11 Healthy Lifestyle Tips (plus Recipes) for the New Year

 

 

11 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for the New Year | Dish Dish Recipe App

Making healthy choices for myself and my family can sometimes seem arduous or overwhelming (where to start and how to stay consistent).

However, I find it’s easier to move towards a healthy lifestyle by breaking it down into small steps I can take (whether personally or for my whole family), so the steps are manageable and things I will be able to maintain long-term (instead of jumping on each bandwagon of extreme dieting and lifestyle changes).

How about you? If you too are looking for small changes in the right direction for a healthier you and happier family, these tips will definitely help you (and me) get started!

1. Drink Some Water

Drink 2 more glasses of water each day than you are drinking now (if you aren’t drinking enough water) – try to add one to your morning routine and one to your afternoon or evening, at the least. Since I am not a fan of plain water, I often drink mine with a little lemon or orange essential oil or a slice of lemon, lime, or orange to add a little pizzazz. You can even make up a whole pitcher of water with fruit slices or berries and keep it on hand for yourself and the kids to enjoy throughout the day.

2. Be Grateful

Start your day by listing 3 things (or more) for which you are grateful. There is just something about starting the day with a positive, uplifting perspective and attitude, which can easily be jump-started by pausing to think about the good things in our life at the moment (all of us have at least 3, right?).



3. Get Moving

Walk for 10 minutes. When we’re not in the habit of exercising and starting a whole new program seems daunting, starting with 10 minutes a day can seem manageable (especially since you already have to walk around each day). If the weather is great, it’s wonderful to step outdoors for a brief walk; and if not, set a timer and walk indoors (up and down the stairs, around the house, around the shopping center or office, etc.).

woman walking in grass

4. Laugh a Little

Choose to laugh and smile. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the responsibilities of the day and not even allow ourselves to laugh or smile at the funny moments or interesting situations around us. Look for an opportunity to do so – and I promise you’ll feel better!

5. Cook at Home

Eat at least one more home-cooked meal for dinner each week. Eating in is healthier for us, and cooking and eating together as a family (or with friends) is good for our relationships and souls. If you don’t like to cook usually – start with one simple meal (something like spaghetti or tacos or pizza with a store-bought crust).

Skillet Lasagna Recipe – dish up a quick, easy dinner this week (serves 4).

1-1/3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
16 ounces marinara sauce
1-1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
8 ounces bow tie pasta
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated mozzarella
chopped fresh basil, garnish, if desired

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Cook ground beef with garlic until beef is cooked through; drain off the grease. Stir in marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes; meanwhile, cook bow tie pasta in saucepan of salted water until cooked al dente (about 7 or 8 minutes). Stir sour cream into beef and sauce, then throw mozzarella and cooked pasta into sauce, stirring well. If desired, garnish with chopped fresh basil.

6. More Vegetables?

Add a couple of vegetable servings to your day. Pick a couple of vegetables you like the most, and add one of those to your lunch or dinner plate. Start small, and add on later.

 

Green Beans, Grape Tomatoes and Feta - Flickr

Fresh Green Beans with Grape Tomatoes and Feta Recipe
Toss 1 pound of fresh green beans (cleaned and snapped) with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on foil-lined baking sheet in 450 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes. During last 10 minutes of roasting, add 1 pint of grape tomatoes to pan with green beans. When beans have reached desired tenderness, toss beans and tomatoes with 1 cup of feta cheese (marinated, if desired) and serve.

7. Use a Smaller Plate

Reduce the plate size for meals. If you’re struggling with overeating at meals, start with a smaller plate and stick with one helping. It’s the little things that make a difference over time. This way you can still enjoy your favorite foods, but eating a little less of them will help you feel better.



8. Make Time for Friends

Enjoy some time with friends. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Plan once or twice a month to enjoy dinner together or meet up for a hike or game night. Laughing together, catching up on how things are going for everyone, and encouraging each other through the ups and downs of life – it’s worth it!

Friends Sitting on Grass in Park - Unsplash Ben Duchac

9. Meet a Neighbor

It seems like so many of us live in a neighborhood where everyone comes home from work, closes the garage door, and doesn’t set foot outside again until they leave for work in the morning. Be a good neighbor and meet a new neighbor or two on your block. Take over a treat or a plant (it doesn’t have to be anything expensive), introduce yourself, and get to know them. You may find a new best friend (or at least have someone you can call if you need to borrow some flour or sugar).

10. Do Something you Love

Do you have a hobby or activity that you really enjoy, but always gets lost in the shuffle because responsibilities take priority? Choose to intentionally allow yourself time to enjoy that activity a little bit each day or at least once a week (depending on the activity and time required). It’s great to have something to feed our soul like that, experiencing the joy of doing something we love, and it provides an outlet for relieving stress, being creative, and giving our brains a break from “work”.

11. Learn Something New

It’s important for our well-being that we keep learning new things. It can be something small – peel and mince garlic, cook a spaghetti squash, etc. Or something bigger – learning to swim or speak a new language or an entirely new career. But starting small is fine – pick one thing new to learn each week or each month and enjoy a whole new world!

