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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

De-lightful Pasta and Shrimp

This great idea came from a lack of planning.  You know the drill at dinner time, right?  Trying to figure out what to fix with what you have, because you forgot to thaw that slab of meat you actually had plans for!  So what else would take just a few minutes to de-ice, besides shrimp?  I had it. It was easy. Now what to do with it?  Continuing with my healthy dinners, I, of course, had to add a ton of veggies.  After putting this recipe into the nutrition calculator at Spark People, I couldn't believe at how nutritious this is!  Of course, I allow for variations, just because not everyone is going to have all of these ingredients on hand.  Besides, if you can cook seasonally that is always better.  I just happened to have these veggies on hand pretty much at all times now.   Remember, this is pasta, veggies, and shrimp.  There isn't a creamy or cheesy sauce here!  But I could give you hints on how to make one, if you wanted.  Of course you don't, or do you?

2 lbs large cooked shrimp
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tsp Garlic, minced 
1 tbsp  fresh Rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Capers, drained and chopped
2 Lemon  zested, and sliced thinly
.25 tsp Pepper
1 Red Onion medium (2-1/2" dia) sliced
1 cup cauliflower florets, crumbled
1 cup Kale, chopped
2 large Carrots peeled and chopped

Penne Rigate Plus Multi grain 1 14.5 oz box, or your favorite high fiber or whole wheat pasta
1 tbs garlic
1 tbs salted butter
1 tbs fresh rosemary chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
lemon zest


The lemons cooked in the oven will mostly dissolve except the rinds which need to be removed before serving. Serve with a small salad to complete a quick meal.


Cook the pasta according to directions on the box. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine oil, pepper, salt, capers, garlic, and rosemary together. On a baking sheet combine onion, shrimp, kale, cauliflower, lemon, and carrots. Drizzle the oil and herb mixture over the shrimp and veggies. Toss to coat and bake for 15 minutes or until the shrimp is hot and the veggies are softened. Drain pasta, keeping 1/2 cup of liquid. ***If making cream sauce, read instructions below before continuing, if not, continue on my friend.   In the pan stir the pasta, 1/2 cup of pasta water, butter, garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest. When the shrimp is done remove from oven. Remove lemon peels. Pour the shrimp and veggie mixture into the pasta. Stir and serve.

Serving Size: makes 8 ~1 1/2 cup servings
I could change this recipe five ways and still come out with a light shrimp and pasta with lemon and rosemary loaded with veggies.  It's all about starting somewhere in the kitchen.  If you wanted you could pan roast the shrimp separate from the veggies.  Just rub the oil mixture on the shrimp only and bake.  Meanwhile you cook the veggies stove top in a pan sprayed with non stick spray.  In this method, your veggies would be tender and your shrimp crisp.
Since I didn't use an excess of liquid here, there is not really a sauce.  Some would be astonished to have pasta without a sauce.  But those people are just prudes, because really in my kitchen, there are no rules.  This pasta dish is also good cold, with a splash of balsamic vinegar.  I know weird, but it works. 
Now for those who need that cream sauce.  Maybe you just want the warm comfort food found in the rich and creamy, or you just want to feel like your cheating.  Either way, I will oblige.
For the sauce, you will need one 8-oz block reduced fat cream cheese and either 1/4 cup vegetable broth or skim milk.  In a sauce pan combine the cream cheese and broth/milk, stirring until the cream cheese is melted.  Stir the lemon zest, rosemary, garlic, and butter into the cream cheese sauce.  When pasta is done, drain, and stir in the shrimp and veggie mixture and the cream sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Thanks!  Happy cooking!

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 345.8
  • Total Fat: 7.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 222.2 mg
  • Sodium: 663.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 39.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 32.3 g

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