Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta

So there’s a reason that the word “sinful” is in the title…it’s NOT healthy!  Sometimes you have to cheat a little.  In this case, a lot🙂

I originally started making this dish about 10 years ago.  I found the base to this recipe in a Louisiana magazine and tried it out.  It only called for crawfish and it lacked some serious seasoning.  I had to adjust the recipe significantly as I cooked.  The recipe has morphed throughout the years.  It’s always delicious but it probably changes a little every time I make it because I don’t measure things when I cook.  I season, I taste, I add something else in until I’m happy with the result.  I really love it with real blue crab meat in it, but we haven’t boiled crabs lately and I’m not willing to pay $10 for a little can at the store.  So tonight’s was made with shrimp and crawfish only.  If you have crab meat, throw as much in as you have!  You don’t need to make any measurement adjustments to the rest of the ingredients if you do.

I’ve said before that one of the most challenging parts for me in doing this blog is measuring things.  So tonight I was “forced” to measure as I added, wrote it down, tasted it, what else did it need, added, tasted, etc.  So the picture of the ingredients isn’t fully representative of what’s on the actual ingredient list (pay attention to the list not the picture).  Thanks to this blog I now have a true recipe and one that can be passed down to my daughter and now shared with all of you🙂

Ingredients: raw shrimp, cooked crawfish tails, butter, flour, onion, green onions, dried parsley, minced garlic, white wine, heavy whipping cream, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, liquid crab boil, cooked pasta, French bread for dipping (optional).Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comGet your prep work done before starting to cook: 1) shell & devein 1 lb. medium shrimp, if needed (I bought shrimp that was already shelled and deveined), rinse, and cut into 3 pieces; 2) chop 3 green onions; 3) mince one medium onion.

Using a deep saute’ pan, melt 1 1/3 sticks of butter.  I originally just used 1 stick but once it was mixed with the flour, onions, etc. it was a little too “tight.”  The additional 1/3 made it perfect.

Once butter is melted, whisk in 4 TBSP of flour.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.com Cook on medium heat for ~3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comAdd in the 3 green onions and 1 medium one you previously chopped.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comAs well as, 4 TBSP dried parsley, 4 TBSP minced garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Emeril Lagasse always says that your onions don’t come out of the ground seasoned, so don’t skip the layering of seasoning throughout the cooking process.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comThis is what it looks like at the very beginning…

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comThis is after sauteing on medium heat for about 10 minutes…

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comAnd this is after 20 minutes…

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comGood food sometimes takes time, so don’t rush it🙂

Now add in shrimp, 1 lb. cooked crawfish tails, 1 cup of white wine, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comCook on medium heat for ~10-12 minutes.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comNow stir in 1/2 + 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comReduce heat to low and slowly add in 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.

** You don’t want it to boil or it will curdle**

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comSinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comAdd in 1/2 tsp Zatarain’s liquid shrimp & crab boil and simmer for ~15 minutes.

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.com

If you’ve never used this before, please be careful!  Don’t touch the liquid with your hands unless you plan to wash your hands really well.  Touching your eyes with this would be like taking some type of really hot pepper and rubbing it on your eyeballs.  You will be begging God for mercy! I wouldn’t take a big whiff out of the bottle for it will surely burn your nose, hahaha!  And don’t taste it out of the bottle! It is quite potent, so trust me with the previous “do not’s” and with only adding 1/2 tsp.

Now your sinful deliciousness is ready!

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.comServe over pasta (I prefer angel hair, but our daughter likes linguine).  Honestly, this stuff is so good that you could serve it over a cardboard box and it would be great!  A little French bread on the side to soak up the extra sauce is really nice too🙂

Bon Appetite!!

