Category Archives: seafood

thai shrimp cakes

I’m back!  It’s been a long time, but I’m excited to start blogging again and share my favorite recipes.  Last year had a lot of personal ups and downs, as life sometimes does.  And so blogging went on the back burner, so to speak.  And then, like a left-over, got pushed to the back of the refrigerator where it just sat and waited for someone to notice.

Well, I finally noticed!  I noticed that I had gained a bit of weight, partially from not staying invested in the Points Plus program.  I noticed that I felt the need to be creative again.  And I noticed that my youngest had been after me for a year to start blogging again…

“This is great, did you take a picture?’

“Did you blog this yet, Mom?”

“Are you ever going to blog again?”

He was so excited tonight when I plated this shrimp cake and grabbed the camera.  He helped me with the cilantro garnish and kept encouraging me along the way.  This one’s for you Alex, my biggest cheerleader!

And now for the recipe 🙂  I’d never even heard of shrimp cakes before I read about these in the April 2013 edition of Cooking Light.  They turned out almost too good to be true.  A little heat from the Sriracha, a little zestiness from the lime, a little coco-nutty crunch.  Delicious!!  These would also be terrific as an appetizer, just make them into smaller servings.


Thai Shrimp Cakes

  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs), divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut, divided (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz. peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lime, quartered

Combine 1/3 cup panko and 2 Tbsp. coconut in shallow bowl and set aside.

Combine 1/3 cup panko, 2 Tbsp. coconut, and next eight ingredients in a bowl.  Add shrimp and stir until just combined.  Form into four equal balls.  Roll balls in panko/coconut mixture and press into patty.

Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add oil.  Add patties and cook about 4 minutes on each side, until shrimp is cooked (turns pink) and patty is nicely browned.  Serve with lime wedge.

Recipe from Cooking Light, April 2013.

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, each shrimp cake has 4 Points Plus.


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deconstructed shrimp caesar salad

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned how much my 13-year-old son Nic loves caesar salads.  For the past 3 years, if there was caesar salad on the restaurant menu, he would order it.  It became somewhat of a family joke.  Lately, the growing boy has been surprising us by ordering large cuts of meat instead of salad, but I think the caesar will always hold a dear place in his stomach heart.

I wonder if there will be caesar salads in Rome?

The dressing is unbelievably good.  The entire dressing recipe has 8 PointsPlus (using 1 Tbsp. of olive oil).  The original recipe called for 2 Tbsp. oil, which would change the points to 11, and raise the total PointsPlus per serving to 8.  Since the rest of the meal is so light in PointsPlus, this dressing is worth the splurge!

Deconstructed Shrimp Caesar Salad

  • 24 peeled and deveined frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 1/3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. crusty bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 hard-cooked egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, leaves separated

 Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, half of the garlic, lemon zest and 2 tsp. olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Thread shrimp on skewers (6 shrimp per skewer).  Thread 1 1/2 oz. bread cubes onto each of 4 more skewers.  Spray lightly with Misto filled with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until shrimp is opaque throughout and bread is golden, about 7 minutes.

To make dressing, combine remaining garlic, lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, mashed egg yolk, and mustard in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Whisk until well combined, then stir in Parmesan.  Add romaine and toss gently to coat.  Serve alongside skewers.  Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving (6 shrimp, 1 1/2 oz. bread, 1/4 of the dressing and lettuce) has 7 PointsPlus.


Posted by on June 7, 2012 in points plus, salads, seafood


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balsamic glazed salmon

My mom gave me a jar of Black Garlic in my stocking.  She said it was a new hip and happening food item and she thought I would enjoy trying it.  Well, I just used it for the first time in this recipe and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Black Garlic’s website describes it as “a simple food with a wonderfully complex flavor. Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft, dried fruit.  Black garlic is all-natural. There are no additives and no preservatives. Ever. In fact, there’s only one ingredient—garlic. It’s aged for a month in a special fermentation process under high heat, where it develops its darker color, softer texture and sweeter taste. Amazing what a month can do.”

oh, sooooo amazing.

I served the salmon with my smashed roasted potatoes and green beans which I roasted in the oven (I sprayed them with a Misto filled with olive oil, sprinkled on salt and added 2 sliced black garlic cloves).  I’ve made this salmon recipe many times without the black garlic and it is fantastic.

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • one clove black garlic, diced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. butter

Whisk together vinegar, juice, honey, black garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Add rosemary sprig.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet until smoking.  Season salmon with salt and pepper and cook until browned and all but center is opaque.  Transfer to plate and cover with foil.

Decrease heat to medium and add glaze.  Cook until thick and syrupy.  Remove rosemary and whisk in butter.  Pour over salmon.  Serves 4.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 8 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in points plus, raves, seafood, vegetarian


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tuna patties

I recently received our health insurance quarterly magazine in the mail.  The article entitled “Eat Well When You Eat Out” caught my eye, but my jaw dropped with the first sentence. “One recent survey of dining behavior found that Americans eat five meals a week in restaurants”.  Wow.  If that’s an average, what’s life like for the other half?

Now, I do love my Pho.  I can walk into my favorite Pho restaurant and they ask “number 6?”.

