Shrimp with Garlic Alfredo pasta

As you know, I love my quick meals. This meal is nice an filling and very simple to make. This is a quick homemade alfredo sauce. If you don’t have the ingredients to make it fresh, you can use a jarred sauce. I know that’s completely frowned upon in the foodie community, but life gets in the way sometimes and you need a quick meal that taste delicious. Just do what’s best for you. This recipe is just, cook the pasta, cook the shrimp and make the alfredo and done! Can’t get much easier. I totally forgot to take pictures along the way of every step. I remembered to take a few though! Sorry! 🙂 Take a look!

Shrimp with Garlic Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients:
1lb pasta (I used Rigatoni)
1lb shrimp, cleaned & devined
1 T olive oil
1 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder

Alfredo Sauce:
1 t olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan/Romano finely grated cheese
1 stick, butter
1 T flour
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Optional toppings:
shaved Parmesan
crushed red pepper flakes
chopped parsley

Directions: Cook pasta according to package. Don’t forget to salt the water! Drain and set aside.

Heat a large saute pan on high heat. Season the shrimp with chili powder, onion & garlic powder. Add oil to the pan and let heat 1-2 minutes. Add in the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. You want a nice golden crust on the shrimp. When cooked the shrimp should be pink and white in color. Remove shrimp, cover and set aside when done.

Lower the heat to medium high. In that same pan add in 1 t olive oil and scrap the pan to get all the flavor up. Add in the garlic and let saute about 1-2 minutes, mix often. Do not overcook the garlic. Next add in the butter and let melt completely, mixing often. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and mix well and let cook 2-3 minutes. Next add in the cream and whisk until smooth. Let the sauce simmer 3-4 minutes, until it thickens. Add in the cheese, salt and pepper to taste and mix until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Add in the chopped parsley and mix. (Note: taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed.)

Add the pasta into the pan and stir until the pasta is fully coated with the sauce. Add to serving bowls and top with shaved parm, crushed red pepper and chopped parsley (if desired) Serve with garlic bread. Eat immediately.

Note: For a lighter version you can use half heavy cream and half 2% milk, or you can use all milk. This Alfredo recipe is great on it’s own with pasta. You can also adjust the protein to your preference. I used a rigatoni but you can use any pasta you’d like. You can omit the flour if desired. Once you add the cheese the sauce thickens pretty well on it’s own.


Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

This chicken recipe is a super healthy take on a gyro. It’s made with marinated chicken with Greek yogurt and herbs. The good thing about this is you can put anything else you’d like in the pita. Below I gave a few options. This particular one I made I put feta cheese, onion, tomato and kalamata olives. Yum! This comes out really delicious. It’s super simple to make and great for left overs. This chicken is great even on a salad. The marinade really makes it!

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken:
6 chicken breasts, diced
2 T olive oil
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon juice and zest
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t dill
2 t oregano
1 t parsley

Directions: In a medium mixing bowl add the above ingredients except the chicken. Mix well to incorporate. Next add in the diced chicken and mix to make sure all the chicken is coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Tzatziki Sauce
1 1/2 cups cucumbers, grated
1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 T extra virgin Olive Oil
1 T dried dill, (2 T fresh)
1 T lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 t salt

Directions: Once cucumbers are grated wrap in a towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Do this until most of the excess moisture seems to be removed. Add to a bowl. Add in all the above ingredients. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator to let the flavors marry. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Save for later.

Gyro Extras:
Pita bread
Onions
Tomato
Kalamata Olives
Feta Cheese
Cucumbers
Lettuce
Peppers

Directions: Heat a large non stick skillet on medium high heat. Once heated, add in the chicken. Make sure the chicken is completely flat and not overlapping. Turn the pan up to high. Let the chicken cook 3-4 minutes and then mix and let cook another 3-4 minutes. In order to get the nice coloring of the chicken you may need to drain any excess liquid. Sometimes the marinade produces to much liquid. If that happens, just drain out the liquid and that will help the chicken brown and get crispy.

To assemble the gyro warm the pita slightly. You can either warm in the oven in foil or the microwave wrapped in paper towel. Add the tzatziki sauce to the pita and top with a few spoonful of chicken. Next top with your favorite toppings. I personally like onion, you can use white or red, tomatoes and some kalamata olives, add some crumbled feta and enjoy!

Note: This chicken is great frozen. You can freeze any extra for another meal. Use any toppings you like to make the gyro delicious to you.

Chicken Francese

This chicken francese recipe is a pretty simple and basic recipe. I love a recipe that has simple ingredients. I enjoy making this and serving with a nice chunk of crusty bread for dipping in the juice. This is a great week night meal. It doesn’t take long to make and it’s sure to please the family!

Chicken Francese

Ingredients:
6 boneless & skinless chicken breast,
3/4 +2T cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
2 T water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, 1 sliced, 1 juiced
1 1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 T butter
2 T flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt
pepper

Directions: Put the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thick. Add 3/4 cup flour to a shallow bowl/dish. Add in the flour and season with salt and pepper, mix together. In another shallow bowl/dish add in the eggs and water and beat together. Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Add in the oil.

