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TZATZIKI SAUCE

Tzatziki Sauce! Such a simple, clean and refreshing sauce. I can’t speak better words about this Mediterranean sauce. Typically you find it at Greek restaurants served as a topping or paired with stuffed grape leaves also known as Dolmas. By the way, I have an exquisite recipe for Stuffed Grape Leaves that you’ll really enjoy. There’s a bit of work involved but the enjoyment is extremely worth the time. And when you have some help, it goes fast.

But back to this glorious sauce. I’m all about multi-purpose recipes, this is one of them. You can place a dollop of this on top of your favorite fish or even dip a variety of your favorite veggies into it. Not only that, because you know I love encouraging to take my recipes and make your own, you can always add other herbs and spices to this for variety like adding onions or chives. Just remember, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two first before serving. Overnight is even better!

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TZATZIKI SAUCE
Servings
heaping cups
Ingredients
Servings
heaping cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using a potato peeler, peel the cucumber into strands up until you get to the seeds. Throw the seedy center part away. Place the strands of cucumber on a plate, sprinkle the salt on top, mix and let sit for about 15 minutes to draw out the water.
  2. In the meantime, mix the Greek yogurt, crushed garlic, olive oil in a medium bowl.
  3. Then, grab the cucumber and squeeze the remaining excess of water out of it and chop the cucumber strands finely.
  4. Combine the cucumber in with everything else, add salt to taste and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

THAI INSPIRED SHRIMP SLAW

There’s so much I can say about this recipe! Bare with me, I’ll try to keep it simple. The “salad” itself is Thai inspired with the intention to add any more of your favorite Thai flavors into the mix. Like fresh mango! Or your favorite chopped nuts. As much as I love all the comfort foods, sweets, high carb foods like almost everyone else; I really do try to keep a balance here on the food blog. A little indulgence once in a while won’t hurt. It takes discipline with a sheer desire to want to feel good by way of adopting a healthy lifestyle. So when I share a super healthy recipe, I make sure I make it very flavorful so that you realize that healthy doesn’t have to be boring! This Thai Inspired Salad with Shrimp is the epitome of that… when something is vibrant in presentation in it’s natural state, healthy, flavorful who wouldn’t want to at least give it a try?!

I made this recipe with the intention to get people interested in giving an array of vegetables a try. Society today is starving of fresh veggies in their diet simply because people go so many years without it that when they eat it, it tastes bland and unsatisfying. Eating vegetables daily helps with regular bowel elimination, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, keeps the colon healthy, keeps the liver and gallbladder happy as well. You’ll find several different veggies prepped fine just like a coleslaw but tastier! It’s actually even better after a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Now here’s the best part about this recipe that I try to achieve with most of the stuff I make…

This salad is so multi-purpose, you can add a different citrus instead of lime. Use a different kinds of nuts or seeds. Add spices like ground ginger for a bigger kick. Throw in mango or papaya. Throw in some cubed avocado. Toss it with some of your favorite leaf lettuce. And you most certainly do not have to stick to shrimp. Use any of your favorite fish. I love any white or light fish baked or grilled with this. Right on top. Let the fish straight out of the oven warm up the veggies to get all the flavors marinating more. And if you’re not a seafood kind of person go for chicken, turkey, beef or any wild game. You do want YOU want.

Confession. I have made a hot dog… it was a turkey hot dog made of all white breast meat (that was my compromise) and topped it with this salad, with some pickles. It was THAT good. I kind of want to slather a good buffalo burger with it… spice meat with some traditional Thai spices. Go big, think creative, make the healthiest foods taste the best it ever could. It’s always possible. I’m a firm believer with the right preparation and the right spices you can make anyone enjoy their least favorite veggie. Okay, I’ll stop there. Seriously though, let me know how you chose to incorporate this recipe. I love all ideas. Enjoy!

