Monday, March 23, 2009

Homemade is Better: How to Cook Shrimp and Like It

Tonight's do it yourself recipe was inspired by the featured sale ingredients at Fresh and Easy Grocery earlier this week posted here. Cajun Shrimp and Rice is an excellent weeknight meal. It cooks up in 30 minutes or less and for how good it tastes, you would never guess that it's only 354 calories a serving. Afraid to cook shrimp? Take a few pointers from my husband:

The cost breakdown for this recipe is hard to beat. When cooking at home is this good, it just doesn't make sense to go out and pay someone else to do it for you. Of course I substituted fresh veggies for frozen to take advantage of the awesome sale on bell peppers this week.

Shrimp $3.99
Cajun Seasoning $1.69
Bell Peppers $0.98
Green Onions $1.08
Stewed Tomatoes $0.59
Pantry Items - Rice, Olive Oil, Bottled Minced Garlic, dried time, salt and pepper

Total cost for the entire meal is only $8.33 and feeds four ($2.04 per person). Similar dish in a restaurant such as The Gumbo Pot at the Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax is $8.95 per person plus tax and tip for four people would be $45.00. That's an 81% total savings!

But the important thing of course is how does it taste? The review is just in and the answer is..... AMAZING!

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

Bagged frozen vegetables work great in this spicy application. To thaw the vegetables quickly, place them in a colander, and rinse with hot water. Before sautéing, drain the thawed vegetables on paper towels.

1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, salt-free
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1 cup frozen bell pepper stir-fry, thawed (such as Bird's Eye)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

While the rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with Cajun seasoning; toss to coat. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add the pepper stir-fry, green onions, and thyme; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in cooked rice, shrimp, tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

CALORIES 354 (25% from fat); FAT 9.8g (sat 1.5g,mono 5.4g,poly 1.8g); IRON 5.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 259mg; CALCIUM 106mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27g; SODIUM 658mg; PROTEIN 37.4g; FIBER 1.1g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2003

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