Easy Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp fried rice is a favorite at my house and easy meal to whip up even on a weeknight. I wanted to share the recipe with y’all and a little tip I recently discovered. This recipe comes together quickly and uses basic ingredients but you can definitely turn it up a notch or two by adding specialty flavorings found at your local Asian market. Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 package of medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined. I used larger shrimp for this particular recipe because I was serving it as a main course instead of a side dish
  • 1/2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of onions (I used a shortcut, a bag of frozen onions cause I was too lazy to chop veggies)
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 bag of frozen peas and carrots
  • Soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsb of sesame oil (this is optional but it gives it great flavor and is easy to find. I found mine in the Asian food section of Walmart)Ingredients

Directions

Began by heating the vegetable and sesame oil in a large skillet on medium high heat

Add the beaten eggs and lightly scramble. Then move eggs over to a cooler part of the pan.

Add frozen peas and carrots and sauté til warmed through. I also added the onion and garlic to the frozen veggies.

Add shrimp and cook. I seasoned my shrimp with a light sprinkle of soy and teriyaki sauce, garlic and onion powder and a dash of ground ginger and rice wine vinegar but season however you like just be careful with the soy sauce cause it will cause your dish to be salty and we will be adding some later.

After the shrimp are cooked thru add leftover COLD rice. This is the trick to good fried rice. Fresh or warm rice will just become mushy so this is the perfect recipe to use up those leftovers in the fridge. You can add whatever kind of frozen veggies you like and leftover chicken or make it strictly vegetarian. You can also make it low carb by using riced cauliflower just make sure it’s cold!

Now mix everything together and add soy sauce to taste. I usually only add a few dashes and let the kids add more if it isn’t enough for their taste buds.

Now you’re done and you have a very delicious meal or side dish and it’s easy, quick and budget friendly!

We like to eat ours with homemade egg rolls and this time we also added homemade crab rangoon.

Please let me know if you try this recipe and also what other recipes you’d like to see on the blog!!!

Love Ricki

The Perfect Summer Side Dish: Broccoli Salad

Summer is here and you need quick and easy and light dishes to make with the BBQ or take to a cookout. Broccoli salad is the perfect addition!!! My kids love this and every time I’ve brought it to any gathering it’s gone!!! So make sure you give it a try this!

Ingredients

• 4-5 cups broccoli florets 1 lb, this was about 2 heads of broccoli for me

• 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese thicker

• 2/3 cup dried cranberries

• 1/2 cup crumbled bacon

• 1/4 cup of chopped pecans

• 1/3 cup red onion diced into small pieces (50g)

Dressing

• 3/4 cup mayo

• 1 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of milk

• 3 Tablespoons sugar (40g)

• 1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix

Instructions

1 Combine broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, bacon, pecans, and onion in a large bowl.

2 In a separate, small bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, sugar, and dry ranch dressing mix until smooth and well-combined.

3 Pour dressing over broccoli combination and toss or stir well.

4 Serve.  Keep refrigerated if not consuming right away.

My Keto Life and 5 Tips to start the Keto Diet

So this is my keto journey!

Let me start this post off by saying I am not a doctor of any kind. I do not have a medical degree and I do not have a PHD (I know that has nothing to do with medicine lol). I am only Dr. Mama to my kids when someone gets sick and that’s it! I encourage you before you start ANY diet especially where you are making a drastic change to your normal eating habits to consult a medical professional. I am only sharing my experience with Keto and some beginning tips.

July 2016: You couldn’t tell me nothing! Keto had me looking and feeling good!

I first heard of the Ketogenic diet when I followed Kendra on Instagram @blackketogirl . She had recently started the Keto diet and she shared lots of information and pictures of her meals, etc. I did more research on good ‘ole Google and YouTube and since I was already familiar and lost weight by lowering my carb intake before I figured it was something I would try. With Keto I could still eat bacon, seafood, meat and veggies and butter and coffee and creamy food and I figured I could make that work for me. With the Keto diet you are basically eating foods low in carbs and high in fat (preferably healthy fats) and moderate protein. Doing this will allow your body to not burn carbs (because you’re hardly eating any) and instead use your own body fat hence causing you to lose weight. This process is referred to as ketosis and once your in it hunny you will drop those pounds and inches! There are also so many  benefits to eating a ketogenic diet such as: increased focus and brain functionality, increased energy, decreased inflammation and better sleep. Keto has been know to help lower blood pressure (I am a witness to this!), lower blood sugar, help with heartburn and migraines and even is being used as a form of cancer treatment. Also, women who suffer from PCOS and infertility have even become pregnant from this diet! Now that is not a benefit I want but if you want a baby go Keto! Now of course with everything there are disadvantages. When you begin the Keto diet some people get what’s called the Keto flu. This is where during the first 1-2 weeks you may experience brain fog, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. I personally have only experienced a bad headache and have been moody and irritable from lack of carbs/sugar. It is also a restrictive diet which can be hard for some people to maintain therefore it may not help in the long run. I began the Keto diet late May/ early June of 2016 and loss over 30 lbs by the end of July. I experienced a major increase in energy and I slept really well at night and lowered my blood pressure. I continued eating pseudo-Keto ( I ate carbs sparingly) as I like to call it up until August of 2017 and I can say until that time I only gained 5-7 pounds. I would encourage you to research the pros and cons of Keto for yourself and see if this is something you would like to do. I would say if you try it be prepared to eat this way for a month to truly see all the benefits.