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THAI INSPIRED SHRIMP SLAW
Servings
servings
Ingredients
DRESSING
SLAW
SHRIMP
Servings
servings
Ingredients
DRESSING
SLAW
SHRIMP
Instructions
  1. Place everything for the dressing into a blender and run it on high until everything is blended well.
  2. Toss all the veggies for the slaw with the dressing in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix all the spices together with the shrimp gently in a large bowl. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil over medium-high heat, toss the shrimp and let cook a few minutes until they’re pink and curled. Set aside to cool.
  4. Serve the slaw with shrimp on top.
Recipe Notes

This dish is great without shrimp but feel free to add any other seafood, poultry, or red meat.

BEEF & ARUGULA PASTA

You can spend all the time in the world cooking in the kitchen making amazing food but you can also do so in a short amount of time too. This is one of those go-to dishes for something quick but elegant. I LOVE using filet mignon for this recipe the most but you can use any kind of cut you like. I’ve tried flank steak and it works fantastic so long as you slice against the grain. Also, if you’re watching your red meat intake, feel free to use chicken breast instead.

I’ve made slightly different variations of this recipe such as caramelized onions or none at all, saute mushrooms for more heartiness. You can replace the arugula with fresh baby spinach instead. It’s just as amazing. And as always, feel free to add or replace with any other of your favorite veggies. There’s no wrong way to make it taste good!

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BEEF & ARUGULA PASTA
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packaging.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, the remaining herbes de provence, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cover the steak both sides with 1 tablespoon of herbes de provence, garlic powder, salt, and pepper by patting it firmly into the meat.
  4. In an iron skillet on medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom of the skillet with olive oil and sear the steak on both sides for about 5 - 7 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the steak. Then, let it finish in the oven at 400 F degrees for about 5 - 15 minutes depending on the thickness. When done, let the steak rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. In a large, deep sauté pan cook the onions in olive oil until they become translucent. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes or until the onions are caramelized.
  6. Slice the steak thin into bite sized pieces.
  7. Toss the cooked pasta, steak, and arugula in with the onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Then add the balsamic vinegar mixture together. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil generously all across the top, about 1/4 cup and gently fold everything together until everything is well coated in the balsamic sauce.
  8. Serve with pecorino Romano cheese.

SIMPLE PESTO

This is a simple traditional pesto with a little bit of fresh lemon juice. I’m not a purist whatsoever and find that most traditional pesto’s need a little bit of zing to freshen up the heaviness of the extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts. So this version is my own go-to traditional pesto that I love to use on all sorts of things. It’s perfect with chicken, shrimp or your favorite white fish even better, serve it with either of those mixed into pasta. OH! On pizza too… as you can see the possibilities are endless if you dare to be creative. Enjoy!


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SIMPLE PESTO
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a dry skillet on low-medium heat, toast the pine nuts by stirring frequently until they’re golden brown and you can smell the aroma. Set them aside to cool.
  2. Place the pine nuts and the rest of the ingredients except for the extra virgin olive oil into a food processor. Turn it on until everything is combined then put it on low to slowly pour the olive oil in. Add more or less until the pesto is loose and smooth.

LEMON DILL SALMON SALAD

I still stand by chopped salads being the best kind of salads. You get everything in one bite and you don’t need store bought dressing because all the flavors of everything mend together very well when you simply add a few simple ingredients. Well here’s a super flavorful one perfect for warm days when you don’t want anything too heavy. Feel free to prepare this large salad as a meal for one or to divide it up as a side.


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LEMON DILL SALMON SALAD
Servings
servings
Ingredients
DRESSING
SALMON
SALAD
Servings
servings
Ingredients
DRESSING
SALMON
SALAD
Instructions
DRESSING
  1. Place everything in a small bowl and whisk. Set aside.
SALMON
  1. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray before placing the salmon in it. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and dill on top. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375 F degrees for about 12 minutes. Let cool then flake.
SALAD
  1. Toss all the salad ingredients including the flaked salmon into a large bowl, drizzle the top with the dressing and toss the salad until everything is well incorporated.