Curvy is Bella Tips: Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice Recipe

Hi everyone I am Fay I am owner of Curvy is Bella a fitness blog for girls and I am designated  health and fitness guru for Small Chick Big Deals! I figured it was about time I posted and shared my tips and tricks with everyone and today’s healthy lunch came out to good not to share. I would say once a week I go to Columbus Market in NJ for fresh fruits and veggies and Bottom Dollar Food for everything else. Of course, sometimes I treat myself to items from Trader Joes, Wegmans and Acme but I like to save money and eat as healthy as possible and I have found you can do that at Bottom Dollar Food as long as you know what you are looking for! The Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice recipe I am going to share is quick, easy and is great to eat after a nice workout at the gym.

Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice

Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice

Ingredients:

  • Jasmine rice (or any rice of your choice)
  • One fresh tomato
  • Half of an avocado
  • shelled shrimp
  • coconut shreds
  •  normal household spices

Instructions:

  1. To start cook rice to brand specifications, I use jasmine rice from a local asian market and it takes about 15 minutes to make. 
  2. While the rice is cooking in a small pan put a little water, 7 shelled shrimp and spice them to your taste. I put cayenne pepper, regular pepper and a dash of Mrs. Dash (salt free)
  3. During the cooking of the rice and shrimp get out your tomato and chop it as small as you’d like. While on the cutting board spice the tomatoes (again this is to your taste but I used cayenne pepper again and a little garlic salt)
  4. Once shrimp are red and cooked clean them off and peel them (if you don’t it will give an unwanted fishy taste to your meal)
  5. Rinse out your shrimp pan and put tomatoes, coconut shreds and pealed shrimp and cook for five minutes. 
  6. After that is done mix rice (there will be left over so I just put it in a container for another lunch) tomato mix and shrimp together and top with sliced fresh avocado and enjoy!

All of these things I used today were left overs from salads throughout the week! Getting creative with your meals helps save time, money and wasted food from having to be thrown away. Hope you enjoyed this quick meal once I get more comfortable I plan on submitting at least once a week to Small Chick Big Deals and feel free to check me out on Curvy is Bella  🙂

-Fay

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Crocking Away…Tasty Turkey Chili

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Hello all! I am Katrina, and have been writing since I was 17, and have been interested in food since I was 15, and got my first “real” job, working in a bakery down the block from my high school. I however, like to cook and eat healthy 24/7. Yes, I will grab a slice of pizza every now and then, but why bother, when I can make my own on whole wheat dough, with low-fat cheese, low-sodium sauce, and turkey pepperoni? You catch my drift…I love food, and love to cook and bake…healthy…at home.

I am in love. With my crock pot. Not what you thought I was going to say, right? Well it’s true. I discovered this hidden gem in my kitchen cabinet not too long ago, and have been whipping up tasty turkey chili for my whole family ever since.

The machine literally is fool-proof. You prepare a meal in the morning, toss it in the slow cooker (crock pot, as I grew up calling it), and let it simmer all day until you get home from work. Because let’s be honest: who wants to cook chili after working an 8 hour day?

And that is just what I did today. I had to be at work at 9:30 so I got up a little after 7:30AM and sauteed my turkey chop meat in 2 TBS of olive oil on the stove. I broke it up with a fork, and then poured in a little bit of cumin and S+P to my liking. When that was almost all cooked, I transferred it over to the slow cooker, which I had plugged in and set to “Low for 8 Hours.”

I went back to my stove and poured another TBS of olive oil, and chopped up two small cloves of garlic, one small onion, and one green pepper and tossed those into the pan on the stove. Then I added in a can of cannelloni beans, a can of low-sodium diced tomatoes, and one can of low-sodium chicken broth. I let these ingredients simmer in the pan for about 5 minutes, before transferring it over to the crock pot.

Once I poured in the remaining ingredients, I mixed them together with the turkey chop meat. Then….that’s it! I put the lid on, and left for work, and left my trusted Hamilton Beach crock pot do the rest of the work. Now some people, (like my cousin) are convinced leaving a crock pot on all day while you go to work, is a sure way to start a fire. And yes, I was worried about this too at first. But then you realize, it will be fine. It is meant to be fine. And just for safe measure, I always clear the space around it, so it is the only appliance plugged into the wall at that particular unit, and I make sure no other appliance is rubbing up against it…give the crock some space 😉

And viola! You come home to a nice meal, that only took you 25 minutes of your morning to prepare. So dust off your cookbook, and invest in a crock pot. I guarantee soups and chili will never taste the same!

Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe

Over the last year, the one thing I learned is, when it comes to the gluten-free diet, one should always keep an open-mind and always experiment. I did just that this past week by trying gluten-free pizza for the first time!

