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Fresh from Florida

Florida-Shrimp-and-Beef-Tacos_recipe

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Have you ever been wandering through the aisles of a market and found yourself wondering where the produce came from? In this day in age, farmers’ markets and local produce shopping is the exception not the rule. Most people simply don’t know where their food comes from or even which country it originated from. It’s a bit sad when you think about it, right? Humans went from hunter-gatherers to subsistence farmers to uneducated mass consumers. Of course, there were thousands of years between those transitions, but still we should have a basic understanding of where our food comes from. Unless it is clearly labeled on packaging, even I rarely know the birthplace of my meal… and I do food for a living! I am not proud of this gapping hole in my knowledge and if there were a foodie prison, I’d be on the fast-track to execution by (BBQ) fire… by the way, Anthony Bourdain is the warden in my fictitious penitentiary. So you can imagine how thrilled I was thrilled to team up today with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to spread the word about their ‘Fresh From Florida’ campaign. Fresh From Florida is dedicated to educating the nation about the state’s many delicious produce and offer up some equally mouth-watering recipes. What are some of the ingredients that are locally grown and produced in Florida, you ask? The variety on this list might surprise you: Avocado, alligator, broccoli, cantaloupe, clams, eggplant, grapefruit, lychee, mahi-mahi, mango, orange, oyster, peanut, radish, spinach, swordfish, tomato, yellowfish tuna. Amazing diversity, no?! And those were just a handful of items I selected off the long list of Florida’s natural ‘fruits’.   Well, my friends, now that you and I are a bit more knowledgeable on the subject of homegrown produce, I hope it makes your grocery shopping experience a lot more enjoyable. I’ll be attempting one of the many tempting dishes from the Fresh From Florida website in the coming weeks (so stay tuned!), but in the meantime here’s some of my favorites from the site for you to try…

Stuffed Florida Yellow Squash Parmesan

Stuffed-Florida-Yellow-Squash-Parmesan_recipe

STUFFED FLORIDA YELLOW SQUASH PARMESAN
 
INGREDIENTS
  1. 2 medium-sized Florida zucchini or large yellow squash
  2. 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  3. 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  4. 1 cup marinara sauce (your favorite)
  5. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  6. 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  7. olive oil for cooking
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  9. sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cut off the stem side of the zucchini or yellow squash.
  2. Cut zucchini or yellow squash evenly in half lengthwise.
  3. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds from each half to create room to hold other ingredients.
  4. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the preheated pan.
  5. Season the zucchini or yellow squash with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the zucchini or yellow squash skin side up in the sauté pan and cook for about 2 minutes on both sides.
  7. Remove from pan and place on a cookie sheet skin side down.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  9. In a small mixing bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped basil and Parmesan cheese.
  10. Season ingredients to taste with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  11. Evenly distribute the ricotta cheese and marinara sauce on top of the zucchini or yellow squash.
  12. Top the yellow squash and zucchini with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  13. Evenly sprinkle the breadcrumb topping mixture on top of the zucchini or yellow squash.
  14. Bake the stuffed zucchini or yellow squash for 10 minutes or until topping is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
  15. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm.

Florida Watermelon Fizz

Florida-Watermelon-Fizz_recipe

FLORIDA WATERMELON FIZZ
 
 
INGREDIENTS
  1. 5 cups Florida watermelon (seeded and cubed)
  2. 2 cups sparkling water
  3. Florida honey to taste
  4. 1 lemon, juiced
  5. Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add watermelon, honey and lemon juice to a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Strain puree through a fine sieve.
  3. Fill 4 glasses with ice.
  4. Evenly distribute the strained juice into each glass.
  5. Top each glass with sparkling water and stir once.
  6. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Florida Shrimp and Beef Tacos

