“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” ~ Voltaire

I love Mexican food! Who doesn’t like Mexican food?

If you don’t, seriously, I don’t trust you.

It’s un-American to not like Mexican food. Isn’t it like, right behind hamburgers and hotdogs??

(no offense to my non-mexican food loving friends)

The thing about Mexican food though – is it can kill a diet. All those never ending baskets of chips and salsa. Not to mention if you order cheese dip…….

Because of this, if I’m watching what I eat (aka on a diet), it’s best for me to avoid Mexican restaurants.

I have no will power.

And I know it.

So, the following recipe helps me indulge my cravings without totally blowing my calorie count.

Shrimp Tostadas with Black Bean Salsa

For the shrimp:

  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the black bean salsa:

  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon prepared chunky salsa (choose your heat level)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained

For the avocado topping:

  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado
  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Other:

  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 corn tostadas
  • 4 lime wedges

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Arrange tostados on baking sheet.

Combine all shrimp ingredients in a bowl, let sit for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the salsa, cover and refriderate. (this can be done ahead of time)

To prepare avocado topping, combine yogurt, juice, and avocado in a small bowl, mashing with a fork until smooth. Stir in tomato.

Put Tostados on baking dish and place in oven to warm

Heat oil in large pan to medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for around 6-7 minutes or until opaque/done.

Divide each topping (beans, shrimp, avocado) evenly over the 8 warmed tostadas. Serve with cracked pepper and a squeeze of lime.

The length of the ingredient list might throw you for a minute but this is actually a very simple recipe. Extremely tasty too!

Here are a couple things for you to take note:
1. The Black Bean Salsa makes this dish!
2. I prefer regular guacamole as opposed to this avocado spread – so you can make your own favorite guacamole or buy ready made.
3. These shrimp can be grilled on skewers for a little more flavor/color but I did not have any skewers when I made this.

-abp

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“My husband calls me ‘catfish.’ He says I’m all mouth and no brains.” ~ Dolly Parton

My crazy, here, there, everywhere, never home for more than 3 days at a time first part of summer has come to an end!

Whew!

It’s been a wild couple of months and my house and waistline can definitely tell.

My goals for this week are to cook 3 healthy meals, catch up on laundry and clean out the pantry and the refrigerator.

I can not guarantee that the pantry/fridge will get done but the washing machine is running and the groceries have been bought.

Tonight I used those groceries to make this light dinner that will hopefully help with the waistline.

It was fabulous!

Catfish with Corn Hash

  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 catfish filets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp, remove from pan.

Add onion, bell pepper and thyme and cook to the bacon drippings and cook for 8 minutes, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constanlty. Stir in corn, red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes then stir in bacon.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, paprika and black pepper. Rub mixture evenly over fish. Heat olive oil to medium-high heat in fresh skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until done.

Serve with corn mixture.

This is a recipe serves 2 but could easily be doubled or tripled.

 

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I love how simple this was, perfect for a busy weekday!

-abp

“Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go.” ~ Margaret Walker

The past several weeks, well 6 weeks actually have been crazy busy and the next 3 weeks will be just as bad. Because of this, I can count the number of times I have cooked on 2 hands, possibly even one.

I must admit – I’m tired of take out.

I was so very happy to have a long, low key weekend to spend with my husband and my sweet little nugget that I vowed to cook all 3 nights. A couple of the nights were easy go-to meals, like spaghetti and grilled steaks but I did work in a new recipe my dear friend Adrienne told me about on our recent girls weekend. It sounded wonderful and I could not wait to make it.

Not to mention – very easy!

Foil Packet Chicken Puttanesca

4 8 -ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 15 -ounce can cherry tomatoes
1 large can marinated artichoke hearts
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 regular baguette, split
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley ( I used dry because that’s what I had)

 

Preheat the oven to 400º.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Lay out four 12-by-18-inch sheets of foil. Drizzle each sheet with olive oil, then top each with a chicken breast.Combine the tomatoes, artichokes, olives, capers, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a bowl; divide evenly over the chicken. Fold up the edges of the foil and seal each to form a packet; set on a baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the melted butter, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt in a bowl; spread over the baguette halves and sprinkle with the parmesan and parsley. Bake until the bread is golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut each piece in half.Open the foil packets and serve with the garlic bread.

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This was super tasty! I would like to try it with fish as well!

-abp