Eat Happy: Coconut Crusted Shrimp

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


When I saw that I was going to be making shrimp, I was excited because I love shrimp, but I have also never actually cooked it myself, so there was some intimidation there.  After reading Ashley’s shrimp experience from last week, I was really not looking forward to peeling and deveining them.

Luckily, Kroger had the hookup.  Sure, they were more expensive, but it was a price I was willing to pay to avoid that nasty task.

I was expecting this to be a stressful meal to make, just out of shear intimidation.  However, I poured some tequila, turned on the music, and got to it.

Like pretty much all recipes where you bread or crust something, the most frustrating part was when the coating starts to get super wet and no longer sticks to shrimp.  In other coated foods, I have started doubling the coating so that when the first batch gets wet, I can use the second.  Just a tip for you.

I honestly can’t believe how overall easy this was to cook and how delightful the taste was.  I feel like it’s a dish that I can impress company with, but at the same time, my 4-year-old loved it.

Would absolutely make this again, and kinda can’t wait!

Eat Happy: Almond Crusted Baked Cod

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


When I realized that I was making fish again, I took a deep breath before remembering that Anna Vocino hasn’t steered us wrong yet.  I was definitely excited to go back to the fancy ass Kroger to get the fish, so it made it fun.

I will admit, to save some money and frustration, I took a few liberties with this recipe.  I already had almond flour, but no almond meal as the recipe calls for.  I looked at Kroger but they didn’t have any, so I decided to just roll with the flour rather than make another stop.  Instead of chopping fresh chives, I used lightly dried ones.  And shallots?  I’m not entirely sure what those are because I always just add more garlic instead.

Is there anything more satisfying than a big hunk of good butter melting in a pan?

Yes, there is.  It’s garlic sautéing in said butter. *drool*

Sometime in the middle of cooking, I sat down my champagne glass and it barely tapped the handle of the coffeemaker.  Unfortunately, that broke the glass.  I’m still not sure if I’m more upset about the glass being broken or the champagne wastage.

I have to say, this was the least stressful meal I’ve made from Eat Happy in quite awhile!  It was quick and easy to prepare and well, tasty as fuck.

I served the fish with tomato slices marinated in balsamic vinegar and topped with mozzarella, baked and and finished with a quick broil.  Delicious!

Eat Happy: Salmon with Lemon Dijon Basil Sauce

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


Well HELLO! So glad you’re back (or new?) to our series. 🙂 Normally, I would have been filled with much fear and trepidation before attempting to execute this recipe. Why? Well. Fish in general is not something that is part of my normal repertoire of meat I cook. BUT – I’ve already tackled tuna two weeks ago. AND last week, Rhonda did a salmon recipe that turned out super delicious (according to her review). Therefore, I was super chill about this whole thing this week.

I’ll just start by saying, this was damn good. I’m for sure going to make this again…definitely for my dad. He really likes salmon, and I’m pretty sure this will impress the heck out of him. He’s a really great cook, and used to always encourage me to learn to cook well and to enjoy it. I never really got on that boat, but when I can impress him with something I cooked, I feel pretty dang good about myself. 😉

Anyway, to the experience at hand.

I ventured to my local Winn-Dixie to retrieve the salmon and other (very few) ingredients that I didn’t also have on hand. Which reminds me. I said this the other day in our NSNG Facebook Group. If you’re cooking recipes from this book and have to buy a bunch of stuff that you think you may not use again. You might be worried that it is extra money not well spent. You’re wrong.  You’ll totally use it again. For me, I really appreciate that. For example : I bought Dijon mustard ages ago and have used it so much while cooking through Eat Happy. Dijon mustard is not a typical staple in my fridge, so when I bought it I thought, “this will just sit in the fridge til it expires and I have to throw it out.” Um. Wrong. I’ve been using it like crazy!

But like I said – I went to Winn-Dixie. I went there once with the littles in tow. They were their usual distracting selves. I’d promised a visit to the trampoline park following this trek through the grocery store – so to say they were waiting on pins and needles is a huge understatement. Every time I grabbed an item, Coop kept asking: “is THAT the last thing???” I mean. Bless my heart. So we check out and leave and I run home to drop the goods off before we head to the trampoline park.

As I’m unloading the groceries – I realize my bell peppers are missing. There aren’t bell peppers in this recipe but I’d bought them for something else. SO – I get back in the car and call the store. They lady is like, “yup. we saw that you left them. Just come back when you can.”

Sooo, we go jump and then I have to break it to my very tired and very whiny children – that yes. We have to go back to the grocery store.

We go check in with customer service to confirm that yes I’m here to retrieve my forgotten bell peppers. Sophie sees a tiny child buggy that she MUST PUSH around the store. I allow her to get that. Now. We’ve got the bell peppers and are about to leave when the sweet lady who checked me out reminds me that I also forgot my lemons.

