Fried Quinoa Stuffed Peppers & Coconut Lime Shrimp – Serves 4

Back to the grind.  Spent the weekend brunching, laughing, and lounging.  I try to do bulk cooking on Sundays but I was a weeeee bit too lazy so meal prep day was moved to Monday.  Now I’ve got leftovers for all my lunches – perfect.

I’ll keep this educational piece short and sweet…  These recipes are super easy and the ingredients are good for you!  Yes, good for you.  The more variety, the better.  Think color, think antioxidants.  Lastly, these stuffed peppers are perfect for vegetarians – not only are they filled with varied vegetables but quinoa is a complete protein.  Not all complete proteins need to come from meat, poultry, or seafood!  However I wanted seafood so I put together the fixings for my favorite shrimp recipe.

Fried Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 4 colored Bell Peppers with the insides/core removed
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup green onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 tbsp pineapple, crushed
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • SPICES (4-5 shakes):  Curry powder, tumeric, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and ground black pepper
  • OPTIONAL:  Sea salt
  • Coconut oil – enough to coat a frying pan

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Heat a frying pan with coconut oil under medium-high heat.
  4. Add to the frying pan the following ingredients: yellow onion, cilantro, green onion, peanuts, carrots, and pineapple.  Sauté well for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the quinoa, egg, spices, and salt (if used).  Sauté for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the quinoa mixture from heat and stuff the pepper shells.  Place the bottoms of the peppers directly on the parchment paper and allow the insides to face up.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes then set on a plate for serving!

Coconut Lime Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1# jumbo shrimp, fresh with the tails/shells removed (or frozen)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juice (the size of a golf ball)
  • Coconut oil to coat frying pan

Methodology:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Under medium-high heat add coconut oil to a frying pan.
  3. Toss in the shrimp mixture and cook until golden brown.
  4. Set aside for serving or add to the plate with the stuffed pepper – such an amazing combination.  Makes me want to go someplace tropical.

What else was on my plate?  I did add my usual staple of greens which tends to be either kale, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts.  As seen above, I added my Garlic Peppered Asparagus but unlike the linked recipe I did not add pumpkin seeds or Brussels.

xxx – Sarah

Shrimp Squash Boats Stuffed with Brussels and Peppers – Serves 2

Guess you can say I’m mad about squash.  Not a lie.  Seriously so easy to make and cures me of my pasta craving – absolutely works like a charm.

Shrimp is a great source of lean protein and it is a HBV protein making it well absorbed.  A four ounce portion of shrimp is about 100-110 calories, 20-25 g protein, 1.2 g fat, and contains no carbohydrates.  When cooked under moist heat/oil most of its juices and water content is retained.  This is a fantastic recipe demonstrating just that.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash; halved diagonally to form a boat shape with the insides (pulp and seeds) scooped out
  • 1 small red bell pepper; diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion; diced
  • 1 cup of Brussels sprouts; quartered (keep the leaves as they shed when cut)
  • 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp; raw, peeled, and deveined
  • 1 tbsp garlic; minced
  • 1 small shallot; minced
  • 1 spring rosemary; minced
  • To taste – ground black pepper (about 2-3 shakes with my spice shaker)
  • To taste – ground French thyme (about 2-3 shakes with my spice shaker)
  • To taste – sea salt (about 1-2 full grinds or 1/2 tsp)
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) – to coat the both pans

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit then line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the boat shaped spaghetti squash atop with the insides facing up on the pan and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. On a plate mix the shrimp and garlic together into a ball.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes for the garlic to be well absorbed.
  4. In a large sauté pan drizzle EVOO under medium-high heat then when the oil is dispersed add the following ingredients: red bell pepper, yellow onion, Brussels sprouts, shallot, and rosemary.
  5. Allow the vegetables to sauté and mix over a period of 10-15 minutes depending on how crisp you want the vegetables.  I sautéed the vegetables until the onions were golden in color.
  6. Top the vegetables with spices (sea salt, French thyme, and black pepper) as desired and stir well.
  7. In a separate pan while the vegetables are sautéing drizzle EVOO and allow the pan to heat up under medium-high heat.  Transfer the shrimp/garlic ball onto the pan.
  8. Sear each side of the shrimp for 2 minutes – each side should be seared at least twice or until a golden color is achieved.
  9. Remove the squash from the oven and drain if there is liquid pooled in the middle.  Using a fork gently pull down the sides of the squash until the spaghetti is formed.  Keep the spaghetti in the shell of the squash boat.
  10. Stuff the vegetables into the shell atop the spaghetti then garnish with the shrimp on top.
  11. If you want to further heat up the squash boat then place in the oven for 5-10 minutes to absorb the residual heat as the oven cools down.
  12. Have your utensils ready and dig in!

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xxx – Sarah