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Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

In all areas of life it can be difficult to find the right balance. This is true in cooking for a family with varying food preferences and eating styles. Sometimes trying a new dish can be a total flop or it can be a success. Occasionally a dish I think will be met with resistance proves to win over the family. That was the case with this Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet.

Why do I even try to get people in my family to eat things I don’t think they will like? As a child I didn’t like cabbage and today I enjoy it. Many times foods that we previously abhorred become tolerable or even palatable. Once in a while we discover that the scales shift altogether and we love a food that we previously disliked.

The people in my home do not readily ask to eat kale. They have never liked anything that I have made with it, they say. Also, D3 does not like sweet potato anything. However this Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet sounded tasty, brunch worthy, and healthy.

Skillets are great for any meal. I love serving skillets for brunch and throwing an egg on top. Also, one pot meals such as skillets cut down on dishes. That definitely brings harmony into my household.

To be honest I did pull a bit of a trick on the girls. I used white sweet potatoes, instead of the traditional orange hued tubers. Both D3 and D4 thought that they were being served good old white potatoes. D3 cleaned her plate before mentioning to me that the dish seemed very sweet. What kind of potato had I used? When I affirmed that they were sweet potatoes she was not happy, reminding me that she does not like sweet potatoes. She had already eaten the plate of food that was served to her.

I agree that the Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet was a little bit on the sweet side, even with the crushed red pepper. For me, the egg I added on top evened out the sweetness. Of course, the buttermilk biscuits I served with our brunch changed the health aspects of the meal, but as always were a winner. Also, when a very healthy dish is served having something less healthy is fine. It brings parity to the meal.

While I loved the Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet; most notably, I was delighted that everyone ate it, even if they didn’t love it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained; and this was a great gain toward balancing new foods and healthy meals.

How do you find balance in your mealtimes? With health, eating preferences, and varying likes it can be challenging. Share your tried and true tips with me.

Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion (diced)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper falke
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups white sweet potatoes (diced)
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp
  • 4 cups kale leaves (trimmed and chopped)
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and red pepper flakes.
  3. Cook onions until translucent. Add garlic, stir to combine.
  4. Add sweet potato to the skillet and cook until fork tender. A tablespoon or 2 of water can be added to the skillet to prevent sticking. This also allows the potatoes to steam.
  5. Add shrimp to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring gently.
  6. When the shrimp is pink, stir in the kale. Turn heat to low and toss gently until kale has wilted.
  7. Serve hot from the skillet.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2018 in Brunch Recipes, Dinner Recipes

 

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Easy Paella

Easy Paella

I have always enjoyed coordinating food or even entire meals around a theme. If you read some of the past posts you will see that. I’ve done holiday themes, themes based on colors, and mathematical themes like Pi Day. Theme foods tend to work best when planned out, however sometimes they work out spur of the moment. That is what happened when I made this easy Paella for Paella Day.

I knew that it was Paella Day, but had made plans that took up the majority of the day. In fact it was an adventure upon adventure kind of day.

My mother has been on a search for shoes because her oldest grandson is getting married next month. The issue with my mother’s search for shoes is two-fold. Issue number one is an issue that has been with her a lifetime; tiny feet. My mother wears a shoe size that is smaller than the smallest average shoe easily found in stores. We have tried ordering, but still have issues with fit. The second issue is that although she wants a high-heeled shoe she doesn’t want an overly high heel. Those are the primary issues without going into styles of shoes in today’s world.

Our search has taken as all over most of Northeast Kansas to no avail. Parts of 3 days had already been spent looking for shoes. I am not at all opposed to spending days looking at shoes, so this is not a complaint on my part. It is merely observation and background. Late last week I had asked mother if she had thought about looking in Manhattan, Kansas.

A bit more quick background: yes, I live in Kansas. In fact I live in a small, rural community of about 1100 people about 20 miles west of the capital city of Kansas, Topeka. My town is about 45 minutes from the University of Kansas in Lawrence and K-State in Manhattan. It’s a great location because I don’t have to deal with big city issues but am only a few short minutes to decent shopping.

