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Guest Post Friday Feast: Shrimp, It’s What’s For Dinner

March 23, 2012

Mary and JD recently… two of my best friends

Here’s an awesome three-in-one post from my good friend Mary. She is an excellent (excellent!) cook and is responsible for introducing me to my favorite chili recipe. When she sent this post over with three different ways to prepare shrimp, I was thrilled. I hope you enjoy.

Over the years I’ve realized more and more how amazing my mom is. As an adult I have a whole new appreciation for the fact that she cooked dinner every night.  As in …a meal.  From scratch.  Every night.  Growing up, I thought that homemade biscuits and cornbread were a typical part of a weeknight meal.  Like her, I prioritize having a well-balanced meal every night, but at this point I aspire to have her level of skill.  If you’re like me, you need fast, easy, and healthy meals that practically cook themselves on weeknights.  One go-to ingredient that allows me to this do this is shrimp.  Here are three of our favorite weeknight meals, all starring shrimp.

  1. Spicy Shrimp Noodle Bowl

Protein, green veggie, and starch all in one bowl—always a promising weeknight meal.

Simmering the shrimp tails in the chicken broth and clam juice for just 10 minutes makes the broth so flavorful.  While the broth simmers, chop and sauté—the whole meal will be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Make it more or less spicy with the chili sauce (I always use 2 generous teaspoons of the chili garlic sauce to give it a kick).

  1. Pollo Tropical with Shrimp

My favorite Miami fast food restaurant is Pollo Tropical–a rice, beans, chicken, and salsa stop–which inspired this recipe. This can be made with shrimp or chicken.

You’ll need:

Shrimp, peeled in deveined (I buy 1 pound for 3-4 people)

Yellow Rice

Black beans, 1-2 cans

Olive Oil

Salt and pepper


Cayenne Pepper (optional)

  • Cook yellow rice according to package directions.
  • Open the can of black beans and warm them in a pot.  I use two cans (we love leftovers, but honestly, we sometimes eat two cans).
  • Drizzle olive oil over the shrimp.  Sprinkle the shrimp with salt, pepper, and cumin.  If you want to add some kick, sprinkle some cayenne pepper on them too.
  • Put the shrimp on a grill pan or sauté them in some oil in a skillet.  They cook in about 5 minutes.
  • Serve with salsa.

Note to mom:  I am aware that this does not involve green vegetables.  Please don’t be disappointed.

* * * * *

  1. Mandarin Shrimp Pasta

This is my mom’s recipe and was a favorite of ours growing up.  It’s now Micah’s favorite response to, “What should we have for dinner?”

The shrimp marinates for an hour, but the rest of the recipe comes together quickly, so throw the shrimp in and clean up the apartment, make a phone call, help with homework, or write an email, then get the rest of the meal together.

My mom makes this a complete meal by serving it with a green salad and a baguette.  If you’re a mere mortal such as myself, serve it up as is!


1 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup Italian dressing, purchased or homemade

2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded

6 green onions, chopped, including tops

12 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked al dente and drained

3 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

1 10-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

1/3 cup almonds, toasted

  • Marinate shrimp in 1/3 cup of the dressing in the refrigerator, 1 hour.  In small bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, ginger, crushed red pepper, and remaining 2/3 cup salad dressing. Whisk to blend.
  • In large skillet, combine vegetable oil and sesame oil over high heat.  Heat until very hot but not smoking.  Add carrot, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add shrimp, discarding marinade, and green onions.  Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  • In large bowl combine pasta, peanut butter mixture, shrimp mixture, and cilantro.  Toss to blend, toss with mandarin, and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Serve hot or cold.

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