What can you eat and not eat on Keto:

You can eat: Fats and oils-coconut oils, MCT oil, olive oils, butter, avocado, or avocado oils, lard, egg yolks

Meat- steaks, ground beef, chicken, seafood, fatty fish, Pork, some lunch meats (be careful with this because a lot of lunch meats are high in sugar)

Dairy- heavy whipping cream, sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, greek yogurt, cheeses

Vegetables- above ground vegetables like spinach, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage

Fruits (in moderation)- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries

Nuts- pecans, almonds, macadamia, sunflower seeds

Almond and Coconut flours and almond and coconut milk

Beverages- Water (drink plenty! I flavor mine with lemon and a few frozen strawberries), tea, coffee, diet sodas and drinks (sparingly because they can increase sugar cravings) Non-flavored alcohol such as Vodka and Tequila. You can also use sucralose and stevia to sweeten drinks and food.

This is just a small sample of the many things you can eat. Take a look at this article from Rule Me for more detailed list here.

Foods to avoid: Rice, bread, potatoes, sugar filled foods, pastas, high sugar fruits (ex: bananas), oats and corn. Again refer to the article I referenced above for more.

Another important thing to do while on Keto is calculate your macros. Macros are simply what makes up a food and they are broken into 3 categories: fats, carbs and protein. It is important to know how much fat, carbs and protein to eat while on keto to effectively lose weight. Once you have calculated I suggest you plug in those numbers into an app and keep track of what you eat to make sure you stay in those guidelines. You can use this calculator here to calculate your macros.

Since we are talking about my Keto experience I will give you a sample of what I eat in a day:

Breakfast: Coffee – I wouldn’t say it’s bullet proof  but here’s what I do: I brew a cup of medium roast and sometimes I use flavored coffee such as French vanilla just make sure you pay attention to the carb count and I add 1 table spoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, sugar free vanilla syrup and sometimes a splash of flavored creamer (again check the carb count).

With my coffee I will eat bacon and eggs in some variation. I will eat just plain bacon and an egg scrambled or fried in butter and the bacon fat with cheese on top. Or I will make an omelet with bacon and spinach and cheese. I also usually eat half an avocado.

If I am tired of bacon and eggs I will make a smoothie. I make one by blending low carb protein powder, unsweetened almond milk (vanilla), a splash of sugar free vanilla syrup, melted coconut oil (if I need to get more fats in) and either ice or frozen berries depending on my carb intake for that day already.

My favorite Keto smoothie

Lunch: Usually a salad with grilled chicken and real ranch dressing. I usually make semi homemade from one of those dry ranch seasoning packets so I can add the mayo and sour cream myself.

Dinner: One of my favorite dinners is stuffed chicken. I have a recipe for this here. I will pair this with a salad or steamed veggies. Normally I work my keto dinners around my family. If I am making something with ground meat I will put mine to the side and make a taco salad or stuff a bell pepper without the rice.

In my opinion Keto is an easy way to eat. As you eat it more your carb and sugar cravings will lessen and your appetite will decrease. A lot of times I have to make a smoothie because I am not hungry but if course you must eat to lose weight.

Along with Keto in the morning I also drink a shot of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother and lemon juice. Do not drink Apple Cider Vinegar alone. It will tear up your esophagus. This also helps with lowering your blood pressure, appetite suppression, and weight loss.

The first go around on this diet I did not exercise besides walking. I plan on exercising more this round in order to tone areas.

The Keto diet was successful for me and I am currently on it and have lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks. As of writing this I am sure I lost more and inches because my clothes are looser and my belly is definitely flatter! Check my IG for updates on my progress.