Do you have other ideas or suggestions for healthy lifestyle? We would love to hear your thoughts, too, in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

 

How to Prepare a Casserole on the Grill or Smoker

How to Prepare a Casserole on the Grill | Dish Dish


Sponsored by Grills Forever

Casseroles are the perfect examples of comfort food we often crave. Being a one-dish meal, serving just a simple salad with it would suffice. You can make casseroles as cheesy as you want, so it’s equally delicious for those who prefer that and those who don’t. Casseroles can be dished up as easy appetizers, side dishes and main dishes, too.

While people often make casseroles in the oven, I decided to try something different. I was able to successfully make the perfect casserole with nothing but an electric smoker! If you are thinking that casseroles can only be baked in an oven, then I just proved you wrong!

Don’t worry, the process is not too different from the oven-baking process. With the correct mix of ingredients and grilling techniques, you can have the most delicious casserole you ever tasted. I have also given a casserole recipe that I did in the oven, in case you don’t feel like grilling or using the smoker.

BBQ Chicken Casserole

This is the awesome chicken casserole recipe I was talking about doing in the smoker. The process is not too complicated as you will see. Just grab a grill and the ingredients and work your grilling magic.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
one finely sliced onion
2.2 pounds of chicken pieces (including drumsticks and thighs)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 carrots, chopped into small chunks
20 oz. (600 ml) of warmed chicken stock
1 pound of potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 leeks, chopped finely
1 tablespoon of leveled, plain flour
2 cups of water
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
a lemon, cut in half

Directions

Now that you have the ingredients all sorted out, it’s time to get grilling!

1. Set your grill smoker to its highest temperature setting. This is similar to preheating an oven. (In case you’re wondering if you might need the oven anytime soon — Well, you won’t!) Grilling expert, Dan Morrison, says that Masterbuilt smokers work best for making casseroles compared to average grills.

2. Take a pan and pour olive oil into it. Saute the onions in the oil for around 20 seconds. Take an aluminium foil container and place the sauteed onions into it. Add the chicken pieces, garlic, carrots, potatoes, celery, leeks, and chicken stock, and properly mix them together. Stir the flour into the water, and add to the mix. Finally, add rosemary sprigs. Squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon; place the other half piece of lemon inside the container as well. Do not cover the aluminium foil container. (The water is added to ensure that the risk of burning the ingredients is low.)

3. Check to see if the grilling temperature has reached 700 degrees F. Once the grill has reached this temperature, place the casserole inside the grill. Cover up the grill with a lid.

4. You don’t need to open the lid and check on how the food is doing. Resist that temptation, and just wait for approximately 20 minutes.

5. Remove the casserole from the grill / smoker. Your casserole will be smoking hot, ready for serving at your barbecue event.


Baked Potato Casserole Dish
 

If you’re not up for grilling and would rather stick to the traditional baking method, here is a recipe for you that combines yummy potatoes, turkey bacon and cheddar cheese to create the most perfect side dish.

Ingredients

8 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup of low-fat milk
1/2 cup of light sour cream
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
6 turkey bacon slices (cooked and crumbled into pieces)
Optional ingredient — use sliced green onions

Directions

1. First, place the potato chunks into a saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes, and heat to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they appear to be tender (around 15-20 minutes). Drain the water from the pan.

2. Take a casserole dish and grease it. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Add milk, sour cream, pepper and salt to the saucepan containing potatoes and beat the mixture with a handheld mixer until it appears to be smooth.

4. Add 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese and half of the measured bacon into the saucepan. Mix well and then place the mixture in the greased casserole dish.

5. Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the dish is heated through well. Then sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over top; additionally, if desired use green onions and remaining bacon as extra toppings. Continue baking for another 3 minutes until the cheese melts.

You could assemble this casserole ahead of time and keep it refrigerated. If baking after refrigeration, you could cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes instead of 25 minutes. Uncover the dish and use toppings as before and again bake for 3 minutes.

Why Grill Instead Of Bake?

When I told my friends that I ended up grilling a casserole instead of baking one, they were surprised. However, they were even more shocked when they tasted that unique smoky flavor of the casserole. The next time we went outdoor camping, we grilled the casserole and made a few other dishes, having one of the best camping nights ever.

Casseroles are easy to make and don’t take much time to prepare, making them ideal for outdoor cooking or BBQ party grilling. If you’re looking for party grilling ideas, you can read more here.

So, the next time you go out to grill, try grilling different chicken casserole recipes and experiment.

Of course, baking also has its advantages. Baked casseroles can be refrigerated easily, and have lower risk of burning.  While it is possible to create a stew-like casserole in an oven, it’s harder to do the same with a grill.

 

One of the best things about a casserole is the ability to increase its nutritional value by adding more vegetables (particularly those high in vitamin A and C). The fiber and protein content in casseroles makes it a good dish for people who are regularly into fitness training.

Casseroles can also serve as main dishes, and kids often love having casseroles for lunch. Preparing a breakfast casserole before setting out to work would be an excellent way to kickstart your morning.

Whether you choose to bake or grill your chicken casserole, that’s completely up to you. You could even try preparing casseroles using a stove. It doesn’t have to be chicken; there are so many kinds of casseroles, including egg, fish, ground beef, mushrooms and vegetable casseroles. Add some variety to yours by experimenting with various herbs and spices to mix the flavors up.

Casseroles could be slow cooked to produce dishes that are similar to stews (just add a little more liquid). Experiment and create your own casserole any way you want — whether you choose to bake, grill or slow cook on a stove.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob {+ Recipes} by Stove, Microwave, or Grill

How to Cook Corn on the Cob with Recipes

If you didn’t grow up on a farm or in a family that cooked fresh food on a regular basis, perhaps looking at an ear of corn on the cob and wondering what in the world to do with it is quite perplexing.

