Keto adventures, Recipes

Spicy braised spinach and shrimp

It doesn’t get much easier than this, y’all. Here’s what you need:

✔️ 1 bag of baby spinach. (Enough to fill a large mixing bowl. It shrinks down by a third).

✔️ 1 lb of shrimp. I get the deveined and peeled once because heck, it’s easier.

✔️ 3 pieces of bacon: cube it and render off the fat. Drain on a paper towel and dispose of the grease in the pan. Don’t wipe out the pan, though! Save that yummy goodness.

✔️ half of a white onion-diced finely

✔️ 2 cloves of garlic-minced

✔️ red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.

✔️ teaspoon of coconut oil

Once you’ve rendered the bacon, set it aside. In the pan you cooked the bacon add the coconut oil and sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Once soft, add in the shrimp and cook for about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the spinach, and gently fold in to the pan. It will shrink down pretty quickly. I like mine with a bite so I only cook it until slightly wilted.

This whole meal took a total of 10-15 minutes and was a big hit!!

What’s on your plate tonight?



food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Shrimp with spicy red sauce over zoodles!

In trying to keep with my “lower” carb diet, I’ve been playing around with my “zoodler” more often.  Here’s the one I have, click here. Tonight’s dish was a hit!


1 large zucchini, zoodled

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bag of pre-cooked large shrimp, thawed (remove tails)

1 jar of red sauce, use your favorite!

Basil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper

1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Here’s what you’ll do:

Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a non stick skillet, add your garlic, onions and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onions are translucent, being careful not to burn the garlic; 3-4 minutes.  Add in the jar of sauce, herbs and salt and pepper and let simmer for 25 minutes.  In the last five minutes add in your shrimp to heat through, and get a second sauté pan heated on medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of EVOO.  Next, add in your zucchini, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until al dente, making sure the zoodles aren’t mushy!



Have you tried a zoodler yet?  What’s your favorite low carb meal!

Have a great night everyone!  If you try any of my recipes, please share your feedback!




dedication, food, goals

Surgery and smiles, and some shrimp too…My nearly Wordless Wednesday post

I finished this hump day with a quick dready run.  I didn’t want to run (bite my tongue, I know) but needed to keep moving…


During the work week meals are usually prepared within less than an hour.  This shrimp dish, prepared with a marinara sauce bought from my favorite local Italian market to which I added – sautéed garlic, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and celery along with added oregano, parsley, basil and crushed red pepper flakes was a WIN.  I served it over rice pasta, and it truly was a hit.  I love how the simplest yet healthy meals can make my family happy.  Who needs take out?


My daughter came to me last week in tears.  Her BFF had an injury…”Mommy, can you fix him?” She asked with tears in her eyes.  Sigh…I am not crafty AT ALL.  But I went to Hobby Lobby on my day off and purchased stuffing and a sewing kit.  “Yes, baby…Mommy can fix him.” Sigh…please, Lord.  Let this work…

THIS face...
THIS face…

So after dinner, we got our instruments ready, and our “transplant material” aka stuffing, laid out.  It was time for surgery.

The entry wound was located…and after finding an additional wound I knew we had to be careful…so every so slowly we stuffed, packed, and made sure each piece of stuffing we transplanting was in the correct place.

entry wound number one...
entry wound number one…
let the transplants begin!
let the transplants begin!

And after spending 15 minutes trying to thread the needle…we had great success.  It was time to start closing the wound.

Don't worry, no one was hurt!
Don’t worry, no one was hurt!

After 30 minutes of preparation and dedication, Pink Bear was himself again.  And my youngest daughter found her smile…

Mommy!  He's good as new!
Mommy! He’s good as new!

I can now rightfully say my resume has broadened…adding in the fact that I am now a Mom, a wife, a friend, a photographer, a Chef, a housekeeper, a maid, a lab supervisor, a runner, a mover, a shaker, and yes…a surgeon.  To stuffed animals only, LOL.

Today I left the stressors of life behind me…and I nurtured the needs of my kids. Today, my youngest needed me.  And who doesn’t feel good being needed?

At the end of the day, I made time for me, my family, and with that my heart is full.  My decluttering for the day included not feeding into negativity although it was tough…

What have you done lately to ‘step outside of your box?’  Do you believe in decluttering both mentally and physically?

