Lemon Quinoa with Sautéed Shrimp

Thinking back to the beginning of the new year, I realized that even though I did not make any official resolutions to speak of, there are plenty to work on. While most people like to jump start their new year with new diets and big goals, I tend to sit back and let things come as they may. The closest I came to a new year's resolutions was to eventually create this space and even then, I let it happen when I felt like it, two weeks into the new year instead of the month before.

Lemon Quinoa with Sautéed Shrimp

After my initial introduction to the world of blogs, I have been keeping up with quite a few of them over the last year. Based on what I saw and read, I started to pick up on the different food trends, styles of cooking and interesting ingredients available. I started to mentally gather a list of ingredients and techniques I wanted to try and soon after started to tip-toe out of my comfort zone, incorporating one after another into my cooking.

Lemon Quinoa with Sautéed Shrimp

Quinoa is a new one to me. Considered a superfood, not only is it very well liked, but also very versatile, incorporated into sweet and savory dishes alike. I came across this recipe and with mostly familiar ingredients, thought it would be a great way to introduce quinoa into my  own cooking. I found the taste to be a cross between brown rice for it's nuttiness and steel cut oatmeal for the chew. The lemon gives the quinoa a bright note and compliments the shellfish perfectly. The recipe reminds me of one of my favorite dishes at a local restaurant. Between the girls and I, there were no leftovers.

Lemon Quinoa with Sautéed Shrimp

Lemon Quinoa with Sautéed Shrimp

Serves 2-4

The Ingredients

Lemon Quinoa
  • 1 cup Golden Quinoa
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, divided
Sautéed Shrimp
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb small or medium raw shrimp

The Instructions

  1. For the quinoa: in a fine mesh sive, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear and set aside to drain. In a 2-quart sauce pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil, making sure not to over heat as this will cause the oil to spray everywhere when the wet quinoa hits the pan.
  2. Add the rinsed quinoa to the pan and cook, stirring for about a minute. Add salt, 2 tbsp of the lemon juice and broth. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes after which time take off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes more. Fluff with a fork and add the zest and half of the chopped parsley.
  3. For the shrimp: while the quinoa is cooking, melt 1 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shallots, peppers and tomatoes to the pan and sauté until softened. Add  broth and 1 tbsp of butter to the vegetables and cook until liquid reduces and starts to take on a sauce like consistency. Transfer mixture to a separate bowl and return skillet to the stove.
  4. Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 1 tbsp of butter and add the shrimp, searing it on high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the vegetables and sauce back to the pan along with remaining parsley. Season with salt and pepper, serve atop of the prepared quinoa immediately.

*Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com.