While I had the opportunity to grow up intermittently living in a place where we grew some of our own food (including corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, green beans, peppers, and squash), my mom also could creatively make a meal out of just about anything; so I was able to learn early on about cooking fresh food in a variety of ways.

Cooking corn on the cob doesn’t have to be scary or complicated, though, and we’re going to break it down for you into simple steps – regardless of whether you prefer using the stove top, oven, microwave, or grill for getting the job done. (See nutrition facts, food safety, and storage tips for fresh corn.)

Picking the Best Corn on the Cob

Corn no the Cob in Husks - Unsplash | How to Cook Corn

First steps first. When buying the corn at the farmers market or your local grocery store (assuming you didn’t pluck it right out of your own garden), be sure to look for these signs that you’re getting a good ear of corn.

1. Carefully check over the ear of corn to see if it feels plump and even all around (not squishy or too bumpy in areas).

2. The best ears of corn will have silks that are golden, a bit moist, or possibly just starting to turn brown (be sure not to pick any with blackening silks).

3. Lastly, the husk should still fit tightly around the ear of corn and not be pulling away from it.

 

How to Cook Corn on the Cob on the Stove

When I was growing up, this was the way we cooked our corn most of the time. Just keep in mind that leaving the corn in the water for too long can make it end up kind of tough and chewy, so be sure to set a timer and remove from heat before too long.

1. Shuck the corn ears, removing the husks and silks (just pull down from the top and strip them away all around the ear).

2. Rinse the ears and rub around the ear in a circular motion to finish removing as much of the silks as possible.

3. If desired, trim just a bit off the ends of the ear for easy areas in which to stick the corn cob holders. (BTW, having fun, colorful holders can be a great conversation starter or way to jazz up the conversation with family or dinner guests!)

4. Heat a large pot of water to boiling (depending on the sizes of the pot, this can take up to 10 minutes, so .. plan accordingly). Gently drop in the ears of corn and set a timer for 7 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from heat and allow the corn to sit in the hot water if you’re planning to serve soon; if you’ll be waiting a while, remove the corn from the water and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm until ready to serve.

I love jazzing up simple corn on the cob with a seasoned butter, which always seems more festive than simple butter and salt (though that is delicious, too!). Try one of these seasoned butter recipes – Street Corn with 3 Flavored Butters or some Roasted Jalapeno Butter or Chipotle Butter.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob in the Microwave

While this would not be my preferred way to cook corn on the cob, it is super easy and quick as well as virtually mess-free. (And if you only have a microwave, such as in a college dorm room, you could still enjoy some fresh corn on the cob!)

Leave the fresh ears of corn inside the husks and cook them on full heat for three minutes. Carefully (they will be hot) remove them from the microwave; gently remove the husks and silks and discard. Slather with some butter and sprinkle with salt to enjoy (with or without corn holders).

How to Cook Corn on the Cob on the Grill

I have to be honest, while I do enjoy the smoky grilled flavor of corn cooked on the grill, usually I’m not willing to plan for the invested extra time and energy it takes to pull that off. However, if you plan ahead and allow enough time to cook it this way, it’s a real treat! Basically, you can choose to cook the corn on the grill either with or without the husks (cooking without the husks will give your corn that charred look and flavor that’s especially nice for particular meals and recipes).

With Husks

Start by soaking the corn (in its husk) in water for 30 minutes (or more, if you prefer).

Place the soaked ears on the grill over medium heat and close the lid. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning once or twice throughout.

Without Husks

Charred option – Shuck the corn ears; spray or brush them with a little vegetable oil and place directly on grill grates, cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Be sure to turn them every few minutes for even cooking.

If you don’t want the charred version – Shuck the ears and wrap them in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place them on the grill over medium heat, closing the lid, and allow to cook for about 20 minutes, being sure to turn them once or twice during this time.

Grilled Corn on the Cob - Unsplash - How to Cook Corn

Eating Corn on the Cob (Recipes)

In case you’re in doubt about how to “properly” eat your corn on the cob once it’s cooked, we have some suggestions – though we don’t at all guarantee these to be “proper”!

1. With holders or without holders? Slather the corn on the cob with your favorite plain or seasoned butter, sprinkle with some salt and have fun eating it just like that.

2. Get fancy with toppings for your corn – after spreading on the butter, top it with some crumbled cojita or feta cheese, a sprinkle of chili powder or red pepper flakes, or some chopped cilantro or green onions. Lots of fabulous options for going a little crazy with your corn. Happy experimenting!

3. Slice the corn kernels off of the cobs and throw them into your favorite salad, dip, soup or casserole, such as these fantastic recipes:

Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn and Crab Dip

Tilapia with Black Beans and Corn

Black Beans and Corn Salsa

Chicken, Green Bean, Corn and Farro Salad

What are your favorite ways to cook up corn on the cob?

Do you have fun family memories around grilling or roasting ears of corn? We love hearing your stories in the comments below!

Best Recipes Ever for Back to School

 

 

back to school chalkboard, easy recipes

Recipe Ideas for Back-to-School

It’s that time of year again – back to school for all the children, and back to a routine for the household, right?

