Recipe Challenge Winners

RecipeChallengeCongratulations to our winners!  June's BBQ-themed Recipe Challenge presented the Garden State Woman staff with a difficult decision.  In the end two health conscious recipes took the lead.  Try the Grilled Shrimp Tacos or the Spiedini with Speck, Asiago, Figs, Shrimp & Balsamico and send us your culinary comments.

This month's theme is: Blueberries.  July's winner(s) will be posted on the GSW website in August.  Detailed recipes submissions should include picture of the prepared recipe, your name, town, your picture and any business information you would like to share with the Garden State Woman audience.  All recipes must be originals and must list ingredients and preparation instructions.  Garden State Woman does not take responsibility for recipes that are not originals.  Recipes for this month's challenge must be submitted by July 31, 2012.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Recipe Submitted by:  Randy Rabney of Maplewood, NJShrimpTacos

This dish is so simple to make and produces a delicious result. To me, little compares to the combination of the shrimp and guacamole. If you're not into the carbs for some reason, skip the tortillas and you'll still have something delicious. You can even serve the shrimp and guacamole on a big platter as a great appetizer at a party (in this case, I'd leave the tails on the shrimp).


1 lb. medium wild shrimp, peeled with the vein and tails removed
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
A few grinds of fresh black pepper (optional)
1 lime, cut in quarters
Organic Corn Tortillas
Guacamole (recipe to follow)

Place shrimp in a bowl and add the next 4 ingredients, make sure the shrimp are coated with everything, if you need a bit more oil, add it. Set the bowl aside for about 15 or in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. 

Get the grill really hot and then reduce to medium.  Wrap tortillas in foil. Place shrimp and tortillas on the grill. Turn the shrimp when they begin to curl and change color, about 3 minutes and cook on the next side about 2 minutes. Remove shrimp and tortillas from the grill and squeeze the lime over the shrimp.  Alternatively, you can quickly place the tortillas directly on the grill for about 1 minute or less on each side until soft and warm.

Fill warm corn tortillas with guacamole and shrimp, top with shredded cabbage slaw.

Cabbage Slaw


1 Cup Red, Napa or Green Cabbage, shredded
Drizzle of Extra virgin olive oil
Teaspoon (or more to taste) of apple cider vinegar
Sea salt to taste

Combine everything in a bowl and toss.


In my experience, you can never have too much guacamole at a party. Here's a guide to making delicious guacamole. Feel free to vary the amount of heat, citrus or any of the ingredients. Also, it's your choice how large or small you want the added ingredients.


At least ½ an Avocado per person
Diced onion to taste (preferable a sweet or red onion)
Pressed or minced garlic to taste (optional)
Diced serrano or jalepeno pepper to taste, remove rib and seeds if you want to reduce the heat
Cilantro to taste
Fresh Lime Juice to taste (start with ½ lime and add more if you want it)
Sea Salt to taste
Diced tomato (optional, I don't use it)

Combine all ingredients, except the avocado, lime and salt a bowl.   Cut avocados in half and scoop them out with a spoon. Place them in the bowl with the other ingredients and mash them to desired consistency. Season with lime and salt.

**For a vegan/vegetarian option sauté diced onion, garlic, mushrooms and black beans. Season that mixture with cumin, cayenne pepper or chili powder and sea salt to taste.

RandyRabney 300dpi V21Randy Rabney is the author of "Delicious For Life: Your Everyday Guide to Making Quick & Healthy Meals." She is a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts as well as The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, both in NYC and has cooked at the Golden Door Spa in California and has taught classes in a variety of places, including Whole Foods Markets. She is a regular contributor to and, and has written articles and contributed to other nationally known publications including  Additionally, she has appeared on TV locally and internationally.

She is also a board certified holistic health coach, trained chef, food lover and working parent. a company dedicated to showing you a new side of food, cooking, weight loss and healthy eating. As a Coach Randy will support and help you to create the mindset needed to create joy, power and freedom in your relationship with food so you can lose and maintain weight, discover the foods that work with your body naturally, and learn an uncomplicated way of eating that supports the way you want to look and feel for life. She is also available for speaking engagements.

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Spiedini with Speck, Asiago, Figs, Shrimp & Balsamico

Recipe Submitted by: Barbara Seelig-Brown of Long Valley, NJShrimpFigSpiedini

This dish is a show stopper not only because it is beautiful but it uses so many wonderful flavors that complement each other.  It is also perfect for entertaining because you can prepare it ahead and serve it cold.


6 wooden skewers, about 10 inches long
6 pieces of Asiago Fresco, about 1 inch square each
6 pieces of Asiago Staggionato, about 1 inch square each
18 slices of Speck, about 4 ounces
Additional Speck, if desired
24 medium to large shrimp, peeled & deveined
6 ripe figs, cut in half
Good Quality Aged Balsamic
2 Tablespoons Grated Asiago Staggionato for garnish

Soak the skewers for at least 20 minutes.  This will prevent charring when grilling.

Preheat a grill or grill pan.

Wrap each piece of the Asiago Fresco & Asiago Staggionato in a piece of Speck. There should be 6 slices remaining.

Begin making the skewers by threading:

2 shrimp that have been intertwined to look like one.
1 slice of Speck, folded accordion style
1 fig half
1 Speck wrapped piece of Asiago Staggionato
1 fig half
1 Speck wrapped piece of Asiago Fresco
2 Shrimp that have been intertwined to look like one

Grill until shrimp are pink on one side.  Turn and grill until pink on the second side.

Place on a platter and drizzle with Balsamico.  Garnish with grated Asiago Staggionato.

Chef's Tip:  This can be served hot or cold.  If you want to do the grilling ahead of serving time, you can serve it cold.

Stress Free Cooking
Barbara Seelig-Brown
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©Barbara Seelig-Brown

Last modified onTuesday, 19 March 2013 15:52
Maria Baniel

Maria Baniel, owner of the new Café & Wine Bar at Restaurant Village, recalls her month-old business taking off. A Long Valley resident for 20 years and unabashed wine lover.

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