My name is Kamille, and I am a shrimp addict.
It’s hard for me to remember when my shrimp obsession began. It would have to be well after I was 9 or 10. Around that time, my big brother shared the pleasant news that the veins in shrimp were “doo-doo.” To be more precise (and less of a fifth-grader), the vein you see on the back of a shrimp is the digestive tract. While it is certainly better to remove it whenever possible, nothing BAD will happen to you if you eat it. Of course, these details escaped me at the time. I refused to eat shrimp for a few years (doo-doo veins or no).
Fortunately, I soon got over this senseless phobia. I am now one of the top five consumers of shrimp in the nation. (Numerous unscientific studies confirm.) One of my best friends is also a member of this elite group. After seeing a recent shrimp-filled post, she expressed clear frustration at my failure to share the shrimpy-wealth. I’ve known this woman for nearly a decade: she meant business. So I made this shrimp and asparagus pasta for our ladies’ lunch on Sunday afternoon.
You all know the drill by now: this dish is simple, easy, and delicious. That’s just the kind of food I believe in. And did I mention it’s under 300 calories per serving?
The pasta’s creaminess is thanks to judicious use of ricotta cheese — just add a dollop to the hot noodles at the end. The flavor of asparagus infuses both the pasta and the shrimp; you’ll be able to really taste it throughout the dish. If you’re not an asparagus fan, broccoli would make a great substitute.
Recipe after the jump! Read more… →
You guys, I’m so excited. I totally saw the sun today. I haven’t worn my parka in over a week. Spring is finally, finally here. What does that mean? It’s almost potluck season. And what does THAT mean? It’s time to break out the pasta salad.
Even if you’re not potlucking it up, pasta salad is a great thing to make during warmer months, when good produce is fresh and plentiful. It’s a serious workhorse. I love to make a huge batch of pasta salad on Sunday and chip away at it throughout the week. It gets better and better the longer it sits in the fridge: tangier, zestier… pasta-ier? Ok, maybe not that last one. Still, a good pasta salad gets appreciably more delicious as time goes on.
This tuna pasta salad is a slight variation on my usual recipe. I was poking around in my pantry the other day, looking for inspiration, and I saw that I had a stack of canned tuna that was a foot high. BOOM. Protein source found.
The tuna works great in this dish — it plays nicely with the red onion and lemony dressing. To keep the tuna’s flavor from overpowering the rest of the ingredients, I added just one can and made sure to drain it well. The tuna adds just the right amount of salt and makes the pasta feel extra-filling.
Here’s how I put everything together. Read more… →
I always seem to forget how easy it is to make couscous. Since most grocery store couscous (actually a kind of pasta, by the way) is pre-steamed, it’s ready in minutes. And I mean that literally: couscous finishes cooking in five minutes. For a food that doesn’t come out of a suspect box, loaded with sodium and mystery ingredients, that’s pretty amazing.
Shrimp is another super-fast (and super-delicious) food. Shrimp + couscous = your weeknight dinner, made easy. After I made this meal, I immediately became annoyed at myself for (1) not thinking of it sooner and (2) not making couscous more often.
I love the flavors in this dish. The shrimp are seasoned liberally with a mix of dried Italian herbs and black pepper — no oil or marinating necessary. Mixed peppers add a little sweetness, while the lemon keeps the couscous bright.
This is an awesome recipe for company. “Shrimp couscous with lemon and herbs” — it sounds so fancy, right? Like the person who made it drinks wine from a stemmed glass and reads Proust! (For the record, I drink $8 moscato from a tumbler and read almost nothing but cookbooks these days. Deal with it.) Really though, it’s something simple enough for all us plebs to make. You can whip up this dish in the time it takes to watch an episode of Community. Love it.
Read the recipe for after the jump!
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One of my college roommates introduced me to the beauty of shrimp tacos. Before that, the only tacos I’d ever had were made with ground beef or chicken. Usually there were boxed hard shells involved. I know, I know. I was living a sad, sheltered shell of a life.
Now that my eyes have been opened, shrimp tacos are almost always the variety I choose to make. For one thing, they’re the easiest option by a mile. Shrimp have a short, fuss-free cooking process. Even if you have to defrost the shrimp, this recipe comes together in 30 minutes or less. Using fresh shrimp? Then it’s more like 15 or 20.
Of course, no one really needs an excuse to cook shrimp. The natural sweetness and tenderness of a a well-prepared shrimp is a thing of beauty. Paired with garlic and olive oil? Mercy.
I topped these shrimp tacos with a mixture of broccoli slaw (one of my favorite convenience foods) and Greek yogurt. The slaw topping is bright and tangy, with a kick from a little red onion.
Two of these super-stuffed tacos come in under 300 calories, so you can enjoy all this shrimpy delight guilt-free. Read on for the recipe! Read more… →
My mom makes a ton of food that I love, but sinigang might just be my absolute favorite. It’s probably because sinigang is the most starkly Filipino food I can think of. The food of the Philippines, like much of Filipino culture, is a blend of Asian and Spanish influences. Sinigang, however, is Pinoy through and through. I can never get enough of it.
I literally leapt out of my chair with excitement when one of the contestants on Top Chef made sinigang on last week’s episode. One of the judges described the flavor of the dish this way: “It really makes you sit up straight. In a good way!” Perfect description. Sinigang is quite simple in its essentials — pork, shrimp, and vegetables are boiled together in a clear broth. It’s the flavor that really sets it apart.
Sinigang is sour. (And if I’m making it, it’s VERY sour.) It tastes bright and clean, with the mildly fishy taste of the shrimp adding a little something extra to the broth. Pork ribs and taro make the soup extra filling, while all the greens add beautiful color and tons of nutrients to an already healthy dish.
This is a very basic recipe for sinigang that calls for just a few ingredients. Make it your own by adding whatever vegetables you like. I didn’t use them here, but tomatoes, green beans, and daikon are all common additions. You’ll also want a fresh, hearty green for your sinigang. I used turnip greens, but bok choy, mustard greens, or even Chinese broccoli would all work well.
Read on to learn how to make this bold Filipino dish!
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