The lemons!

I definitely needed those for this recipe. SO, I have to tell Coop, who is done with this whole affair, that sorry bud. We gotta make the hike back to the other side of the store to grab those lemons. I also made Sophie put back her buggy. She breaks down screaming and crying. Cooper is going on and on about how he’s just ready to go home and watch rescue bots. I mean. You would have thought I was subjecting them to actual torture techniques.

AND while I’m getting the lemons, Sophie wanders off and finds an apricot that she decides to squeeze until it bursts in her tiny little hand.

I mean. Bless it all.

We did finally get all of the ingredients and make it back home. Compared to my shopping experience – cooking this salmon was a freaking breeze. Really though, it’s a very straight forward and simple recipe that sounds super impressive.  IMO

It’s so damn tasty too. And so damn good for my body. No sugars. No grains. I was satisfied and left feeling great about my choices.

And apparently. Rhonda and I love salmon. We had no clue. Thank goodness Anna is around to help us realize that through her amazing cook book. 😉

As I am writing this post, I’m heating up the left overs in the oven to eat for dinner. And I can’t wait for it to be ready!

What about you guys? What are your feelings on salmon? Any mom stories from the trenches of grocery shopping with unwilling kids to share? 😉

Eat Happy: Pistachio Crusted Coriander Salmon

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Thursday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

I was, to put it mildly, not excited about making this meal.  I am super intimidated by cooking fish and I just don’t eat a lot of seafood in general.  In addition to that, I abhor pistachios.  Cool.

My stores that I frequent most often are Target and Walmart – solely because they are behind my neighborhood.  It’s quick, easy, affordable, and I know where everything is in the store.  They don’t have fresh seafood departments though.  To be honest, I am not sure I would have gone through with heading over to Kroger to get salmon if not for the fact that I was wanting to try their store brand seltzer water.  Motivated by my favorite Tito’s mixers, I headed on over.  I got the salmon and the goddamn pistachios, along with the (expensive-ish) spices that I didn’t have at home.

At home, I had to talk myself into jumping in.  The absolute worst part of the entire process was the beginning – shelling the pistachios.  I put on a training video I was wanting to watch and got after it.

There was some gagging over the fact that I was going to eat pistachios and that there was fucking skin involved in the fish.

Let me just tell you though – when the fish started baking, it smelled absolutely amazing.  The kids kept asking me what the great smell was.  They still had no interest in eating it, mind you.

Well… turns out it tasted just as amazing as it smelled.  Once again, the anticipation was much worse than the actual process and result.

That being said, I’ll substitute with another nut next time, because fuck pistachios.

 

 

Eat Happy: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series (that was publishing every Tuesday and has moved to Thursdays) wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We started with the very first recipe and are working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

 

When I ended up being assigned the Cauliflower Pizza Crust, I admit I was not excited.  Making my own crust has never been appealing to me in the first place, which is why I either skip pizza or buy a ready-made Mikey’s crust.  However, this entire series is about trying new things, so I dove in…and by dove in, I mean whined and agonized over the fact that I needed to buy and food-process cauliflower and squeeze out all the moisture.

I don’t own a food processor and my Ninja blender typically does just fine.  however, it didn’t quite get the cauliflower to the texture it called for.  I forged ahead anyway.

My favorite part of the process was sipping Tito’s as the kids and I gagged over the putrid smell of cauliflower cooking.  ACK.  This is the point where I said it smelled like ass, rotten ass, and Quentin stated, “and rotten ass is the worst ass.”

I knew I didn’t get enough of the moisture out when it just wouldn’t really bind together.  As I was mixing the dough with my hands, I could fell water squishing.  Oops.

I had forgotten to buy traditional pizza toppings, which I prefer to use when I am trying a new crust.  However, I went ahead and used leftover roast and some BBQ sauce.

I gotta say, the texture was all wrong, as in it fell the fuck apart and was chunky (yay for not pulsing enough and having too much water), but it didn’t taste bad.  It did taste like cauliflower because, you know, that’s like 80% of the content.  I won’t make it again (unless manufacturers start making cauliflower dust in the freezer section), but I can almost see why people eat it.

 

Eat Happy: Mango Salsa

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

When I realized I was going to be making mango salsa, I gotta tell you – I was not excited and made a face for sure.  I don’t love mango.  Okay, I actually can’t stand mango.  I like mango flavored cocktails and stuff, but biting into a chunk of mango?  Naw.

I definitely wasn’t about to peel and cut up a mango, so I took the lazy and more expensive route and skipped that step.

This recipe is seriously as simple as cut up some shit and toss it into a blender.  I mean, it really doesn’t get any easier than that, especially when you’re lazy and buy as much stuff pre-chopped as possible.