Day 5 and I am still on track for my November goals.  YAY!  How are you doing?

❤ Michelle



Tuesday truths-part 2…Family and Food

Two of my all time favorite things are my family, and food.  If you have been around my blog for a while, you have read of my trials and tribulations, but more so the glue that held my life together this last decade or so…

My family.  No matter how near or far we are physically, we always come back to one another welcoming each other with open arms.  Here are some good shots from my eldest nephew Jack’s Confirmation this past weekend.

Jack receiving his Holy Confirmation
Jack receiving his Holy Confirmation
Jordyn and Jenna
Jordyn and Jenna
Sophia and Julia
Sophia and Julia
James and Sophia
James and Sophia

A couple weeks ago, we were blessed to have our pictures taken by Missy Donovan Photography based out of Geneva, IL.  WOW…I can’t stand my picture getting taken, but the sneak peaks today were amazing.  Here’s one of my favorites, so far…

Yup...these people.  Crazy, goofy, silly, serious, driven, moody, and best of all-TOGETHER
Yup…these people. Crazy, goofy, silly, serious, driven, moody, and best of all-TOGETHER

I’ve been slacking with my cooking since my MasterChef audition, so decided to keep our dinner tonight simple.   In 20 minutes I prepared jasmine rice according to package instructions, adding salt, pepper and thyme.

Too easy!
Too easy!

While the rice was cooking, I sautéed garlic, shallots, and Portobello mushrooms in a wide pan.  I added a teaspoon of pomegranate infused vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of veggie stock and let reduce down.  After ten minutes, I added chopped asparagus and cooked for 5 minutes until still slightly crunchy.  Lastly, I added the shrimp that I marinated in the pomegranate vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  The shrimp was precooked, so I simply had to heat through.

Serve the shrimp and veggies over the rice, and you’ve got a healthy meal in less than 20 minutes.

Shrimp over jasmine rice
Shrimp over jasmine rice

Do you have any go-to recipes  you use during the week?  What size family do you have?


❤ Michelle


Shrimp spring rolls

I had several people ask me for my spring roll recipe. I apologize for the double post but wanted to write it up before I forgot!
What you’ll need:
One bag of precooked shrimp, thawed and chopped.
One cucumber, chopped finely
Half of a red pepper, chopped finely
Two spring onions, chopped finely
One carrot, grated
One clove of garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
2 teaspoons of gluten free Tamari soy sauce
A splash of sesame oil
Kosher salt, black pepper and five Chinese five spice to taste
I package of rice wrappers

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl and let marinate for 15 minutes.
Soak wrappers according to package directions.
Place about a tablespoon of the mixture at the bottom end of the wrapper. Roll a quarter turn tightly, bringing in the edges and continuing to roll tight.
Set aside.
Dipping sauce:
Tamari gluten free soy sauce-about a quarter cup
Splash of rice wine vinegar
Crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of freshly grated ginger
One teaspoon of spring onion
Pinch of brown sugar
Just a touch of sesame oil
Mix well and this makes for a tasty dipping sauce.


I served with basmati rice and edamame. Delish and healthy!!



Wordless (mostly) weekend wrap-up…

We welcomed Friday with open arms after a very long couple weeks at work, with minimal days off…what did we do to celebrate?  Yard work…yup.  Call me crazy, but it was therapeutic to FINALLY get some work done around the house.

I don't think my family was quite as excited as I was to pull this mountain of weeds...
I don’t think my family was quite as excited as I was to pull this mountain of weeds…

But after 2 hours of work, and shaky arms, we let our hair down and enjoyed a couple of my husband’s famous daiquiris.  DELISH.

Let's just say, this glass of amazing goodness went down a little too smoothly, LOL!
Let’s just say, this glass of amazing goodness went down a little too smoothly, LOL!

Saturday we took the top down on the Jeep and drove around running errands.  We ate a late lunch, so I decided to make a light dinner I like to call “Little bites.”  We had bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese, and shrimp toasts.  To. Die. For.  And so easy.

Holler if you want the recipe!
Holler if you want the recipe!