Now back to the shoe adventure. My mother agreed that it was worth a shot and knew that I had a secondary (my primary) reason for wanting to go. I had recently heard of a restaurant and bakery in Manhattan and really wanted to give it a try. So we set off for a bit of shopping and adventure.

After looking in five different stores we did have shoe success for my mother. The shoes were a good fit, great heel height, and stylistically good for a wedding or any other event she will need a heel for.

On our drive back from shoe shopping and our wonderful food adventure I stopped at a grocery store that sometimes has some food finds that are a step above most of the area grocers. Knowing it was Paella Day I was looking for shrimp. It is really hard to find good seafood in the area and mussels would be out of the question.

Not only did I find shrimp, but I also found a package of Saffron rice. It was a big win.

When I got home I put together my easy Paella. This was again one of those dishes that I was unsure if the family would like enjoy or even try. I was wrong. The Hubs loved it. Daughter Number Four really liked it. Daughter 3 was okay with it. The Hubs and I each had seconds or thirds.

What a great day for adventure. From finding the right shoes to finding the right ingredients for my easy Paella it was a success.

I will also be sharing the success of our adventure within the adventure, so check back soon to read about that!

Easy Paella

  • 1 bag Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound Shrimp; thawed (deveined, peeled)
  • 1 small bag frozen peas
  • I can petite diced tomatoes
  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. When rice is done, in a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp to skillet and toss gently. Add frozen peas and stir.
  4. Spoon cooked rice into skillet with peas and shrimp. Do not stir for 1 minute, allowing hot rice to cook shrimp and peas.
  5. Add in tomatoes, with juice. Lightly toss altogether. Heat through, ensuring that shrimp are fully cooked. Do not overcook, as shrimp will be tough.

Serve immediately with crusty bread.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2018 in Dinner Recipes

 

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National Shrimp Day ~ and a Snail Tale

National Shrimp Day ~ and a Snail Tale

We spent some great time helping my mother in her yard today, picking up rocks and bricks from an old pile of landscaping materials. There were at least a few squeamish moments when bugs, spiders, and other living things started squirming and moving on the moist ground when their cover was blown. There were pill bugs, ants, aforementioned spiders, and snails to name a few. Daughter Number Four, who had been working in the garden planting peppers and tomatillos, came over to see what was going on at the rock pile. She was excited to see the pill bugs (aka rolly polly) but more excited to see the snail shells. Then she started to collecting the shells and laying them on the picnic table. As she was inspecting one of the shells the snail stuck it’s head out. Then it stuck it’s head out further and touched her hand. She was aghast when it touched her because it was so sticky.

Fast forward a few hours. Today is National Shrimp Day! Who knew that May 10 is National Shrimp Day? Well, I found out and decided that I would make a shrimp recipe today. Even cooler than that, after the snail fun earlier in the day I decided to make some Escargot. Yep. That’s right…

I had been the lucky recipient of Escargot at an office party White Elephant exchange. The ‘kit’  found a home on a shelf in the pantry. Well, today I took that ‘kit’ out and read the instructions. It seemed pretty easy. Could I really make the canned gag gift for my family to eat with dinner? I could.

For the main event though, I made Coconut Shrimp. I found the recipe on Skinnytaste.com a few years ago and it is a huge family favorite.

Everyone enjoyed the shrimp immensely, and Daughter Three liked the Escargot more than I ever would have imagined. She ate four. Daughter Number Four was still alarmed from the sticky one she picked up earlier in the day. She only ate 2. The canned escargot were really pretty darn good. I think I had four of them also.

escargot

I hope you enjoyed these bits of our lives and try these morsels for yourself!

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/12/skinny-coconut-shrimp.html

Skinny Coconut Shrimp

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. 