Gluten-Free pizza was something I always wanted to try since the first moment I stopped eating gluten but I was always a little apprehensive about it at the same time. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the crust and I’ve heard from some gluten-free friends that if it’s not made correctly, the pizza as a whole can taste like cardboard with sauce and cheese on it.

Gluten Free PIzza

Gluten Free Pizza

But the on-the-fly recipe my family and I tried turned out to be pretty fantastic. A lot of it came from my boyfriend Luke, who made his own homemade pizza once before using non gluten-free Bisquick. Technically, this recipe is essentially his concoction!

Luke and his Gluten Free Pizza

Luke and his Gluten Free Pizza

Regardless if you have or have not tried gluten-free pizza yet, I suggest you try this recipe! It’s really simple, affordable, and fun for the entire family!

Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe (for +2 people)

Ingredients:

  •  2 cups of Gluten-Free Bisquick mix
  •  1 cup of Italian seasoning (IE: basil, parsley, rosemary garlic, etc)
  •  1 cup of water
  •  4 eggs, beaten
  •  2/3 cup oil
  •  Sauce, Cheese, Toppings (use your judgement on these)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Grease pizza pan.
  3. Stir Bisquick mix, Italian seasoning, water, oil, and eggs until well combined. Spread mix in pan.
  4. Bake the crust for 15 minutes (NOTE: It may appear cracked, this is normal)
  5. Spread pizza sauce, cheese, and other toppings over crust.
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

GF Pizza

Hope you all enjoy this recipe! If you tried it, let me know what you thought in the comments!

A Gluten-Free Valentines Day: Sugar Cookies

Last year when my boyfriend Luke and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day, I decided I would bake him cookies instead of giving him a gift. Since he loves the Marvel comic book series, I went straight to work in finding a Spider-man cookie how to. Thanks to this tutorial, I was able to re-create his favorite web-slinging superhero fairly easily! This was the result:

spiderman

Since last year was such a yummy success, I decided that every year from now on I would give my boyfriend the gift of cookies along with his Valentine’s Day present! So this year, I decided to bake him sugar cookies again for the big day! Even better – these cookies are gluten-free, so I can have a bite of one if I want to!

For the dough, I used the Wegman’s box recipe but from then on out I channeled my inner Buddy Valastro for the decorating! The cookies say “I love sleepy bears” (that’s my boyfriend’s pet name, I know, cheesy) as well as “Happy Valentines Day, I love you.”

this years cookies

Needless to say, Luke loved them (as expected)! He was also really impressed with my cookie bear!

Here is the recipe straight from the Wegmans box if you want to try them yourself this Valentine’s Day weekend! Let me know if you come up with some cool creative designs for your significant other!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies(via Wegmans):

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Wegmans Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 6 TBSP of Butter
  • Frosting of your choice / Cookie cutters

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an electric mixer, add 1/2 cup of Wegmans Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix and Butter, stir on medium until dough is crumbly.
  3. Add rest of mix and 1 beaten egg. Stir again until all components are mixed in.
  4. Flatten dough and place it on plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-1/12 hours.
  5. Take dough out of refrigerator, roll it into balls and separate it onto the cookie sheet, about 1-2 inches apart.
  6. Bake cookies 11-14 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  7. As far as decoration goes, I used the cookie cutters when the cookies were soft after it was cooked. You can use the cookie cutters when the dough is raw and it will have the same effect.
  8. Add frosting and designs.

Pappardelle Pasta with Lamb Ragu {Perfect for Valentine’s Day Dinner!}

Hey readers! I’m Elizabeth, your new culinary contributor. I’m a Hamilton College and French Culinary Institute graduate, and a longtime NJ resident. Even with my highbrow culinary education, I still enjoy a bowl of Kraft Mac & Cheese and a slice of Funfetti cake as much as the next food lover (my French chefs would cringe!). You’ll find me sampling and creating all kinds of food from all types of cuisines; cooking, baking, cocktail shaking – the works. I also write healthy living recipes for insurance companies; so I’ve got lots of gluten-free, dairy-free, and veggie-laden recipes in my repertoire. I love traveling, spicy food, farmer’s markets, champagne, and throwing dinner parties for friends and family.

This Valentine’s Day, why not forgo the expensive pre-fix menu and overcrowded restaurant in favor of a delicious dinner at home. This pappardelle pasta with lamb ragu comes together quickly and makes your kitchen smell delicious. Its light on your wallet but still packs big gourmet flavors to celebrate the night. Serve with a green salad and red wine, and you’ll be sure to please!

