Mediterranean Spiced Shrimp Bowls

Hey there! I took a bit of a break from posting for a while but I am coming back STRONG with these delicious Mediterranean Spiced Shrimp Bowls.

I love shrimp so much- all seafood is so delicious! I was looking in the freezer the other day for an easy protein I could whip up for lunch and I locked in on the bag of frozen shrimp. I’ve never done much cooking of meat/fish/crustaceans, but I decided to give it a try! And you know what? Shrimp is probably one of the easiest proteins you can make. They’re super fast to cook and it’s not hard at all to tell when they’re done. They’re also full of protein with roughly 25 grams per 16 shrimp.

I used some frozen shrimp and defrosted them by running them under cold water, although it said not to do that on the bag. I would like to know what the problem with that is. (insert laughing face emoji here). If you know you’re going to be making these ahead of time though, you can always throw your shrimp in the fridge to defrost over night, or even use fresh shrimp.

To make these delicious bowls, I started by tossing the shrimp with a bunch of delicious spices, and then sauteeing them in some olive oil. They only need about two minutes per side, and are finished when they’re opaque and slightly pink. So easy! Next we have a bunch of veggies- we’re talking peppers, onions, olives and some carrot ribbons- that get cooked up with lemon juice, garlic powder, and some tahini for some extra flavour. Finally, for some green-ness there’s a tasty cucumber and avocado salad. Serve everything over quinoa and you’ve got a LUNCH.

Let me know how you like these bowls! I definitely want to keep making shrimp recipes because the deliciousness times the easiness factor is out of this world. Maybe I’ll venture out into some other animal proteins too?!? Who knows! Enjoy:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Mediterranean Spiced Shrimp Bowls

Mediterranean Spiced Shrimp Bowls

Ingredients

For The Shrimp:

-20-25 medium shrimp, defrosted or fresh

-1 tbsp olive oil

-1/2 tsp cumin

-1/2 tsp chilli powder

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/4 tsp cayenne powder

-1/2 tsp oregano

-Salt and pepper to taste

For The Sauteed Veggies:

-1/2 tbsp olive oil

-2 small carrots, made into ribbons with a veggie peeler

-1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

-1/4 of a white onion, sliced

-1 200ml can of sliced black olives, drained

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-Juice of 1/2 a lemon

-1/2 tbsp tahini

-Salt and pepper to taste

For the Cucumber Avocado Salad:

-1/4 of a long English cucumber, diced

-1/4 of a ripe avocado

-2 tsp tahini

-Salt and pepper to taste

Other:

-Cooked quinoa for serving


Directions

1. Add the olive oil for the shrimp to a pan and heat over medium heat. Add your shrimp to a small bowl and mix them with all of the spices. Dump the shrimp into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are opaque and slightly pink. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the olive oil for the veggies into the still hot pan. Add the veggies in and sautee until the peppers are soft and the onions are translucent. Add in the lemon juice, garlic powder, tahini, and salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Mash the avocado for the salad in a small bowl, mix in the rest of the ingredients, and set aside.

4. To construct your bowls, start with some cooked quinoa, then add the veggies, shrimp, and cucumber salad. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired and enjoy!


Homemade California Rolls

I’m SO excited for this post because sushi is my absolute favourite food. I would consider going vegan but I don’t think I could give up sushi! That sashimi- or raw fish- is just too good. Going out to sushi restaurants is always so fun, but right now depending on where you live you might not be able to go to a restaurant. So in this post I’m going to detail how to make your very own sushi at home!

Making sushi can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need is a few simple ingredients that you can find in the International or Asian aisles!

  • Sushi Rice – this is usually a Californian or Japanese short or medium grain rice, but will be labelled as sushi rice. It’s important that you use sushi rice because it’s more starchy and sticky than regular rice, which is important when spreading it onto your nori.
  • Sushi Nori (roasted seaweed) – these are rectangles of roasted seaweed that the rice gets spread onto, and everything gets rolled inside.
  • Rice Vinegar – rice vinegar is used to season up your sushi rice! If you’re making your sushi gluten free, make sure you purchase a gluten free rice vinegar.

