Rice Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Grits AND a Hamilton Beach Giveaway!

rice-cooker-cajun-shrimp-and-grits-chew-nibble-nosh

I know what you’re thinking.  Shrimp and Grits in a rice cooker?  I thought exactly the same thing.  But, when my friends at Hamilton Beach offered me their spectacular, multi-functioning 4-20 Cup Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker to try, and then suggested this recipe for Rice Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Grits, I thought, why not!  After all, this rice cooker isn’t your average rice cooker.  Sure, it cooks rice. Every size and variety. But it also cooks oatmeal, quinoa, cream of wheat, Farro, and other whole grains and dried beans. It has a simmer function for pastas and soups! And it has a steamer basket that loads in the top, so you can cook veggies, meats and fish right along with your rice and grains. It’s a one stop meal maker!

Za’atar Salmon with Vegetables and Couscous

Za'atar Salmon with Vegetables and Couscous - Chew Nibble Nosh

One of the greatest things I’ve learned along my food blogging journey is that there are some spectacular cooks floating out there on the interwebs.  I’m thankful that my platform here has connected me with many of these talented folks, and in turn, they inspire me to bring some of their amazing creations into my own kitchen.

My friend, Peter, posted this salmon recipe on his beautiful blog, Feed Your Soul Too, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to try it out. (Thanks, Peter!!)  Over the past couple of years, I have easily fallen in love with Za’atar.  Za’atar is a flavorful, Middle Eastern spice blend.  It lends so much vibrant flavor to everything I’ve managed to sprinkle it on.  Everything from simple hummus to this tasty salmon.

Greek Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta: The Market District Carmel Experience

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #WelcomeToIndiana #CollectiveBias

Greek Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta - Chew Nibble Nosh

I am in love with the new store in town.

 If you live in the Indianapolis area, you’ve probably heard the buzz about the new Market District store that has opened up in Carmel at 11505 N. Illinois Street.  It’s really spectacular and, if I’m being completely honest, I’m a bit of an addict.  It’s only a few minutes from our house and I find myself there a lot lately.  (In fact, I’ve been there twice since Sunday.)  I was lucky enough be able to attend media events and tours on opening day, and with the behind-the-scenes knowledge I gained, I assure you that it really is a special place, full of amazing people who honestly, truly love their jobs.

Shrimp Arrabbiata Pasta

Shrimp Arrabbiata - Chew Nibble Nosh

Gosh, I love shrimp.  You know that scene in Forrest Gump, where Bubba goes on and on, and on, about everything you can do with shrimp?

I never saw anything wrong with Bubba’s passion.  If anything, it made me hungry.

Having lived in the South for a good number of years, I was used to being able to get fresh, wonderful, reasonably priced shrimp at every restaurant, and every market.  Heck, sometimes the shrimp even came to me.  When we lived in New Orleans, the wonderfully sweet man who was the custodian at the school I taught in would go out on his shrimp boat on the weekends and bring his delicious haul back in for me on Monday!  Talk about spoiled!  Being back in the landlocked Midwest has stifled our constant shrimpiness a bit, but I still try to cook it up often.

Peach Glazed Salmon with Raspberries

Peach Glazed Salmon with Raspberries - Chew Nibble Nosh

Alrighty then, we’re almost done.  Just one more holiday and we can all start those New Year’s resolution diet and exercise plans.  I’ll be right there alongside all of you.  I have a big trip planned for spring break, and this current holiday bloat thing I’ve got going on just isn’t going to cut it.

That said, it’s always nice to start off the New Year with a nice meal.  This salmon dish is absolutely delicious, and beautifully simple.  It comes together in no time flat, and looks spectacular enough that you could serve it to company.  Plus, it’s not going to weigh you down, so if you want to indulge in the last of those Christmas cookies, go for it.  After all, it’s the holiday season!  Take it for all it’s worth!

Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles - Chew Nibble Nosh

It’s so nice when the stars align, isn’t it?

 I was feeling kind of gross.  That gross kind of feeling you get when you’ve eaten your way through a weekend (er…summer), and know that you need to kick good habits back into gear.  Not that I didn’t have fun doing it, I had a great time, but it’s time to get serious again.  So, when it was time for me to make up my weekly grocery list and plan out my meals for the week  I started to look for some meals to get me back on track this week.

Greek Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Peppers and Feta

Green Pasta Salad with Shrimp Tomatoes Zucchini Peppers and Feta - Chew Nibble Nosh

It’s hard to believe that summer is already winding down.  My girls start school a week from now, but I know a lot of kids that have already started…and a few that don’t start until after Labor Day, so those of you in that category can just ignore my end of summer talk for a while.  What a summer we’ve had.  I fully intended on this summer being a little less busy than last summer, when I felt like I was constantly going, going, going.  Well…it didn’t happen.  We had a busy, but wonderful, summer and it’s flown by in the blink of an eye.

Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Salmon Asparagus and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette - Chew Nibble Nosh

This meal is, simply, summer in a bowl.

It’s light, and fresh, and so easy to throw together…because who wants to think when the weather is beautiful and you’d rather be hanging out by the pool?  This amazing summer meal can be put together in the time it takes for the kids to take showers after swimming so their hair doesn’t turn green.

I put a pot of water on the stove, and started heating it up to a boil.  As it was heating, I was busy prepping my fresh asparagus, slicing a red onion, and whisking together a quick, but super tasty, dressing of lemon juice, fresh dill, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a hefty dose of feta cheese.

Seared Salmon with Sweet Corn and Bacon Sauté

Seared Salmon with Sweet Corn and Bacon Sauté - Chew Nibble Nosh

I love recipes like this.  Why?  Well, for a fraction of the cost of going out to eat and ordering something similar, I was able to whip this dish together in no time flat in my own kitchen.  In fact, one plate of this in a restaurant would probably cost the same as all of the ingredients together for four portions at home.  It was delicious, and beautifully light and fresh on the plate.  Plus, it was done in a flash.  The entire meal took less than 30 minutes to get from fridge to table.  I loved every little morsel of it!

Greek Fish Tacos with Cucumber Salsa and Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Greek Fish Tacos with Cucumber Salsa and Garlic Yogurt Sauce - Chew Nibble Nosh

Ooooh!  It’s Spring! I think it’s really here this time!  The birds are chirping, the grass is greening up, and the sun is warm and delicious, and we’re all ready to soak it up.

Warmer days mean lighter, super fresh meals to me, and this meal was the perfect start to our first warm week in a long time.