Once again, the ever-ready bag of shrimp in the freezer saved my bacon!
So, holiday week… yes, I had these visions of making an amazing, special holiday dinner each night of the holiday weekend… alas, life stayed busy and despite a record 3 times at the grocery store this week I didn’t quite have everything I needed.
Frozen shrimp to the rescue! Did you read my post about my ‘system’ and how it works? Well, having certain things (proteins, grains, vegetables) in your freezer and pantry at all times is essential to not having to feel forced into ordering take out or having something subpar to eat as a last resort.
Shrimp, even with the defrosting time, typically takes me 15 to 20 minutes time all in. This meal is (1 X) feeds my family once and has a lot of flexibility to it. I used shisito peppers because I was wildly excited to see them at Trader Joe’s (versus where I regularly see them on restaurant menus). We love them (not for the kids but for us) and you can just as easily omit or if you want an alternate, use a sliced bell pepper.
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
- Optional: 9 or 10 Shisito peppers (dried after rinsing or they will splatter the hot oil in the pan) or substitute with 1/2 Bell pepper (any color) seeded, veins removed and sliced into 1 inch strips.
- 1 1/2 lbs of shrimp peeled, deveined (my kids don’t eat shrimp yet, so they ate everything else — if you are feeding 4 and everyone eats shrimp, I’d use 2 lbs). This could easily be made vegetarian with Tofu substituted for the shrimp.
- 2 cloves of garlic – sliced thin.
- 1 large tomato sliced thin into rounds.
- Optional: 1/2 a small cucumber, cut into thin rounds (added to the salad or on the side for the kids).
- Optional: 1 small carrot, peeled & cut into rounds (on the side for the kids).
- Yummy seasoned Cous Cous .
- Salt & pepper to taste.
Steps to Put This On Your Table:
- Prepare the cous cous and while it’s simmering on low heat, work on the shrimp & salad.
- Warm olive oil over medium high to high heat in a large sauce pan
- Saute peppers (if using) for about 1 or 2 minutes along with 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, until they start to brown a bit and look a bit charred. Remove the peppers from the pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, on high heat add the shrimp with another 1/2 tsp of salt (or to taste) and saute about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side, (or if tossing, about 3 – 4 minutes total) until shrimp turns opaque and takes on a firmer texture. Note, shrimp cooks very quickly on high heat so stay with it and watch the clock while also monitoring what it looks like.
- Start on each grown up plate with the tomatoes, top with the cous cous and then finish with the shrimp and peppers.
- For the kids, I separated everything — see picture, so it’s not touching and didn’t serve them any shrimp. Easy, weeknight meal and my kids are happy to eat a vegetarian dinner. If you want to boost protein for the kids without cooking anything else– serve on the side almonds, top with shredded cheese or chia seeds.
- Serve warm, enjoy!!!