How to roast shrimp: 3 ways

cilantro lime shrimp

cilantro lime shrimp

If you ask the hubby what his favorite food is, without hesitation his answer will be “shrimp.” Every shrimp dish I’ve ever made for him has been a winner in his book, because in his mind, there are no “bad” shrimp dishes. I happen to think he’s right! I love to cook shrimp dishes because they’re easily and quickly defrosted from their frozen state, cooked for a few minutes, and they’re ready to eat. They literally go from freezer to plate in 20 minutes, something I can never say about any kind of meat!

I’ve recently found some recipes where the shimp are roasted instead of sautéed, and I LOVE this idea. Throw the defrosted shrimp in a baking dish with some sweet or savory ingredients, pop it in the oven for 15 minutes (max) and dinner is D-O-N-E. No more flipping each individual shrimp or watching them to make sure they’re not overdone. Roasting shrimp in the oven takes all the guesswork out of the process, it’s completely foolproof, and it’s my new favorite way to cook shrimp. Keep reading for a few roasted shrimp recipes from some of my favorite food blogs out there! Continue reading

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Skinny shrimp and asparagus scampi

skinny shrimp and asparagus scampiWell, we’re back from vacation, back at work, and slowly getting back into the swing of things. After eight days of eating every meal out, including all sorts of decadent dishes (everything from fried conch to chili relleno to seafood alfredo), I thought I’d WANT to cook up some healthy meals. Maybe I wasn’t that ambitious after coming home from my first long day back at work…I didn’t want to deal with anything fancy, so this one-pot meal sticks with my theme of quick and easy weeknight meals for sure.

Sweet shrimp are sautéed with garlic and shallots and asparagus is thrown in at the end because, well, we all need to eat more veggies! The white wine and lemon really make the “scampi” in this dish…not the usual pounds of butter, and this is so perfect served over zucchini noodles, pasta or rice. This dish was such a hit that the hubby was still talking about it the next day! As I was eating breakfast he casually said, “you know, the shrimp for dinner last night was one of the best dishes you’ve made!” I love when that happens…and I guess we’ll be eating it again soon!
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3-Ingredient sweet and tangy glazed salmon

sweet and tangy glazed salmon | Lighten Up

I love having quick and easy go-to recipes up my sleeve for busy weeknights. The very best recipes are the ones that I can memorize, and this is one of those recipes! When the hubby and I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is wait 45 minutes for dinner to be ready.  This is one of our favorite weeknight meals for a few reasons:

  1. It only has 3 ingredients, takes less than 5 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook
  2. It’s the perfect ratio of sweet to tangy
  3. It’s salmon, therefore it’s healthy!

Of all the salmon recipes out there, this recipe is without a doubt the tastiest one I’ve found. So tasty, in fact, that the hubby doesn’t like salmon cooked any other way! The brown sugar does wondrous things in the oven (aka caramelizes) and, mixed with the mustard, it forms a deliciously sticky, sweet and tangy glaze on top of the perfectly pink, flaky salmon. You’ll never have boring, tasteless salmon again!

Be sure to defrost the salmon in the fridge overnight so that it cooks completely in 20 minutes. If you’ve tried my apricot mustard salmon, this recipe uses the same cooking method – high heat for just 20 minutes! You’ll have plenty of time to whip up a side dish while the salmon is baking. We love to have ours with quinoa or 90-second rice and a big salad or sautéed veggies. Dinner will be on the table in 25 minutes flat!

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Honey Lime Salmon Tacos

honey lime salmon tacosWhen the weekend finally rolls around, it’s usually 7pm on Friday night by the time the hubby and I look at each other and ask the age-old question about future dinner plans: “Chinese, Thai, American or Mexican?”
We’re lucky to live in an area full of diverse cuisines to choose from. If we’re feeling adventurous we can go out for Greek, Malaysian, or South American food, yet we tend to stick with our favorites like our go-to Mexican restaurant a few blocks away. Creamy, cheesy, spicy Mexican food really hits the spot after a long week! While I rarely order tacos off the menu (enchiladas all the way!) Taco Tuesday has made a comeback on my recipe list over the past few weeks, mainly because I can prep the ingredients ahead of time and throw everything together in 30 minutes or less.

honey lime salmon tacosI decided to mix things up and used sweet and savory salmon as the taco filling instead of the usual chicken. Thanks to the fresh avocado, sweet tomato, and spicy dressing, these tacos have a distinctly Mexi-Cali flavor. Fresh, light, and creamy — pair these tacos with your favorite Mexican beans and rice (and a margarita) and you’re all set for Cinco de Mayo (or your next Taco Tuesday)!

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Baked Coconut-Crusted Shrimp with Fig Dipping Sauce

baked coconut crusted shrimpI don’t know about you, but this winter felt like the longest winter EVER. We had so much snow, ice, and sleet that I definitely got my money’s worth from my snow boot purchase. Since our escape to a warm climate for vacation is months away, I knew I had to do something drastic. I know what you’re thinking…coconut shrimp is traditionally slathered in butter and fried in oil, and there’s a reason we only eat it when we’re on vacation. You’ll be happy to know that this lighter version requires no butter and no frying (because baking is totally the ‘new’ frying!) and the end result is insanely sweet and tropical-tasting shrimp that could stand up against any coconut shrimp served in the Caribbean. Clocking in under 300 calories per serving, this dish is light, delicious, and super quick to make — 25 minutes and you’re good to go…perfect for a busy weeknight.

Pair the coconut-crusted shrimp with a fruity dipping sauce and you have a winning combination that the entire family will love! I had a bottle of fig preserves in the fridge just waiting to be finished, so I whipped up a fig dipping sauce but any flavor of jam would work with this recipe.  My apricot-mustard glaze would also be delicious as a sauce. The hubby couldn’t get enough of this dish and if he has any say in our menu planning, this one will be on rotation in our house…until we order the real deal in the Caribbean!
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Apricot-Mustard Glazed Salmon

apricot mustard glazed salmon

If you look through my recently DVR-ed shows, you’d notice that I have a slight (ok, major) obsession with Giada, the Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond), and Ina Garten of the Food Network. I’ve learned a LOT from these three ladies, but one of my favorite cooking lessons came from Ree out on the ranch. I had seen some Pinterest claims that Ree had the secret for “perfectly cooked salmon” and since my salmon recipes always turned out hit-or-miss at best, I figured I had nothing to lose. The big secret (aka Ree’s method) is to put the salmon in a cold oven, crank up the heat to 400 degrees and let it cook for 25 minutes. The result is perfectly pink and flaky salmon! You can use the same cooking method no matter the seasoning or topping on the fish — it’s quick, super easy, and I’ll never make salmon any other way!

When it comes to salmon recipes, I’m guilty of making the same one over and over again…but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when the hubby asks if we’re having the “good salmon” for dinner (at least he likes it!). I decided to think outside the box on this one and it turned out absolutely delicious! The apricot preserves and Dijon mustard work together really well in this dish — each ingredient balances the other so that you end up with the perfect ratio of sweet to savory. I like mine on the sweeter side, but feel free to change up the ratio to your liking. This one will forever be on my “weeknight recipe” list!

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