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta

Sinfully Delicious Seafood Pasta

Ingredients:

1 lb. medium shrimp

1 lb. cooked crawfish tails

1 1/3 sticks butter

4 TBSP flour

3 green onions, chopped

1 medium onion, minced

4 TBSP dried parsley

4 TBSP minced garlic

¼ tsp + ¼ tsp + ½ tsp salt

¼ tsp + ¼ tsp black pepper

1 cup white wine

½ tsp + ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp garlic powder

2 cups heavy whipping cream

½ tsp liquid crab boil

Cooked pasta

French bread (optional)

Directions:

In large sauté pan, melt butter. Whisk in flour & cook ~3 min. Add green onions, onions, parsley, minced garlic, ¼ tsp salt, & ¼ tsp black pepper. Sauté 20 min. on medium heat. Add shrimp, crawfish, wine, & ¼ tsp salt. Cook 10-12 min. Stir in remaining salt & pepper, all cayenne pepper, paprika, & garlic powder. Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in heavy cream. *Do not boil or it will curdle* Add liquid crab boil & simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Serve over cooked pasta.

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Pasta-less Minestrone Soup

LittleCajunGirl.com: Pasta-less Minestrone Soup

LittleCajunGirl.com: Pasta-less Minestrone Soup

Hi, friends! Sorry that I’ve been AWOL. Settling into our new town, temporary home, and new job. I wasn’t able to take photos of everything with step by step instructions, but I will make it and repeat in the future! Until then, here’s at least a photo (pre-cooked) and the recipe! Enjoy! And I will get back on the ball properly really soon! Appreciate the patience!!!!!

32 oz vegetable broth
32 oz beef broth
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 can black beans
1 can Great Northern beans
5 oz container of mixed spinach, mizuna, chard, and kale (or whatever mix you want…this is what I used….LittleCajunGirl.com: Pastaless Minestrone Soup

1/2 package (~5 oz.) carrot matchsticks
3 small zucchini cut into half circles
2 small yellow squash cut into half circles
1 medium onion, sautéed and lightly browned
1 lb ground Italian sausage, cooked
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 TBSP onion powder
1 TBSP garlic powder

Throw it all in a crockpot on high until all veggies are cooked. Top with a little Parmesan to serve.

 

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Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comClick here for a printable PDF recipe card Cajun Gumbo

If you’re really a Cajun, then you LOVE gumbo!!  If you don’t, then something went awry genetically!😉

There’s sooooo many different ways to make gumbo.  How you make it typically depends on how your family made it.  It is one of those things that’s just passed down from generation to generation.  It may have the consistency of a soup (the base comes from browning onions) or a stew (the base is a roux).  It may contain chicken, sausage, seafood, okra, etc.  Creole gumbo tends to have tomatoes in it; whereas, Cajun gumbo normally does not.  If you’re not from Louisiana and would like a little cultural lesson on the difference between Cajun and Creole, then check out Cajun vs. Creole Food – What is the Difference?.  Regardless of whether it’s Cajun or Creole, it’s always eaten with rice.

I grew up on gumbo.  It was probably in my bottle as a baby at some point😉  But I really started to pay attention to cooking when I was in high school.  I loved watching my dad cook (and, boy, can the man cook!).  I still have my first “Write Your Own Cookbook” that I started at that time and the first recipe is Jambalaya.  I remember making my dad measure everything (Sound familiar?? Cajuns don’t measure!! We just cook!) and I wrote down every little thing he did.  I still use the exact same recipe today.

So I learned to make gumbo when I was in high school from watching my dad.  He can make a mean shrimp okra gumbo, but my favorite is still chicken and sausage gumbo. Also, remember that Hubby doesn’t eat much of anything green🙂 so that DEFINITELY means no okra!

Traditionally it’s made with a whole cut-up chicken (or even simpler, chicken legs), but over the years I’ve switched to just chicken breasts for two reasons: 1) It’s less fattening and 2) It’s so much easier to shred than having to debone chicken!

