Friday, January 9, 2015

Eating Smart at the Beach

Part of what we love about spending time in Hawaii is how easy it is to stay active and healthy, and that includes eating smart.

We dine out, of course, when we're on the road, doing that 65,000 travel miles or more per year; so when we're home, I much prefer to cook instead.  And it's easy to eat smart here in Hawaii.

I mentioned in a previous post how much we enjoy all the locally-caught fish here on the islands.  We usually purchase our Ahi or Ono or Opah or Blue Marlin from the daily fresh deliveries at our local Costco.  Oh, and I can't forget the twins ~ Mahi and Mahi!  

I have developed a nice repertoire of recipes for fresh fish  ~ but truly,  when the product that's on your plate tonight was happily swimming in the ocean just that morning, there stands very little room for improvement with added ingredients.  Simple is best.

Still, it helps to create variety, serving the same fish as Parmesan crusted or marinated in a ginger-soy sauce or grilled up as blackened or Ahi burgers instead of ahi steaks;  so I thought I would share a few of my best fish recipes with you from time to time during my next few months as an island girl.

One of my favorite "Eating Smart" tricks is to fill up the plate with fresh veggies first;  be it fresh green beans, roasted or grilled mixed veggies, or a fresh green salad.   This automatically re-proportions the ratio, tilts that scale to the healthy side.  Then I add a half-serving (meaning more like 4 oz than the usual 6 oz) of fish, plunked right on top.  And that's dinner.  We  try to under-indulge at home, to help counter our splurges (whether intentional or just cultural) while traveling.

Last night's dinner was spicy shrimp, made with just a few simple pantry ingredients that I almost  always have on hand, and some beautiful Black Tiger Prawns that Costco offered me.   Placed on a bed of greens with grilled asparagus, and it was a show-stopper.   

The asparagus is drizzled with a little olive oil and seasoned with garlic salt (my standard for all veggies ~ whether roasted or on the grill).  The fresh pineapple will caramelize on the grill, it really needs no additional assistance to be delicious.  But we like to sprinkle a little Slap Ya' Mama on top, just for a little kick.

The recipe for spicy shrimp follows;  directions are for stove-top, so I altered it slightly to grill dinner by the beach instead.   I did that by dumping everything together in a grill pan where it marinated for a half day, and then plunked it on the grill.  Yeah, pretty fancy!

So here you go, Cindy-from-Kansas; and MaryAnn and Warren from Maryland; and I-wish-I'd-gotten-your-name-nice-lady-beside-me-at-the-grill.   (We meet the nicest people here who are renting a vacation spot here in Paradise!).  I told you last night that I'd share the recipe on the blog ~ hope to hear from you!

Szechwan Shrimp

4 T water
2 T ketchup
1 T soy sauce
2 t corn starch
1 t honey
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1/4 t ground ginger
1 T vegetable oil
1/4 C  sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz cooked shrimp, tails removed

1.  In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper and ginger.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Stir in green onions and garlic, cook 30 seconds.  Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil.  Stir in sauce.  Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened.

For dinner by the beach, I did Step 1;  and then skipped Step 2.  Instead, I threw everything into one of those disposable grill pans, covered it with foil, and popped it in the fridge while I went to the pool for a couple of hours.  

Then, because my prawns were HUGE and still raw, I cooked this on Med-high heat on the grill for something like 15 minutes.  

It's a good idea to take the foil off at about 12 minutes and start to watch them closely.  Shrimp will go from perfect to overdone in a blink, and then they're tough and rubbery.  Ick!   I also left them snuggled in their little shells to make sure they didn't dry out while they cooked.   I have added broccoli or frozen Asian-style veggies to this and served it over rice, also delicious.

Super simple.  Super yummy.  I had no less than 3 people good-naturedly invite themselves to dinner at our table when they saw this come off the grill!  

Hope you enjoy ~ and please remember ~ 

Eating Smart doesn't have to be painful!



  1. Oh that sunset photo!!! Love those. That was a huge prawn!! Your meal presentation idea is a good one! Lots of salad topped with the main attractions! The flavors combined in your prawn preparation just sound mouthwatering!

    Sounds like the perfect way to end those gorgeous days at your home there in paradise!

    Happy Anniversary!

    1. Can't remember for sure, but I may have made this for you & J. It's one of my go-to's 'cause it's so simple, but delivers allot of flavor for the calorie buck. It's a good one for company, makes them think you did somethin' fancy!

  2. Oh my that looks good!


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