Dredge the chicken breasts into the the flour mixture on both sides, then dip in egg mixture to full coat. Make sure to let the excess egg drips off. Add to the heated oil and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden and then flip and cook 2-3 minutes. Complete this with all of the chicken breasts. Remove the chicken when done and set aside.

Add half of lemon slices to the pan and let cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the butter and let melt slightly. Add in the 2 T of flour and whisk. Add in the chicken broth, wine and juice from lemon and mix well. Let simmer 4-5 minutes until lightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chicken back to the pan and let simmer about 3-minutes on low to warm the chicken through. Serve with sauce and slice of lemon on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

Creamy Ranch Coleslaw

During summer I always try and make some light salads to have with meals.  I love to make pasta salads or cucumber and tomato salads.  This one beyond simple.  It’s only a few ingredients and it comes out so creamy and full of flavor.  I will definitely being making this again! It’s a perfect side to a summer BBQ or meal!

Creamy Ranch Coleslaw

Ingredients:
14 oz Color Coleslaw Slaw
1/2 packet Ranch seasoning Mix
4 green onions, sliced (both green and white)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C + 1 T lite mayonnaise (More or less for flavor)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions:  In a medium bowl add in the coleslaw mix and green onions.  Spoon in the mayonnaise and mix well. Drizzle with oil and season with Ranch packet.  Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Mix well before serving.  Enjoy.

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Pan Seared Lamb Loin Chops with Chimichurri

I love experimenting in the kitchen, especially with foods I don’t normally make. The best part is when the meal comes out so delicious that you can’t wait to make it again and share the recipe!

That’s what happened with this dish! I didn’t think I was a fan of lamb. Come to find out these Lamb Loin Chops changed my mind. The more I thought about it it’s the leg of lamb I’m not crazy about but these lamb cops were amazing! They are really quick to make and the chimichurri is made ahead of time so once you are ready to cook it goes super fast.

I bought these on sale to try, since my Mom loves lamb chops. They did not disappoint!! Give this recipe a try if you are a lamb chop lover, hey, even if you aren’t!!

Pan Seared Lamb Loin Chips with Chimichurri

Ingredients:

Chimichurri:
1/2 C & 1T olive oil
2 bunches cilantro, stems removed
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed
5 mint leaves
3 garlic cloves
1 small red onion
2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
Sprinkle: Red Pepper Flakes

Lamb:
8-10 lamb loin chops, bone-in, 1 inch thick
1/2 T olive oil

Directions: Add all chimichurri ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until finely processed. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, this is so the flavors can come together.

Add lamb chops with few tablespoons of the chimichurri to a bowl or disposable pan and coat well making sure all of the lamb is covered. The chops should marinate at least 4 hours but can marinate overnight.

Once you are ready to cook the lamb chops take out and let rest a room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat a large saute pan on high heat. Once pan is heated, add in the olive oil and let heat 1 minute. Next add in the lamb chops. (Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do this step in batches.)

Let the lamb chops cook and form a crust about 4-6 minutes on one side, then flip and cook another 4-6 minutes. Sear for a minute on the fat side as well. You are looking for an internal temperature of 145°, for medium rare. That’s the way I make my chops. (Note: For medium cook to 160° and for well done cook to 170°, lamb should not be eaten rare.)

Remove from pan and let rest a few minutes before enjoying. To serve drizzle with a little bit of the chimichurri.

Notes: The chimichurri may become coagulated. If it does let it sit out for a few minutes and add few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil and mix. If it becomes coagulated on the meat, that’s ok, hitting the hot pan will take care of that.

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Fresh Guacamole

I love avocados, so in turn I love guacamole!  I make it whenever I have some avocados that are getting soft.  It’s very easy to put together this recipe.  I personally do not like tomatoes in my guacamole, so this has none. 🙂  There isn’t really much else to say, just take a look and give it a try for your next snack or Taco Tuesday! Cheers!

Fresh Guacamole

Ingredients:
6 ripe avocados
2 jalapeño peppers, diced (seeds removed, unless you want it spicier)
1 medium red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t salt (more to taste)
1 t pepper
2 t cumin
1 t cayenne pepper
1 lime, juiced

Directions: Cut fully around the avocado with a knife from top to bottom.  Twist to open and remove the pit and scoop or cut out the inside of it.  Add to a medium bowl.  Smash the avocado with a fork, making sure to remove any lumps.

Add in the jalapeño.  If you want the guacamole mild then just add in the pepper. Omit the seeds and membrane from the pepper.  If you want a little more spice, add in seeds and membrane.  Adjust to your preferred spiciness.

Next add in the red onion, garlic and cilantro.  Mix well.  Add in the lime juice.  More or less to taste.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper and mix.

Let sit either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a while to let the flavors marry. Make sure to tightly wrap bowl with plastic wrap, pushing down the plastic wrap to cover the guacamole.

Serve on tacos or as a dip. Enjoy!

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