Or, goodness gracious, maybe you’re even sending kids off to college – for the first time or for another year!

As we all get back to a routine for the school year, slowly letting go of those care-free summer days, we wanted to share a few recipes (without overloading anyone with too much work to do).

Easy Dinner Recipes

Keep in mind the activities for each day of the week as you plan your meals.  If there will be little turn-around time between school pick-up and evening activities, plan a crockpot meal that day so it will be ready to eat quickly between events.  If you have the night free from additional activity, plan a fun family meal that the kids can help make (think family pizza night or taco night).

Whatever your week holds, laying out a menu plan for the week (even if you don’t stick to it strictly) will help keep everyone fed and prevent the waste of running through the drive-thru.

savory chicken rice skillet, chicken recipe, one-pot meal, one-dish meal, healthy recipe, chicken recipe, organize recipe online

One Skillet Gluten-free Orange Beef and Broccoli

Pierogies with Sausage, Peppers and Onion

One Skillet Chicken and Rice Dinner (pictured above)

Crockpot Pepper Steak

Crockpot Italian Chicken with Tomatoes

 

Snack and School Lunch Recipes

Since it won’t be long before you (or the kids – or both) are tired of seeing sandwiches packed for lunch each day, give some of these creative options a try – either for school lunches or after-school snacks, especially when dinner will be late.

Mexican Wrap

Apple Raisin “Sandwiches”

Cracker Sandwiches

Pepperoni, Cheese and Turkey Cracker Sandwich 

Monkey Bite Snacks

Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes

Well, now that we have dinners and lunch covered, what about breakfast?  We know it is very important to have a good, healthy start to the day, but who has time to put together a big breakfast on a busy school morning?  Right – we thought so.  Here are a few easy ideas, most of which can also be made-ahead the night before to help with the morning rush.

breakfast stuffins, stuffed muffins for breakfast on the go, recipe

Breakfast Stuffins (pictured above)

Make-Ahead Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

Strawberry Breakfast Yogurt Parfait

Overnight Oatmeal

Crockpot Oatmeal and Apple Breakfast Casserole

Freezer Friendly Pancake Muffins

 

Now that you are all ready to plan menus and enjoy family meals together, we wish you a happy and successful Back-to-School season!

online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

Ten Diabetic Diet, Recipe and Lifestyle Ideas to Share with Friends

 

 

Ten Diabetic Diet, Recipe and Lifestyle Ideas to Share with Friends

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes?  In honor of “Defeat Diabetes” Month, we are sharing ten diabetic diet, recipe and lifestyle tips to help keep you (or your loved one) on track for a healthy lifestyle (without missing out on enjoying some great food)!

Instead of thinking of your meal planning efforts as a “diet”, focus on the wonderful foods you can choose to enjoy more often and the diabetic-friendly recipes you’ll get to try.  Keep in mind these helpful tips for feeling better, staying healthy, managing blood sugar and enjoying life with your family.  There are lots of natural foods that can help you manage diabetes effectively.

1. Add Some Spice to Life
Spice up your dishes with a little clove, cinnamon, turmeric, and other spices (check this out); their antioxidants help prevent diabetic-associated inflammation in the body.
(Get the Spiced Party Nuts Recipe)

2. Enjoy Citrus Fruit and Berries
Enjoy citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, plus your favorite kind of berry (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry …) to supply the body with plenty of Vitamin C, fiber, as well as healthy antioxidants to help the body fight off inflammation.  Toss them all together in a fruit salad, layer them with some yogurt for a breakfast parfait or healthy dessert, or enjoy them in one of the diabetic dessert recipes below.

3. Go Green
Superfoods like spinach, kale and other leafy greens are a healthy and delicious recipe addition, and they’re low in carbs and calories, too!  Add a hand full of fresh spinach to your next sauce, quiche, omelet, or soup (towards the end of cooking).  Saute some fresh spinach with a dash of olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper for a quick side dish.  (See Spinach Recipes and Greens Recipes) And, of course, a hearty salad full of greens is always an inviting option!

4. Take Time to Play
Take time to play!  Go fly a kite, take a hike, go dancing with friends, plan a nature scavenger hunt with the kids .. pick a favorite moving activity and get going! (Photo below by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash)

 

 

5. Savor Sweet Potatoes
Exchange sweet potatoes in your recipes for white potatoes for a reduced glycemic index dish, while enjoying the healthy fiber and delicious fresh taste of this brightly colored veggie.

6.  Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages make up a large percentage of the “empty” calories many people drink each day.  Drink more water!  (If you prefer flavor in your water, add some fruit or cucumber slices to your water pitcher each morning and enjoy throughout the day).

fruit infused water in pitcher and glasses on tray

 

7. Portion Control
Think before eating about how much you’re going to put on the plate, and how much of the plate will be covered by which type of food.  MyPlate is a handy tool for this, and suggests that half the plate should hold vegetables and fruit, with the other half divided between protein and a whole grain (such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, whole grain pastas or bread, etc).

8. Tomatoes
There are so many ways to enjoy tomatoes, it’s easy to incorporate them almost every day and enjoy the health benefit of vitamins C and E along with iron.  Slice fresh tomatoes on a sandwich or salad, roast tomatoes to serve over your main dish, add diced tomatoes to a favorite soup or casserole, or get your tomatoes in a sauce or salsa served with whole grain pasta or tortillas.  Delicious and easy every day, like in this Tomato, Basil and Feta Salad.

