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Alethea’s Shrimp & Quinoa

Well, folks. It was bound to happen. With two kids in public school, some noxious germ was bound to find its way into my body. My immune system is fighting hard, though!

So while I am down for the count, I thought I’d share some Foodie submissions. I just love it when you guys email me with pictures and recipes about how you are playing with your food!

This week we have two offerings from the Foodie Nation. I’ll post the second tomorrow!

Alethea’s Shrimp & Quinoa


Here’s the back-story she sent me:

Ok, so I set out to make shrimp and polenta from the Bobby Dean show, but it turns out polenta is not that popular in “po-dunk” Ohio so I had to make some adjustments. For the most part it was good but lacking a flavor punch (suggestions welcome, Foodies!). I am going to try it again. My youngest really liked it and he hates everything!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. diced Canadian bacon
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can petite-cut, no-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp. plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 dozen large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails on
  • 3/4 c. uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish, optional
Directions:

Add the bacon to a nonstick skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside. Add the garlic, onions and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, wine, yogurt, hot sauce and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the flavors are blended and the sauce begins to thicken, 6 to 8 minutes. Return the bacon to the skillet. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp turn bright pink and are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy cast-iron skillet, add your quinoa and allow it to toast for about a minute. Add the hot water and slowly whisk the quinoa and water together. Reduce the heat and simmer about 7-10 minutes, or until the quinoa is fully cooked (Click here for an easy primer on quinoa!). Remove from the heat., 
Serve the shrimp mixture over the quinoa. Sprinkle with the chives if desired.
Nik’s Notes:
Alethea noted that it needed a flavor punch. Here are several ways to do that:
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, while toasting the quinoa if you like a spicy kick
  • Play around with the kind of bacon you use. You can use a sweeter smoked bacon if you want a slightly sweet off-set or a smoked bacon. Also, I’d use center-cut bacon. Less fat, more meaty flavor!
  • Instead of bacon, try dicing up some turkey smoked sausages and following the recipe the same way
  • If sodium isn’t an issue, try a can of pre-flavored diced tomatoes. They come in such variations as tomatoes and chiles (in mild, medium or hot), Italian-style and garlic and herb
How would YOU make this dish your own, Foodies?

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