If you have any more questions about the Keto Diet again I am no doctor but I will be happy to answer or direct you to who can. Below I have listed some Youtubers and IG accounts I follow for Keto inspiration:

Keilaketo (YT and IG)

Dr Eric Berg (YT)

BlackKetoGirl (IG)

KetoConnect (IG)

Yummy Inspirations (YT)

5 TIPS TO START THE KETO DIET

  1. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of things. Because Keto has gained so much popularity as of late there are a lot of expensive fancy products that you DONT need. I would purchase everyday things like bacon, sausage, eggs and chicken and salad components. For fats I would buy unrefined virgin coconut oil (I buy from Aldi for under $5) and heavy whipping cream. In other words buy things you would normally eat but be mindful of the carbs. In case this diet doesn’t work for you you won’t have wasted your money.
  2. Drink plenty of water and take a multivitamin. Because you are eating a restrictive diet you need to replace certain vitamins you are lacking. Also water will help you stay hydrated and help with the sugar and carb cravings.
  3. Add fats to regular meals. It’s imperative to get your fats in with the Keto diet. Add an avocado to breakfast or a salad. Add coconut oil to your smoothie.
  4. Meal prep (this will keep you from eating foods not on the plan) and input your food into a Food Tracker App. I use MyFitnessPal (the free version) and I can say this helped me to stay on track. It was also fun to see my weight go down!
  5. Watch videos and follow other Keto people on social media. You will get recipe ideas and motivation from seeing what others do. I often just look at the #ketodiet or #ketorecipe hashtags on IG.
Before: Easter 2015 After: March 2017 I was successful in keeping most of the weight off until a medical condition in August 2017.

With anything this is a process and even though it has been the quickest way for me to lose weight that may not be the same for everyone. This might not be the diet for you but you won’t know unless you try! Wishing you much success and please let me know if you try it!

Stuffed Chicken

Hey y’all this recipe is delicious but it is also special. A friend/co-worker shared this with me almost 10 years ago. She made it for our team at work and when I asked her how to make it she wrote out the recipe for me. Now you already know people don’t like to share their stuff sometimes but she did it with no problem and also gave me a cake recipe which I will be sharing with y’all in the future. But the real reason this recipe is so special is sadly my former coworker passed away in 2017. But she will live on in my heart and I think about her generosity every time I make it! I truly hope you make this and share with your friends and family because I know she would have wanted that.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken- Note: I normally use Chicken breast but they weren’t on sale (I feed six ppl who all eat like adults) so this was my very first time trying it with chicken thighs and I’ll never go back to breasts! I prefer boneless skinless but the bone is fine just pull off the skin.
  • Chopped onions, bell peppers and mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings of your choice
  • Dry ranch dressing seasoning
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Shredded Italian cheese mix
  • Frozen spinach, cook it in the microwave and squeeze out excess water
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese

Directions:

  • Sauté your onions, bell peppers and mushrooms in olive oil or butter

  • While your veggies soften mix up your cream cheese and spinach. If you forgot to take out your cream cheese earlier like me then pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so with the spinach and that will make it soft and easy to mix.

  • Now add the softened veggies and cheese to the spinach and cream cheese and mix together. Add the dry ranch seasoning. Season to taste with your spices of choice. I used garlic powder, Tony’s, black pepper and onion powder.

  • Set your oven to 350 degrees and in a large frying pan on about medium high heat place in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil or oil of your choice.
  • Set your mixture aside and wash your chicken. Now I know washing chicken can be controversial but it’s what I do. Do what you do and we won’t have any issues.
  • Cut a small slit in your chicken. It doesn’t have to be real deep and PLEASE don’t cut yourself. You just want to make a pocket to put the stuffing in. Season your chicken.

  • Stuff your chicken with the mixture and then set aside until you’ve stuffed each one. Don’t try to overstuff because you will have stuffing left over. Don’t worry, my family doesn’t let me waste food so we will use it!

  • Now I place each piece in the pan to sear and brown. This sears in the juices and also I don’t like light chicken. It is just not appetizing. Put some brown on that chicken so I know it’s real!!!
  • Also don’t worry about the stuffing coming out. Just use your tongs and stick it back in. Or leave it out. I wouldn’t but you are an adult so you make that decision.

  • After you have browned the chicken place it in the baking pan. Pour the leftover stuffing over the chicken. Told you we would use it! Bake for about an hour. You may need more time if you used breasts as those are bigger pieces. I encourage you to try the thighs though because they were so juicy and tender! Chicken is done at 165 degrees but if your seasoned like me you know to just cut it open in the biggest part to check lol.

And you’re done!!! I served this with roasted potatoes and a salad but I just had the salad because I am not eating carbs (sad face). This dish is Keto and Low Carb friendy for all my people trying to lose weight in the new year like me! No judgment! I hope you try this and make sure you share this post so my friend’s generosity can live on thru her recipe.

