Shrimp Pot Pie

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Shrimp Pot Pie

Servings: 4 (about 390 calories per serving)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp canola oil

4 carrots, chopped

1 tbsp flour, all-purpose

1 1/3 c low-fat milk, separated

1/2 tsp salt plus more to taste

3/8 tsp white pepper plus more to taste

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp celery seed

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 lb frozen cut green beans, rinsed

1- 8.5 oz box corn muffin mix

1 egg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400* and spray 9X9 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat oil in small saucepan.  Add carrots and sauté until tender about ten minutes.

2. Add 1 tbsp flour to carrots and stir for 1 minute.  Add 1 cup of milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/8 tsp pepper, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed.  Cook over low heat until thickened about 5-8 minutes stirring periodically.  Turn off and let cool (put in refrigerator to hasten the cooling).

3. Meanwhile, mix corn muffin mix with egg and 1/3 cup of milk.  Set aside.

4. Season shrimp with salt and white pepper to taste.  Add shrimp and green beans to baking dish.  Pour cooled sauce over shrimp and bean mixture and stir to combine. 

5. Stir corn muffin mix and pour over the top of the shrimp mixture.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until corn bread topping is golden brown.  Enjoy!DSC01253 

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The shrimp pot pie turned out nicely.  As for breakfast, there was the return of the oatmeal bowl.

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Lunch included some of Mom’s black eye peas leftover from last night’s dinner.DSC01237

I enjoyed a cup of the beans with pickled meat and a 1/2 cup of white rice.  I brought a nectarine for a snack, but when I cut it open it looked bad so a coworker gave me her cafeteria vanilla pudding with sprinkles on top because I was still hungry and wanted something sweet.  Ya know, when that special monthly visit is on its way my hunger gets out of control and I satisfy it.

At work, I also had some honey wheat pretzel sticks that Mom had brought me from Chicago in my goody bag a few weeks ago.  This week is standardized testing so I actually brought the pretzels for my 6 students I’m testing.

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Oh, and not to mention the hummus and chips I ate when I got home plus a bite of chipotle cheese which went unpictured.  I told you; I’m ravenous. That about wraps it up.  Now I’m feeling full and content.  For now.

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Soaking in the Sunrays

I got to sleep a whole extra hour due to my workshop being five minutes away from my house compared to my normal 45 minute drive.  Yippee for that! :)  My day started off on a good note with a hot bowl of oatmeal.

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My oatmeal bowl contained:

  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of skim milk
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 tsp. of dark chocolate dreams peanut butter
  • half apple, chopped
  • less than 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • drizzle of maple syrup

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Since some other teachers and I were given an hour and fifteen minutes for lunch, we decided to try out this new restaurant which I have been wanting to try since they opened and constantly pass by due to it being about two minutes from my home.  So we headed to Sun Ray Grill and Oyster Bar.  They have a couple of other locations, but I’ve never been to any of them.

For my meal I ordered the Spinach Salad with Warm Brie Dressing.  The menu described it as baby spinach tossed in a sun dried tomato and warm brie dressing topped with fried shrimp, sliced mushrooms, and bacon.  I substituted grilled shrimp for the fried. 

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The shrimp were large and delicious.  As for my salad, I should have requested the dressing on the side.  It was swimming in a puddle of dressing and I could not finish it because the spinach was so wilted and soupy due to the dressing.  I also wish the sun dried tomato flavor was a tad more prevalent.  Overall, I enjoyed the salad, but toward the end it became overwhelmingly rich with the brie turning my stomach some. 

The others ordered smoky mountain burgers, chicken nachos, shrimp remoulade po’boy, and a chicken club pita.  They all seemed to enjoy their meals.  I definitely plan on taking my hub back to try some other menu items.

After settling in at home, I had the other half of my apple from breakfast with some greek yogurt.