It took me probably 10 minutes to make this, including setting up the blender and chopping the ingredients.  It really smelled and looked good, so I had high hopes that it would also taste good.

I am pleased to say, it is DELICIOUS and I did not feel like I was going to gag on a mango!  YAY!

Such a light and refreshing treat for these warm Texas days.  I had some of it on pork rinds then turned it into a lunch by rolling some into turkey and cheese.

This also made a huge jar of salsa and I am looking forward to enjoying a little of it here and there and mostly seeing Stuart enjoy it, since I typically don’t eat fruit and tomatoes anymore.

Do you like mango?  Do you make homemade salsas?  This is a great variety!

Eat Happy: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

 
Welcome back to our Tuesday post, where we share our experience with cooking through the best cookbook on earth: Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook, because you should be buying the book to support the author.  However, we will be telling you about our experience with the process, as well as our opinion of the outcome.  Let’s do this.

I was really excited to do this recipe.  I love cheesy anything and love working with mini peppers.  I underestimated this simple little gem though.

As usual, I had grocery shopping misadventures when preparing for this recipe.  There were NO regular bags of mini peppers left like I usually buy.  There was ONE bag of organic, which doesn’t have as many peppers but I had to just roll with it.  It left me wondering though, what in the fuck is happening mid-March that everyone needs peppers?!

After a WalMart, a Target, and a local grocery store, I still couldn’t find the specific goat cheese the recipe requires.  I had to stop in the grocery store to look up what’s so special about that cheese.  I discovered that it’s made creamy like a spread, instead of crumbled like the one I could find.  I decided to just roll with it.

The cheese was a little difficult to get into the peppers and had just as much all over my countertop, but it was fine.  They smelled absolutely DIVINE while they were cooking!

I didn’t realize until I pulled them out of the oven that I forgot fresh herbs, so I foraged around in my spice cabinet and emerged with my finest dried parsley.

Absolutely could not stop eating these and had to force myself to save 3 for Stuart to try.  100% will be making these again…soon.

Eat Happy: Cheese Biscuits

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

This recipe is also made to where you can make cheese straws, which are a good ole southern tradition, but I did not have time for an extra step so I went with a good ole biscuit shape.

I hate, hate, hate grating or shredding cheese but I avoid the extra fillers in most shredded cheese if I can manage taking 5 extra minutes to do it myself.  I also happened to already have block cheese and it needed to be finely shredded, so I just went for it with my hand grater.

When I got the dough ready, I was 100% convinced that it was not done correctly and I had to just roll with what I had going on.  It was much wetter than anticipated.  These bitches smelled AMAZING while cooking.  The kids were just watching the oven, waiting for them to be ready.

When they came out, I was a little confused over how flat they were, but upon looking in a Facebook group where most of the members cook from this book, I realized that wasn’t uncommon.  The most common solution seems to be to add more almond flour, which I will try next time.

And there will be a next time, like probably tomorrow… the kids woofed them down in 30 seconds and begged for more.  Easy and delicious and they will make the perfect addition to a lot of our regular meals.

Eat Happy: Sausage Stuffed Mushroom

 

Hey y’all! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


 

Sooooo. Another recipe another ingredient I don’t like. I mean. I feel like disliking mushrooms is a pretty common thing. Just because I dislike cucumbers and now mushrooms … doesn’t mean I’m super picky. Right?

Right??

Irregardless, I’m in this for the long haul – so I’ll try anything. And I have to go ahead and say that despite the whole mushroom thing…this was SO GOOD.

I don’t have any stories about having trouble finding ingredients on this one. Surprised? I sure was…cause that seems to have been a common theme for us so far. Not this time though.

I actually meant to cook this on Sunday night. You know. Be a prepared and responsible blogger. Not do things the night before. But eh. Where’s the fun in that? Also. I opened Eat Happy and looked at the recipe and was all “ NAH. I’ll do it tomorrow.” Cold feet like cray.

So I gave myself the pass Sunday night which meant Monday night was the night. I dove right in starting with the prep of all the cutting/chopping/ worst part…whatever you want to call it. My dad is an incredible cook. He always cooked our meals growing up. He would fondly call me his sous chef. I hated it. I was the one shredding the cheese and cutting the vegetables and cleaning up the messes he left in his wake. He was preparing me for real life. Or using me. How ever you choose to look at it. 😉

But yeah, everything was going great. I had to Google how to prepare a mushroom for stuffing. I spent HOURS chopping all the stems. Then, I ran across a piece of the inside of one of the mushrooms. I guess it came off with one of the stems I popped out? And um. I have that thing where I can’t stare at holes. Like clusters of them. It’s a thing. Trypophobia. Google it. I’m thinking about it now, and I think I may climb out of my skin. ANYWAY – the inside of this mushroom gave me a similar feeling as staring at a bunch of holes. Not cute.