I know you will absolutely LOVE this along with the perfect pairing of Simple Potato Salad! I haven’t met anyone yet that doesn’t🙂

Ingredients: 3 large chicken breasts; 1 pack of smoked sausage; 1 large onion; olive oil; 4 chicken bouillon cubes; onion powder; garlic powder; cajun seasoning; dried parsley; salt; Tabasco sauce; filé powder (optional); rice.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Get a little prep work done before you start cooking…cut up the sausage.  I like to cut them in half circles.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

Then chop the onions (I mince them).  I always put mine in a mini-food processor because Hubby isn’t a fan of bigger pieces of onion in his food and it’s also quicker.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Using a large pot (5 Qt.) heat about 1/3 cup of olive oil on high heat.  When the oil is hot add the onions…

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Now we’re going to brown them and I mean REALLY brown! Check out the video and you’ll see just how dark🙂 …

I always steam the onions after (if you watch the video, it will show you how to steam the browned onions, as well).  To steam: once onions have reached the desired color, pour in at least a cup of water and put the lid on.  Allow to steam for about 1 minute.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Keeping the heat on high, add some more water (amount is not important).  Drop in 4 chicken bouillon cubes.  Then 1 TBSP garlic powder, 1 TBSP onion powder, 1 tsp cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning), 1 tsp salt, 3 TBSP dried parsley, and 10 shakes of Tabasco sauce (use less if you want it less spicy).

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Add water until the pot is half full.  Now this is when you “test” the seasoning of the gumbo. I ALWAYS taste the liquid BEFORE I add the chicken and sausage because then I know before everything cooks in it if it’s seasoned well enough.  How your seasoned liquid tastes now will determine how your gumbo will taste later.  And you want your chicken to absorb that yumminess!  So add what you need now.  For example, if you only added 5 shakes of Tabasco and feel it could use more spice, then add more now.

Ok, it’s seasoned perfectly, so add the sausage and the chicken.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

Add more water if needed to reach within 1-inch of the rim.  Everything is in so bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1 hour.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comWhile it’s cooking put your rice to cook according to package directions.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

It’s been 1 hour so turn the heat off and remove the chicken breasts.  Shred the chicken.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comCajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

Return the chicken to the pot.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Now add 1 TBSP filé powder.  This next step is optional, as your gumbo will be tasty without it.  You may not be able to find this spice in your grocery store depending on where you live.  However, you can always order it online (it’s not an expensive spice and you can even find gumbo filé on Amazon for between $3-$7 depending on the brand).  Filé powder, or gumbo filé, is dried sassafras leaves that have been ground into a powder.  It adds a unique, delicious taste to the gumbo!

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Serve over rice and it’s ready to eat!  If you’re not familiar with how to serve gumbo, think of it as a soup with rice added to it.

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

My favorite way to eat it is to serve a cold, Simple Potato Salad on the side (click for the recipe).  There’s nothing like a bite of cold potato salad with a bite of hot gumbo!

Bon Appetite! (pronounced bon a-pet-tite’…that’s Cajun French for “Enjoy!”)

Cajun Gumbo with Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Cajun Gumbo

Cajun Gumbo

Ingredients:

1 large onion

1/3 cup olive oil

1 pack smoked sausage

3 large chicken breasts

Water

4 chicken bouillon cubes

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP onion powder

3 TBSP dried parsley

1 tsp Cajun seasoning

1 tsp salt

10 shakes of Tabasco sauce

1 tsp filé powder

Cooked rice

Directions:

  1. Cut up sausage into half circles. Chop onions.
  2. In a 5 Qt. pot heat oil on medium high heat. When oil is hot add onions. Brown onions until really dark then pour in at least a cup of water, place lid on pot, and steam for 1 minute.
  3. Add water until pot is half full, bouillon, garlic & onion powder, parsley, Cajun seasoning, salt, and Tabasco. Taste liquid to determine if seasonings need to be adjusted.
  4. Add sausage and chicken and more water if needed to reach within 1-inch of the rim. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 hour.
  5. Turn off heat, remove chicken, shred, and return to pot. Add filé powder.
  6. Serve with cooked rice.
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Simple Potato Salad

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comClick here for a printable PDF recipe card Simple Potato Salad

This is just a very basic potato salad recipe that is a perfect companion for Cajun Gumbo! There is nothing like a bite of cold potato salad paired with a bite of hot gumbo!

