Quinoa and Shrimp Bowl

by elleryturner

Thanks to a speeding ticket (ugh) and veterinary emergency (I would say “ugh” to this, also, but I love her too much to be rude…but really…ugh), and an oh-so-worth-it weekend in NYC (definitely not ugh), I’m on a food-spending freeze.  But, such is life, right?  For the record, my dad would disagree – speeding tickets are not such is life, and could be easily avoided by abiding by the law.  Details, details…despite all of that, I’m in good shape!  I have diligently followed my own advice to you all, and have a well-stocked kitchen for just these kinds of “I’m so hungry and really want a good dinner and so broke but so hungry” emergencies.  And from the ashes rose…quinoa bowls!

Quinoa (say it like kinwa) is really fantastic.  It’s an ancient grain originating in South America, some 3 to 4 thousand years ago.  It’s gluten-free, a great source of fiber, magnesium, and iron and is a complete protein source because of its essential amino acids.  Oh, and Costco sells giant bags of it for 10 bucks.  If you don’t have a Costco membership, or are not able to piggyback on your mom’s like I do, definitely buy a box at your local grocery store and consider it money well spent- one box will last you a long time, it’s great in a pinch, and its health benefits far outweigh its cost (not to mention, it’s not even that expensive at the grocery store).

Another huge benefit of quinoa is that it soaks up whatever spices and flavors you serve with it, so it’s perfect for adding nutritional bulk without being limiting in what ingredients you mix with it.  In this case, frozen wild-caught shrimp (buy 2 bags, get 3 free at Harris Teeter…really?  I don’t know anything about investments, but I’d go out on a limb to say this is one!), some vegetables leftover from my tilapia pouches earlier in the week, a splash from a half-drinken (drank? drunk?) bottle of white wine, and a tiny bit of butter.  Heaven.  Not a dime to spend on dinner, not about to compromise on healthiness, heaven.

Quinoa and Shrimp Bowls (serves 2)

12 shrimp, fresh or frozen (defrost frozen by running cool water over them)

1/2 cup zucchini, diced

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup summer squash, diced

1 tomato, diced

2 cups spinach or arugula (I used a mixture of both)

2 garlic cloves

Splash of white wine (can be subbed for chicken stock)

1/4 tablespoon butter ( don’t like it?  Leave it out.  I don’t take much issue with a tiny bit of butter, as long as it’s the real thing)

1 1/2 cups quinoa (uncooked)

3 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Bring the water to a boil and stir in quinoa.  Turn down heat, cover with lid, and simmer 15 minutes.

Step 2:  While the quinoa is cooking, heat up a large saute pan and spray with a light coating of cooking spray.  Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant – about 1 minute.  Add diced zucchini, squash and tomatoes and cook 3 minutes. 

Step 3:  Throw in arugula and spinach and cook until wilted.  Add shrimp and let saute about 2 minutes on one side, then flip.  Add splash of white wine.

Step 4: Stir in butter until melted, salt and pepper to taste and serve over quinoa.

This is very filling without being heavy, so flavorful, and SO healthy.  And really, really delicious – despite what the mediocre image of the finished product looks like. 

I know – it’s not a great picture…but I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks (see paragraph 1).