With those ingredients as your base, you can proceed to choose any fillings you’d like. I went with some avocado, cucumber, and canned (not imitation) crab to make some great California rolls. There are so many delicious combinations you can try though- and I hope to get my hands on some sushi grade fish soon!

Some more roll ideas include:

  • Vegetarian- fill your rolls with mushrooms cooked in soy sauce, just avocado, carrot, or cucumber, or some combination of the four.
  • Sushi Grade Fish- slice up some sushi grade salmon or tuna and pair it with some creamy avocado.
  • Cooked Shrimp, Crab or Tuna- fill your rolls with cooked shrimp, canned crab, or canned tuna mixed with soy and avocado (see my Tuna and Avocado Poke Bowls)

Ok, so now we’ve got all of our ingredients rounded up- now it’s time to make some rolls! The first and most important step is cooking your rice.

It’s very important to rinse your rice first, to get rid of some of that starchiness. Otherwise, your rice with be too mushy. I placed mine and a bowl and rinsed and drained it about 4-5 times, swirling it around with my fingers, under the water is clear when I mixed it. I then filled the bowl with more water and let the rice soak for about 10 minutes.

Once the rice is good to go, it goes into a pot with some more water and simmers for about 10-15 minutes, until it’s cooked all the way through. I then let it cool for a bit before mixing in some rice vinegar for flavour.

Get ready to get rolling! To roll your sushi rolls, you’ll need a bamboo sushi mat- these are easily found on Amazon for around ten dollars or so. I got out my mat, covered it with a piece of plastic wrap, and placed one sheet of nori down.

I then scooped out some sushi rice onto the nori, and spread it around with my fingers to cover the whole sheet in a nice, even layer. You don’t want to see too much of the nori underneath, but you also don’t want the rice layer to be to thick, so find a good middle ground. Leave about a centimetre strip at the top empty, however, so that it can seamlessly seal the end of the roll. This picture does not illustrate this very well- do better than me!

For the rolls, you can choose if you want to have the rice on the inside, or the outside. In this demonstration I flipped my nori over so that the rice would be on the outside, but in the photos I took of my final product were of my second batch of rolls, where the rice was on the inside. I found that these were easier to roll and held together more nicely, but you can choose whichever you like best! Here I proceeded to add in my filling right on top of the rice in a straight line, leaving some space at the bottom.

To roll up the sushi, you’re going to fold over the bamboo mat from the bottom, until that overhang you left at the bottom covers the filling ingredients to form a roll. Press firmly so that everything gets held together, and keep rolling until the full sheet of sushi covered nori is rolled into a nice cylinder. You may need to pause a few times to adjust the plastic and the mat during this process. Once everything is rolled up, you can use a bit of water on your finger to seal the nori on the outside of the roll.

All that’s left is to cut the sushi into nice even pieces, dip em into some soy sauce, and enjoy! It can take a little while to get a hang of the rolling, so don’t be discouraged if your first few rolls aren’t turning out so nice- my first rolls were a bit rough. Making sushi is an art that takes years to perfect, but these homemade rolls are great for a little something different at home, and they’re super fun to make as well!

Definitely play around with filling combinations, dipping sauces, and toppings too, to make these rolls your own. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Homemade California Rolls

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients

-3/4 cup sushi rice

-1 cup water

-3 tbsp rice vinegar

-1/4 of an avocado, sliced

-1/4 of a cucumber, julienned

-1 170g can of real crab meat

-2 sheets of sushi nori


Directions

1. Add the rice to a small bowl, fill it with water, and swirl it around with your fingers. You should see the water turn white and cloudy as the starch from the rice is released. Drain the rice and repeat this process 4-5 times, until the water remains clear.

2. Fill the bowl with water once more and let the rice soak for 10 minutes to remove additional starch. Drain and add the rice to a pot.

3. Add the 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover, and let the rice simmer for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside and let cool before mixing in the rice vinegar.