Ingredients: 2 large baking potatoes; 5 boiled eggs; 3/4 cup mayonnaise; salt; pepper.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comFirst peel potatoes then cut into 1/4-inch cubes.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comBoil potatoes in salted water.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comPotatoes are done when you can easily pierce with a fork.  Pour into colander.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comRinse under cold water to quickly bring down the temperature of the potatoes.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

 Chop boiled eggs and add to potatoes.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Stir in mayo, salt, and pepper.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.comEnjoy with Cajun Gumbo or as a simple side dish!

Simple Potato Salad: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Simple Potato Salad

Simple Potato Salad

Ingredients:

2 large baking potatoes

5 boiled eggs

¾ cup mayonnaise

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Peel then cut potatoes into ¼-inch cubes.

2. Boil potatoes in salted water. Potatoes are done when you can easily pierce with a fork.

3. Pour into a colander and rinse under cold water to quickly bring down temperature of potatoes.

4. Chop eggs and add to potatoes.

5. Mix in mayo and salt and pepper to taste.

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Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw

My “newer” recipes are often just made up off the cuff when I’m trying to figure out what to do with this meat that I took out to defrost or sometimes inspired by a photo of food that I saw.  Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps basically fit into that first category.

At the time, my husband and I were doing a challenge with our CrossFit gym and were following a strict paleo way of eating (I avoid the term “diet” because it brings up so many negative connotations).  So this meant NO tortillas! But, but, but…!  Yea, exactly my thought process!  So when I was doing our grocery shopping for the week I saw this container of Butter Lettuce and thought they’d be great for wraps.  What I was going to put in those “wraps” I had no idea of yet.

I took pork tenderloin chops out to defrost and knew I was going to grill them, chop them up, and put them in the wraps.  How it became it Asian I don’t know🙂  I wouldn’t claim to be an “artist” when it comes to food because that would just be giving myself waaaaaay too much credit!  I just know flavor combinations that I like and new recipes are born.  I think this one came out pretty good😉

When I first made these I took a picture and put it on my personal Instagram and Facebook page.  There were lots of comments, of course, especially “how did you make these?”  Ummmm, I don’t know because I don’t measure anything?!?!  But I “guestimated” what I did and messaged the recipe to a few friends who requested it.  But very recently a friend (Hi, Shawn R.) messaged me after I started this blog and said “I remembered a scrumptious looking dish you posted a while ago on FB […] I think they were called Asian wraps or something similar??? Anyway, (this is unusually bold for me) but, thought I would put a request in for that on your page. I can’t wait to try it.”

That made my day🙂  If you read the “About” part of this blog then you know that I don’t just like to eat but I LOVE to feed people.  I think it’s this weird little Cajun gene that I have, hahahaha!  It makes me happy that someone would see a picture of something I made and want to make it themselves!  So thanks, Shawn R., for the request!  I hope you enjoy these!

Jeez, that was long-winded! Onto the recipe…

Ingredients: 3 pork tenderloin chops; Tamari; onion powder; garlic powder; black pepper; olive oil; toasted sesame seed oil; rice vinegar; minced garlic; ginger paste; dried cilantro; roasted sesame seeds; red pepper flakes; broccoli slaw; honey; almonds.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.comAsian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the two pics! This is what happens when you fly by the seat of your pants when you cook and decide to do a blog.  You have to think of everything ahead of time for the pics and that’s not my style, haha, so I forgot some things🙂

Place the pork tenderloin chops in a dish.  Sprinkle with a little Tamari then season with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.  Flip and do the same on the other side.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

Cover and set these aside.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Now it’s time for the “sauce”.  Whisk together 2/3 cup of olive oil; 1/4 cup Tamari; 2 TBSP toasted sesame seed oil; 3 TBSP rice vinegar; 1 tsp minced garlic; 1 tsp ginger paste;            1 TBSP dried cilantro;  1 TBSP sesame seeds; 1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your level of spiciness); 2 TBSP of honey.