So I threw that bad boy away and moved on with life. Like every other recipe I’ve tried from Eat Happy – even though the concept was intimidating to me – the actual execution of the recipe was easy because Anna keeps things simple and straightforward.

I got the stuffing mixture combined with only a slight issue with opening the cheese. Y’all. This stuffing. It’s amazing. So delicious. And if you know me this won’t come as a surprise, I have this vision of making this again but chopping up ALL the mushrooms and just mixing it all together and eating it like that. Cause I couldn’t help myself. I unadshamedly ate several spoon fulls of the stuffing all by itself.

AND while the stuffed mushrooms baked – they smelled incredible. I was actually looking forward to trying one. So, 45 minutes later – plus 10 more for cooling…it was the moment of truth. I chose one and put it on in my mouth. It was good. Really good. Cause that stuffing is bomb. But, I just can’t get past the squishy texture of a whole mushroom. Sooo – yeah I think next time I’ll just chop it all up and eat in in a bowl or something. Haha

It was seriously yummy though. You need to put this on your list of things to try. And again? The best part? It’s SO GOOD for your body. No sugars or grains to fuck you up. 😉

If you want to read more posts about Eat Happy, I’ve got all the links compiled here nice and neat for ya.

Eat Happy: Tzatziki Dip & Almond Meal Pita Chips

Eat Happy: Super Guac! & Smoked Salmon w/ Coconut Flour Blini
Eat Happy: Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches & Cheese Crisps

 

Eat Happy: Tzatziki Dip & Almond Meal Pita Chips

Hey y’all! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?


Hey hey! So today isn’t Tuesday, but we have something else planned for this Tuesday…so here we are on a Monday doing Eat Happy. 🙂

My task to cook this time? Tzatziki Dip and Almond Meal Pita Chips.

Soooo, confession time? The main ingredient in the Tzatziki Dip is cucumbers.  I hate cucumbers. I don’t like the way the smell. I certainly don’t like the way they taste. BUT I refuse to be that person that won’t try something new. Don’t get me wrong. I freaking love my comfort zones, especially when it pertains to food. I can eat the same meal all week. I will order the same thing at a restaurant…indefinitely. I’m just not going to put a hard no on something  – when it’s being prepared differently than I’ve ever had it. The thing is, you can be in the camp of not liking a certain food, but someone could cook or prepare it in such a way that you end up really enjoying.

But yeah. Not a cucumber fan – however, I dove into this recipe with confidence and zero cucumber hating baggage.

First hurdle? I had a hard time finding almond meal. I can remember when I first started NSNG, and how it was never a big deal to find coconut flour or almond meal at places like Walmart and Target. Now, the shelves were bare and weren’t restocked for over a week. Rhonda and I talked about it and she pointed out that it was probably because more people are being turned on to limiting grains and finding substitutes for traditional flour. Anyway, I finally found some almond meal at Winn-Dixie.

The batter is pretty simple and straightforward – I did have one hiccup. I forgot to buy parchment paper that was supposed to use to line the pan. You know. To prevent sticking. I’ve been out of tinfoil for a couple of weeks now. Zip lock bags too. I’ve been sending my son’s weekly magazine cut outs that start with his class’s letter of the week just stuck all willy nilly in the pocket of this school folder. So I mean – there for sure was no parchment paper in the house. Solution? I just heavily greased the pan with some kerrygold butter and sprinkled that with a little bit of almond flour. For the most part it worked. Thankfully you’re supposed to just break apart the pieces so it was ok that they didn’t come out all perfectly shaped. 🙂

The almond meal pita chips turned out fantastic. They were so good I could have ate that whole pan. I had to quickly wrap them up and put them away.

While the chips cooled, I got started on the Tzatziki Dip.  You have to roughly chop the cucumbers and sprinkle them with salt to help draw out some of the moisture.  I have to say that that part was super interesting. To let the cucumbers sit and come back to cucumber juices leaking everywhere.

Once the cucumbers were ready – I threw them into the food processor with all the other ingredients. Let me just tell you that pureed cucumbers have an even more intense smell. I was definitely taken aback. And then I regained my composure cause: I’d left my cucumber baggage at the kitchen door. 😉

I tried several bites – and it wasn’t too bad. Not something I’d choose to make again…but not something I’d turn my nose up at which says a lot considering I have a strong-ish dislike for cucumbers. And once again, I brought this beauty to my Mom cause girl loves cucumbers. 🙂 🙂

Thanks for coming by…and if you want to see our previous week’s Eat Happy posts feel free to click on through:

Eat Happy: Super Guac! & Smoked Salmon w/ Coconut Flour Blini
Eat Happy: Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches & Cheese Crisps