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Dinner tonight was some chili that I cooked based on the recipe on the back of the chili powder.  I began by sautéing a chopped onion and minced garlic.  I then added a pound of lean ground beef.  After the meat was brown and drained, I added chili powder, cumin, sugar, corn, salt and pepper, and (don’t laugh) jarred tomato and basil sauce and ketchup along with a cup or two of water.  I didn’t have a can of plain tomato sauce as the recipe called for, so I had to modify to what was on hand.  My grandmother on my dad’s side always makes her spaghetti sauce as the base of her chili and then just adds chili powder, so I didn’t see any problem with using jarred spaghetti sauce.  😉

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I usually do not like chili during the summer months (wait is it fall yet?) but this definitely hit the spot.  The chili turned out quite tasty especially with a dollop of light sour cream and tortilla chips for scooping!  Mmm, mmm, mmm! 🙂

Question of the Night:  Do you save soups and chili for the winter months or do you enjoy them year round?

Portion Contortions

At times I find myself trying to contort my portions of food so that my brain thinks that I am getting more food than is actually on my plate. To start, let’s take a look at breakfast.

 

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For breakfast I completely enjoyed my toasted sandwich thin topped with sliced banana, cottage cheese, honey drizzles and cinnamon.  This meal was oh so sweet and satisfying.

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Instead of making the sandwich closed, I left it open faced topping each half with a half of the banana.  Then I topped each half with 1/4 cup of cottage cheese rather than having a 1/2 cup serving all in one scoop.  Ultimately, making the sandwich this way takes up more of the plates surface area, which deceptively makes my mind think I have more food to indulge in rather than one small sandwich that barely covers my plate.  Ideally I could have opted for a smaller plate aiding in that perception. 

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For lunch today I had some leftover brown rice that was mixed with veggies from Sunday Night’s Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggies.  On the side I lapped up some Greek honey yogurt.

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Side note—For Sunday’s dinner, to a crock pot I added three chicken breasts atop one chopped potato, a sliced onion, minced garlic, sliced squash, and corn removed from the ear.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper and poured a can of reduced sodium cream of mushroom condensed soup on top.  I set the cooker on high for four hours.  Two hours in, I poured about a cup of water over the top of the mixture.  Once the slow cooker went off, I cooked brown rice and steamed some brussel sprouts  to add to the slow cooker.  I let the rice absorb the liquid mixture by setting the crock pot to warm setting and letting it rest for about 20 minutes longer.   Here is the picture from my Sunday slow cooker meal.

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The appearance is not the most appeasing, but it was much like a rice and chicken casserole.  My hub enjoyed it thoroughly! 

Back to lunch—I chose a small container to fill my fair portion of rice and veggies (one chicken breast was eaten by me, two others were eaten by hubby for two meals so none was left in the rice).  I often see people bring very large containers for their food and it is sometimes more than a serving but other times they have a whole lot of empty space making it appear to be too little food.

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I found these smaller containers of greek yogurt that are only 90 calories per serving as opposed to the normal 150 calories in the larger containers.  All in all, my rice + veggies combined with the side of yogurt kept me full all the way until dinner.

For dinner tonight, I made a variation of Christina’s Orzo and Shrimp Bake which can be viewed at Hungry Meets Healthy.

9-21-10 009  I did not have tomatoes so I used store-bought tomato and basil sauce instead.  I began by cooking the orzo according to the package.

Shrimp and Orzo with Feta

1 lb. orzo, cooked

1tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Salt to taste

2 cups tomato-basil sauce

4 ounces reduced fat feta cheese

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Heat oil in skillet.  Add onion and sauté until softened.  Add shrimp,  garlic, red pepper, and oregano.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Pour shrimp into greased glass casserole dish.  Add orzo, sauce, and salt to shrimp and mix to combine.  Crumble feta over the top of the entire casserole dish.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through and shrimp are cooked.