You’re going to use this on the broccoli slaw and later on the meat.

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In a bowl add two large handfuls of broccoli slaw and mix with some of the “sauce.”  You don’t want it bathing in liquid🙂 just enough to coat everything.  Reserve the rest of the “sauce” for the meat.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.comAsian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Chop 1/4 cup of almonds (or you can buy almonds that are already chopped or slivered).

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.comAsian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

Stir the chopped almonds into the broccoli slaw, cover, and place in the frig.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

By the way, this would be delish as a salad by itself!

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Now let’s grill those pork tenderloins.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

While the pork is grilling, clean the butter lettuce.  Notice this lettuce is still alive and has roots and dirt!🙂 This means dirt and possibly little bugs need to be washed off.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

Carefully remove as many leaves as you need (grab it from the base because the leaf itself can be fragile).  It’s better to “under-pull” versus “over-pull” how many leaves you need.  I pulled off 6 total for our supper.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Rinse and gently rub as needed.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Shake off excess water and place on a towel to dry.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Now back to the pork…it’s grilled!

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

It’s time to chop them up.  How you do this depends on your preference and what handy-dandy kitchen tools you have.  I love my Pampered Chef chopper!  I cube the meat then place small batches under the chopper.  You can also put in a food processor but be VERY careful because you don’t want to end up with pork paste (Ew!!!)🙂 Or you can just roughly chop it with a knife.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Once the meat is chopped stir in the reserved “sauce.”

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Grab a butter lettuce leaf, place a scoop of chopped pork, then top with broccoli slaw…enjoy!

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps with Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients:

3 Pork tenderloin chops

Tamari

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Black pepper

Butter lettuce leaves

2 Large handfuls of broccoli slaw

2/3 cup  Olive oil

¼ cup  Tamari

2 TBSP Toasted sesame seed oil

3 TBSP Rice vinegar

1 tsp    Minced garlic

1 tsp    Ginger paste

1 TBSP  Dried cilantro

1 TBSP  Sesame seeds

2 TBSP  Honey

1 tsp    Red pepper flakes

¼ cup  Chopped almonds

Directions:

1. Place the pork tenderloin chops in a dish.  Sprinkle with a little Tamari then season with garlic & onion powder, & pepper. Flip and do the same on the other side. Cover and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl make the sauce by whisking together olive oil, 1/4 cup Tamari, sesame seed oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, cilantro, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, & honey.

3. In a separate bowl add broccoli slaw and mix with some of the sauce. Stir in almonds and refrigerate.

4. Rinse butter lettuce leaves and place on towel to dry.

5. Grill pork tenderloins. Cut into cubes then chop. Stir in the remaining sauce.

6. Place a scoop of chopped pork on the lettuce leaf then top with marinated broccoli slaw.

 

 

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Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates

I originally tried a version of these from one of my CrossFit trainers, Eddie McKenna, when we had a get together at our house.  He brought dates stuffed with almonds and wrapped with bacon.  They were so good!

It’s RARE that I use a recipe as is that I have read or learned of.  I almost always modify it in some way.  I really liked these salty sweet nuggets but wanted to amp it up a bit and add a few more levels of flavor and texture.  Combinations of salty and sweet are so good when you add some spice and some sharp creaminess, as well.  Adding blue cheese and chipotle powder really knocks these out of the park!

Ingredients: medjool dates; whole raw unsalted almonds; bacon; blue cheese; chipotle powder.

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.comCut a slit lengthwise in the date and remove the pit

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Place a whole almond inside each date

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Cut off chunks of blue cheese

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.comPress a chunk of blue cheese into each date

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Remember chipotle chile powder, that wonderful spice I introduced you to when we made the Twice-baked Chipotle Bacon Sweet Potatoes?  We’re going to use it again! Sprinkle chipotle chile powder, using as little or as much as you like.  This adds something really special to this appetizer so don’t skip this step.

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Open a pack of bacon and cut each slice into 3 pieces.  I was short about 3 slices to wrap all of the dates so I had to open another pack of bacon.  It just depends on how many dates you make.

