Shrimp Quesadillas!

Happy Friday! It feels like it took forever to get here, but I’m finally at home with a Toasted Marshmallow candle from Bath & Body Works going in the background and my twinkle lights setting a soft glow for a cozy writing setting.

I started my weekend off with an evening workout. I stopped at GNC before work this morning and picked up a few of the Beyond Raw Lit energy drinks. I like them because they have zero sugar and awesome flavors! My favorites are the Ginger Fizz (which tastes like a sort of ginger ale/ginger beer hybrid) and the Beyond Dew, which many people compare to Mountain Dew.

It gave me a good burst of energy for cardio day. First, I ran a mile on the treadmill and then walked on an incline for twenty minutes. After that, I did an interval workout on the stair-stepper machine for twenty minutes. For a cool-down, I did some stretching and used the bosu ball for ab extensions and crunches, and I also did some lower ab work and a few planks.

When I got home, I wanted something simple and quick but packed with protein and nutrients, so I decided to make shrimp quesadillas with a homemade jalapeno sauce and a side of veggies.

First, I sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and broccoli. I sauteed the vegetables in a pan with a little bit of olive oil and some Italian seasoning. For the last ten minutes of cooking, I lowered the burner heat and covered them with a lid to steam.

Next, I made the jalapeno sauce. I don’t really have precise measurements because I usually just add things to taste. If I had to guess, though, I would say that I use about 2 tablespoons of Sir Kensington’s Special Sauce (you can also use mayonnaise for this), 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 large diced fresh jalapeno, half a small avocado, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, and then season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne powder (a teaspoon or so of each). You can also add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice if you want, and if you like your sauce on the sweet side, you can add a teaspoon of sugar or sweetener. I just mix everything together and then I put it in my Magic Bullet until the jalapenos are blended and the mixture is smooth.

You can use whatever kind of tortilla you like, but I used the Mission Carb Balance flour tortillas because they are pretty large and crisp up nicely.

I cooked the shrimp in a pan with butter (you can also substitute with an oil if you’d prefer) and seasoned them with the same dry seasonings I used for the sauce – salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne. Shrimp only need to cook for a couple minutes on each side. Once they start turning a light golden brown, they’re done.

I layered half a tortilla with some of the jalapeno sauce, Colby Jack cheese, and the cooked shrimp.

After layering, fold the other half of the quesadilla over. I cooked it in a regular saute pan with a pat of butter to crisp/brown it up. You can use any kind of cooking spray or oil, or you can bake it for about ten minutes at 400 degrees.

The finished product!

I served my quesadilla with chopped avocado and tomato. You can serve it with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or whatever you’d like! It’s a simple and flavorful meal, and it’s fairly low in carbs and contains good protein and healthy fats.

I found this new flavor of Russell Stover Easter Eggs at Walgreens for my dessert! It was really good. An embarrassing but cool story about these eggs is the time I wrote a letter to the company when I was in high school. Apparently, I wrote them a letter telling them how much I loved their seasonal specialties (Valentine’s, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas cream/marshmallow candies) and tried to encourage them to sell them year-round. They sent me back a letter thanking me for being a fan and a huge box filled with chocolates. It was really nice and I probably ate the box in about two days. Check these out if you like churros!

To end the evening, my husband brought me home a beautiful flower for International Women’s Day. This day is meaningful to me for many reasons. Not only am I lucky enough to be the daughter/friend/daughter-in-law/sister-in-law/niece/granddaughter/colleague to some amazing and strong women, but I’ve spent and will continue to spend time fighting for a place in the world. I’m a student, a teacher, an author, an athlete, a woman filled with a constant desire to learn and change and inspire, and someone who has a lot of love to give. Like any woman, I’ve faced a lot of harassment and inappropriate behavior from men, and it’s taken a lot of learning and reflection to understand that I’ve done nothing to contribute to that behavior and that I don’t have to take it silently. I still have many goals to achieve and a lot of growing to do, but I’m incredibly proud to be a combatant, a challenger, to persevere and be resilient – to be a woman.

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