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For dinner, I used a salad plate.  To bulk up my portion I plated a cup? or so of steamed vegetables and added a cup of the orzo shrimp mixture on top.  I first read of this portioning technique on Julie’s blog at PB Fingers.  I like this idea of manipulating your brain to enjoy the full flavor of the pasta dish, but filling the belly with healthy veggies at the same time.

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Shortly after dinner I felt the munchies settling in.  So to satisfy my sweet tooth I ate a bowl of cereal which contained a mixture of shredded wheat puffs, blueberry flakes, and apple cinnamon o’s.  I actually have a bowl from a chip and dip set that I use for small portion eats.

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Often people trying to lose weight will begin making healthy changes to their diet; however, they do not watch portion sizes.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  No matter what foods you eat, you can’t lose weight if you consume the same or more calories than your body burns. 

For example, if you make the switch to brown rice or whole wheat pasta, that in itself will not make you lose weight.  A cup of brown rice has the same number of calories as a cup of white rice.  The point of doing that is more about the nutrients your body gains from brown versus white.  In regards to losing weight, perhaps cut back from your normal 2 cup serving of rice to 1 cup or even less.

The bottom line is that you have to be honest with portion sizes.  Use the tricks listed above including using smaller containers and plates, spreading your food out over the plate, or bulking up portions with healthier options like steamed vegetables.

If you have trouble eyeballing portion sizes, take some time to actually measure out portions.  I go through several measuring cups and measuring spoons a day.  But from doing it so much, I do have a better idea of portion sizes.  The list below is a guide for portion sizes if you prefer to manage your portions without measuring.

Serving Size Compatible Object
1 teaspoon 1 dice
2 tablespoons Golf ball
1 cup Tennis ball
4 ounces (meats) Deck of cards
1 ounce (cheese) 4 dice

Questions of the Night:  Do you watch portion size or just eat what you want?  What tips do you use to manage portion sizes?

Thai’d and True

Breakfast this A.M. was a warm bowl of oatmeal in my fairly new deep, red bowl.  And guess what?  The bowl worked like a charm.  There was no overflowing oats all over my microwave, so the two bowls were definitely a good buy.

Included in the mix was:

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup almond milk

Pinch of salt

Drizzle of honey

1/2 of a Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffin Cookie, crumbled(add after heating)

1 tsp. of peanut butter(add after heating)

Small handful of blueberries(add after heating)

Eat Me Already

All Mixed Up Bite

Warm, comforting, and deliciously sweet. 🙂

Since I still didn’t make it to the grocery last night, I ate leftover BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and a fuji apple for lunch.

The meatloaf was even better today, which I find it always  is better on Day 2 because it has time to marinate in all its seasonings/sauces.

After work I headed to the gym and ate this small snack for some much needed fueling.  The remnants of this trail mix has been sitting in my kitchen cupboard for several months, so I finally finished it up.

My workout included 15 minutes on the true slider elliptical, 35 minutes of strength training (same machines as last Wednesday), and 15 minutes of warm up on the treadmill.

Then, it was on to the grocery store.  Before going inside, I checked my email to see which of the 8 international recipes (received from a wellness site) I wanted to create for supper tonight.  I knew I’d be a while at the grocery and also that I have not had much greens in my life the past few days.  So I definitely wanted a quick and simple salad.  I went with the Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad.  Truthfully, I have never eaten Thai food, so was a bit unsure as to what its distinctive flavors included.  I followed the recipe as seen HERE on Eating Well.

For my salad, I purchased frozen, pre-cooked peeled shrimp to save some cooking time and ran them under cold water to defrost at home.  However, it really takes little time to cook shrimp, so it would have been just as much time as it took to defrost the cooked ones.  I picked up a red bell pepper, a cucumber, fish sauce, 2 limes, fresh cilantro (the basil looked old, so skipped it) and a box of light brown sugar since I was running low.  Once home, I whisked the juice of 2 small lemons, the fish sauce and oil, and spices together; then I added the shrimp, vegetables, and herbs.  (I did add some dry basil in the mix as well.)