Love Ricki

White Chocolate Mocha Recipe and My Christmas Hot Drink Station

Today I am sharing my favorite coffee drink from you know that place with the green mermaid on the cup lol. I created my version of the White Chocolate Mocha to save my coins and I have to say it’s delicious! This was also the perfect recipe to try out in my new hot drink station! Check out the video of my tour after the recipe.

White Chocolate Mocha

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of Milk or half and half
  • 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips
  • About 2 tablespoons of Mocha mix or Instant coffee
  • 6-8 ounces of hot water

Directions:

  • Fill up your coffee mug with the white chocolate chips and the milk.
  • Melt in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds.
  • Once the milk and white chocolate chips are mixed together add the mocha mix (international coffee house makes a good one) or instant coffee and stir to dissolve.
  • Add 6-8 ounces of hot water to taste and stir to blend.
  • Add any sweetner and toppings you like. I like to add a little vanilla syrup because I like it sweet and top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

I hope you try the recipe for the holidays and check out my video here!

Love Ricki

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

This is an easy to make crockpot meal perfect for winter time.

Here is another easy to throw together recipe that has been highly requested from my IG framily! It is really really good y’all! Also it was perfect timing for the SNOW (yes I said snow) and cold weather that recently hit Houston. You know we got to take advantage of it while we can because we’ll be in shorts and flip flops next week!!!

Ingredients:

  • Package of Diced Hashbrown Potatoes (I found these easier to work with than the shredded)
  • 8 oz of Cream Cheese (take out the night before so it can be room temperature or pop it in the microwave for about 30 secs WITHOUT the foil packaging please)
  • Quarter of diced onion. Use more or less based on your preference
  • Can of cream of chicken soup
  • About 32 oz of chicken broth
  • Water (you may not need this)
  • Seasonings to taste (I used seasoned salt, garlic and onion powder and dry ranch dressing seasoning)

Directions:

  • Place cream cheese, onions and entire package of potatoes in a sprayed or lined crockpot.

  • Pour in can of cream of chicken soup
  • Pour in chicken broth. It should be about an inch over the mixture if not add water and you can also add a chicken bouillon cube for extra flavor (I did). Then add seasonings. I would suggest lightly seasoning it because you can add more to taste when done. Also if you add bacon directly in the soup like I did later you don’t want it too salty to begin with.
  • Set on low for 4-5 hours depending on your crockpot. Or high for 2-3 hrs. You can also make this on the stove top just simmer on med low until the potatoes get really tender.
  • After cooking mash the potatoes until smooth. We like chunky soup but you can use an immersion blender or put this in a regular blender to get it even smoother. I find that with these diced potatoes they cook down enough where just mashing them with a potato masher gives them a really smooth texture and you don’t even need a blender!
  • Now I add bacon bits directly in my soup because we all love bacon in my household but you can leave the bacon out as a topping for serving.
  • Serve this up with all your favorite baked potato toppings. I used sour cream, cheese, more bacon and green onions. I also think this soup would be good if you added steamed and drained broccoli and cheese like a broccoli cheese potato soup. Feel free to experiment, that’s what makes cooking fun!

Enjoy and tag me on Instagram or Facebook if you make this!

Love Ricki

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Enjoy this easy and quick meal any day of the week!

So when I first shared this recipe on my Instagram stories (@rickiloves) a few weeks back it was going down in my DMs! Finally I was able to make it again so I can share it with you all! Please let me know if you make it and I hope you enjoy!

You’ll need:

Ground meat (I used about 2lbs)

Taco seasoning

Ranch dressing seasoning (not pictured)

Salsa or Picante Sauce (It’s a TX thing!)

Enchilada Sauce

1 block of cream cheese

Jumbo Shells

Colby Jack or Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

Fixins (toppings like sour cream, guacamole, etc)

Directions:

  • Cook ground meat in a skillet and season with taco and ranch dressing seasonings while you boil the jumbo shells
  • Add block of cream cheese and mix thoroughly
  • After Shells have finished cooking drain, rinse with cold water and let cool.
  • Pour salsa or picante sauce in the bottom of a pan (I used the pan I make lasagna in) until the bottom is complete covered
  • Take cooled shells and stuff with ground beef mixture and add to pan over the salsa.
  • After the pan is filled pour can of enchilada sauce over the shells. Top with cheese.
  • Bake covered with foil in oven set on 350 degrees for 15-20 mins then remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted thru.

I topped mine with fresh cilantro and served it with fixins and charro beans!

This is an easy and quick recipe that is a different twist on Stuffed shells and my family loves it. I have included the link for the video I used for this recipe below because she gives great tips on how to freeze it. Give this meal a try and make two so you can freeze one for later because you WILL want to eat it again!

Love Ricki