While I love to take my time and cook elaborate meals for dinner, this is pretty much impossible during the week these days. My kids do lots of activities/sports that keep us from getting home until late in the evening most nights, so it’s become imperative that meals come together very quickly.
One of ways I simplify meal preparation is by cooking a batch of grains, such as rice or quinoa, every couple of days. Then all I have to do is add some protein and veggies and we’ve got a balanced meal.
I love shrimp and it’s a great source of protein, but I worry about eating it because of sustainability issues; shrimp has been extremely overfished. In addition, shrimp harvesting typically results in a large “by-catch” (meaning other fish and sea creatures, including sea turtles, are destroyed in the harvesting process).
This is why you should try to purchase wild shrimp that are harvested sustainably when you can. Wild-caught pink shrimp from Oregon is one of the best choices; Pacific spot prawns are also good. My favorite online source for these, as well as many other types of wild and certified sustainable fish and seafood, is Vital Choice.
Because my kids prefer pasta over quinoa (go figure), I made a separate batch of fettucine for them to enjoy with the shrimp. For myself, I used black quinoa that I found at my local natural foods store in this dish. Regular or red quinoa can, of course, be used instead. 1/2 pound of shrimp will feed 2 people; scale the recipe up to feed more.
Recipe For Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Kale and Quinoa
For the quinoa:
Quinoa is not technically a grain: it's a seed and has a lot of protein and minerals. It is simple to prepare.
*1 cup quinoa
*1 1/2 cups water
*pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
For the garlic shrimp with kale:
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 tablespoon organic butter
*2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (use more if you really like garlic)
*1/2 pound wild caught shrimp, preferably sustainably harvested
*1-2 cups kale, chopped fine
*1/2 cup tomato sauce, preferably organic
*juice from 1/2 lemon
*pinch or two of red pepper flakes
*course sea salt
*cooked quinoa (or pasta), for serving
*fresh parmesan cheese for serving-optional
For the quinoa:
Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (this is important or it will be bitter). Place in an uncovered 1 quart pan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until all water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to sit in covered pot for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
For the garlic shrimp with kale:
1. In a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, being careful so it doesn't burn.
2. Add the shrimp and kale and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the shrimp have just turned pink and the kale is cooked through.
3. Add tomato sauce and cook for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
4. Serve over quinoa (or pasta), and sprinkle with fresh parmesan, if desired.
This post is linked to Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade…make sure to check out the rest of the healthy real food submissions!
This recipe for gluten-free coffee almond cookies is ridiculously easy, and the results are ridiculously good.
These are made with no flour at all, so they don’t contain gluten (or empty calories, for that matter). Ground almonds take the place of the flour, so they’ve got lots of nutrients and fiber. They are also quite low in carbohydrates, and very low in fat.
Given that they’re pretty good for you, I was almost surprised by how tasty they are! My kids loved them, too. These gluten-free gems make a great light dessert or snack; I venture to say a couple of these could even pass for breakfast…
Coffee Almond Gluten-Free Cookies
Adapted from the recipe for Hazelnut Espresso Cookies in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Clean Eating magazine
Makes 15-30 cookies, depending on how big you make them
*2 cups almonds or almond flour
*1 tablespoon freeze-dried regular or decaf organic coffee (I use Mount Hagen brand) or use espresso powder
*3/4 cup organic sugar
*1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
*4 large egg whites
*1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Process almonds, coffee, sugar, and salt in a high speed blender or food processor until fine. Transfer to a mixing bowl. If using almond flour, you can skip the blender/food processor and mix the ingredients right in your bowl.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff.
3. Fold nut mixture into the egg whites. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and mix just until blended.
4. Spoon the batter onto your cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
This healthy cookie recipe is linked to Slight Indulgent Tuesdays. Head over to Amy Green’s blog, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, to see the other submissions!
I didn’t cook much over the last 10 days. It’s a strange fact, but it’s true.
So what did I do? I spent time with family and friends, I cleaned my house, I read a few books, and I coughed. I coughed a lot (the cough is much, much better now, if you’re wondering).
And because one of my goals for 2010 (besides eating a healthy breakfast every day!) is to become a better photographer, I also spent a lot of time “playing” with my camera,.
To that end, I decided to get more active on Flickr and to do Project 365, too…
So while I don’t have time to share a recipe today, I thought I’d share a few of the photos I took during my vacation.
Favorite Holiday Week Moments/Photos
1. For Christmas Eve, my mom made this incredible Buche de Noel Recipe from Martha Stewart. I am so impressed at the patience she has for projects like these…it was delicious and really, really beautiful, and she doesn’t even consider herself a baker. Great job, Mom:
2. A few days after Christmas, my daughter and I spent a day together in New York City. We had a blast. Here’s a view of Bloomingdale’s (from across the street, which just happens to be the location of Dylan’s Candy Bar…I swear we didn’t go in ;)
3. My brother and sister-in-law and their two kids came to visit from Colorado for a few days. We had a great time. My niece and nephew are too cute for words…here’s my adorable niece:
4. New Year’s Eve was a fairly mellow affair, and on New Year’s day, I took my daughter sledding…she hates having her picture taken, but was having so much fun that I managed to get this one, which I absolutely love:
5. Sunday was a day of complete rest for my family. We went night skiing in truly frigid weather on Saturday, so the last day of vacation was spent doing some serious lounging. No one was more photogenic yesterday than my dog Jake, so it’s his picture that is my final one to share today:
Recipes will return tomorrow, I promise!