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb (you can use ground beef in a pinch)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in puree
  • 3/4 pound pappardelle (get fresh pasta if you can)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Directions:

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, the oil over medium heat. Add the carrot and the onion and cook over medium heat, five minutes or until the vegetables have begun to soften. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and cook for a minute more.
  2. Next, add the lamb, parsley, fennel, cinnamon, rosemary and thyme. Cook for five minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste and the wine and cook until mostly evaporated, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their puree, and bring everything to a boil. Lower the heat to medium low, cover your pan partially and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, 25 to 30 minutes. If your ragu gets over-reduced, add a splash of chicken stock to thin it out again. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, per package directions. Save 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with the butter and toss over low heat. Thin the ragu with a splash of the pasta water if needed. Serve the pasta and ragu in bowls, topped with a scoop of the ricotta and a sprinkling of the chopped mint.

As a bonus- toast the night with a festive fizzy cocktail. Pick budget friendly Prosecco over pricey champagne, and mix it with 1-tablespoon pomegranate juice per glass. Serve in champagne flutes with a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy!

Cayenne-Spiced Popcorn Shrimp

The Super Bowl this past weekend has inspired me to amp up future super bowl soirees. Whether you are going to a friends or throwing your own shindig, come prepared. Go for something a little different than your average chicken wings and chips ‘n’ dip. This cayenne-spiced popcorn shrimp recipe, provided by amazing catering company Canard Inc. will have everyone begging for seconds thirds, whether you’re making it for the super bowl or not.

CAYENNE-SPICED POPCORN SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 5 teaspoons Cayenne Spice, recipe follows
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1 pound small shrimp (100 count per pound), peeled
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying

CREOLE SEASONING
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a medium-sized, non-reactive bowl combine the eggs, heavy cream, and 2 teaspoons of the Cayenne Spice. Whisk well to combine. In a separate bowl, blend the bread crumbs with the remaining 3 teaspoons of the Spice mix.
  2. Set a 1-gallon stockpot over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and preheat the oil to 360 degrees F.
  3. To bread the shrimp, take about 1/3 or 1/4 of the shrimp and toss in the egg mixture. Let the shrimp sit in the marinade for up to 5 minutes. Remove and place in the bread crumb mixture. Toss well to evenly coat the shrimp, and use a coarse sieve to sift the excess bread crumbs off into another clean bowl. Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining shrimp and breading.
  4. Place the breaded shrimp in the hot oil in batches and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-lined sheet pan. Serve the shrimp hot.

Enjoy!

shrimp

Gluten-Free Tortilla Salad Recipe

Hi Readers! I’m Lauren, the new gluten free gal of the Small Chick Big Deals staff! Not to brag or anything, but I’ve only been gluten free for a year and I’m really good at scoping out the most affordable gluten-free products and restaurants in the Tri-State.  I’m also practically a magician when it comes to concocting my own gluten-free recipes. So if you’re looking for some new ideas as to what to eat or where to go, stick with me and Small Chick Big Deals for the best of the best when it comes to all things gluten-free!

This week, I’m letting you all in on a not-so secret recipe created by yours truly! Like all of the recipes on SCBD, it’s really easy and affordable, and is practically perfect for lunch and/or dinner! So without further adieu, here’s the recipe for my gluten-free tortilla salad.

Perfect tortilla pans

Perfect tortilla pans

Ingredients:

  • 1 Toufuyan Gluten Free Wrap (Any Gluten Free Wrap will work)
  • 1/2 Head of Lettuce (or as much as you can cut and fit into a bowl)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Gluten-Free Candied walnuts
  • Feta cheese
  • Grilled Chicken (optional, especially for the gluten-free vegetarians)
  • 2 TBSPs of Ken’s Raspberry Walnut Dressing

Instructions:

1. Lay Toufuyan Gluten Free Wrap in a Perfect Tortilla bowls (like the one pictured). They are a great (and fun!) investment ($8.95 on AsSeenonTV.com). If you don’t feel the need to purchase one, laying the wrap flat on an oven safe pan works too!
2. Butter with PAM or melted margarine. Put the wrap in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. For the fastest results, let the wrap sit in the oven while it is preheating.
3. Wait until the wrap turns a light golden brown, then remove it from the oven. Use your best judgement with this one, guys.
4. If the wrap is flat, put it on a plate or in a bowl. If you used the Perfect Tortilla bowl, remove the rap from the metal bowl pan.
5. Insert the rest of the ingerdients as much and in whatever order as you like (though it is probably best to put the lettuce in first). I typically put in about half a head of lettuce but that’s how much fits into the Perfect Tortilla bowls. With the other ingredients, I say, put as in as you want, just as long as it’s not overflowing the bowl/wrap. I like to use 2 small chicken breasts and sprinkle a small amount of the rest of the ingredients.
6. Mix in about 2 TBSP of Ken’s Raspberry Walnut Dressing (or dressing of choice) and Enjoy!

The end result

The end result

Hope you guys enjoy my first gluten-free recipe! It’s a huge hit with my gluten-free mother and my not-so gluten free boyfriend so I hope you all like it too! I highly suggest purchasing those Perfect Tortilla bowls to get the full effect!