9. Beans
Whether you prefer kidney, navy, black, pinto, or other types of beans, their high fiber content, protein, magnesium and potassium content make them a no-brainer healthy addition to your dishes.  (Remember to rinse and drain if using canned varieties).  Reduce the meat or pasta content in a favorite dish by adding in your favorite beans instead (in soups, casseroles, and salads).  (See Easy, Healthy Recipes with Beans)

10. Delight in Dessert
Just because you’re making changes and better choices to be healthy, doesn’t mean you have to eliminate dessert.  Decide to delight in healthier diabetic dessert options (in reasonable portions) like:

1. Honeyed Grapefruit – Grapefruit and banana slices drizzled with honey and sprinkled with fresh chopped mint.

2. Strawberry Shortcake – A small slice of sponge cake topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries or other favorite berries.

3. Berries with Maple Cream – Serve 2/3 cup of fresh blackberries and raspberries topped with Maple Cream (whisk together 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream).

(See More Diabetic-Friendly Recipes)

Do you have any helpful tips you would like to add or share?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Let us help you keep all your favorite, healthy recipes for the entire family at your fingertips here at Dish Dish in your own online recipe organizer.

online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

 

Resources:
American Diabetes Association
Defeat Diabetes Foundation


14 Delicious Shrimp Recipes

 

 

14 delicious shrimp recipes, seafood recipes

 

Do you enjoy eating shrimp, but maybe a little nervous about cooking shrimp at home?  Maybe you just haven’t figured out which shrimp recipes would work best for your family and schedule.

We love the fact that shrimp is such a versatile ingredient and can be prepared in so many different ways with amazing outcomes – in appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, and with rice!

So we rounded up 14 absolutely delicious shrimp recipes and categorized them below by meal course.

Since shrimp cooks so quickly (and is often added to dishes cold), most of these shrimp recipes are profoundly simple and will have you enjoying your dish in 30 minutes or less (though we did include a few exceptions). (Below photo by AM FL on Unsplash)

Fresh Shrimp on Ice - Unsplash

 

First, we offer a few tips about purchasing, handling and cooking shrimp at home(foremost safety — always wash hands before and after handling fresh seafood!)

1. Good shrimp will be firm, translucent, and be free of black spots; it should have a fresh light scent, not overly strong.

2. Thaw shrimp safely by placing in the refrigerator overnight in an airtight container.  Thaw out faster by placing shrimp under running water (cold) for a couple of minutes.

3. If you’re not using the shrimp right away, place it in a large bowl filled halfway with ice, nestling the shrimp in the ice; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. To peel shrimp, pull back the shell from the inside curve of the body, and from the head, peel back gently down to the tail (you can remove the tail or leave it in tact, depending on how you’re cooking or serving it).

5. Devein the shrimp by running a knife along the center of the outer curve of the body from the head to the tail, locating and removing the dark vein; then rinse shrimp in cold water.

6. Shrimp cooks quickly, so whether cooking on the stovetop or the grill, it will only take 2-5 minutes to cook through (depending on the size of the shrimp).  Cooked shrimp will be lightly pink and opaque (even just a minute or two longer of cooking can make the shrimp tough – so watch it closely!)

Now, on to the recipes ….


Appetizer Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp and Dip in Martini Glass Unsplash - Shrimp Recipes

First up is a delicious Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo Dip with diced sausage, gumbo veggies, and shrimp heated in a cream cheese and Asiago creamy base for dipping your favorite baguettes, veggie strips or crackers.

A simple Oriental Shrimp Hors D’ouvre, this pan-fried shrimp is skewered on a toothpick with a slice of pineapple for a fun appetizer.

Garlic Shrimp Crostini makes a super easy appetizer with pan-fried shrimp served over seasoned cream cheese spread on toasted crostini.  Yum!


Soup Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp soup and rice - Unsplash

Salmon, shrimp and veggies in a white wine tomato sauce make a terrific Seafood Soup.

Tuscan Mariner Gumbo combines shrimp with diced fish and traditional gumbo flavors and seasonings for a hearty soup any day of the week.


Salad Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp on Salad in Bowl - Unsplash

Photo by Ryan Concepcion on Unsplash

Grilled Shrimp and Mango Salad – grill some shrimp on skewers for a few minutes over a hot grill; serve on top of shredded seasoned mango over a bed of greens for a healthy, delicious meal.

If you’re not that excited about greens in your salad, try this Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad – chopped pre-cooked shrimp with tomato, avocado, jalapeno and lime-marinated onion and seasonings.


Pasta Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp and Pasta by Unsplash

Photo by Alyssa Kowalski on Unsplash

Try this Garlic Shrimp Linguine for a flavorful complete dinner in less than 30 minutes.  Garlic shrimp served with linguine noodles, fresh spinach, and Parmesan.

Paella Style Pasta is a Spanish style dish made with orzo pasta (resembles rice), tomatoes, peas, corn and shrimp.  It takes closer to an hour to have it ready for dinner, but it’s worth the wait, if you have the time!


Main Dish Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp Recipes - Cooked Shrimp in Skillet

Shrimp Etouffe is a simple dish with tomato sauce, shrimp, onion, bell pepper and celery, served over rice – a traditional Cajun dish.