Florida-Shrimp-and-Beef-Tacos_recipe

FLORIDA SHRIMP AND BEEF TACOS
 
 
INGREDIENTS
  1. BEEF SKEWERS
  2. 24 ounces Florida beef (tenderloin, sirloin or your favorite cut of beef) cut into 1-inch cubes
  3. 2 large Florida bell peppers (your favorite color), cut into 1-inch squares
  4. 2 large onions cut into 1-inch squares
  5. 8 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
  6. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  7. Cooking oil spray for grilling
  8. SHRIMP SKEWERS
  9. 1 pound large Florida shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
  10. 2 large Florida bell peppers (your favorite color), cut into 1-inch squares
  11. 2 large onions cut into 1-inch squares
  12. 8 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
  13. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  14. Cooking oil spray for grilling
  15. MARINADE
  16. 1/2 cup olive oil
  17. 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  18. 1 teaspoon cumin
  19. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  20. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  21. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  22. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Make the beef skewers by alternating the beef, peppers and onions. Make sure to put the same amount of beef, peppers and onions on each of the skewers. Lightly season the completed skewers with salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray the skewers with the cooking oil spray. Carefully add the beef skewers to the grill and cook to desired temperature. When the desired temperature or doneness has been reached, remove the cooked skewers from the grill. Let the food rest for 3 minutes before serving them warm.
  2. Make the shrimp skewers by alternating the shrimp, peppers and onions. Make sure to put the same amount of shrimp, peppers and onions on each of the skewers. Lightly season the completed skewers with salt and pepper. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray the skewers with the cooking oil spray. Carefully add the shrimp skewers to the grill and cook until the shrimp are just done.
  3. To make the marinade, combine olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Use half of the marinade on the raw skewers. Taste marinade and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper Use the reserved unused half of the marinade as a sauce.
  4. To make the shrimp and beef skewers into Tacos, serve with fresh salsa, Florida avocado, shredded lettuce and warm tortillas. Remove the beef or shrimp from the skewers.

Garlic and Herb Florida Sweet Corn

Garlic-and-Herb-Florida-Sweet-Corn_recipe

GARLIC AND HERB FLORIDA SWEET CORN
 
 
INGREDIENTS
  1. 4 ears fresh Florida corn
  2. Garlic
  3. Herbs, chopped fine (dill, rosemary, parsley)
  4. Butter
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place shucked corn directly on a hot grill.
  2. Rotate and cook corn until charred and cooked, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Add portions of toppings based on preference.

Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

Blueberry-Breakfast-Casserole_recipe

BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
 
 
INGREDIENTS
  1. 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
  2. 8 large eggs, beaten
  3. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  4. 1 loaf bread (any kind)
  5. 1 ½ cups low-fat milk
  6. 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese (cold so it can be cubed)
  7. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  8. cooking pan spray
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Cut cream cheese into small cubes.
  4. Lightly spray a 9x9x2-inch baking dish.
  5. Place half of the bread cubes in the dish.
  6. Evenly place the cream cheese cubes and 1 cup of the blueberries over the bread.
  7. Add the remaining bread cubes and blueberries to the top of the casserole.
  8. In a medium-sized bowl, combine eggs, milk, maple syrup and butter.
  9. Slowly pour egg mixture over bread.
  10. Cover casserole with foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
  11. Insert a toothpick in the center of the casserole.
  12. When the toothpick comes out clean, remove the foil so the casserole can brown on top.
  13. Let cool slightly and serve warm with extra maple syrup on the side.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m going to go pay homage to Florida and go buy a watermelon! For more information on the Fresh From Florida campaign and to get tons of delicious recipes using the state’s natural ingredients, visit their website here.

Sam Temsah-Deniskin

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the whimsical life of accidental photographer, stylist, & writer, Sam. Her approachable and fun style has received critical acclaim from such media outlets as The Huffington Post, Real Simple Magazine, PopSugar, and Buzzfeed. In addition to running a successful photography & content creation business, Sam also serves as a contributing writer for Liquor.com and Scary Mommy.

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1 Comment

  1. I want to try that corn on the cob recipe!

    ❤︎
    Dakota D.
    https://fannypacksandvisors.com
    IG: @missdsquared413

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