Back to School

Somehow I blinked and the summer of 2018 has ended.  What a great summer it has been with so many days of sun and fun.  Now I need to prepare to return to a full work schedule and longer days.  I work all summer, so there’s no worries about coming back from an eight week break.  That long break, though I loved it, used to make it so hard for me to get back into a routine.  During the summer, the pace is definitely much easier and there is far less stress on me.  Mainly, I am planning for the upcoming year, organizing, learning and working normal hours.  What will be missed the most by me is having more time to workout in the morning without rushing to be at work super early and getting home before dark.  I’m also worried about keeping my nutrition clean once stress comes barreling my way again.

I’ve been testing out some easy, quick, nutritious recipes these past few weeks of summer to prepare for the return of my full schedule.  If I am to keep my nutrition in line, I need to have an arsenal of healthy and quick meals that I can get on my table in 30 minutes or less.   There are so many websites offering healthier versions of recipes and its been fun searching out new ones to try.  We’ve had some winners and some losers in the recipe category and I’m so thankful for my Plant Paradox community for their networking and sharing of recipe makeovers.

This week’s winner was a quick, easy shrimp recipe.  Shrimp is high in protein, about 20g for 3 ounces.  It is also very low in fat and carbohydrates, making it a nice weekly choice for lean protein.

Shrimp & Cauliflower Rice


  • 15 pieces raw shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (I like a little more)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Add the olive oil, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika and garlic to a bowl.
  2. Add shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Pour the shrimp into a skillet and sauté.  (I like cast iron)
  4. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Turn shrimp over.  Sauté  another 1-2 minutes, until pink.
  6. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon (1tbsp) into skillet and stir to evenly coat.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  7. Season with salt & pepper.
  8. Serve immediately over cauliflower rice.

I found a package of organic cauliflower rice that I steamed quickly and topped with a little garlic and oil.   The meal was delicious and the paprika gave the shrimp a beautiful color and smoky flavor. If smoky is not your thing, just eliminate the paprika.  It’s just as good without it. This meal from start to plate took about 15 minutes.6BEA921F-1231-4EC5-8F0E-A4198E52CE76.jpeg


Good luck to all school personnel returning to work this week.  With a little planning, we can and will maintain our healthy eating habits this year.  If you have a plan for the year ahead that you’d like to share, please leave me a message below and I’ll contact you.




Shrimp Parmesan

In January of the year I was born there was a big nor’easter.  It was called the Kennedy Nor’easter as it arrived on the eve of Kennedy’s innaguration.  My mom and dad had two small toddlers and had just moved into their new house in Middle Village, NY.

Fast forward to 2018, and we are experiencing another nor’easter.  This one closed schools today, but failed to pack a big punch like the one in 61.  On snow days, I love to stay in my pajamas, relax, read and of course cook.   Today was no exception to that rule.  I had purchased some beautiful shrimp last night in preparation of the coming storm.  Most people buy bread and milk, but I shop for food and wine.  I was so looking forward to today and secretly hoping for a big blizzard.

My day started off with coffee in bed and reading and relaxing.  What a treat that was.  I didn’t come down to workout until almost 11:00 AM.  What a pleasure to not have to be anywhere at anytime.  That doesn’t happen often.  I ate healthy all morning and planned to bake a healthy sheet pan shrimp recipe tonight, but there’s just something about snow days.  I decided instead to make Shrimp Parmesan, a dish I rarely make.

I remember well the first time I ever made this dish.  Newly engaged, I decided to make dinner for my future husband and parents.  My fiancé went out to buy me fresh shrimp.  When he told me they were alive when he picked them out, I nearly died.  I couldn’t get that image out of my head and was secretly afraid one would still be alive in the bag.  I don’t think I made a seafood dish after that for a very long time!

Mom & Dad at table set for my first dinner party. Middle Village, circa 1982

Today, I decided to throw healthy to the wind and enjoy some good comfort food.  Making this dish 36 years later brought back so many memories.  Wishing my parents were here with us to enjoy it.

Laura’s Shrimp Parmesan


  • 15 large shrimp – peeled, deveined and tail removed
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • olive oil
  • onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • red pepper flakes
  • Basil
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • pinch of sugar


  1. It’s snowing, so pour a big glass of wine and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.
  2. Saute onions in butter for 4 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute
  4. Add red pepper flakes and basil cook 1 minute.
  5. Add two cans of tomatoes, pinch of sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir, reduce heat and simmer for an hour.
  7. Add parmesan cheese to sauce and cook 30 minutes longer while you prepare shrimp.
  8. Clean shrimp by cutting off tail, peeling and deveining. 5EE128BE-1433-4964-8A9E-AE8B0926EE90
  9. Dip shrimp in egg wash in a bowl.
  10. Dip shrimp in breadcrumbs
  11. Fry in olive oil turning once.  About 5-8 minutes.
  12. Put some sauce in bottom of oven proof baking dish.
  13. Add shrimp
  14. Put mozzarella on top 24BDC8DC-9DEB-4408-8219-0491ED0B3BE2.jpeg
  15. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 20 minutes.
  16. Serve over ravioli and top with extra sauce.


Delicious and easy.   My younger self would be so proud of how far I’ve come.  No jar sauce in this house!  Missed you mom at my table tonight.  Wishing I could close my eyes and be back on 72nd Street at that table with you and Dad.




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