Recipe: Garlic Shrimp and Sautéed Veggies over Pasta

Ever get tired of chicken?  Everyone who has dieted has probably asked themselves that very question.  Chicken is a staple in my eating regimen and while it is true that there are endless different ways to prepare chicken, sometimes you need a change.  One of the things I love to reach in those moments is seafood.  Today, let’s look at shrimp as our option!

When I was visiting Lani in Florida, we went to a little local restaurant called Sue’s.  Sue’s is a small town diner that possesses all the charm and character of the gulf coast. Lani recommended their garlic shrimp recipe and it did not disappoint!  It was amazingly delicious and that has inspired me to adapt that concept to a more healthy format. This is recipe is quick and easy, and will provide a slightly tropical alternative to your normal chicken-based fare.

sues
In Panama City, FL. I had a great garlic shrimp at this place.

Ingredients: 

Shrimp (pre-cooked, 10-12 shrimp per person)

Low calorie angel hair pasta (2 ounces)

Mixed vegetables:  Green beans, onion, sweet pepper, cucumber – you can use nearly anything here – zucchini, yellow squash, green pepper, scallions, parsnip, -anything.  Calculate volume based on 1.5 cups raw vegetables per person.

Cherry tomatoes (5 per person)

Minced Garlic (1 tablespoon)

Fresh chopped parsley (1 tablespoon)

Olive oil (2 tablespoon)

Water (1 tablespoon)       

Butter (optional: ½ tablespoon)

Fresh ground pepper

Salt (optional)

Parisien Bonnes Herbes or your preferred herbal mixture.

You will need one sauté pan for the shrimp and one for the vegetables and a sauce pan to boil the pasta.

shrimp cooking
Sauteeing the shrimp with garlic

Instructions:

  1. Prep the vegetables you will be using.  Cut them into small bite sized bits, reserve to the side in a bowl.
  2. Peel or remove the tail from the shrimp. Reserve to the side in a bowl. 
  3. Slice your 5 cherry tomatoes in half. Reserve to the side. You can put them in a bowl if you want.   
  4. Fill sauce pan half full of water, start boiling for the pasta.  When boiling, turn the temp to medium high and toss in 2 ounces of angel hair pasta per person.  Boil until tender. If you are new to boiling pasta, you can try tossing a piece against the wall to see if it sticks. Once it sticks, it is done.
  5. You will be starting your vegetables first.  Start one sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of water to each pan – depending on the quantity of vegetables, you may need more oil. Once at the appropriate temperature, add the vegetables to the pan.
  6. As the vegetables are cooking, season to taste with fresh ground pepper and Parisen Bonnes Herbes. Stir occasionally.    
  7. Once the vegetables are about half done – where the firmer vegetables in the mixture are starting to soften, start your second sauté pan on medium high heat. 
  8. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, bring to temperature and add shrimp and minced garlic.  Your goal here is a relatively high heat sear if the shrimp are pre-cooked. If they are not, operate at a lower temperature to fully cook the shrimp in the process. 
  9. Add butter to the shrimp and garlic at this point, if you so desire.  Season with pepper, salt and Parisien Bonnes Herbes.  Stir to mix ingredients, then seldom stir so both the shrimp and garlic can sear.
  10. At this point the pasta is done, remove and drain in a colander.
  11. Check vegetables against progress on the shrimp – adjust respective heats if needed to match finish times. 
  12. Plate the pasta, lightly sprinkle with herbs or pepper/salt if so desired. 
  13. When the shrimp has a nice glaze on it from the oil/butter combo, and the garlic is nicely seared, remove and plate on top of the pasta. 
  14. Remove vegetables and plate.
  15. Garnish with the cherry tomatoes, and serve!  You are done!  Bon Appetit!

Notes:

  1. Don’t be afraid to add more oil.  It is a cooking medium and a portion of it gets cooked off.  So also don’t feel the need to incorporate the caloric value of the olive oil into your meal – that’s just not realistic.  I usually use half to 1/3rd caloric value by quantity when used as a cooking medium.  That’s somewhat conservative, but I would rather overestimate the calories than underestimate them.
  2. Timing is everything here. The shrimp are already cooked usually, so what you are looking to do is flash sauté them with the garlic.  It does not take more than a few minutes on each side once your pan is up to temp.   The vegetables will take longer.  Start them first.  If you are using firmer vegetables like carrots or parsnip, they may take more time, so don’t be afraid to wait until your vegetables are half or even 75% done before starting the shrimp.
  3. If you use fresh shrimp instead of pre-cooked, you will have to start them earlier to give them adequate cooking time – it might be similar in cooking time to the vegetables in fact.  Adjust it on the fly.

Calories:

Shrimp: 12 medium shrimp 140 calories

Pasta: low cal angel hair pasta is 150 calories per 2 ounces

Butter: ½ tablespoon is 50 calories.

Olive oil: 1 tablespoon total is 120 calories

Mixed vegetables 1.5 cups is 75 calories approximately

Total: 535 calories.

More Info:

As always, you can find more information on eating healthy and constructing a healthy lifestyle on my blog:

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