Easy Seafood Risotto


This was terrific.  You make the seafood part separately so I fed that to the kids with white rice before mixing the risotto together – the seafood risotto was fantastic but too exotic for them!  The kiddos seem to do well with the rule of 7 – by the time we’ve stuck something in front of them 7 times they love it.  1 down, 6 to go.

Easy Seafood Risotto (recipe from Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight by Harry Papas, recipe used with permission, book to be released in June 2012, to buy the book click here)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion or shallot, minced (I used 1 large onion when I doubled it)
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tableespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup crushed tomatoes
A dash of cayenne pepper (this added a great kick to it)
2 cups cooked mixed seafood such as small shrimp, mussels, baby scallops, or calamari (when I doubled it I used 1/2 lb scallops and 1 lb shrimp, not sure how many cups it was but it worked well)
2 cups cooked plain Arborio rice, hot
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.  Add the vinegar and cook a further minute.

2. Stir in the tomatoes and cayenne, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook until thickened and somewhat reduced, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the seafood and continue cooking until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat, stir in the rice and parsley, and serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings (I doubled this and were no leftovers)


Shrimp with Lemon Sauce

Fast and Easy

This could easily be titled Shrimp with Broccoli.  Either way, it was fast and easy.  Kids liked it too, although my son varied the recipe a bit by dipping the shrimp in ketchup and coating the broccoli with shredded cheese (even a 6-year-old knows that shredded cheese is good on pretty much everything.  Note that shredded cheese, unfortunately, does not appear to be part of the Slimmer Mediterranean Diet, although I haven’t gotten far enough into the book to confirm this).

Shrimp with Lemon Sauce (serves 1 – I quadrupled for 4 and had plenty)
(recipe from Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight by Harry Papas, recipe used with permission, to buy the book click here)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed to crisp yet tender (steam for 6-8 minutes before you start the recipe, take off stove immediately and run under cool water to stop the cooking)
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the skillet.

2. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is pink, about 2 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir well to coat, and cook for 1 minute more. Serve immediately.

Remember to increase the recipe if making for more than one!  And serve with a big tossed salad.

Slimmer Loaded Baked Potato

Slimmer Loaded Baked Potato

This was awesome.  Greek yogurt is practically sour cream – yum! I added a cup of steamed broccoli (swapping for a cup of salad per the Slimmer program FAQs), then followed the rest of the recipe with scallions (added a bit of bite) and chopped hard-boiled egg, which added protein and texture but I didn’t really taste it.  However, my six-year-old LOVED the egg and ate his and his sister’s portion of egg too.  I have never served the kidlets hardboiled eggs before, and I admit I even had to look up how to cook them – I did not grow up in the Deep South here where deviled eggs are a fave.  The little guy called them “rotten eggs” by mistake and it was so funny that hard-boiled eggs will forever be known as rotten eggs at our house, much to his great dismay.  (Why is it that a six-year-old has no shame running around the pool naked in front of company but is embarrassed when words come out wrong?)

I added a big yummy salad with lemon and balsamic dressing.  Per the Slimmer book, the inclusion of an acid such as acetic or citric acid at a meal can reduce the quick effect that highly refined carbohydrate foods can have on digestion, and hence, blood glucose levels. By reducing this impact, dieters feel sated longer and are less likely to submit to snack cravings from hunger or dips in energy.  Also, adding these types of acid to the diet has been shown to help burn one’s intake of fat.

Slimmer Loaded Baked Potato (recipe from Slimmer: The New Mediterranean Way to Lose Weight by Harry Papas, recipe used with permission, to buy the book click here, snarky comments are my own)

1 large baking potato (Idaho, Russet, or Yukon Gold)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste (I used sea salt)
2 Tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
1 scallion, trimmed and finely chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Poke a few holes in the potato with a fork.  In case you’re tempted to wrap in foil, don’t, as that will just steam the potato in an unflavorful homage to mediocre steakhouses (according to my Cooks’ Illustrated book on the basics).

2. Bake the potato about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

3. Transfer potato to a serving dish. Cut down the middle and squeeze the ends together to open. Top with the butter, salt, pepper, and yogurt.  Finish with the scallion and chopped egg and serve immediately.

Serves one.

Don’t forget the tossed salad!