4. Lay your bamboo sushi mat flat on your counter and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. Place a sheet of nori down, and proceed to spread out about half of the rice on it in an even layer, leaving an empty space of about one centimetre at the top for sealing.

5. Either flip the nori over so that the rice will be on the outside of your sushi, or leave it so that the rice will be on the inside. In a straight line about an inch away from the bottom of the nori, lay down half of the crab, cucumber, and avocado.

6. Begin rolling the sushi by folding over your mat from the bottom, an pressing firmly to make a tight roll once the empty space at the bottom of the nori has completely encircled the filling. Continue to roll your sushi by rolling the mat, pausing to adjust the plastic or the mat when needed.

7. Seal the roll by brushing a little bit of water onto the nori with your finger. Slice into 8 even rolls.

8. Repeat steps 4-7 with your remaining ingredients.

9. Serve with soy sauce.


Creamy Pea and Spinach Soup

Hey there! I haven’t made a good soup in a while, so this DELICIOUS Creamy Pea and Spinach Soup really hit the spot! Soup is one of those things that might seem complicated or hard to make, but it’s actually super easy. This one in particular is very straightforward!

I cooked up some red onion with some garlic to start, then added in the veggie broth and all of the other ingredients! Ground ginger, some coriander and a bit of red chilli flakes add so much flavour, and of course the peas and spinach give the soup its GORGEOUS green colour. I also added in some chickpeas, which when blended help create a creamy texture.

These simple ingredients are all simmered together for a good twenty minutes, to make sure all the flavours come together. Then everything is dumped into a blender and pureed until super smooth! Look at that; so easy and so delicious.

Soup like this is the best on a cold day. And yes, this soup is also freezer friendly, so you can save some for later! Quick lunch idea for the win! It’s a great way to get your veggies in and is really good for you, as well as being naturally vegan and gluten free.

Enjoy this easy and tasty soup recipe!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Creamy Pea and Spinach Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

-1 tbsp olive oil

-1/2 a red onion, diced

-2 cloves of garlic, minced

-4 cups of organic veggie broth

-1/2 tsp ground ginger

-1/2 tsp ground coriander

-1/2 tsp red chilli flakes

-1 can of chickpeas. drained and rinsed

-3 cups of packed spinach

-1 1/2 cups frozen green peas

-Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add in the onion and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

2. Add the veggie broth to the pot, along with the ginger, coriander, peas, spinach, red chilli flakes, and chickpeas. Stir to combine and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Let the soup cool slightly before adding it to a blender or food processor and blending until smooth and creamy. Taste and season additionally if needed.

4. Serve warm.


Balsamic Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Hey guys! I’m always looking for good meal prep ideas, and these Balsamic Veggie Zucchini Boats check off all of the boxes! They’re healthy, delicious, easy to make and super satisfying.

They’re comprised of perfect little vessels of roasted zucchini stuffed with an amazing mix of sauteed veggies- including onion, garlic, mushrooms, chickpeas, the insides of the zucchini, and some RICED CAULIFLOWER. Told you I’d be back with some great riced cauliflower recipes! All of this veg goes so well together, and the addition of the balsamic is the finishing touch.

The zucchini gets cut into four quarters…

And then the centres are scooped out to make lil “boats”. I just scooped out enough to remove all the seeds and make sure that I could get a good amount of filling in there. After being rubbed with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, they get placed on a parchment lined baking sheet and roasted until tender- about 15 minutes. The beauty of zucchini is that it doesn’t need very much time at all to cook! Just make sure you take it out right at the 15 minute mark so you’re not left with mush.

While the zucchini is roasting, all of the veg gets cooked together to make a delicious stuffing! I love all of the flavours in here- and the chickpeas and cauliflower rice add a nice heartiness. When you have both of your components all cooked up, the veggie filling is scooped into the zucchini boats, and everything goes back into the oven and broiled for 5 more minutes. This ensures that stuffing gets a little crisp on top- so so good!

