Roasted Shrimp with Goat Cheese

It’s December! How did this happen? I didn’t even notice November passing by, and now all of sudden I’m in the middle of the holiday rush. I told myself that this year I’d be prepared, get things done in advance. I even set up a series of reminders in my calendar, but I ignored them because I thought I had lots of time. Sigh.

This recipe is great for those of us who are pressed for time. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, and a lot of the ingredients are pantry staples. If you’ve got shrimp in the freezer you could probably make it right now. The recipe is based one from Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That?

Roasted Shrimp with Goat Cheese

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups puréed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pinch fennel seeds
  • 1 1/4 pound shrimp
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Heat half of the oil in a large oven proof pan over medium heat. Sautée the onion till softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and cook till reduced by half, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the tomato puree, oregano, and fennel seeds, as well as salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. While the tomato is simmering, mix the bread crumbs, parsley and remaining 2 tbsp of oil together. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. After 10 minutes, place the shrimp in a single layer over the sauce, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and goat cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.


Magazine Monday – Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Last November I participated in a 30 day sugar free/gluten free challenge.  The challenge was difficult at first, because every single meal has to be planned, but once I got the hang of it things went very well. By the end of it I felt great. When it came time to implement what I had learned in every day life things kind of fell apart. I quickly went back to eating exactly the way I was eating before the challenge. A year later I feel like my diet needs a complete overhaul again, so I will be doing the challenge again starting tomorrow.

I was flipping through some magazines to plan next weeks menu when I came across this recipe for Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce from Gourmet Quick Kitchen. I swapped out the tofu for shrimp, and used green pepper instead of cucumber because I had those on hand. The dipping sauce does not meet the sugar free rules, as it calls for some sugar, and hoisin sauce also has sugar in it. But since I’m starting the challenge tomorrow I decided to go ahead and make the sauce for today.

The quick pickled vegetables add a great flavour to the rolls. They are very tasty, and quick and easy to make. I probably should have rolled them a little tighter, but I was still able to pick them up and dip them in the sauce.

I’ll be submitting this post to Magazine Mondays. Head on over to Cream Puffs in Venice Mondays to see what people have been cooking up!

Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Makes 8 rolls

  • 2 oz dried bean thread noodles
  • 3 small carrots, cut into match sticks
  • 1 smell bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp & 3/4 tsp lime juice, divided
  • 8 rice paper rounds
  • 24 medium-large shrimp, cooked
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. Soak noodles in hot water for 10 minutes.
  2. While noodles are soaking, blanch carrots in boiling water for 45 seconds. Rinse under cold water then transfer to small bowl with peppers.  Toss vegetables with rice vinegar, 3 tbsp lime juice, salt. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Reserve 2 tbsp of the vinegar mixture, and drain the vegetables.
  4. Drain the noodles, rinse them in cold water twice. Using kitchen shears, cut the noodles into smaller pieces. Toss with 3/4 tsp lime juice.
  5. Fill a shallow pan with warm water. Soak a rice paper round in the warm water for 30 seconds. Shake off excess water and place on a work surface. Place 3 shrimp, some vegetables, and some noodles on the bottome third of the round. Roll tightly around the filling, folding the sides in. Repeat with remaining rice paper rounds.
  6. Make the sauce; Mix reserved pickling liquid with hoisin sauce, peanut butter and water. Serve with rolls.


Ready; Set; Challenge!

Today was day 2 of the Defi Bien Dans Ma Peau (which I guess would translate to the Comfortable In My Skin Challenge, but it sounds better in French).  The challenge was put together by LaJulie, a nutritional coach who offers private sessions or group activities like this one or the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge. It sounds scary, but Julie loves food and has made it her mission to teach people how to eat healthy but still get the joy that food can bring.

I did the 30 Day Challenge last November, and by the end of it I felt great. But the holidays and a tough winter health wise have led me back to my old ways. Time for a new challenge!

The Defi Bien Dans Ma Peau is a 6 week challenge. 27 of us will be saying no to refined sugars, white bread and pastas. We’ll also be doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. It’s not all bad though, this time Julie is letting us have coffee (just one though), and the occasional glass of organic wine. On top of that there are weekly meetings where we will learn about a variety of topics including digestion, fitness and even an organic wine tasting! The meetings are also a chance to share with others how the challenge is going. I enjoy the group activity, its like a sugar-holics support group.You can follow our progress on Julie’s blog.

My first two days went pretty well. I caved and had an earl grey tea this morning, but I think it was more out of habit than a need for caffeine. Julie emphasizes not overcooking food, otherwise its nutrients and enzymes will be destroyed. I came across this recipe on Epicurious and thought it would be a great first dinner. It was pretty tasty. Those of you who know me will realize that is saying a lot, as I don’t often eat seafood and almost never put dressing on my salad.

Asian Noodle Dinner Salad

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 oz cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 cup tomato, cut
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 small head brocoli, cut into small florets and cooked
  • soba noodles (about 4 oz per person according to the recipe, but I have no idea how to measure 4 oz of noodles)


  1. Make dressing. Put the first 9 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Use 2 tbps of dressing to marinate the shrimp for 10 minutes.
  3. Start cooking soba noodles according to package directions. Unlike traditional wheat based pasta, its important to rinse the noodles in cold water once they are cooked.
  4. Once marinated, pan fry shrimp 2 to 3 minutes a side. (I used coconut oil to fry the shrimp)
  5. Toss the noodles, veggies, shrimp and remaining dressing together.
  6. Enjoy!

This dish was great the night I made it, but the leftovers I had for lunch were somehow not as good. Next time I’ll leave some of the salad undressed until I’m ready to eat the leftovers. I’m new to the world of salad dressing, I’m allowed to make rookie mistakes.