Diets Don’t Have to Be Torture (but they usually are) & Mexican Spiced Shrimp

Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Black Beans topped with a dollop of Greek Yogurt

Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Black Beans topped with a dollop of Greek Yogurt

I’ve mentioned once or twice a million times that I’ve been on a diet.  How exciting?!  Actually, I’m trying to think of it more as a lifestyle change.  I’m not depriving myself, I’m just not over-doing it, either.

My new way of eating really focuses on portion sizes and eating more frequently.  Truthfully, it sucks.  That being said, it works.

Most of the food I’ve been cooking lately has been incredibly unexciting.  Because I’ve been busier than usual the past couple months, my kitchen experiments have been “pushed” to the back burner and I’ve been making super easy dinners involving lots of shrimp or chicken.

Lately shrimp has been my go-to protein, which is totally weird because I have never been real fond of the little sea creatures–or any seafood, actually.  I started eating it because it’s an incredible source of protein and it’s super quick to prepare…did I mention I’ve been busy?!

So, because I’ve been eating shrimp so often, I’ve been experimenting with different spice blends/seasonings.  The last thing I want is to get bored with my protein-of-choice. Once I get bored, it’s over.  Done.  I’m “off the wagon.”  Not to mention I’m way more likely to make unhealthy food choices.

cilantro shrimp, mexican shrimp, mexican shrimp and beans

Mexican Spiced Shrimp Recipe


  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp (I used 8-12 count USA wild-caught)
  • 1 roma tomato, small diced
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning (homemade* is best, if using store-bought look for low-sodium)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and finely minced
  • 1 small handful cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

*homemade taco seasoning:  I use THIS recipe


Use a pan that is large enough so that the shrimp aren’t crowded.  Cook in batches, if necessary.

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry until the raw smell is gone, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Add the shrimp, tomato, and taco seasoning.  Mix well and cook until the shrimp are fully cooked (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  • Add lime juice and cilantro to the shrimp, stir so that all the shrimp are equally coated.
  • Season with salt and pepper and Enjoy!
Jumbo Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Cilantro

Jumbo Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Cilantro

As for the beans, I don’t really have a recipe.  The truth is, I cheated.  I purchased some canned non-fat refried black beans from Target.  Of course, I doctored them up a little for a little added flavor.

Hey! I can’t always cook everything from scratch all the time, right?

To the can of refried beans I added about a teaspoon of bacon grease (yeah, yeah…I’m on a diet, but fat is flavor and I want to enjoy my food!), some shredded pepper-jack cheese and a good amount of salsa.

Once the cheese was melted and the beans were fully heated through I topped them with a dollop of Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream.

Cup o' Beans

Cup o’ Beans

What are your favorite “diet” foods?  Do you have any tips or secrets to lightening up meals without compromising flavor or using fake chemical filled substitutes? I’d love to hear your ideas!


12 thoughts on “Diets Don’t Have to Be Torture (but they usually are) & Mexican Spiced Shrimp

  1. thepaddingtonfoodie

    Those prawns look delicious. I’ve been following the 5-2 plan. 2 days of fasting( which means not consuming more than 500 calories on fast days). and 5 days of eating normally or feasting. So I am only restricted on two non consecutive days of my choosing each week. On fast days it’s mostly soup, seafood, poultry, eggs or vegetables, I’ve been posting the more interesting meals under 5-2 challenge as I go. At least spices have very few calories.

  2. Magali

    Spring is coming (hopefully!), time to get out in the garden again. You would be amazed at how many calories you burn while gardening. That really helps to shed extra pounds. That said, I HAVE to try that shrimp recipe, Thank you again!

  3. myninjanaan

    These look delicious! And I totally agree, once things start to get boring it’s much easier to fall off the wagon. I bet these shrimp would be amazing in whole wheat tortillas with some coleslaw and sriracha 🙂

  4. Mozette

    I’ve never dieted in my life. For me, it’s always been to eat good, healthy food… and once you feel a little bit over halfway full… stop eating! Drink a glass of water and you’ll be full soon. And if you want something sweet, get a small piece of it and enjoy every piece of it until your sweet tooth has had its fix… I haven’t gained any major weight since high school and have been to a 20 year reunion in 2011 where everyone said I was exactly the same as I was in my year 10 photo!

    So, diet is just a four letter word… and it’s a nasty one too.

    And those prawns look wonderfully delish!

    1. Shari Post author

      hello! Thank you for the compliments! The chili sounds great! I don’t think the flavors would go bad together, by any means. I do think there might be too much of the same flavor though—the actual shrimp might get a little lost.

      Personally, I wouldn’t serve shrimp with a beef chili, but that’s just my own tastes. You could always try it and see what you think?


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