Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What's in the Box? Couscous with Spinach and Fresh Mozzarella

More lunch ideas for you! I decided I wanted a salad, but not a lettuce-y one.

Notes: My grocery store carries tiny little mozzarella balls, so I used those. If yours doesn't, just grab a regular ball of mozzarella and dice it.

I used a garlic and herb flavored couscous. You could use the plain kind and season it any way you want.

1 box of couscous
2 cups of baby spinach
1 cup small mozzarella balls or diced fresh mozzarella


Chop the baby spinach. Cook the couscous according to the directions. When it's finished, add the spinach to the pot. Stir everything together until the spinach starts to wilt. Once it's cool, add the mozzarella.

Store in the fridge. Scoop some out into your favorite small lunch container and pack it up. Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Shrimp and Grilled Pineapple Tacos

Earlier this month, I had a birthday. Normally, I love going out to restaurants for my birthday. But I had just come home from a conference the day before and I was tired. I pretty much just wanted to stay home. So I decided to make myself a delicious birthday dinner.

Notes: These tacos were a splurge for me because shrimp is expensive. But it was my birthday dinner, so splurging is the name of the game!

When you cook shrimp, you don't want to mess with them in the pan too much. Just put them in the skillet and try to flip them just once or twice.

Cleaning shrimp isn't so hard. You just need a sharp paring knife. Pull the shells, legs, and tail off. Then look for the vein: it's either along the back of the shrimp or underneath it. Whichever side it's on, run the tip of your knife along that side to expose the vein. Use your knife to scrape the vein out. That's it! It's helpful to have a wet rag or a paper towel next to you to help you keep your knife clean.

3/4-1 pound of shrimp
1 small can of pineapple rings
1 large bunch of cilantro
1 lime
2 avocados
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Soft taco shells

Directions: Look on your soft taco shell package and see what temperature to heat the taco shells on. Set the oven to that temperature.

Heat an indoor grill pan on medium high (I spray mine with some high temp cooking spray first). Grill the pineapple rings for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and set aside.

Mix the cajun seasoning, cumin, and chili powder together in a small bowl. Peel and clean your shrimp (or just buy the pre-cleaned kind). Put the prepared shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle with the seasoning mixture. Toss (with your fingers) to coat.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of butter or oil. When the skillet is warm, add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp start to curl up, turn pink, and become opaque.

Wrap the taco shells in foil and warm them up. While the shrimp is finishing up, cut the pineapple rings into small pieces. Add the pineapple to the pan to warm it through. Roughly chop the cilantro. Cut the avocado and scoop it into a bowl. Squeeze the lime over it and mash it up a little.

To assemble, put a spoonful of avocado on to the tortilla. Add the shrimp and pineapple. Top with cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What's in the Box? Baked Mini Spinach and Cheese Quesadilla

It's that time of the semester when I fall behind on the recipes. I promise I've been cooking; I just haven't been posting!

Time for another edition of What's in the Box? If you're tired of plain old sandwiches, why not try a veggie quesadilla instead?

Notes: These come out pretty thin, so I don't know how well they will work for lunch all by themselves. I brought some other stuff along with me and had plenty to eat.

I prepped these on Sunday so I had one for each day of the week. Worked perfectly--so much easier than trying to fix them during the week.

Cutting these with a pizza cutter was super easy.

Once these were cooled and cut, I stored each one in a sandwich bag in the fridge. That way all I had to do is throw one in my lunchbox before school.

I ate mine cold (I don't mind cold quesadillas), but you could nuke yours in the microwave at work if you like them warm.

10 taco-sized flour tortillas
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1-1 1/2 cups grated colby jack cheese (or other melting cheese)

Directions: Heat oven to 350.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Put 5 tortillas on the baking sheet. Tear the spinach leaves into smaller pieces. Put a thin layer of cheese on each tortilla. Add a layer of torn spinach leaves. Add another layer of cheese on top (if you like more cheese). Top with a second tortilla.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the quesadillas start to brown and crisp. Allow the quesadillas to cool.

Cut into four triangles and store in the fridge. Enjoy warm or cold!