Monday, October 29, 2012

Cooking Up a Storm...

Pre-Sandy winds at the beach during mt morning run
Although it's Monday - and Hurricane Sandy is whipping around outside my window - I'm in a pretty good mood...
  • Both employers where I typically work on Mondays decided to close today due to the weather... which meant I got to work from the comfort of my home and in my cozy jammy jams (one of them doesn't even close for whiteout blizzard conditions, so this is a first!).  Gotta love quasi-extended weekends.
  • I am typing this blog post on my home PC... which means Sandy hasn't knocked out my power :)
  • The horrible cold/sinus infection that I had been battling for almost a week is clearing up... which means I can finally stop carrying around a box of tissues everywhere.
  • I booked a trip to Canada in December... which means I get to use my passport for the first time!
  • After weeks of being in the weeds with all of my projects at work, my workload is starting to ease up a bit... which means I can finally devote more time to blogging! 

Another fun thing about more time opening up in my day is having an opportunity to try out some new recipes.  Although I batch cook weekly and try to eat fresh, whole foods at all of my meals, it tends to be the same things each week.  Why?  A) it's easy and B) it's what I know.

I like to cook but it needs to be healthy and simple or I just won't make it.  I also like to make a meal a few times so that I become comfortable with the prep-work before adding it to my batch cooking repertoire.  Did I mention the recipe needs to be simple?

The dinner that I made tonight has already been included in my batch-cooking roster, that's how easy it is.  And honestly if I think it's easy, you'll probably be able to make it in your sleep.

I got the shrimp recipe from and decided to add quinoa.  Then I thought it would be fun to turn it into lettuce wraps... so I did :)  Finished things off by pouring a nice glass of pinot noir and had myself a great little meal.  Recipe below... enjoy!

Chili-Spiced Shrimp & Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

1 cup pre-washed quinoa
1 lb small shrimp
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2-1 tsp chili powder (depending on desired spice level)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (I love garlic so I used a teeny bit more)
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, mashed
5-6 Boston lettuce leaves
black pepper, sea salt, lime & hot sauce to taste

Boil 2 cups water, add 1 cup quinoa; cook according to package directions (~15 minutes)

Peel and rinse shrimp, place in large bowl
Add lime juice, chili powder, garlic, green onion, tomatoes and marinate 10-15 minutes
Heat saute pan on medium heat, add cooking spray, pour shrimp mixture into pan and cook until lightly browned (be careful not to overcook)
Add black pepper, salt, lime and hot sauce to taste

Combine cooked shrimp mixture and quinoa in bowl.
Not feeling the lettuce wraps?  Eat it like this!

Spoon into lettuce leaf, top with mashed avocado, roll it up and eat :)
the yummy finished product

(Recipe adapted from

Of course, I also have a brand new Music Monday playlist but I'll be saving that for tomorrow since today really didn't seem like a Monday anyway :)

I'm feeling inspired to keep adding to my batch cook repertoire... What are some new recipes you've tried lately??  

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