Tag Archive | shrimp

Springtime Shrimp and Quinoa Salad For One

Hey there! How was everyone’s start of the week? Mine was nice and busy, starting with a 5:30 a.m. boot-camp, followed by a day full of classes until 6 p.m. Needless to say, it was a long day, but still a good day. Sometimes after long days, I want to go straight to bed. However, being in the kitchen is truly one of my favorite parts of every day, and last night was no exception. As tired as I was, I could not wait to make dinner; it was all I could think about! Honestly, I have been craving a good salad for months. It might sound funny, but salads as a “meal” are so popular in the U.S.A. and offered nearly everywhere,  whereas  restaurants around us in Australia don’t seem to offer many salads on their menus, if any at all.  So a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon a certain salad recipe at one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats, I bookmarked it immediately. I knew I had to make it, or at least attempt a similar version.  I’m only cooking for one this week since Brandon is gone for work, so I cut down the quantity of her original recipe, and I adapted the ingredients to fit what I had available.

This salad incorporates cooked shrimp for protein, quinoa tossed with feta cheese as the salad base(another excellent protein source), and additional mix-in’s of corn, avocado, roasted broccoli and roasted chickpeas, and blueberries for a pop of color.  All of this is drizzled in a lemon and olive oil based dressing to top off the salad. I loved every bite of this! It is filling, but very light.  A perfect salad for the start of spring!


Springtime Shrimp & Quinoa Salad (for one)
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats Superfood Salad
Salad Ingredients:
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (I used gluten-free, organic)
8-10 cooked shrimp (I got mine at the seafood counter, pre-cooked with tails on)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 avocado, diced
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup roasted broccoli
1/4 cup roasted chickpeas
2-3 Tbsp. of crumbled feta cheese (or the cheese of your choice)

Dressing Ingredients
1 lemon, squeezed
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
salt & pepper

1) Cook 1/2 cup quinoa, following the package directions. I cooked mine in 1 cup of boiling water, and simmered it for about 15 minutes, until it was fluffy.

2) While the quinoa is cooking,  prepare your salad ingredients. First, I set my shrimp on ice in the fridge to make sure they were nice and cold for the salad. Then, I chopped the avocado, cooked the frozen corn for about 1.5 minutes in the microwave, and got my other ingredients out of the fridge, including roasted broccoli, chickpeas, and blueberries.
***Keep in mind, you could add virtually any fruit or vegetable to this. I added what I already had in the fridge, so it was even simpler to make. Set these ingredients aside.

3) Now make your dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt & pepper, and whisking them together in a small bowl until combined.

4) Once your quinoa is cooked, add the feta cheese(or your cheese of choice) and stir. Then prepare your salad. I started with the quinoa as my base, then added in the toppings, and finally the shrimp. Drizzle with the lemon dressing, and you’re all set!
I enjoyed this so much, I’m seriously debating making this again for dinner tonight. The sweet lemon dressing paired with the textures and flavors of the fruit and vegetables, along with the fluffy quinoa, was a perfect meal to round out a long day.  I have leftover quinoa, so it just may happen again tonight!

What are your favorite salad ingredients?

Simple Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Greetings from Australia! I have officially been here for a week now, so I’m almost unpacked, almost rested, and almost getting used to driving on the wrong side of the road….almost :) One thing I know I’ll almost always miss until I move back to the USA is my Mom’s cooking…so I’ve decided that I’m going to make a diligent effort to cook one of her recipes (or a similar recipe) once a week. Tonight, I did just that! My boyfriend requested shrimp fra diavolo (one of my Mom’s specialties), and while I didn’t use her exact recipe, I’d say this came out pretty well for an imitation. I loosely followed Cooking Light’s ‘budget friendly’ recipe, and while this is a fairly simple recipe, it most certainly doesn’t lack in taste.  You can alter the spicy factor to your discretion, too!

Simple Shrimp Fra Diavolo

1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined ( I used about 32 shrimp)

3/4 cup diced onion

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (14.5-ounce) can  no-salt added diced tomatoes, drained

¼ of a chopped chile pepper (Optional!!)


1.  First, thaw your shrimp. (We used pre-cooked, since that was all that was available. I simply placed the shrimp in a colander and rinsed them under cold water for 2-3 minutes, or until de-thawed). Once thawed, peel and de-vein them. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic and shrimp; sauté or 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Cooked, then set aside

3. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and chopped onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, pepper, basil, and oregano; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste and lemon juice; cook 1 minute or until slightly darkened. Stir in crushed tomatoes, salt, and diced tomatoes, and chili pepper; cook 5 minutes or until thickened. Return shrimp to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Sauteed onion, tomato paste, and garlic

All thickened up!


4. Serve on-top or alongside of your carbohydrate and/or vegetables of choice, and enjoy!

The complete plate

While you can most certainly serve this over pasta, rice, or another carbohydrate, we opted to pair ours with two sides of roasted vegetables: cauliflower and zucchini. To prepare these, I cut them in bite size pieces, sprayed my lined-cookie sheet with cooking spray, and tossed them with some sea salt, pepper, garlic salt and 1 tsp olive oil. Then, they baked at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes on each side, while I prepared the shrimp. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

I’m super excited to say this was a success, and even more excited to say we have leftovers. Plus, making this made me feel like I was right back at home…gotta love that!

What’s your favorite shrimp dish?


Seasonal Seafood: Easy Panko-Crusted Shrimp

Summer simply makes me crave seafood. So when I left work last night, I had one thing on the brain: shrimp. Rather than go the easy route and grab take-out fried shrimp at one of the zillion restaurants near my apartment, I went the healthy-route: baked panko-crusted shrimp! Trust me when I say anyone can make these. The hardest part is defrosting and de-shelling the shrimp!

Panko-Crusted Shrimp

40 medium frozen shrimp
1 ½ cups Panko crumbs (white or whole wheat- I used white & seasoned mine with zesty seasoning)
1/3 cup cornstarch or flour ( I used flour)
½ cup liquid egg beaters (you could use 2 egg whites if you prefer, or just normal eggs)
*1-2 tsp. olive oil if desired


1) Preheat oven to 350*.  Prepare a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray or olive oil. Cover a large cookie sheet with tin-foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.

2)Thaw shrimp under running water. Peel, leaving tails intact; discard shells.

3) Place panko crumbs, cornstarch, and egg mixture (make sure it’s whisked!) in 3 separate bowls.

The 3 simple steps

4) Working with 1 shrimp at a time, dip the shrimp in cornstarch or flour, shaking off excess. Then, dip in egg mixture, then dredge in panko crumbs.

5) Add shrimp to pan, one by one as you go; coat tops of shrimp with cooking spray. Cook shrimp  2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done/light pink in color. Your pan will likely fill up. So cook a batch, and place the shrimp on the cookie sheet afterward. Repeat procedure with remaining shrimp.

Into the pan they go

6)Once the shrimp are pan-cooked, place shrimp in oven for 3-5 minutes for an extra crispy coating!

Crispy-coated Baked shrimp

A great Monday meal

One of my best friend’s came over for dinner, and she loved these! I did too. I suppose I could have chosen a better night to make these (it was 95 degrees in Boston yesterday), but I don’t regret my decision at all. They were the perfect choice for a Monday dinner… I have leftovers for lunch all week!

Make these :)