Friday, June 27, 2014

Grilled Caesar Salad with Shrimp

I have a confession...I cheated on my husband.  It was around 3:00 in the afternoon and I needed a break from my computer at work.  I went for a walk and found a small place to decompress for a few moments just to regroup and take a breath of relaxation.

I was thirsting for something that I have needed for awhile....tall, dark and something to rejuvenate me.  Frozen cappuccino drink - yes, yes!!!!!

Well, it wasn't quite cheating on my husband (I just cheated on his diet).  

My husband has even reached a point that he shared with me, "If I have to eat one more salad I am going to lose it".  Guess that's why we ended up at Baskin Robbins also this week, ugh!!! (Glad I'm not the only one in our household trying to deal with a sweet tooth.

Okay, so giving up the breads, rice, pastas has been a challenge (after all, coming from an Alaska meat and potatoes upbringing), but every now and again, you need that fix of sugar.  I have learned from my many years of weight loss episodes, they all say, if you have a craving, then just get it out of the way in small portions and get back on the program the next day.  Don't feel guilty about the cookie or ice cream, just deal with it, don't beat yourself up, ask for forgiveness and do better the next day.  Since I am Catholic, that internal guilt seems to get elevated to a whole new level.

I have been diligently trying out new recipes, searching for low carb and/or gluten free dinners and reinventing some from my South Beach cookbooks, all of which I hope to share with you soon, if we ever get our office and computers up and running in the new house.

Here is yet another salad that I tried to turn up a notch to make it more interesting.  It's not the prettiest looking meal, but it did have great flavors.

Grilled Caesar Salad with Sauteed Shrimp

2 heads romaine lettuce
Olive Oil
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette (see below)
Parmesan Cheese
1 pound peeled, deveined, raw shrimp (tails off)
1-8 ounce package of sliced button mushrooms

Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons anchovy paste
1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Saute the shrimp and mushrooms in skillet with butter and mined garlic until slightly golden brown and shrimp are completely cooked.  Set aside.

Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut the 2 heads in half lengthwise. Brush surface with olive oil and grill about 4 to 5 minutes total, turning occasionally. Place each wedge on a salad plate and drizzle with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette or your favorite Caesar dressing. Add the sauteed shrimp and mushrooms.  Finish with shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese.

Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a pint jar with a lid. Secure the lid, then shake to blend. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fajita Salad and Island Fever

Well, I am finally back blogging and life is somewhat getting back to normalcy.  The past two weeks I have packed up one house, moved and unpacked into another house, packed up an office and moved into a new office space that we just remodeled.

After being through a few moves with my husband in our life together, I have learned that moving is the true test of love and a good, strong marriage.  Exhibit A:  My husband and I are packing up the kitchen and dining room.  He says to me, and I quote "How many cake platters do you need?" Without blinking an eye I answered, "I don't many golf clubs does one man need?"...silence.  I rest my case your honor!!

So in the end, all the cake platters and golf clubs made it to the new house and here is what we have established, some people in our home have a golf addiction and others have a platter, cake stand, tablecloth, and dishes addiction. 

I would much rather be here right now.
While sorting through my boxes and boxes of platters, I am having island withdrawals and want to be back at our condo on the ocean forgetting about reality for another two weeks.  Unfortunately that is not going to happen, so we are working in our new backyard, getting ready for future dinner guests and preparing the grass and clearing branches for the girls' new volleyball area.  In trying to keep our Polynesian memories the girls suggested that we decorate our new powder bath with the island flair.

To add to all the fun I have been having the past two weeks, my husband decides half way into our Hawaiian vacation that we need to lose weight, change our lifestyle and go on a diet.  Are you kidding me??? On my vacation...I have one word - BUZZKILL !  I think our chocolate chip and coconut scones pushed him over the edge, or maybe it was our dessert indulgence at Roy's with our Pineapple Upsidedown Cake and their Chocolate Lava Cake tastings we had.

At any rate, I have had to temporarily say good-bye to my food tv girlfriends Ina, Trisha and Ree.  Okay maybe my (as my friend Toni refers to) "big girl pants" were getting a little snug in some not so flattering areas.  We hit the South Beach Diet strong and I'm just taking the attitude and looking at it as trying out some new cookbooks.  Stay tuned....

So let's just recap here. In the past 2 weeks, I have moved twice and I have not had potatoes, pasta, white rice, crackers or chips.  Crankiness is setting in without a doubt.  We did succumb over Father's Day weekend and shared a bottle of  Klinker Brick Pinot Noir wine and I made fat free brownies with mini chocolate chips because the mini chips have less calories that the regular size chocolate chips, right?

As we were wrapping up our vacation, we had to start using up our leftovers for dinners and clear out the refrigerator.  Yes, sometimes you do need to have leftover night, even on vacations.

Since I had to start preparing myself for a lot of proteins and salads, I came up with this suprisingly great combination fajita salad.  I took our remaining rib eye steaks from anniversary night, the shredded chicken from our quesadilla lunch and the garlic sauteed shrimp from a caesar salad dinner and grilled them all up together with half a yellow onion, sliced and some diced yellow, red and orange peppers.

I then plated all the meats and veggies on top of chopped romaine leaves and finished it with tomatoes, cheddar cheese, avocados and sour cream.  Of course, anything tastes wonderful sitting outside on your patio watching the sun set into the ocean.