Skinny Spicy Buffalo Shrimp Dip

I absolutely loved this dip when I made it for the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, so I’m bringing it back for March Madness! The “skinny” part is deceiving in this gooey, cheesy, rich dip that tastes especially decadent with the shrimp. With only 120 calories per 1/3 cup, you’ll save enough calories to have an extra beer in the second half of the game. You can make this dish as hot as you want by adding more or less hot sauce. So instead of snacking on buffalo chicken wings, try out this tasty dip.

Cheesy, gooey goodness. You've never guess it is healthy!

Cheesy, gooey goodness. You’d never guess it is healthy!

What you’ll need:
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup hot sauce – I used sriracha
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 cups cooked peeled large shrimp, diced
3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican blend cheese

What you’ll need to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray an 8×8 baking dish, or any dish of an equivalent size.

Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Mix until smooth.

**Tip: Add the hot sauce little by little until you achieve your desired hotness.

Add the shrimp to the dip and mix. Add it to your baking dish.

Keep the chunks of shrimp bite-sized so you can scoop up a bit in every bite.

Keep the chunks of shrimp bite-sized so you can scoop up a bit in every bite.

Bake in the oven until hot, or about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with the remaining cheese. Add it back to the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Let the dip cool for a few minutes before digging in.

Bake until the cheese bubbles on top.

Bake until the cheese bubbles on top.

Serve this with carrots and celery to keep it extra skinny, but it’s also delicious with baked pita chips. If you like this dish, try my Tangy Yogurt Veggie Dip!


Garlicky Shrimp Fajitas with Guacamole

I have recently become addicted to Pinterest. Along with my friends and Food Network, I’ve found that Pinterest is an awesome source of cooking inspiration. While browsing one day, I came across a recipe for garlicky shrimp fajitas with guacamole that sounded easy and delicious. So I took a little twist on the idea by adding some flavors, some veggies, and my homemade guacamole. And in 15 minutes, I had a flavorful, filling dinner.

This delicious dish only takes about 15 minutes to make!

What you’ll need (makes 2 servings):
2 cups shrimp
1 bell pepper
1 small onion
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry
6 tablespoons guacamole (store-bought is fine, or see my homemade recipe)
4 whole wheat tortillas

What you’ll need to do:

I usually like to buy the frozen, already cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp to make things easy. So start by defrosting your shrimp in water. It’s super easy. Just put the shrimp in a bowl and run cold water over it, changing out the water every couple minutes until the shrimp are defrosted.

While the shrimp is defrosting, chop your pepper and onion. Set aside.

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until just slightly tender.

Since your shrimp are already cooked, they just need to be warmed with the pepper, onion, and garlic. Add them to the pan when the veggies are almost done. Then, add the sherry for taste.

The sherry adds flavor, color, and texture. And fajitas just aren’t fajitas without peppers and onions!

**Tip: Sherry is in your kitchen staples. But if you don’t have it, tequila or white wine would also be tasty! The sherry is added to deglaze the pan and add a little extra flavor.

Let the sherry reduce for about 2 minutes, and then turn the heat down to low. Heat your tortillas over the stove or in a microwave.

**Tip: If you have a gas stove, throw your tortilla right over the flame. Start the flame and turn down to low, put the tortilla on the burner and turn the heat up to medium-high for about 10 seconds. Turn the heat back down to low so you can flip the tortilla, then repeat on the other side. If you don’t have a gas stove, warming your tortillas in the microwave is fine. Simply cover them with a damp paper towel and heat for 30 seconds on high.

I love a slight char on the tortilla – for whatever reason, it makes it taste homemade.

Smear about 1 1/2 tbsp of guacamole on each tortilla and add your shrimp and veggies. Crack open a nice cold beer and enjoy!

Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Parmesan

While a more traditional red sauce is always good with pasta, a lemony-butter sauce is my no-contest favorite. This pasta is refreshing and light, while still tasting totally decadent. It’s made with all kitchen staples and only takes about 15 minutes to make, so it’s super easy to whip up any night of the week.

It's tart, creamy, garlicky, and extremely delicious. After this easy treat, you'll never want to order in pizza again.

What you’ll need (makes 2 servings):

4 cups angel hair pasta
3 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
10 frozen precooked shrimp (optional)

What you’ll need to do:

First, get water boiling in your very large pot.

While you wait, start defrosting your frozen shrimp. It’s super easy. Just put the shrimp in a bowl and run cold water over it, changing out the water every couple minutes. You can do this while everything else is cooking on the stove. Before you know it, the shrimp will be done. I think shrimp makes this dish feel extra special, but you can just as easily use chicken if shrimp isn’t handy.

Side note on shrimp: Although I didn’t include frozen shrimp in my kitchen staples, you’ll often find a bag of precooked shrimp in my freezer to jazz up pasta, a salad, or an omelette.

After the water is boiling, dump in your angel hair pasta. It only takes a few minutes to cook because it’s such a thin pasta, so keep a close eye on it. Once it’s done cooking, drain in a strainer and then return to the pot.

Pasta tip: Toss the pasta with a couple tablespoons of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.

While you’re keeping a close eye on your pasta cooking, it’s easy enough to make this simple sauce on the next burner over. What you’ll need to do is put a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the margarine to your pan, and once it starts to melt add the garlic. Let the garlic saute in the pan for a couple minutes.

Be careful to not put your heat up too high or you'll burn the garlic.

After the garlic is a nice golden-brown, add the lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon pepper. Let the sauce simmer over medium-high heat for just a minute to let the flavors blend together.

Tip: I use my palm as a measuring spoon when I cook. When I cup my palm, half a palm-full is about 1 tsp. A full palm-full is about 1 tbsp. The best part about cooking (in my opinion) is that you don't have to be too exact, so have fun with it! And using your palm saves a dish, so it's a double-win.

By now, the shrimp should be defrosted and the pasta should be ready to go. All that’s left to do is combine all the ingredients together. Toss the pasta with the sauce simmering on the stove. Then, add the Parmesan to your pasta, saving a little to sprinkle on the top.

Scoop a giant mound of pasta on your plate, top with the shrimp, and then sprinkle the little bit of extra Parm on top. And buon appetite! A molto delizioso, 5-star Italian feast.