Saturday evening I got my gear out as I religiously always do before a long run or race, and was in bed by 10:30 (which is GREAT for me).  We had 8 miles on deck for Sunday morning, and I was again pacing the 9:30 half marathoners for our 3rd training run.  Nerves always set in, but I was able to sleep until about 4 a.m. when I woke up in fear I  missed my alarm.  Ack…I still had an hour before I had to get up!  I stayed in bed, trying to rest, and finally rolled out of bed at 5 to get ready…

Obligatory gear post
Obligatory gear post-what’s your favorite fuel?

My hubby and I met up with all my friends, and we smiled, talked, and chatted as we got ready to line up to run.

Photo thanks to my friend, Jitka: here is me, Jitka, and Carolyn!
Photo thanks to my friend, Jitka: here is me, Jitka, and Carolyn!

And we were off…the first couple miles Jitka, Brian, and Debra and I ran quite easily on the trails.  Wow…2 miles done already?  Awesome!  I was holding pace easily, and then the hill of hell at Japanese gardens came…THIS hill nearly killed me in the full marathon last year, but our group barreled up it full force…so much so that I missed the turn, and nearly tacked on a good quarter mile to our route.  Woops…a couple runners got irritated, and I apologized profusely.  This nearly set me off course, but I had Jitka and Brian cheering me on, and I quickly brushed the negativity off my back.  (note-those that know me well know how directionally challenged I am…so leading a group this size can be a bit daunting).  We finished strong, and I had a huge sigh of relief when we were done despite losing part of my group.

8.2 miles done at a 9:27 pace!
8.2 miles done at a 9:27 pace!
Me and my hubby-this was his FARTHEST run to date!  So proud!
Me and my hubby-this was his FARTHEST run to date! So proud!

And then….there was the food…

Give. Me. ALL. the. FOOD.  Yup, he earned this!
Give. Me. ALL. the. FOOD. Yup, he earned this!

And then…we napped.  I am surprised how tired I get after these long runs, seeing that last year my mileage was double.  I AM enjoying being home by 8:30 in the morning after a ‘long’ run, I’ll have to admit.

What is the farthest you’ve ran?  What’s on your race docket this year?

I am sticking to half marathons this year…with my 3rd full scheduled for next summer with my sister.  Training starts in February, so stand by for details!


Keep Movin’, y’all!!

❤ Michelle


Shrimp and pasta with some zing!

Tonight I’ve prepared an easy, quick, and healthy meal for my family. I like to call it shrimp with a zing…you’ll see why as you read along!

What you’ll need:
1 bag of precooked large shrimp
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small white onion, diced
6 mushrooms, sliced
Red pepper flakes to taste for some ZING
1 jar of gluten free marinara sauce-I get mine from our local market (Caputos)
Oregano, basil, parsley, kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 box of rice pasta

Boil water for the pasta….cook time is about 10 minutes, so I start this first.
Sauté the garlic, onions, red pepper flakes and mushrooms for about 3 minutes or until the onions become soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper, and add in your red sauce. Next add in your oregano, basil and parsley and simmer for about ten minutes…while the sauce simmers, salt your boiling water and drop in your pasta.

Lastly, add your shrimp for the last few minutes, just to warm through.

Serve the shrimp sauce over your pasta, and ENJOY!

❤ Michelle


Shrimp salad with chopped veggies

Do you need a great, quick, and easy ‘go-to’ meal for those nights you don’t feel like slaving over the stove after a long day? This recipe will surely make your palate dance, and your belly full.

What you’ll need:
One bag of large, precooked shrimp. (I prefer tail on, as they seem larger and you get more bang for your buck-simply thaw and remove the tail)
1 red pepper, sliced in strips
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced (place slices in a bowl of water for 10 minutes to remove some of the ‘bite’)
1 cup of chopped broccoli
10-12 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 head of romaine lettuce torn/chopped

Chop/prepare all of your veggies and lettuce, and set aside. Don’t forget to also season lightly with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper! I like to serve my shrimp lightly sautéed over my salad, so I season it with kosher salt and pepper, and sear quickly over high heat in a pan drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Drain on a paper towel, and serve atop your salad.

Serve with your favorite dressing (mine is in the pic-YUM) and enjoy!

Prep time is only 10-15 minutes, so this is a win win on a week night!