A spicy, quick dish that can be made in a tagine, if you have one, or a heavy skillet, if not.  Moroccan Shrimp Tagine is seasoned with garlic, tomatoes, cayenne, cumin, and can be served alone, as an appetizer, or over rice as a main dish.

Here’s a creamy dish made with shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, cream cheese and rice, and topped off with a little Parmesan cheese (Creamy Lemon, Mushroom, Shrimp & Rice); even better, it’s ready in about 30 minutes for a quick week-night dinner recipe.

Coconut Shrimp Curry is a delicious dish – shrimp with cauliflower and sweet potatoes is served over jasmine rice.

Last, but not least, these New England Shrimp Rolls are sure to please any time and are so quick to put together – perfect for a busy week night, and fun for a picnic or enjoying al fresco on a summer evening.

So, what are your favorite shrimp recipes?  Did any of these inspire you to try something new in the coming days?  Or maybe remind you of an old favorite you’d forgotten about?  Please leave us a comment with your thoughts; we enjoy hearing from you!

12 Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

 

 

 

It is better to give than to receive, and if you’re looking for unique, inexpensive Christmas gifts you can make at home, we have 12 homemade Christmas gift ideas just for you (no sewing or baking required!).

While some DIY Christmas gifts may cause people to shudder and mumble “Oh … thanks … you made that!” with a stunned look on their face, these homemade gifts are sure to be a real hit with your family and friends.  (Be sure to scroll down to the end to see where to find free printable gift tags for your packages, as well!)

So, let’s get started with these unique Christmas gift ideas:

1. Cranberry, Almond and Vanilla Granola  – This one is perfect for the holiday giving season since it can make a delicious quick breakfast or a simple, healthy snack to have on hand for last minute guests or famished children during their days home from school.

 

 

 

2. Play Dough – Mix up a few different colors of this recipe and package them in small air-tight containers for a whole family, stacked together for a colorful display; perfect for keeping kids (and creative adults) occupied during the holiday break.

3. Rosemary Lemon Salt Hand Scrub (by Mommie Again) — mix some of this up to set out for guests during holiday events at the house and package up the extra to give as hostess gifts, or the perfect non-food gift for a friend. Four simple ingredients make up this blend: coarse sea salt, oil, rosemary essential oil and lemon essential oil.

rosemary lemon salt hand scrub by mommie again

4. Hot Chocolate Mix – put together this homemade dry mix (3 simple ingredients), place in a decorative jar or container, and attach a small label with simple directions for whipping the mix up into a nice glass of hot cocoa.

 

 

5. Sweet Roasted Pecans – Roast some pecans with some sweet seasoning and tie them up with pretty ribbon in a clear gift bag for small personal treats, or a large bag for a hostess or family gift.

 

 

6. Hot Chocolate or Coffee Stirrers – make caramels or peppermint candies into delicious coffee or tea stirrers for a festive Christmas gift that’s perfect for teachers and friends.

7. Seasoning Mixes for Cooking (including Italian, Taco, or Fajita — Taco Seasoning shown below) – mix up a batch of a cooking seasoning mix that you know your family and friends will enjoy, store it in a fun air-tight container with a label suggesting how much to use for common recipes.  Eat healthier, cooking with seasonings that contain no additives!

8. Holiday Cookie Mix in a Jar – layer all the dry ingredients for these cookies (including some holiday M&M’s) in a tall jar and label with instructions for adding the wet ingredients when ready to mix up a fresh batch of cookies.  Who wouldn’t enjoy that, right?

 

 

9. Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Trail Mix from Project Motherhood – because who couldn’t use a healthy snack mix that’s easy to have on hand for extra guests or unexpected visitors?  Fresh popped popcorn tossed with chocolate chips, almonds, and seasoned with a sprinkling of pumpkin spice latte mix.

 

 

10. Chocolate Pretzels – Use large pretzel sticks and dip into white or dark chocolate (or both) and then drizzle with some of both as well for a festive salty sweet snack or treat for the holidays.

 

chocolate covered pretzels, holiday gifts, edible gifts, foodie gifts, digital recipe organizer

 

11. Superfood Chocolate Bark – Dark chocolate with almonds and goji berries makes a healthy and delicious treat, a delightful Christmas gift for friends and family alike.

12. Vanilla Extract (including printable label for bottle) – make your own vanilla extract (it does take some time to cure completely) and make enough for friends, too, with this easy recipe!

 

vanilla extract recipe, printable label, DIY christmas gift idea,

 

(See These Helpful Hints)
No matter which homemade Christmas gift you choose to make, stop over at Homemade Gifts Made Easy and print out their free printable gift tags for your gifts!

Please leave us a comment below with your favorite homemade Christmas gift ideas or suggestions; we love hearing from you.

free checklist for stocking pantry, easy dinners

 

Be sure to grab your free Printable CheckList for Stocking the Pantry for Easy Meals (be ready at a moment’s notice to whip up your next easy dinner with these simple ingredients on hand).

 

 

Lastly, remember to take a peek in the store and see if our Bamboo Cutting Board, Gift Subscription for a Dish Dish Pro account, or Digital Recipe Album could be the perfect gift for one of your loved ones this year!

Tantalizing Leftover Turkey Recipes

 

 

 

Well, turkey day has come and gone – and we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, celebrating the good things of life with loved ones and friends (and perhaps helping serve those who are less fortunate and did not have family or friends with which to gather). (Above Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash)

And now, unless you ate out for dinner on the big day, there are leftovers!  For many families, the leftovers are almost as enjoyable as the original meal.