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

This is the original picture I took when I first started rolling the stuffed date in bacon, but later figured out a better technique.

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of starting from one end and rolling it like you see in the picture, try this (it was easier and the bacon stayed wrapped around the date during baking)…stretch the bacon as much as you can, put it over the top of the date, and wrap both ends under the date as tightly as you can.  You want the cheese side of the date to stay facing up.

Place the rolled dates on a baking sheet or stone.

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

I placed each one on a napkin after to get off the excess oil.  I did have a few that the bacon popped open on because of the original way I was rolling them.  But they were still tasty!!🙂

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

You’re going to LOVE these salty, sweet, spicy, creamy nuggets of yummy goodness! Thanks, Eddie, for the jumpstart of this recipe!

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates

 

Ingredients:

Medjool dates

Whole raw unsalted almonds

Blue cheese

Chipotle chile powder

1-2 packs of bacon

Directions:

1. Cut lengthwise slit in date and remove pit.

2. Stuff each date with a whole almond then a small chunk of blue cheese.

3. Sprinkle with chipotle chile powder.

4. Cut bacon slices into thirds. Wrap each date in a piece of bacon by stretching the bacon, placing it over top of date, and wrapping each end under the date as tightly as possible. You want the cheese side to be facing up.  Place on baking sheet.

5. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes.  Place on napkins to drain excess oil.

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Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip (using leftovers)

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for printable PDF recipe card Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Little Cajun Girl, what am I suppose to do with these leftover artichoke hearts from the Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken??  Make a healthy spinach artichoke dip, of course!

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some fattening, artery-clogging, cheese-laden spinach artichoke dip!  And I have my own recipe for that too😉 (to come another time). But I wanted a healthier, but tasty, version and one that I could use with leftovers from another recipe.  Here’s what I threw together today…

Ingredients: leftover jar of artichoke hearts; large handful of fresh spinach; butter; minced garlic; Daiya cheddar-style shreds; salt; pepper.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Drain out the remaining water from the jar of artichoke hearts then give those little babies an individual squeeze to get the excess water out.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.comThrow them in a mini-food processor and chop them up.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab a large handful of fresh spinach, stack the leaves, and julienne them.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saute’ 1 TBSP of minced garlic in 1 TBSP of butter.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

Stir in chopped artichokes, julienned spinach, additional 1 TBSP of butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Cover with a lid and cook for 1 minute over medium heat to soften spinach.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of Daiya cheddar-style shreds.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour into small baking dish then top with 2 TBSP Daiya cheddar-style shreds.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes then place under broiler until cheese lightly golden.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Enjoy with veggies, plantain chips, or clean-eating crackers, such as Mary’s Gone Crackers.

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for printable PDF recipe card Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

Ingredients:

Half of a 14 oz. jar of artichoke hearts (or whatever you have leftover)

Large handful of fresh spinach

1 TBSP + 1 TBSP  Butter

1 TBSP  Minced garlic

½ cup + 2 TBSP Daiya cheddar-style shreds

Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1. Drain water from artichokes then squeeze out excess water. Chop in mini-food processor.

2. Julienne a large handful of fresh spinach.

3. Sauté’ minced garlic in 1 TBSP butter.  Stir in artichokes, spinach, & additional 1 TBSP butter. Cook on medium heat with lid on for 1 minute to soften spinach.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup Daiya cheese. Pour into small baking dish. Top with 2 TBSP Daiya cheese.

6. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes then place under broiler until cheese lightly golden.

 

 

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Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken

Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken

First, a shout out to my friend, Amy Roy, for naming this recipe!  It’s perfect!

So Hubby pulled out chicken breasts for supper and I’m thinking “What in the world am I going to doing with this tonight??  I don’t want plain grilled chicken!”  Then I started thinking about this Jalapeno Popper Chicken by Elly says Opa! that I made a long time ago. Wow!  You should really try this recipe!  AMAZING!!  I was trying to figure out a healthier alternative (for me this meant non-dairy and no breading) and suddenly all these wonderful stuffing ingredients popped into my head, so I ran to the store (not literally😉 )

And so the birth of Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken…

The great thing about this recipe is measurements really aren’t important!

