Michael’s Cajun Shrimp with Quinoa

by feastonthecheap on May 2, 2010

Mary Anne here. My “significant other,” Michael, knows his way around a kitchen. When we first started dating, he actually tried to boss me around, certain that I was inept in his domain. While this preposterous notion tickled me to no end,  in truth, he really is quite an accomplished home-cook and, on those nights I’m just too tired to conjure up anything more than a moan with a side of whine, he rescues me with delicious, just-this-side-of-spicy fare.

Shrimp often takes center stage on our table. For whatever reason,  shrimp – be it fresh jumbo or just plain frozen – seems to be on sale at our local grocery at least twice a month making it very affordable. (The shrimp in this dish was a steal at $7.99!) And as we count our pennies, we also count our carbs: this past year we discovered a wonderful alternative to rice and pasta — Quinoa.

Quinoa is NOT a carb – it’s a gluten-free protein, rendering it highly digestible. This product dates back 5,000 years originating in the Incan culture of South America. According to the package, the Incas referred to Quinoa as the “mother grain.” We like it for all of the healthful reasons, but also for its delicious, nutty flavor. Bonus — it’s only about 170 calories per serving! Again, a bit more expensive than rice or pasta, but worth the investment if you have a gluten allergy or an expanding waistline!

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Michael’s Cajun Shrimp with Quinoa
Serves 6

1lb. large shrimp – $7.99
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil – stock
1- 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained – $0.99
2 stalks celery, diced – stock
6 scallions, chopped – $0.69
4 cloves garlic, minced – stock
4 Teaspoons Cajun seasoning – stock
½ cup Worcestershire – stock
½ white wine – stock
2 teaspoons lemon juice – stock
Quinoa, prepared as package directs – $3.69
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $13.36
Total Per Serving: $2.23

1. In a large skillet over medium-high flame, heat the olive oil. Sauté the celery, scallions, and garlic about 5 minutes until translucent.

2. Add the Cajun spice, stirring well to combine. Continue sauteeing for another minute.

3. Add the Worcestershire sauce, wine, lemon juice, tomatoes, and shrimp. Continue cooking over medium-high flame 5 to 6 minutes until shrimp is pink and cooked through.

4. Serve over prepared Quinoa. Garnish with sliced lemon and scallions (optional).