However, for those who would prefer to do something a little different with the leftover turkey, we offer some tantalizing recipes for your weekend.

(Click on the recipe title or picture to see full recipe)

Turkey Alfredo Pizza – Serve up a pizza topped with chopped turkey, spinach or greens, alfredo sauce, and fontina cheese.  Yum! Use a pre-baked crust and this is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Turkey Pilaf – Chopped turkey baked with rice; stir in cheese and thinly sliced green peppers in the end for a hearty, delicious and filling dish.

BBQ Turkey Sandwich – Cook up your own BBQ sauce with this tasty recipe, toss in the turkey, and serve with lettuce leaves on potato rolls.

Leftover Turkey Soup – Fewer than 10 ingredients; chopped turkey cooked in chicken broth with carrot, celery, pasta, and Italian dressing mix for a flavor twist.  Ready in about 30 minutes.

turkey soup, leftover turkey, turkey recipes, thanksgiving recipes, soup recipes, digitize recipes, digital cookbook, organize recipes, family recipes

 

Southwestern Turkey Chili – full of southwest flavor with corn, green chilies, black beans, red bell pepper, and turkey cooked in thickened chicken broth.  Delish!

southwestern turkey chili, turkey recipe, chili recipe

 

Turkey Noodle Bake – Egg noodles, broccoli, and chopped turkey baked in a creamy cheese sauce; this casserole has a similar taste to cheesy broccoli rice casserole with added turkey.

Turkey Enchiladas – Turkey, green chilies, sour cream sauce, (and black beans, if you like) rolled in tortillas and baked; all ready in about an hour.

 

How do you enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers?  Do you have other recipes you enjoy making with the leftovers?  Any family traditions around your holiday leftovers?

We’d love to hear about your ideas in the comments below.

 

And remember you can always save your favorite recipes in your own online cookbook account here at Dish Dish, ready for you to scale, edit, share with family and friends, make shopping lists and more! Why not get started today?

Keep Favorite Recipes in Free Online Cookbook with Grocery List

The 25 Best Thanksgiving Recipes You Need to Know

 

 

25 Best Thanksgiving Recipes, easy holiday recipes

 

Looking for the Best Thanksgiving Recipes?

When I was growing up, we enjoyed pretty much the same Thanksgiving recipes year in and year out.  We usually enjoyed a traditional fare with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing (never stuffing, for us), gravy, green bean casserole, maybe sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, a jell-o or whipped cream fruit salad, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls, to be followed by dessert which included pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream, pecan pie, and mince meat pie.

However, in the last several years we have seen the rise of all types of cooked turkey including deep-fried!  You can cook your turkey in the deep fryer, the smoker, the Green Egg, the crockpot (yes, even that!), or in the oven (with lots of flavor options — oh, and to brine or not to brine?). Here’s a terrific infographic from Traeger on how to smoke a turkey.

 

How to Smoke a Turkey

 

Lots of families don’t even eat turkey for Thanksgiving, instead preferring beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin, spiral cut ham, or tamales for their main dish; perhaps your family even opts to lean towards a large brunch or egg breakfast recipes rather than lunch or dinner fare.

Perhaps your family has branched out from traditional fare for side dishes, too, and prefers creamed spinach, squash casserole, broccoli rice casserole, homemade cranberry relish (as opposed to the stuff out of the can), roasted sweet potatoes, spinach salad, or bread stuffing.  All of these are wonderful dishes and work well with most of the main dishes above.

For many of us, the best Thanksgiving recipes would have to include some apple pie, chocolate cream pie, perhaps key lime pie, or coconut cream pie.  And maybe your preferred bread is not a dinner roll, but some blueberry or pumpkin muffins!

(And if it’s starting to bring on the overwhelm, help yourself out with our free downloadable Thanksgiving Dinner Planner guide.)

In light of these massively varied options, we have collected our favorite 25 Best Thanksgiving Recipes for your delight.

1.  Juicy Roasted Turkey – Succulent turkey roasted with seasonings and a few veggies with chicken broth and some champagne (if you have it on hand).

2. Maple Pecan Turkey Breast – If you only cook the turkey breast instead of the whole turkey, this sweet recipe calls for maple syrup and is topped off with chopped pecans.

3. Maple and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham – Glaze and heat a fully baked ham with a combination of maple syrup, brown sugar, apple juice, and seasonings.  Yum!

4. Pork Tenderloin with Dried Fruit Glaze – Roast this in the oven or in your crockpot (if the oven is full) with orange marmalade, raisins, dried apricots and red wine adding a full round of flavor.

5. Beef Tenderloin – You only need 5 ingredients for this tenderloin recipe; roast in the oven until mostly cooked, then sear in a skillet on all sides and let rest a few minutes before serving.

beef tenderloin recipe, easy beef recipe, holiday

6. Corn, Poblano and Cheese Tamales – These are well worth the amount of work required, and make a great vegetarian dish for your dinner, too.

7. Pan Gravy – almost a holiday necessity if you’re serving meat, right? And it’s really such a simple side to make with this easy recipe.

8. Classic Green Bean Casserole – Yes, this is like the one your grandmother made with cream of mushroom soup, topped off with french fried onion rings.

