Friday, January 22, 2010

Fridge Scampi

Yet another witty title, eh?

There are no shortage of low-fat shrimp scampi recipes. But if you’re like me and you just, out of the blue, decide that you want to make shrimp scampi, chances are you’ll not have everything that’s called for in the given recipe.  That was the situation when I came up with tonight’s dinner.

Most low fat scampi recipes call for butter, wine, chicken broth, shrimp, parsley, garlic, perhaps some olive oil.   

I had a handful of frozen shrimp (small, size 55-60 cocktail shrimp left over from New Year’s LOL)

I had garlic.

I had grape tomatoes.

I had wilted parsley.

I had no wine.

I had no chicken broth and didn’t feel like mixing any up from the package.

I came up with my own version.

First, I lightly browned 2 cloves of garlic in a pan with about a teaspoon of unsalted butter while I put some water on to boil for angel hair.

Once the garlic was nice & happy, I tossed the tomatoes in – probably 10-15 of them.  They danced around the pan while I finished taking the tails off the defrosted shrimp.   (WHY do they leave them on?!)

Once the tomatoes began to soften, I added the shrimp and and tossed them together with the rest of the pan, trying to make sure everything was coated in the garlic/butter/tomatoey goodness.  Since my shrimp were already precooked, once they were heated, they were done.  I shut the pan off and waited for the angel hair to finish.

Once the pasta was done, I strained it and then drizzled roughly a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into the same pan I’d boiled the pasta in.  When the pasta was drained thoroughly, I added it back to the pan and tossed to coat with the EVOO.  I then dumped the shrimp/tomato/garlic/butter madness into the same pan as the pasta and again, lightly tossed them together, coating everything with pan juices.  It was beautiful.




Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guest Post: Breakfast Soft Tacos

Recently, I came across Simple Daily Recipes, and I was immediately drawn to the beautiful photos and delicious recipes that the site’s author, Jill McKeever, offers.  She’d mentioned that she was looking to do some guest posts, and while it’s not something I normally do, it’s not for lack of WANT!  So I jumped at the chance to have her do something here on My Tasty Space.  The following is Jill’s post.  Enjoy!

Also, if you happen to come visit via Jill’s blog, welcome!  I hope you’ll take a look around, perhaps follow me or friend me on facebook. I love meeting new people and getting comments!

Thanks Jill!



Breakfast Soft Tacos

During the week or on the weekends, you always have time to make Breakfast Soft Tacos.  You can easily make them from any leftover sautéed vegetables or thinly sliced fresh vegetables.  The time saving trick is tossing them in the pan with the eggs and milk and scrambling them all together. 


To make 2 healthy size tacos

1 teaspoon butter or use non-stick spray for pan

2 tablespoons thinly sliced yellow onion

2 eggs

2 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon favorite chunky salsa

a good pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

10 baby spinach leaves or 1/4 cup spinach

2 flour tortillas

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese or your favorite sharp cheese

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a small fry pan.  Add onions, eggs, milk, salsa, and seasonings; scramble together.  When the eggs first begin to set, stir in spinach; continue scrambling eggs until fully set, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan over medium high heat.  Warm one tortilla for 30 seconds, checking that the griddle is not too hot to burn the tortilla.  Flip and layer one half with cheese and scrambled eggs.  If you wish to add more salsa, this is the time to do it.  Use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half and continue heating until tortilla is lightly crispy.  If you like your tortilla crunchy, keep cooking and flipping until you have crunchy breakfast quesadillas.  Those rock!

Try this recipe; I guarantee you'll be full until lunchtime. 

Recipe and photo by Jill McKeever at

Monday, January 18, 2010


My enjoyment in cooking, and specifically in cooking healthy meals has become a real challenge.  It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been posting as much as I used to, because it’s just so hard sometimes to come up with alternatives for the favorites I’ve always used.  The list of things I can’t eat seems to grow more and more, which – when you’re a foodie like me, is just depressing!

I can’t eat/use:

  • onions
  • peppers
  • milk or cream
  • ANYTHING high in fat

As a result, I’ve been forced away from some of the things I’ve always enjoyed, like STUFFED PEPPERS, sausage and peppers, sausage and potatoes, even my favored American Chop Suey, has changed because of the whole NO ONIONS thing.  IT SUCKS!

So, too, is the stomach problems I’ve developed in the last couple of years since my gallbladder removal and hernia repair surgery.  It seems that it made things worse, instead of better!

As a result, I’ve been eating low-fat as much as I can, as often as I can.  This often means that I’ve cooked something completely different for my family if it’s too high in fat – which, it seems, I have a very low threshhold for, and me eating a microwave-baked potato  with some low-fat cheese and sour cream. Yah, not much fun, especially for a food blogger.

Of course, one of the POSITIVE effects of this is that I did lose some weight, and I HAVE been actively seeking out and creating recipes that are low enough in fat for me to eat, that are still yummy and enticing to my kids and husband!  They’ve learned to enjoy Boca Burgers, mainly out of my need for BURGERS once in a while, and my 6 year old daughter, who was watching me make myself a salad for lunch last week, purposely asked for and made herself a salad as well – of SPINACH, broccoli and low-fat cheese! 

I’ve also learned how much more rewarding it is to buy frozen vegetables and cook them in some veggie broth, than to buy canned veggies, which have been cooked processed!  Plus, it’s MUCH cheaper, and I’m ALL ABOUT THE CHEAP!

So, I hope you will stick around, maybe say HELLO, offer some advice about my goofy problems.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Spanish Rice & Chicken Casserole

Ok, I really don’t know what to call this recipe, but it’s so good, you won’t care what the name is.

I was feeding my family of 5, so these are the amounts I used to make probably twice as much as I really needed, but YAY for leftovers!

Spanish Rice & Chicken Casserole

  • 2 boxes (store brand) Spanish rice mix
  • 1 14.5oz can stewed tomatoes (zesty style)
  • 2 half chicken breasts, boneless
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Light sour cream
  • flour tortillas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 really big skillet!

First off, I sliced the chicken breasts into 1/4” medallions and then sauteed them in the skillet with a very light coating of butter.  Once they’d started cooking, I added one package of Spanish rice seasoning mix to the pan and coated the chicken.  I cooked the chicken for approximately 3 minutes, then removed it from the pan to a plate.

Next, I prepared the rest of the Spanish rice as directed but because I only had 1 can of stewed tomatoes, that’s all I used.  Once the rice had been “browned”, I added the seasoning mix, water, tomatoes according to package. I also added the chicken back into the mixture, along with the cup of frozen corn and cup of frozen spinach.  I added these things in because well, corn goes great with mexican anything, and they’d never notice the spinach and they could definitely use the added nutrients!

I let the huge mixture cook for probably 30 minutes or until the juices had all be absorbed by the rice, and then I topped it with maybe 1/2 a cup of shredded cheddar.  I heated up some tortillas in the microwave and my family chose whether they’d have it on that or in the bowl or both.  It was DELICIOUS, both of my kids wanted 2nds – and even though there was some spiciness from the “zesty” tomatoes, they both agreed that it was awesome.

Now I like to figure this out, too

spanish rice mix x 2 - $2

can of tomatoes x 1 - $1

1 lb chicken  - $2

frozen veggies - $1

tortillas - $1

$7 for a full, satisfying and nutritious meal that served my 5, plus 2nds, plus still PLENTY for today’s lunch!

The ooos and ahhhs of a well-fed family?  PRICELESS! LOL


Notes:  I’ve made this similarly with hamburger before, but now that I’m thinking about it, I would bet it would be great with pork as well.