch of watercress

For the Dressing:

1 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (Note, using Greek will make it very thick)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh mint
 (I used peppermint because it's growing on my porch; any mint will be great)
pepper to taste


1) Cook cut zucchini and beans in a pan of lightly salted water for 7-8 minutes. Drain the water and shock the veggies in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This also helps to keep their bright green color.
2) Mix zucchini and beans with green bell pepper strips together in a large serving bowl.
3) Add watercress on top right before serving.
4) To make the dressing, mix yogurt, garlic, and mint in a small bowl. Season with pepper to taste.
5) Put dressing into a small serving bowl with a spoon for guests to add to their salad as they wish. If there is any salad left over, it keeps fresh better if the dressing is separate from the salad.

Green Goddess Salad With Mint Yogurt Dressing

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Perfect Steak and Mushrooms

A juicy, meaty steak prepped in the Marinade Express and grilled to perfection, with savory mushrooms on the side is my ultimate comfort food. It fills me with memoires of special summer days or celebrating my birthday. It's a time to share with family and friends. To me a good steak isn't just a way to satisfy hunger pains, it is an experience. There is no better way to enjoy a steak than when it is prepped in the Marinade Express and grilled on a charcoal grill. There is no need for A1 steak sauce if you follow this recipe. The steaks are juicy, tender, and fabulously flavorful.

The perfect steak:
A good cut of steak (I used sirloin)*
MX Seasoning Prime Beef

1) Process the steak in the Marinade Express for 5 to 10 minutes.Let it rest in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
2) Cook steak on the grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, depending on how well done you like your steak cooked. Remember that the increased juiciness the Marinade Express infuses into the meat causes it to cook 20 to 30 % faster than normal, so watch your steak and do not overcook!

*There is no need to have to break the bank to enjoy a high quality steak, just look for the sales. You may need to prepare it right away or freeze it.

Delicious Steak and Mushrooms

To accompany my steak I made some savory mushrooms. I am a mushroom junkie. I love them raw in a salad, cooked in butter, and in mushroom soup. I can never get enough of them. My Aunt Mary introduced me to my new favorite way to fix mushrooms. They are just as easy but with a few extra ingredients they are scrumptious!

1/2 stick of butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, julienned
1 carton of baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon, beef base (it comes in a jar)
1-2 tablespoons dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/2 teaspoon of flour (or corn starch dissolved in 1 teaspoon of the wine)

1) In a large saucepan melt butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until it becomes fragrant.
2) Add yellow onion, cook for 2 minutes, until they begin to shrink in size.
3) Add mushrooms, stirring frequently until the mushrooms begin to brown.
4) Stir in Better Than Bouillon beef base until it is mixed well.
5) Add the red wine, one tablespoon at a time. Let the wine cook into the mushrooms a little before adding more. You can always add more wine to the mushrooms but you can't remove it once it's added.
6) Add a pinch of flour (or dissolved corn starch) and stir until the sauce thickens. I used about a 1/2 a teaspoon for my batch. Depending on proportions of ingredients, you could use more or less.
7) Serve while the mushrooms are hot; enjoy the deliciousness.

To add some greens to this meal I made Green Goddess Salad With Mint Yogurt Dressing. It has some beautiful green veggies, topped with spicy watercress and a creamy mint yogurt dressing. It was the perfect salad with this steak.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Raw Energy Balls

Wow! It has been a whirlwind of a summer. Between my family vacation at the end of July, weekend trips with friends, and work, I have packed a lot into the second half of my summer. I am making a new vow, to blog more frequently in the next couple of months! Even though I have been behind on my posts, I have still been cooking up a storm. Be excited for a plethora of mouthwatering recipes I have on my list to blog about.

Raw Energy Balls- there is no better name for them. They are quick and easy to make, they are delicious and are packed with protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, natural fruit sugars, and antioxidants. They are a little ball of energy, the perfect balance. I have taken them on road trips or to work for an easy snack. My favorite time to enjoy them is first thing in the morning before my run. Just one ball gives me enough substance to last me through my workout; at the same time there isn't too much food jostling around in my stomach.

Raw Energy Balls In All Their Glory!

Raw Energy Balls
Adapted from Pink to Green

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pepita (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
7-9 dates (pitted)

1) Blend  oats, pepita, almonds, cinnamon, coconut, chia seeds, and salt in a food processor until fine.
2) Add vanilla. Add the dates one at a time, blend each date until the mixture easily sticks together.  If needed add some water to help the mixture stick more.
3) Roll into balls and store in the freezer. You can enjoy them directly from  the freezer; they don't completely freeze because of the fat from the nuts. They are also delicious at room temperature.

Adding the Dates To the Nut Mixture

The dates really add a nice sweetness to the Raw Energy Balls. I have viewed recipes that have mini chocolate chips or cacao powder in them; this makes them more of a healthy dessert substitute. I have experimented with adding almond butter, a dash of cardamom, and flax seeds. Be creative. I know I will. After you make them the first time you will be hooked!