These boats make an amazing side dish, appetizer, or lunch! Making a bunch of these at the start of the week for meal prep is also a great idea:) The flavours in here are so tasty, and with the chickpeas in there you get in your fix of protein and fibre. These zucchini boats will definitely shake up your lunch or dinner routine!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Balsamic Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients

-1 large zucchini -1/2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

-2 white mushrooms, diced

-2 tbsp diced red onion

-1 clove of garlic, minced

-2/3 cup riced cauliflower

-1 tsp balsamic vinegar

-1/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

-1/2 tsp dried oregano

-Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut off the top and bottom of the zucchini, then cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the halves in half width wise, leaving you with four even pieces of zucchini.

3. Scoop out the centres of the zucchini, removing the seeds but not too much of the flesh, and creating a vessel that can be stuffed. Set the insides of the zucchini aside.

4. Place the zucchini boats on a parchment lined baking sheet, and rub each one with about a 1/2 tsp of olive oil. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then place them in the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Heat up the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, chickpeas, and the insides of the zucchini. Sautee for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the balsamic into the pan and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

6. Once the zucchini boats are done roasting, remove them from the oven and scoop a 1/4 of the sauteed veggie filling into each boat. Place the pan back into the oven and broil the stuffed zucchini for 5 minutes.

7. Remove the pan from the oven and serve warm.


Cauliflower Rice Salad

Hey guys! Today I have a very nice, bright and fresh salad for you that is the perfect base for any protein! It’s full of veggies and has an AMAZING parsley and cilantro dressing that’s whipped up in the blender. The cauliflower base of the salad is created in the blender as well… and let me tell you, I’m loving it!

If sweet potatoes in the microwave isn’t life changing enough, let me introduce you to riced cauliflower! I had half a cauliflower in the fridge waiting to be used up, and I thought I’d do a little something different with it. So I cut it into chunks and tossed it in the blender- yes the blender- and was left with some perfect cauliflower “rice” that makes an amazing base to this salad! I’m really excited to do even more cool stuff with this rice substitute in the future- I stored my extra cauli rice in the freezer for later use. So yes, expect a storm of cauliflower rice recipes coming your way soon:))

In addition to those little grains of cauliflower, this salad has a bunch of other fresh veggies, including cucumber, tomato, chickpeas, and red onion! Definitely getting some nice Mediterranean vibes from this recipe. That red onion adds some extra flavour- onions rock, just so you know. And those chickpeas add a bit of protein so that the whole thing is more filling. This salad is definitely great by itself, but if you’re looking for a more substantial meal you can DEFINITELY top it with a delicious protein of your choice. Some proteins that would be great with this salad are:

  • Chicken breast
  • Steak
  • Boiled eggs
  • Canned tuna
  • More beans

Whipping up a big batch of this and preparing some proteins is a great meal-prep option, and also makes for a great quick and easy school lunch!

Let’s talk about the dressing- it’s pretty darn good. Even though it’s really simple, the bright herb flavours really shine through! I used lots of cilantro and parsley, and brought in some lemon juice for that acid. With some olive oil and the addition of garlic and some salt and pepper, the dressing comes together beautifully! Trust me, this is a container of green gold right here.

So so good! This dressing coats all of the salad ingredients and amps up the flavour of all of the veggies.

This recipe is definitely a quick and easy winner- perfect for a quick lunch or dinner, super fresh and healthy, and VERY TASTY. Enjoy!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Cauliflower Rice Salad

  • Servings: 2-4
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To Make the Cauliflower Rice: Add cauliflower florets to a blender or food processor, and blend until evenly chopped and rice-like in texture. Alternatively, you can grate the cauliflower!

Ingredients

For the Salad

-1 1/3 cups riced cauliflower

-1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

-1 tomato, diced

-1/4 of a cucumber, diced

-1/4 of a red onion, diced

For the Dressing

-1/4 cup packed parsley

-1/4 cup packed cilantro

-1/4 cup olive oil

-Juice of 1/2 a lemon

-Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and set aside.

2. Mix together the salad ingredients in a large bowl, add in the dressing, and toss everything to combine.

3. Serve with a protein of choice.