Ingredients: 3 chicken breasts; 4 slices uncured bacon; 1 whole bulb of Roasted Garlic;       1 Roasted Jalapeno; artichoke hearts; smoky sun-dried tomatoes; Daiya cheddar-style cheese; olive oil; garlic powder; onion powder; salt; pepper.

Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

First, you need to roast the garlic and the jalapeno pepper so check out How to Roast Garlic and How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper if you need help.  In this case you will just grill, not char, the jalapeno and you keep the skin on.  After roasting the garlic and it has cooled, pull out all of the roasted garlic cloves.  You’re going to use the WHOLE bulb!🙂

How to Roast Garlic

Roasted Jalapeno

 

 

 

 

 

I’d recommend that you DON’T skip the roasting step!  Roasting completely changes the flavor and for the better.

How spicy this turns out depends on what you like.  You can use the entire jalapeno, you can remove half of the seeds (that’s what I did), or you can remove all of the seeds so you still get the jalapeno flavor with a lot less spice.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Dice the jalapeno and mash the garlic cloves.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

Cook your 4 slices of bacon then dice it.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

I used jarred artichoke hearts.  It was a 14 oz jar and I pulled out 12 pieces to chop.  They are packed in water so you need to squeeze some of the water out of each one so that your stuffing isn’t watery.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

Then chop the artichoke hearts.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.comWhen I went to the store I was looking for sun-dried tomatoes.  They come in a jar (packed with oil or water) and there are also dried ones in packaging.  When I saw the one that said “Smoky,” I thought “Yes! Perfect!.”  I hope you can find these!  When you open the bag you immediately catch the smell of chipotle.  I LOVE chipotle!  The flavor is not overwhelming, but it is powerful and perfect.  That’s the first thing Hubby tasted when he took his first “blind” bite.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.comI used 12 pieces then chopped them.  It ended up making about 1/3 cup, but that’s really NOT important.  Use more or less if you like.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Now for the Daiya cheddar-style shreds.  What is this exactly? Daiya makes dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free cheese that is plant-based.  It melts like regular cheese and when melted I find it tastes like regular cheese, too.  I’m not trying to sell you on this🙂 You can use regular cheddar cheese!  I just wanted to give you a healthy, clean-eating, paleo-friendly option if you choose🙂  I used 3/4 cup of Daiya cheddar-style shreds.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Mix the the garlic, jalapenos, bacon, cheese, and artichoke hearts togethers.

http://us.daiyafoods.com/products/dairy-free-cheese-shreds/cheddar-style-shreds

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

From the fatter end of the chicken breast, carefully cut a deep pocket as far as you can without going through the chicken.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

Divide your filling and start stuffing!  I tried a spoon, but let’s be honest, you hand is the best utensil in the kitchen!

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Now you need to secure these little babies!  I was out of toothpicks (and they’re kind of small, anyway) but I had wooden skewers.  So I broke the ends off of 3 of them

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

I found it easiest to just weave it up then back down.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

Brush each side with olive oil and season both sides with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

They’re ready for the grill!

I grilled each side for about 7-8 minutes.  Took them off the grill thinking they’re done. Um, no!  The inside of the chicken wasn’t fully cooked and the cheese wasn’t even melted (I knew this because I cut one in half).  I was so afraid to dry the chicken out and I thought it would have been done by that point.   Note to self (and others), when chicken is stuffed it doesn’t cook as fast🙂

This is what they looked like right off the grill…looked good right?!?! Hahaha!