“Why, yes, thank you very much.”

But something is being lost if we think cooking at home is too difficult/ time-consuming/ overwhelming.  It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal every day of the week (if you only knew how long it has taken me to realize this!).  Sitting down around the family table, everyone eating the same home cooked meal should be the foundation of family life.

These patties are quick, easy, budget friendly, and versatile.  Put them on a bun or english muffin.  Top with cheese or tomato slice.  Serve with a cup of soup.  In the time it takes you to load up the car, drive to the fast food restaurant and come home, you could have made these and saved a ton of money and excess calories and sodium.

Tuna Patties

  • 12 ounces water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and made into crumbs
  • 3 scallions, chopped or 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped drained pimentos
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Misto filled with olive oil

Combine the tuna, bread crumbs, scallions, pimentos, egg substitute, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a medium bowl.  Shape into 4 patties.

Spray a pan with the Misto, heat to medium.  Add patties and cook until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes total.

Recipe from Weight Watchers.  4 Points Plus per patty.


Posted by on January 12, 2012 in points plus, seafood


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bacon-corn chowder with shrimp

This is another instance when I wish my picture did the soup better justice.  I’ve had this recipe in my queue since receiving it in the August 2011 Cooking Light Magazine.  It is under the “Super Fast 20 Minute Cooking” section and they didn’t lie.  Fast and delicious, this one will be a keeper.  And you know it’s a winner when your husband takes one bite, looks up and says “this is REALLY good!”.

“What do you eat during the day?” is a question I get asked a lot.  Here is a break-down of yesterday:

Breakfast:  8 oz Fage 0% (3 PointsPlus), berries (0 PointsPlus)

Lunch:  Morningstar tomato, basil and mozzarella patty with a Bun Thin (6 PointsPlus), lettuce, mustard; one package of pre-cooked beets (0 PointsPlus) with small drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Snack:  4 Wasa crackers (2 PointsPlus) and 2 Light BabyBel cheese (2 PointsPlus)

Dinner:  1 2/3 cup Bacon-corn chowder with shrimp (8 PointsPlus)

Dessert:  diet hot cocoa (1 PointsPlus) with 10 mini marshmallows (1 PointsPlus)

(I know this only added up to 23 PointsPlus, and my target for weight loss is 26, but I felt like I ate enough 🙂 )  And I did get a 35 minute walk with Marc and Charlie, the Westie.

Bacon-corn Chowder with Shrimp

  • 6 slices lean bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups frozen (or fresh) corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb. peeled and deveined medium shrimp, thawed
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add bacon to pan; saute until bacon just becomes crisp.  Remove the equivalent of 2 slices of bacon and set aside.  Remove bacon fat from pan.  Add onion, celery, thyme, and garlic to pan and saute for 2 minutes.  Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add broth, bring to boil, and cook for 4 minutes.

Place 2 cups of the corn mixture in a blender.  Remove the center piece of the blender lid (so the steam can escape), place lid on blender (why did I feel like I had to tell you that?).  Place a towel over the opening of the lid to avoid splatters and blend until smooth.  Return pureed corn mixture to pan.  Stir in shrimp and cook until done.  Stir in half-and-half and pepper.  Crumble reserved bacon over soup.  Yields 4 servings (serving size about 1 2/3 cup).

Using the nutrition stats supplied by Cooking Light, and inputting them into the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each 1 2/3 cup serving has 8 PointsPlus.


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salmon chowder

My oven won’t be fixed until next week, so here’s another soup recipe!  I love to use this on Friday’s during Lent.  I just wish this picture looked better, because it doesn’t do the soup justice.  It looks so much better in person!  The soup uses fennel….don’t be afraid!!  Just dice the stalk up like celery.  It adds such a great flavor to the soup and complements the salmon so well.  If you’ve never tried fennel before, now is the time.

Salmon Chowder

  • 2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces russet potato, skin on, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 lb. salmon, cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cups fat-free half and half
  • salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add vegetables, stirring well.  Add the bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the fish.  Add the half and half and bring up the temperature of the soup, being careful not to allow it to boil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe from Kitchen Parade.  Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, I calculated that each 1 1/2 cup serving has 5 pts+.


Posted by on December 9, 2011 in points plus, seafood, soups


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tilapia with tomatoes and capers

I have a handful of tilapia recipes in my recipe binder since I have a vegetarian and a Weight Watcher in the family.  Tilapia is easy to prepare and is done in minutes.  It’s low in fat, calories, and PointsPlus and high in protein.  I also use it in my fish tacos and in a dish with a coconut curry sauce.

Tilapia with Tomatoes and Capers

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6 oz) tilapia fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Place tilapia on a broiler pan sprayed with non-stick spray.  Using a Misto filled with olive oil, or olive oil non-stick spray, lightly coat tilapia and season with salt and pepper.  Preheat broiler to low and place rack 8 inches from top of oven.

In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallots and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Add wine and saute until the wine reduces, about 5 minutes.  Add capers and stir for one minute.

Broil fish until cooked through, about 7 minutes.

Serve fish with tomato caper sauce.  Serves 4.

Recipe slightly adapted from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 6 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in points plus, seafood, vegetarian


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