  2. Combine coconut flakes, panko, and salt in a shallow bowl. 

  3. Place the flour in a separate shallow dish. 

  4. Whisk the egg in another small dish. 

  5. Dip the shrimp in the flour, shaking off excess, then into egg, then into the coconut mixture. 

  6. Lay shrimp on the cooking sheet and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven. Turn over and cook for 5-6 more minutes, until cooked through. 

  7. Remove from the oven and serve with dipping sauce.

There is a dipping sauce recipe on the Skinnytaste.com webpage, along with the recipe. I like to dip mine in a mixture of orange marmalade and Sriracha. It’s a little too spicy for the family, though.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Dinner Recipes, Recipe

 

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Shrimp and Grits at home

Shrimp and Grits at home

Ever since our trip to the Denver Biscuit Company I have been wanting to try my own Shrimp and Grits recipe. I’ve made biscuits many times in the past, but not as large or as delicious as those mile high biscuits!

I spent several hours researching shrimp and grits recipes. Yes, I said hours. One of my favorite parts of food is learning the history and comparing seasonings and techniques to find the most authentic and historical recipes. I may opt to cook a more simplified version, but I do the research.

I took parts of what I think were three different shrimp and grits recipes. The grits recipes were all very similar, so that was the easy part.

While the final result was good it wasn’t great. The biscuit recipe I chose was a huge hit with the whole family. The flavor was as good as the biscuits from DenBisCo. They were not seven inches tall, but they were thicker than my iPhone (past biscuit experience gone wrong) by at least an inch! The grits were delicious. I love grits every way I have ever had them, and these were no exception. The shrimp was not as good as at the restaurant, but I took a shortcut with the shrimp themselves, and cut the spiciness of the sauce so that the family could at least try it, if not appreciate it. As it goes with trying to feed a family, not everyone has the same palette for seasonings. Or, you might just have some downright picky eaters! I made eggs over easy for the non-picky eaters.

The Hubs really liked the combination. He had seconds of the shrimp and grits. All of the girls had a second biscuit. I will give you the link to the biscuit recipe I used (Thank you, it was awesome) and I will post my Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Here is where I found the buttermilk biscuit recipe. I did not use the food processor.

http://southern.food.com/recipe/southern-buttermilk-biscuits-26110

One quick note about the shrimp and grits; I used quick grits. Of the probably 25 recipes I read, most of them called for quick grits. One more quick note; I bought already cooked and peeled shrimp. Peeling shrimp makes my hands break out in a rash and I hate wearing gloves to prevent the rash.

If I were to make this again I might add some salty pork product (ham, bacon, sausage, pancetta) even though I do not ordinarily eat pork. I believe it would have added some much needed flavor and color. Also, if I were to make it again and my family wasn’t going to be eating I would make it spicier. All in all it was a good first attempt and I was thrilled with the result (especially the biscuits).

If you have the time and inclination to try this little morsel (or big bite) you definitely should. Also, if you have a great Shrimp and Grits recipe, please share it with me.

 

Shrimp and Grits

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 ½ teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 pound shrimp (as per above, I used pre-cooked, peeled)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • ½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  1. In a saucepan bring 1 cup chicken broth and 1 Tablespoon butter to a rapid boil. Slowly add the grits, whisking continuously. Continue stirring constantly, over medium-low heat for five minutes. Add the half and half, tomato paste and cheese and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy. Cover and set aside.
  2. In a large glass bowl melt 4 Tablespoons butter in microwave. Add red pepper, paprika, and Old Bay seasoning. Mix well and add shrimp. Toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Add garlic and stir until lightly browned. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Add in the chicken broth and whisk constantly until smooth. Stir in half and half and continue stirring until slightly thickened. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce. Turn heat to low and add in shrimp.
  4. Spoon the grits over the biscuit, split or whole. Top with shrimp and sauce, and a fried egg if desired.

 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Breakfast Recipes, Brunch Recipes

 

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