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Simple Italian inspired quinoa and shrimp

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Old 08-04-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
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Default Simple Italian inspired quinoa and shrimp

Just thought I'd share what I made for dinner tonight because it was seriously good and seriously easy AND seriously low cal.

One of my favourite things to make for dinner is Aglio e Olio, a super simple Italian pasta made with noodles, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and topped with parsley and parmigiano. I switched things up since I've broken up with pasta (although we hook up every now and again haha), but it satisfies the same craving for something simple and satisfying.

What you'll need (for one serving):
1/6 cup quinoa (okay, 1/6 sounds really dumb, but I'm writing out one serving. I made 1/3 and ate half)
1/4 cup passata aka strained tomatoes (but you could sub some pureed canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc)
1 tsp olive oil, more if you aren't using a non stick pan
red pepper flakes to taste
4-5 lg cloves of garlic, chopped
15 medium sized shrimp or 10 large, thawed and peeled
a scant tbsp of chopped basil (or you could just garnish with parsley if its what you have on hand)
salt and pepper to season

How to make it
Prepare the quinoa as you normally would. Once it has begun to boil, proceed with the recipe.

Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the red pepper flakes and garlic, stirring often and being careful not to burn the garlic. When the garlic is beginning to turn golden, add the shrimp making sure that none overlap. When the shrimp are beginning to turn pink on the uncooked side, flip them. The cooked side should have shrunk and curled up a bit. This'll be about 3 or 4 minutes for medium sized shrimps and slightly longer for bigger ones. Continue to cook for another two minutes, then add basil. Shake the pan the coat the shrimp in the basil and garlic, cooking for another minute or so. When the shrimp are cooked, move the pan to a cool burner.

If all is timed right, the quinoa should be done right about now. Stir in the passata/tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the shrimp over the quinoa and season to taste. Voila!

I also had a serving of green beans on the side. If I had a hard cheese I would've grated some of that on as well.


I hope this is clear! I'm not very good at giving timing instructions because I tend to just eyeball things that cook as quickly as shrimp. The amount of garlic may sound like a lot, but once its browned slightly it loses that bite and becomes more mellow.

For calorie counters, mine came out to somewhere around 300 if I tallied it all up right (plus green beans). If 300 calories can satisfy a pasta craving, count me in! Hope you enjoy.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Is quinoa lower in calories than brown rice? If you don't have quinoa, could you substitute brown rice? It sounds delicious. I'm part Italian so anything with shrimp and tomato sauce has my attention, lol.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #3
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I think quinoa is higher in calories but has more protein and fiber than brown rice. I imagine brown rice would be perfectly fine in terms of taste, I chose quinoa partly because it cooks quite quickly and it holds sauce well, but I'm sure it wouldn't be all that different as long as the brown rice will suck in a bit of that sauce.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:41 PM   #4
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Shopie: This was amazing!!!! Thank you!!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
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I'm so glad you liked it!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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Sorry I referrred to you as Shopie.....Sophie......sometimes my keyboard dyslexia acts up. LOL!
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