Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

I've always loved coconut shrimp at restaurants but it's fried and I try to avoid it. So when I stumbled across this recipe online with the bonus pineapple salsa, I had to print it for my files! Well, it finally landed in my meal planning folder and on the menu for the week. I thought it was great!

Oven Baked Coconut Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds shrimp peeled, deveined, tails intact (I used 1 lb for the 3 of us)
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
Nonstick cooking spray

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse shrimp in cold water; drain well on paper towels until dry.

Combine cornstarch, salt, and red pepper in shallow dish; stir with whisk. Place egg whites in medium bowl and beat with electric mixer at medium-high speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. (For me, 2 minutes was actually more like meringue--not sure if that was supposed to happen, but it was fine). Place coconut in shallow dish.

Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Working with 1 shrimp at a time: Dredge in cornstarch mixture, dip in eggwhite, then dredge in coconut, pressing gently with fingers. Place shrimp on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Lightly coat shrimp with cooking spray.

Bake 20 minutes or until shrimp is done, turning after 10 minutes. Serve with pineapple salsa.

Pineapple Salsa

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
NOT 1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (or 1-2 T if your husband hates it, like mine...and that was enough to ruin it for him)
1/4 cup pineapple preserves (or apricot pineapple preserves)
1 T finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeno
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and gently toss. (If I had an orange bell pepper on hand, I would've chopped it up in there for a little yummy color).

(Serves 4-5)

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

This recipe intrigued me because of the cottage cheese. You puree it in a blender and it makes the sauce of this casserole. It was a good one, we all enjoyed it and I froze some individual portions for another time. Basic ingredients, it was a casserole with ingredients I usually have on hand. It was yummy and not too heavy for our hot Texas summers.

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

1 tsp. olive oil
Cooking spray
3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
NOT 1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used yellow)
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 T chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (16 oz.) carton 2% lowfat cottage cheese
4 cups hot cooked penne pasta (about 8 oz. uncooked)
2 cups shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 can reduced fat and sodium cream of chicken soup

*Start your pasta*
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, NOT the onions, and bell pepper; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper; saute 3 more minutes or just until spinach wilts.

Place cottage cheese in food processor (or blender); process until very smooth. Combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar, 1/4 cup Parmesan, milk, and soup in large bowl. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and then Parmesan. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

(Serves 6-8)
(Cooking Light, March 2006)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon and Apple Cinnamon Acorn Squash

This is only the 2nd time I've made salmon. Because it's not my favorite fish (I prefer a little less fishy) and my hubby says he doesn't really like it either. Trying to add new, healthy things to our diet, I found a few recipes I've wanted to try and so far, so good! I'm 2 for 2 on the good salmon dishes--and the best part is that Riley has enjoyed them too!!

Riley's plate (and I'm proud to say he ate every bite):

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon
1 T brown sugar
2 tsp. butter
1 tsp. honey
1 T olive oil
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T soy sauce
1/4-3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 salmon fillet (2 1/2 lbs) (I probably bought a 1 lb. fillet for the 3 of us)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the brown sugar, butter, and honey until melted. Remove from heat; whisk in the oil, mustard, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes.

Place salmon in a large foil-lined baking pan; brush with brown sugar mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minurwa oe until fish flakes easily with a fork.

(Serves 8)
(Taste of Home, December/January 2009)

Apple-Cinnamon Acorn Squash

2 pound acorn squash, about 1 large
1 T reduced calorie margarine
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Trim ends of unpeeled squash, cut in half, and remove and discard seeds and fibers. Slice each half into four 1/2-inch thick slices.

Melt margarine in large, nonstick skillet. Add apple juice and cinnamon; mix well. Add squash and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn squash slices over, cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes more.

(Serves 4)

I served it up with some edamame too--we needed something besides the squash skin that was green on our plates! The glazes on the salmon and the acorn squash complemented each other very well. You can really taste the apple juice in the squash. I thought it would be just a hint, but ended up being more flavorful than I expected.
I am so proud when I can make something we don't love into something we do!