I enjoyed a slice of whole grain bread on side smeared with a small bit of Brummel & Brown.

Shrimp Salad

Colorful Veggies Been Thai'd Up

My opinion of the salad is that it is very refreshing over a bed of lettuce. Having said that,  the fish sauce has a pungent smell and taste and may need some getting used to.  I have had fish sauce on my cucumber salads from Japanese restaurants, but didn’t remember it being that aromatic.  While eating I felt compelled to look up the influences of Thai food.  Regardless of what region influenced the cuisine, one ingredient prevalent in most Thai foods is fish sauce.  Much of Thai foods are enhanced with highly odorous/flavorful ingredients some being lime, cilantro, and spicy peppers.

Coincidentally, how ironic is it that my plate purchased for $3 at TJ Maxx before heading to the grocery and deciding on this recipe was “Made in Thailand?”  I didn’t even realize it until I got home and was washing my plate prior to using it.

Question of the Night:  Do you enjoy Thai food?  If yes, what is your favorite dish?  If no, what is your favorite international delight?

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Back to work today!  All during the night that song was playing in my head, so I couldn’t sleep. Ugh!  Here’s the song in case you’re not aware of the 80’s hit by Soul II Soul.

So this morning I was not a happy camper when I arose at 5:45 to get ready for my first day back to school from the summer vacation.  I started with an almond butter and peach sammie with a sprinkle of cinnamon atop and Oroweat whole wheat sandwich thin.

Almond butter + Sweet Peach Half

Next I got ready and headed out on my 40 minute drive for my Back to School Staff Development Day.  By 12:00 my stomach was doing some serious talking.  Thank goodness lunch had arrived! 🙂

For lunch I enjoyed a spinach salad with celery, carrot, 1/4 fuji apple, yellow cherry tomatoes, feta, and 2 tbsp. of light raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  Mmmm, it was so refreshing and satisfied my hunger pangs.

Pretty Salad

And on the side–the other half of my peach from breakfast and a handful of blackberries.

Fresh Fruit

Late afternoon it was time for a snacky-snack, the second of my three Larabars I picked up at Whole Foods last Thursday.

PB & J

Whew!!! Today was a rough adjustment back into the swing of things.  I got home after work and began a little tidying of the house and needed another snack.  I must have been a bit hungry because it did not cross my mind to get a picture of my two slices of Hormel nitrate free turkey and Sargento light string cheese.  <Input image here> Two round slices of turkey wrapped around a tubular stick of string cheese<Embed image> 😉

Now onto dinner–a southern [stated in my most stereotypical southern voice as heard on TV] classic.  Shrimp and Grits.

I used Quaker 5 Minute Grits on the stovetop and added some Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese and garlic powder along with salt and pepper.  For the shrimp, I started by sauteing them on the stove in canola oil with salt, red pepper flakes, and dried rosemary.  Just before putting the pan in the oven I added a few splashes of worcestershire sauce.  The shrimp were baked until done.  Also, for some veggie action I roasted some squash with salt, pepper, and dried rosemary.

Lovin My Plating ❤

Up Close and Personal

The shrimp and grits came together quite quickly.  The longest part was the roasting of the veggies, which I didn’t mind getting a couple of other chores done while they roasted.  And roasting lately is my fave way to cook vegetables.  I wonder if it alters the nutritional value much!?!  Any nutritionists out there reading?  Please let me know.

I was thoroughly satisfied with my meal tonight, but I know in days, weeks, months to come I will be unable to answer that all too elusive question–what’s for dinner?  Now that I am back into the reality of my life I need to get back into a comfortable groove and figure out how to balance everything–socializing, working, cleaning, cooking and eating healthy, exercising.  And I don’t even have kids yet!  I’m scared!

Question of the Day:  How do you balance heading a household, working, and managing your healthy lifestyle?  Do you have any tips or ideas on how to accomplish all that needs to be done on a daily basis when it feels that there is just not enough time in the day?