Sunday, February 24, 2013

Caramelized Carrots and Pearl Onions

Caramelization.  You know, that delicious, golden brown, ooey gooeyness that happens when natural sugars are brought out of whatever food you are cooking?

Yeah... you know exactly what I am talking about...

And all I can say is that you are in luck because this dish has caramelization occur everywhere.

First, the veggies caramelize in the oven, getting toasty brown and scrumptious.

Then, once you pour a sweet honey-balsamic dressing on top of them, it glazes over even more in the oven, creating a lot more caramelization goodness.

Amazing, right?  I swear, this dish is honestly like eating candy rather than vegetables... it's a great thing.

So wipe your mouth from all of that drool and go make this dish right now!! You won't be sorry.

1 bag baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
About 10 pearl onions, if small keep whole, if large cut in halves

Kosher salt, about 1/2 tsp
Freshly ground pepper about 1/2 tsp
Extra virgin olive oil, drizzled (I used probably around 1/2- 1 TBS)

Dried thyme, 1 tsp
Garlic powder, 1 tsp
about 1/4 cup honey
about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and chop veggies.  On your cutting board, salt and pepper the veggies and mix around with hands, just so every veggie is seasoned well.

Place tin foil on a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Add veggies.  Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top of veggies.  Toss with hands to coat every single veggie.  Sprinkle dried thyme and garlic powder all over veggies.  

Place veggies in oven for 15 minutes.  While veggies are cooking mix together balsamic and honey in a bowl and set aside.  Once carrots and onions have cooked for 15 minutes, pull out of oven, toss with a spatula.

Pour the honey-balsamic glaze dressing all over the top.  Toss again with a spatula so every veggie gets tossed in a little bit of the glaze.    

Place veggies back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the carrots and onions are cooked through and caramelized.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cajun Baked Shrimp

So once again, Whole Foods sucked me in to buying everything in sight...


But who can blame me?  When I am in there, all of the healthy, delicious, and fresh ingredients just scream at me!

My new obsession: Their 'Traditional Cajun Blend'. (Aka phenomenal cajun spices in a cute little package that I throw on shrimp, making it taste awesome).

This recipe is honestly one of the tastiest shrimp recipes that I have created in a long time.  It is super simple and with only a couple steps and a few minutes, you will have a meal that will be a jackpot winner dinner on any table.

1 lb shrimp, deveined, peeled -- **(This recipe makes a GREAT peel n' eat shrimp too! Just keep the shells on 'em and follow the same instructions below!)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 1/2 TBS Whole Foods Traditional Cajun Blend-- you will not use the whole packet!- just as muchas your heart desires)
Kosher salt, 1/8 tsp
Freshly ground pepper, 1/8 tsp
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Add shrimp in a single layer.

Mince garlic cloves and sprinkle over shrimp.  Sprinkle about 1 1/2 TBS of the Whole Foods Traditional Cajun Blend spices, all over the shrimp and garlic.  Salt and pepper the shrimp about 1/8 tsp of each.  Lightly drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over the shrimp.  Toss with your hands so all of the shrimp is coated.

Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until all of the shrimp are cooked through and pink.  I tossed the shrimp a few times with a spatula while they were cooking, just so they could cook evenly on both sides.  (The cooking time will strictly depend on how large the shrimp are-- mine were pretty small, but if you have large shrimp, especially with the peel on, it will definitely take longer to cook!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Baked Parmesan Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts...

You know, that vegetable you used to oh-so-swiftly swipe off of your plate onto the floor for your dog when no one was looking...

Well, let me tell you, after you try this yummy recipe, poor little Spot will not be getting anymore brussel sprouts anytime soon..

These aren't your average boring brussel sprouts that make you cringe when you see/smell them. These are cheesy, crunchy, crispy, garlicky brussel sprouts that will change your whole entire outlook on this this poor ol' veggie that just for some reason has such a bad rep.

I promise the minute you smell these babies baking away in your oven, your bias on brussel sprouts will forever change and they will be a new addition to your family dinner!

15 medium- large brussel sprouts
5 garlic cloves, minced
Extra virgin olive oil, (drizzled)
4 TBS Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Rinse the brussel sprouts under cold water and pat dry.  Remove the bottom each brussel sprout (the hard stem) with a sharp knife.

Cut the brussel sprouts into quarters.  

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Lay the brussel sprouts evenly in the baking dish.  Mince 5 garlic cloves and sprinkle over the brussel sprouts.  Drizzle olive oil (about 1 TBS) all over the brussel sprouts.  Sprinkle 3 TBS of the Parmesan cheese all over the brussel sprouts.  Sprinkle pepper and salt all over brussel sprouts.  Mix all of the ingredients together with your hands.    

Bake the brussel sprouts in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the brussel sprouts are tender when poked with a fork.  Frequently, mix the brussel sprouts with a spatula so they don't burn.  When the brussel sprouts are finally tender, quickly pull them out of the oven and sprinkle the remaining TBS of Parmesan cheese all over them.  Place them back in the oven and let the Parmesan cheese melt.  Once it has melted, pull the brussel sprouts out of the oven and serve! Enjoy! :)