“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


  • 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.




“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~ Tom Peters

Happy New Year!!

2013 was a wonderful year for my family and I am looking forward to a lot of great times in 2014 – including a lot of firsts with my sweet Elizabeth.

Of course, sometime today we have to have our greens and black eyed peas for luck – not sure how I’m going to get the greens in but I have great way to get the peas in that will pair up perfectly with a lazy day of watching football.

Black Eyed Pea Dip

(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 can (14-ounce) Can Black-eyed Peas
  • 1/4 whole Onion, Chopped Fine
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 8 slices Jarred Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Salsa
  • Hot Sauce, to taste
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 350°.

Drain the black eyed peas and mash partly with a fork, leaving some whole.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and spread in an 8×8 baking dish.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Delish and very, very simple!


Good luck to everyone in 2014!!


“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

The calm before the storm.

The next couple days/weeks are going to be pretty crazy for me.
(But in a good way!)

We are going on our delayed Honeymoon – YAY! So this will be my last post for about 2 weeks. I would like to blog about some of the things we do and EAT on our trip but I’m not sure what the internet situation will be like. So until then I’ll send you off with the recipe from last Mondays Peanut Gallery meal.

Chicken and Black Bean Casserole

(recipe adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff)


  • 2/3 cup rice
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken broth (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 cooked skinless boneless chicken breast halves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1-2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese-depending on how much cheese you like (pretty much any kind of cheese combo you would like would work well – I’m using cheddar-jack)

Bring rice and 1 cup chicken broth to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is soft and liquid is absorbed.

Preheat oven to 350º and grease a 9×13 casserole dish.

Cook the onion in olive oil over medium high heat until tender.

Then add in chicken, mushrooms and zucchini. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Cook until zucchini and mushrooms are soft and slightly browned.

Add in chicken, green chilies, cream cheese, ¼ cup chicken broth, black beans, rice and half the cheese.  Stir until mixed well and heated through. (see note below)

****Note***** When doing this again, I would not add rice and beans in to the pan,  I would fold in rice and black beans in a large bowl after the rest was combined. When mixing in the beans over heat it kind of turned everything greyish – not very appealing.

When combined, spread into casserole dish and cover with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has slightly browned.

One thing I would add next time would be ½ – 1 Tablespoons of diced jalapeno peppers – I like it spicy!

I have to admit – it’s not a very pretty dish (the greyishness doesn’t help) but it’s a  yummy, filling dish that’s not on bad on the diet either!

I will definitely miss you guys for the next couple weeks but I should be back with good stories (and probably 5-10 extra pounds…….)

And for all you would be burglars out there – since I’m telling the whole world wide web that I’m going to be out of town – there will a house sitter staying in our home to take care of things while we’re gone, so no need in getting any ideas.

I’ll see you in a couple weeks!