Fit Shrimp Scampi

We L.O.V.E. this dish in our home.  It tastes light and fresh, but is also filling.  I love the way the garlic, butter, and lemon come together with the shrimp.  I mean, what’s not to love?  We usually eat this with fresh steamed veggies or a fresh green salad.


Shrimp Scampi
Modified from Eating for Life

4 oz. whole-wheat penne pasta
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T. Butter Buds, divided  (or some other non-hydrogenated buttery spread like Smart Balance)
3 T. White Cooking Wine (found near vinegars in the grocery store)
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved — juiced and zested
3 T. reduced-fat parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

Prepare penne pasta according to its package directions.  Once pasta is done, drain it and add 1 T. of Butter Buds (or Smart Balance) to the pasta to keep it from sticking and to provide a richer flavor.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and garlic in a wok or large skillet over medium heat.

Add shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until it’s almost pink (three-quarters done), about 2 minutes.

Add 1 T. of Butter Buds (or Smart Balance) and white wine to shrimp; sauté about 2 more minutes.  (The white wine pulls all the stuff off your pan from cooking the garlic and shrimp.  It’s awesome and provides great flavor.)

Remove skillet from heat and add the juice and zest of the lemon, black pepper, and fresh parsley.  (If you choose to use dried parsley, then add it to the skillet when you add the wine).  Stir to combine.

Divide pasta into appropriate portions and top with corresponding portions of shrimp mixture.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and additional fresh parsley if desired.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  293
Protein:  21.6g
Carbs:  32.8g
Fat:  10.6g (1.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.5g
Sugars:  0.6g

Mango-Pineapple Salsa Over Shrimp

This Mango-Pineapple Salsa is soooo yummy!  It can be used for several things (it’s great as an appetizer with baked chips), but I really love it with this shrimp.  The salsa has that spicy-sweet flavor that tends to be irresistible to me.  How about you?

When it’s paired with the shrimp, it tastes like vacation.  You get the tropical taste from that salsa and a somewhat Jamaican Jerk taste from the shrimp.  I tell you what – these were meant to be eaten together!  And, just in case you were wondering, I made this for the family while we were in Hawaii.  We used the fresh pineapple and mango we bought at the farmer’s market and after we made the salsa I couldn’t get enough (well, until my calorie counting conscience said, “no more!”)

When I made it at home (with the pictures shown here), I actually used my indoor grill.  If you’re not in the mood to grill or we’re in the colder months, you can also heat a small amount of canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and then cook the shrimp until they’re done.  I love to serve this over couscous (as shown) or rice.

Mango-Pineapple Salsa Over Shrimp
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

For the Salsa:
7 ounces peeled & cored fresh pineapple & mango, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1-1/4 cups total fruit)
1/2 small red pepper, seeded & chopped
1 scallion, sliced thin (or minced red onion works too)
1/2 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
salt & pepper

For the Shrimp:
3/4 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 lb. shrimp

For the Salsa:  Combine the mango, pineapple, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl.  Season with additional lime juice (if needed), salt, and pepper to taste.  Let the salsa sit for at least 10 minutes before serving (can be made up to 24 hours in advance).

For the shrimp:  Preheat gas, charcoal, or indoor grill over medium heat.  Combine the brown sugar, coriander, ginger, garlic powder, pepper, salt, and allspice in a bowl.  Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over both sides of the shrimp.

If desired, thread shrimp on skewers.  Grill shrimp until pink and cooked through (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Gently transfer the shrimp to individual plates and serve with the salsa.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving – Shrimp & Salsa)
Calories:  143
Protein:  23.2g
Carbs:  5.2g
Fat:  2.1g (0.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  3.1g

Nutritional Information (Per Serving, Salsa Only)
Calories:  23
Protein:  0.2g
Carbs:  4.1g
Fat:  0.1g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  3.1g

Shrimp and Cheddar Tostada with Salsa Verde

These are quite tasty, my friends!  And, as in true form for most of my recipes, they are super easy to throw together.  I loved the idea of actually using shrimp on a tostada and the shrimp goes so well with the spices . . . garlic, green salsa, and cilantro.  YUM!  There’s nothing bland about these babies.  You must add them into your menu.  Now!

Shrimp & Cheddar Tostada with Salsa Verde
Adapted by Rocco Dispirito, “Now Eat This! Diet”

4 whole wheat pitas (120 calories)
16 oz. precooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup jarred tomatillo salsa
Pinch of red hot pepper flakes
1/4 cup shopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) fat-free cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.

Place pitas on the baking sheet, and spray them on both sides with cooking spray.  Toast the pitas in the oven until they are brown and slightly crispy, about 3-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with garlic powder, salsa, red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Equally scatter half of the cheese on the pitas and then equally divide the shrimp onto the pitas.  Top with the remaining cheese, and then bake in the oven till the cheese is melted and the shrimp is warmed through, about 8 minutes.  (Watch carefully to  make sure the pitas do not burn.)

Sprinkle the remaining cilantro over the tostadas and transfer them to a cutting board.  Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Tostada)
Calories:  273.5
Protein:  36g
Carb:  18g
Fat:  2.2g (0.3 = Sat)

Oven Baked Fish Sticks

I have been wanting to make some kind of oven baked fish stick for some time now.  I finally buckled down and did some research, looked through several versions, and, in the end, created by own recipe.  I thought these had a great balance of spice, tang, and crispiness . . . yet still kept the calories in check.  I used Panko bread crumbs (which are found in most grocery stores), but you could easily use a whole wheat bread crumb or, if you’re trying to eat gluten free, you can use crushed Rice Chex.  I served these with a side of sweet potato fries (oven baked, of course!) and found this to be a lovely dinner for me and my man.