9. Squash Casserole –  Yellow squash casserole baked in a creamy cheesy sauce and topped with Ritz (or your favorite) crumbled crackers. (Below photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash)

10. Spinach Pear Salad – baby spinach topped with diced pears and crumbled blue cheese, dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette and some chopped walnuts.

11. Oven Roasted Carrots – a super easy side dish that also transports easily; only 3 ingredients!

12. Cranberry Sauce – make your own with this 5 ingredient recipe full of fresh cranberries.  Make it a few days ahead and simply reheat before serving.

13. Mashed Potatoes – only 4 ingredients, and a really simple recipe to make your potatoes turn out creamy and smooth.

mashed potatoes recipe, vegetarian, easy recipes

14. Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes – cooked with applesauce, maple syrup, and cinnamon for a delicious and easy side dish.

15. No Knead Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls – these wheat rolls are light and fluffy and light on the work load, too.  No kneading or rolling or shaping; just spoon into muffin tins after rising.  Make them the day before and reheat just before serving.

easy whole wheat dinner rolls recipe, thanksgiving, easy bread recipe

16. Spinach and Artichoke Potato Casserole – sort of like a fancy potatoes au gratin with cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts.

17. Cornbread Dressing – moist cornbread dressing (make the cornbread a day or two before to make things easy on yourself).

cornbread dressing recipe, thanksgiving

18. Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing – cooked turkey sausage with the traditional bread cubes, some chopped apple and dried cranberries!

19. Berry Muffins – moist delicious muffins that can be made with your favorite frozen berry (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, …).

blueberry muffins, blackberry muffins, moist berry muffins, digital recipes, online cookbook, digitize recipes, family recipes, brunch, breakfast, my recipes

20. White Dinner Rolls – kneaded, shaped, brushed with butter – perfect traditional dinner roll.

dinner rolls brushed with butter, bread recipe

21. Chocolate Cream Pie – make the chocolate variation of this vanilla cream pie for a remarkable dessert.

22. Pumpkin Pie – moist pumpkin pie, perfect for topping with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, pumpkin, pumpkin recipes, digital cookbook, digitize recipes, dish dish

23. Coconut Meringue Pie – If the meringue part intimidates you, let the filling cool in the refrigerator, and then top the pie with a layer of whipped cream for an icebox pie.

24. Apple Crumb Pie – only 3 ingredients needed for the filling, and only 4 ingredients in the topping; keeping it simple, but super tasty.

apple crumb pie, dessert recipe, holiday recipe

25. Pecan Pie – sweet pecan pie, traditional southern fare (or mix it up with a Coconut Chocolate Pecan Pie).

 

Remember to collect favorite Thanksgiving recipes from family members as you gather this holiday season.  Before the original cooks, chefs or bakers have passed away or no longer remember the recipe, be sure to get the recipes written down and documented for sharing with family members and especially with future generations as they come along.  Preserving those family heritage recipes and holiday traditions is so valuable!

online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?  Do you think we left out some important ones?  What will your family be dishing up this holiday?  Please leave us a comment to let us know.

If you enjoyed the list, please consider sharing with your friends.

Make-Ahead Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burrito

 

 

If you enjoy breakfast recipes, but also enjoy not spending too much time on weekdays preparing a healthy breakfast for yourself or the kids, this make-ahead, freezer-friendly breakfast burrito recipe is going to be your new favorite!

These are so easy to make, a dozen at a time; wrap them up and put in the freezer until you’re ready to pull one or a few out for an easy breakfast ready in 90 seconds.

breakfast burrito on plate with salsa and parsley, breakfast recipe, healthy breakfast

First, scramble some eggs in a skillet along with some green chilies and shredded bacon (optional, of course).  Add some extra protein with black beans or sausage, if you prefer.

scrambled eggs in skillet on stove, healthy breakfast recipe

Then gather up the tortillas, some shredded cheese (use whatever type of cheese is your favorite), and some waxed paper for wrapping.

tortillas, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, wax paper, healthy breakfast burrito

After spreading out the waxed paper pieces, set one tortilla on each waxed paper sheet, top with the eggs and some cheese.  Now they’re ready to fold up!

breakfast burritos laid out on wax paper, breakfast burrito recipe

Roll the tortilla up, burrito style, then lay it at the edge of the wax paper for rolling up. Fold one side of wax paper in towards burrito, then fold other side of wax paper in and towards center of burrito.

rolling up breakfast burrito on wax paper, breakfast recipe

Now gently roll the burrito up towards the opposite end of the wax paper until rolled up completely.

breakfast burrito rolled up in wax paper, freezer breakfast recipe

Place wrapped burritos into a freezer bag (labeled with date and heating instructions) and place in freezer until ready to use.

breakfast burritos in freezer bag, healthy breakfast recipe

To reheat burritos, simply remove one from bag, place it in the microwave (still in wax paper) for about 75 seconds (heating time can vary by microwave); unwrap and enjoy with your favorite salsa!

breakfast burrito on plate with salsa, breakfast recipe

For the detailed printable recipe or to save the recipe to your own online cookbook, see Breakfast Burritos.

See more Breakfast Recipes, including breakfast casseroles, crockpot breakfast recipes, and more.

 

Other Posts For You to Enjoy:

5 Gadgets for Organizing the Pantry

How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing (Infographic)

10 Delicious and Healthy Snacks for Healthy Living

18 Easy Dinner Recipes