Creamy Swiss Chard and Shrimp Pasta

Thursday night is my favorite night of the week right now. After 4 long days of classes and studying it’s a relaxing feeling to know tomorrow is FRIDAY. I have tons to do tomorrow…a contractor is coming over to mount 3 TV’s in our house and connect a new security system, I have to meet with our tax person, I’m meeting with a group of 5 girls in the library for an hour or so in the afternoon to get started on a group project and then my mom, grandma, sister and nephew and my brother and his girlfriend are coming over to hang out, have dinner and see the Friday sunset with me. Menu TBA!

This is the chopped garlic and shallot ready to be sauteed:

After sauteing the garlic, shallots and swiss chard stems I added the leaves to wilt down:

The finished sauce:

Lots of garlic, yummy pasta, creamy sauce (that’s mostly good for you), your dinner veggie requirements thanks to leafy-green swiss chard and completed with juicy shrimp. I’m ready to dig in!

Creamy Swiss Chard and Shrimp Pasta

  • 1 lb. frozen, raw, peeled & deveined shrimp, defrosted
  • 1 – 8 ounce box De Boles Organic Angel Hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (5-6 large leaves)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup light cream
  • Freshly shaved parmesan cheese, to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

  • To be updated soon.

Healthy Baked Crab Cakes

We love to eat ceviche! My two favorite versions from our recent vacation were from Cvi.Che 105 in Miami and Santiago’s Bodega in Key West. At Cvi.Che 105 we had the Ceviche in Cream of Pisco 100…shrimp, sweet potatoes, Peruvian corn and a large portion…excellent!! On Santiago’s website the picture under cold tapas is the yellowfin tuna ceviche that we enjoyed so much. The large pieces of tuna, mango and avocado are sweet and flavorful and are melt in your mouth good.

What does ceviche have to do with crab cakes you may ask???

Well yesterday, I tried to make a version of ceviche inspired by Santiago’s and I tried to use shrimp instead of the tuna. I diced avocado and mango. Added sliced jalapenos for a little heat. Used 1 pound of peeled, deveined shrimp. Multiple limes. All wasted. It didn’t turn out. We had a few bites only to make ourselves feel better about the wasted ingredients and effort. Better luck next time!

For lunch today I stuck with a recipe that I have made multiple times. Baked crab cakes. I adapted the recipe slightly from the recipe I originally found on skinnytaste. This recipe superbly highlights the lump crab meat without a bunch of fillers. I love them!

Healthy Baked Crab Cakes

Adapted from Skinnytaste

  • 9 ounces fresh, lump crab meat
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion OR chives (today I used chives)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light mayo
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil cooking spray

Method

  • In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, egg, onion, red pepper, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well. Fold in the crab meat gently so that it doesn’t break up. Gently shape into patties using a 1/4 or 1/2 cup mixing cup (depending on the size you want them to be). Spray the bottom of a 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Chill in the fridge for a half hour before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake about 15- 20 minutes. Serve with the remaining 1/2 lime cut into wedges.

Black Forbidden Rice with Shrimp, Peaches and Snap Peas

“Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” – Alice Hoffman

This quote made me feel so good when I read it this morning that I just had to re-post it! I ran across it on one of the blogs I recently subscribed to named A Pastry Affair.

I am a lucky girl. I met my wonderful, adventurous boyfriend Travis in 2007. In the summer of 2008 we moved in together and the next spring we bought the townhouse that we currently live in. In February 2010 I left my job, my career, from a company that I had worked at for just over 10 years with a primary purpose of returning to school to get my bachelors degree. The past 2 years I have been doing just that. I’m a full-time student at Virginia Commonwealth University, my major is Mass Communications with a focus in Public Relations. People ask me all the time what will I be doing when I’m done with school. Where are you going to work? Can you get your job back at Dominion? I love to respond truthfully…I don’t know yet and I’m not pressured to know. Travis just wants me to focus on school and be happy and enjoy the process. The spring semester ended about a month ago. So far my summer has involved starting this blog, planting, spring cleaning, reading, going to the pool, having friends over and helping my son Devin wrap up his first year in high school (his last day is tomorrow).  Like I said, I’m a lucky girl!

Reading this quote helped me to stop for a minute this morning and appreciate my “luck”. I even asked myself if my luck has anything to do with the fact that I grow lavender and roses? I grow rosemary…though it’s not by my front gate it’s on my roof. I certainly add pepper to mashed potatoes but I would never throw salt over my left shoulder because it only means that I would have to sweep it up later!! The thoughts caused me to giggle to myself as I sat with my cup of coffee and my laptop after returning home from driving my son to school.

I feel like I took a risk trying this recipe last night. Why? 1) Because I have never tried black forbidden rice (I’m a white rice or risotto kinda girl) and 2) even though I like fruit mixed with savory dishes, I thought the peaches would be a little too sweet AND I figured Devin and Travis would be like, “What? You ruined our shrimp by putting weird looking rice and fruit on it?”. But I got lucky. This recipe was divine! It was a hit! I literally can’t wait to share it with guests when I make it again. It has sweet notes from the honey and peaches but the vinegar and oil in the dressing balance it all out. The snap peas add a nice crunch (if you make this be sure to not overcook them! When they get bright green they are done.) Here are the snap peas trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces.

The shrimp I used were large, fresh shrimp that were on sale at Fresh Market this week. I  peeled and deveined them before cooking. The rice, peaches and snow peas paired perfectly with the seafood!

The only teeny-tiny change I made to Giada’s recipe was to replace the fresh grated ginger with a heaping teaspoonful of jarred grated ginger from The Ginger People. It keeps in the fridge for months and it’s so super easy to use in recipes! This recipe is not available online and is taken directly from Giada’s new cookbook, Weeknight’s With Giada.

Black Forbidden Rice with Shrimp, Peaches and Snap Peas

From Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black forbidden rice
  • 1 (1 1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 1/2 cups (8 ounces) sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 peaches, stones removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Method

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups water, the rice, ginger and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  • Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque, 4-5 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside to cool. Using paper towels, wipe the pan dry.
  • In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the snow peas and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add the peaches and cook for another 2 minutes (reduce the to 1 minute if your peaches are very ripe). Transfer the peas and peaches to the serving bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, the remaining 1/4 cup oil, honey and soy sauce until smooth. Pour the dressing over the rice mixture. Add shrimp and toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Here’s an article from CNN on the health benefits of black rice.