This is one of my “Oh my gosh it’s 5PM and I don’t know what to make for dinner” meals. It’s simple, easy and from start to finish takes about 20 minutes. I usually keep some shrimp in the freezer for moments like this, but if you have the chance to grab them fresh, even better. My mom cooks with shells on, I’m a shells off gal (Q prefers the mess-free kind of shrimp), but either one works. The nice part about this recipe is that it is a one pot wonder. You cook the orzo, then add the shrimp to the same pot, easy peezy!
This recipe makes enough for about 6 portions, so Q and I have it for dinner, and then usually lunch for the next two days. The only thing I do is add the avocado each day, so for dinner I add it directly to our plates and do the same for lunch, otherwise it tends to get a little mushy and brown. Feel free to add/remove anything you like to the mix! I’m an artichoke gal, so I load them up. I think olives would work, or eating it alongside some hummus and pita!
Greek Shrimp and Orzo Salad
Makes 6 servings
- 8 ounces dried orzo pasta (about half a box, eyeballing works)
- 1 1/4 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
- 1 cup peeled and roughly chopped cucumber
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill (a few pinches work for us)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Fill a large pot with water and a pinch or two of salt and bring to a boil.
- Cook the orzo according to package directions until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- At 8 minutes, add the shrimp to the boiling water to allow it to cook with the pasta for about 2 minutes or until all the shrimp are curled and pink.
- When the shrimp and orzo are cooked, drain thoroughly and return to the cooking pot.
- Drizzle the pasta and shrimp with the lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coat.
- Add the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts, parsley and dill to the pot and stir to combine.
- Season with the salt and pepper. Add the feta.
- Serve either warm or cold (if cold, pop it into the fridge for a few hours).
Adapted from Chefmom
I’m a big fan of under-30-minute meals. After work and the gym, Q and I are normally starving when we get home. We occasionally will make a big to-do about dinner and spend a good hour prepping and cooking, but most nights we just want fast, healthy and good. This meal is one of those.
This recipe comes together quickly, maybe 15 minutes, and uses ingredients we normally keep around the house. You can even thaw out frozen shrimp to make this a great last minute dinner if you need one! The taste is a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot of delicious. We served ours with roasted veggies and a grain mix from Trader Joe’s. Last time I was home I stocked up on all things TJ’s before coming back to TJ-Free Alaska. My bag filled with Cookie Butter, almond butter, brown rice, salsa and grain mixes was close to 60 pounds. I think I have a problem!
Garlicky Beer Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (not minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup light beer (we used Bud Light)
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high. When the butter has just melted, add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until they are pink on both sides (they don’t have to be cooked all the way through yet). Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside
- In the skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of butter, garlic slices and cayenne pepper. Cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Pour in the beer, let simmer for 30 seconds. Add Worcestershire sauce, honey, mustard, and lemon juice. Simmer for around 10 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to scrape off the “fond” (little brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan).
- Add the shrimp back to the skillet, cover with sauce and cook another 1-2 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. Serve warm and be careful for those garlic slices (we removed ours before serving)!
Adapted from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen
I’m a big fan of brown rice bowls. Teriyaki chicken bowl. Brown rice sushi bowl. Crispy tofu bowl. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because throwing “bowl” at the end of something makes it sound a little fancy, but I like it.
This bowl is one of my absolute favorite new dishes. Maybe I love it because it features fresh avocados sent all the way from California (yes, my mom is the best and sends us half a dozen avocados every week from LA to Fairbanks). Or maybe because it’s so simple, yet delicious. Or maybe because from start to finish it takes less than 25 minutes. Or all of the above. This dish is simple, clean, and healthy. The flavors are Asian inspired, but not overpowering. It tastes great for dinner and even better for lunch the next day when the flavors have really soaked in. Seriously, try it!
Shrimp, Avocado and Brown Rice Bowls
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 1/2 tablespoon sake or rice wine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- Juice of 1 lemon, divided
- 3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leave parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Combine all dressing/marinade ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Add ginger and half of dressing/marinade and toss lightly. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once glistening, add shrimp and marinade (only the half that was used with the shrimp, the other half gets added later). Cook for 3-4 minutes until shrimp are pink all the way through. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing or serving bowl, lightly toss avocado with half the lemon juice. Add cooked shrimp, rice, remaining lemon juice and the other half of the marinade/dressing and toss. Add parsley and cilantro and toss lightly. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Adapted from Women’s Health Magazine.
Q and I have been working our way through the Cooking for Two 2012 (America’s Test Kitchen) magazine we picked up a few weeks ago. We’ve been basing our weekly menu planning on recipes from the magazine and I can honestly say we have loved everything we’ve made from it. This meal was one of our favorites.
The shrimp dish was easy and a one-pot meal, which I love. We decided at the last minute to cook the polenta as a side instead of our usual brown rice and it was a bit more challenging than anticipated. Not so much on the cooking side, but on the stirring constantly side. Q and my arms were both exhausted by the end. It’s pretty much like risotto, you just keep stirring and adding a little water and stirring. I just want to forewarn you before you jump into it that it’s a little labor intensive, but well worth it!
Greek Style Shrimp
- 12 ounces jumbo-size shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes drained with 1/4 cup juice reserved
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)
- Toss shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, one-third of garlic, and lemon zest together in a bowl until combined and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots, bell pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables release their moisture, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture evaporates and vegetables have softened, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add remaining garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and reserved juice, and wine. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded and sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add shrimp along with any accumulated juices to pan; stir to coat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 7 to 10 minutes. Off heat, sprinkle evenly with feta. Drizzle remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil evenly over top and serve.
Recipe adapted from Cooking for Two 2012 (America’s Test Kitchen).
- In a large, deep pot over high heat, bring water and salt to a boil. Gradually stir in corn grits. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently to prevent sticking until mixture is very thick (about 30 minutes). While cooking, continue to add water by the tablespoon if mixture is getting too thick too quickly (we added water 2 times). Use a long-handled spoon because mixture pops and bubbles. Once polenta is thick, remove from heat, add in Parmesan and stir until melted. Serve warm.
PS I had my first family day with Q and his company today and had a GREAT time. I baked and cooked some goodies that I’ll share next week. Hope everyone is having a great Friday, Q and I are sitting on the sofa exhausted after a busy day!