Oven Baked Fish Sticks

1 T. nonfat greek yogurt
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs (I used Panko)
8 oz. cod fillets, cut into 1-inch strips
Butter-flavored cooking spray

Place first 7 ingredients a shallow bowl.  Mix to combine.

Combine bread crumbs in another shallow blow.  Dip fish in the yogurt mixture then roll in the crumb mixture.

Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. (I like to place a sheet of foil on my backing sheet and then coat with cooking spray.  This makes clean-up MUCH easier.)  Spritz fish sticks with butter-flavored spray.  Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, turning once. 

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  161.5
Protein:  27g
Carbs:  9g
Fat:  1.1g (0.1g)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  1.1g

Baby Pasta Shells with Shrimp, Asparagus, & Marinara Sauce

This is a GREAT light dinner option!  It tastes so fresh that I think it’s perfect for a spring or summer dinner.  I love the combination of these simple ingredients, but I’m a sucker for pasta, shrimp, asparagus, and anything smothered in marinara sauce!  You can always opt to make your own marinara sauce, but it’s pretty equivalent in calories to use a jarred one.  However and whenever you decide to add this to your dinner rotation, I hope you find it as satisfying as I did!

Baby Pasta Shells with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Marinara Sauce
Adapted from Skinny Taste

6 oz whole wheat pasta (I used baby shells)
1 bunch thin asparagus, tough ends removed
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup parmesan
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1 lb. shrimp (shelled and deveined)

Boil about 4 inches of water in a large pot, when boiling add asparagus and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Drain and chop into small bite sized pieces.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (you can use the same pot from the asparagus not to dirty too many dishes). Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.  Two minutes before pasta reaches al dente, add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is pink and not longer translucent.

While pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan heat 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce. Drain pasta and RESERVE a cup of the pasta water.

Return pasta back to the pot and toss with marinara, asparagus, grated cheese, salt and pepper and a 1/4 cup of the pasta water or as needed to loosen the sauce. Divide between four bowls and top with fresh pepper and more grated cheese if desired.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories:  374
Protein:  33.1g
Carbs:  43.3g
Fat: 7.7g (2.7 = sat)

Fit Fettuccine Alfredo

Photo by Josie Fox Photography

I’m not gonna lie.  If Rocco had been in my kitchen the day I tried this recipe for the first time, I’m pretty sure I would have given him a big, fat kiss on the forehead!  Fettuccine Alfredo has always been a forbidden food around my house because the traditional way of making it is LOADED with fat and calories (therefore has never been favorable to the hips, thighs, or abs).  This recipe is a true blessing in my life and I’m so happy to know that I can actually eat this meal without the guilt!  I usually make it with shrimp, but it’s also fabulous with grilled chicken strips.  I must say, I was amazed at the amount of sauce that ends up covering the pasta.  I was quite skeptical in thinking that the only way to have the calorie and fat count so low must be because there isn’t a lot of sauce.  No, no, no!  There is PLENTY of sauce and this made me that much happier!  And, as a heads up, not all grocery stores carry 2% Greek yogurt.  However, it is always stocked at Good Earth and the Sunflower Market (for those of you who live in Utah).  The 2% Greek yogurt helps add to the creaminess of the the dish and I do not recommend going with 0% fat yogurt (which tends to be easier to find in traditional grocery stores).  Do not worry though. . . the extra trip to the extra grocery store is beyond worth it (in my humble opinion!).  Thanks again to Josie for the great photo!

Fit Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp
Adapted from Rocco Dispirito’s, “Now Eat This! Diet”

6 oz. whole wheat fettuccine
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
2 tsp. butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 grates of a nutmeg
3/4 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt (such as Fage Total)
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package directions.  In the last few minutes of cooking, add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is pink and no longer translucent; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and nutmeg grates in a small bowl.  Whisk in the chicken broth until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the sauté pan, raise the heat, and bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking occasionally.  Whisk in 1/4 cup of the cheese until it has melted.  Remove the sauté pan from the heat and whisk in the yogurt until the sauce is smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked fettuccine and shrimp with the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.  Top the pasta with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and chopped parsley, divide amongst 4 plates, and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  366
Protein:  39g
Carbs:  30.8g
Fat:  8.2g (3.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4.6g

Cod with Strawberry Salsa

Strawberry season is a glorious time for me!  Not only do I love this fresh berry, but I love that it means spring is here and summer is super close.  I tend to buy LOTS of strawberries at once and then eat them with all my meals and snacks.  Thus, the discovery of this recipe was a sweet find.  The strawberry salsa includes so many flavors that are perfect for strawberries (balsamic vinegar and lime) and even more perfect to top off a delicious piece of fish.  I loved how it tasted so light and fresh.  I usually find cod to be a less flavorful fish, but when it is paired with this strawberry salsa there is nothing boring about the flavor!

Cod with Strawberry Salsa
Source:  Adapted from the California Strawberry Commission

2 4-oz. fillets cod (or any white fish)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley (chopped)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cup strawberries (trimmed and chopped)

To prepare the salsa mix the parsley, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, honey and black pepper. Toss the strawberries with the dressing to coat. Set aside and allow flavors to meld while preparing the cod.  Season the cod with salt and pepper. Broil the cod until cooked and flaky, about 6-9 minutes. Serve the cod topped with the strawberry salsa.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Fillet & 1 Cup Salsa)
Calories:  194.5
Protein:  26.5g
Carbs:  18g
Fat:  1.6g (0.1g = Sat)
Fiber:  4g