I made myself a fantastic, filling low-cal lunch today and wanted to share my recipe. This is actually an old favourite of mine, but I haven't made it in a while. I made this for 2 portions, but it can easily be doubled, triped, etc etc. I had it with a half cup of white rice (I'm bad! But I hate brown rice) and the entire lunch came to 301 calories. Anyway, the recipe:
Calorie-Free Shrimp Creole for 2 (ok, 198 calories/serving)
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano chili, minced (leave this out if you don't like spicy)
1 cup canned, crushed tomatoes
approx 1 cup shrimp stock* (or water)
1 tb creole seasoning*
6 oz shrimp, peeled and butterflied (preference)
Chop up the veggies and throw the onion, green pepper, carrot and zucchini in a large skillet and saute them for a few minutes with a teeny bit of cooking spray. Add the garlic and serrano and saute for another couple of minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, the shrimp stock the creole seasoning and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally (and adding more liquid if necessary). Five minutes before you want to eat, toss in the shrimp, stir and cover over medium heat. Voila! Delicious meal!
*Shrimp Stock: For novice cooks, this is a good tip: When I eat shrimp, which I do all the time, I peel them and put the peelings in a large zip-lock bag in my freezer. When I'm making something shrimpy and saucey, I just pull out a big handful of the frozen shells, toss them in a saucepan with some water, and simmer for 20 minutes. The shrimp stock adds an extra dimension to a low-cal dish, and it is literally the easiest thing in the world to make.
*Creole seasoning: This is one of my absolute favorite things. We call it "Blackening Agent" in my house and I use it on everything--especially chicken and shrimp for salads, and catfish, for blackened catfish. I couldn't survive without it. You can use Emeril's Essence or some other pre-packaged Creole seasoning, but it is so easy to make (and use up!) that I don't really see the need to buy it. The mix is simple: Put 2 tablespoons paprika, 5 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons cayenne, 1 ½ teaspoons white pepper, 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves into a bowl, mix it together and then pour it into an old jar. Ta da! You can use less cayenne (or skip it altogether) if you don't like spicy food, and the salt could probably come down a bit too. I don't salt my cooking at all if I'm throwing in some of this spice mix.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the recipe. I'm very pleased with myself after such a feastly lunch.