Spicy Tuscan-Stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

First thought was “Crap! This is suppose to go on the blog! And I’ve ruined it!” Hahahaha! My mistake turned out to be a good thing.  I put them in a casserole dish, covered it with aluminum foil, and baked them for 30 minutes at 375°.  The end result…perfection! Moist, delicious, and most importantly fully cooked!🙂

Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for printable PDF recipe card Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken

My biggest challenge would be to get Mr. Picky-Picky to try it.  He was a good sport and tried a bite without knowing what was inside.  He really liked it!!  And the first thing he said was “Wow, that’s good! Did you put chipotle peppers in it?”  That’s just my push to get you to find the smoky sun-dried tomatoes!  They really add something to this dish.

I hope you enjoy this!  It was fun creating something new🙂

Need something to do with those leftover artichoke hearts?? Check out Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip (using leftovers)!

Spicy Tuscan-Stuff Chicken

Ingredients:

3 Chicken breasts

1 Roasted jalapeno pepper1 Bulb of roasted garlic

4 Slices cooked bacon

~12 Smoky sun-dried tomatoes

~12 Artichoke heart halves

¾ cup Cheddar cheese (your preferred brand)

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Directions:

1. Mash roasted garlic cloves; Dice roasted jalapeno (remove as much seeds as you want for your level of spiciness); Squeeze water out of artichoke hearts then chop; Chop bacon & sun-dried tomatoes. Mix all these ingredients together.

2. From the fatter end of the chicken breast, cut a deep pocket as far as you can without cutting through the chicken. Divide the mixture equally and stuff the chicken. Secure with toothpicks.  On both sides, brush with olive oil and season with above seasonings.

3. Grill for 7-8 minutes each side. Then place in casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 375° for 30 minutes.

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How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper

How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper: LittleCajunGirl.comClick here for printable PDF recipe card How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper

Roasting a jalapeno significantly changes the flavor of it and it’s amazing!  After it’s roasted, you can keep it really spicy with all of the seeds, decrease the heat by removing half of the seeds, or get an even milder spice but still the flavor of the jalapeno by removing all of the seeds.

All you need is a jalapeno pepper, olive oil, and a grill!

Baste the jalapeno with olive oil.

How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper: LittleCajunGirl.com

Place on a hot grill on high heat.  Turn occasionally to either achieve grill marks on each side or completely char the outside, depending on your needs.

How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper: LittleCajunGirl.comHow to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use it in a recipe, make this a tasty addition to your fajitas, or make a delicious chimichurri sauce with it.  Mmmmmm….

How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper: LittleCajunGirl.comClick here for a printable PDF recipe card How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper

Roasted Jalapeno

Ingredients:

1 jalapeno pepper

Olive oil

Directions:

1. Baste jalapeno pepper with olive oil.

2. Place on hot grill on high heat, turning occasionally to make grill marks or fully char, depending on needs of recipe.

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How to Roast Garlic

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.com

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card How to Roast Garlic

Roasted garlic is one of the yummiest things ever (next to bacon!).  It’s simple and if you’ve never tried making, you should!  Use it on pizza (mashed or whole cloves), use it to make roasted garlic hummus, mash it and mix with butter to make the best ever garlic bread. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients: whole bulb of garlic; olive oil; salt; pepper

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.com

Pre-heat oven to 375°.  Pull out a square of aluminum foil then double it before you tear it off.  Cut the top off a bulb of garlic (leaving the bulb with the peelings, skin, etc. on).  Place it in the center of the aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.comGather the ends of the aluminum foil and close the top of the pouch around the garlic.

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.comBake for 20 minutes.  Carefully open top of foil and bake for another 20 minutes.

Voila’!  Roasted garlic🙂

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.comTo remove cloves, either pull out with a fork.

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.com

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.com

 

 

 

 

 

Or squeeze the cloves out.

How to Roast Garlic: LittleCajunGirl.comClick here for a printable PDF recipe card How to Roast Garlic

Roasted Garlic

 

 

Ingredients:

1 bulb of garlic

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.

2. Cut off top of bulb of garlic (leaving bulb with peelings, skin, etc.).  Place on a doubled square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Gather ends of aluminum foil and close at top to create a closed pouch.

3. Bake 20 minutes. Carefully open top of foil and bake another 20 minutes.

 

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