Dinner tonight was utilizing one of my boyfriend’s favorite vegetables, asparagus. What’s nice about this dinner is that it can be made in about 45 minutes. It took me a bit longer as I also prepped some banana bread.
Some old wine from the fridge, asparagus I wanted to use that was still fresh, frozen shrimp, and arborio rice from my pantry
Staying true to my project, all food was things I had on hand. Risotto is one of those foods that is very forgiving – you can almost always add more liquid and ingredients beyond the 1:3 ratio of rice to liquid.
ASPARAGUS RISOTTO WITH LEMON BROILED SHRIMP
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced fine or minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3 cups water, broth, and/or wine (I used 1 cup wine and two cups water, plus bouillon packets)
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced (set aside zest and about 1/4 of juice)
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped in bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Shrimp, thawed and trimmed – about 3 ounces per serving
- Olive oil, as needed
Melt butter and heat oil over medium to high heat in a large saute pan. Add onions and garlic, sweat until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add rice and saute another minute. Stir in liquid and 3/4 of lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to a simmer and cover pan. Cook the rice until tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If rice mixture feels too thick and difficult to stir, add a bit more liquid, ideally water or broth. Stir in asparagus and cook until it starts to soften but not totally tender (asparagus will continue to cook when rice is removed from heat) – about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cheeses and half the lemon zest and blend until cream cheese is fully incorporated.
Meanwhile, lay the shrimp on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush the shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. When you’re ready to serve, broil on high about 5 minutes, flipping the shrimp about halfway through cooking. Remove from broiler and pour remaining lemon juice over the shrimp.
To serve, scoop about a cup to a cup and a half of risotto into a bowl, arrange a few shrimp on top.
TIP – Risotto can be leftover and reheated. Ideally, make shrimp when you are ready to eat.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been home on a weeknight and have had time to cook something nutritious. After a killer workout at the gym I wanted to put something wholesome in my body. I rummaged through my pantry and freezer and realized I could put together a shrimp scampi with vegetables. Tonight I opted to mix green beans in with the scampi and serve over Chinese noodles. I figured out the nutrition facts and this tasty dish came in at about 580 calories and less than 11 grams of fat….and I definitely made the portion size a tad too big 😉
4 ounces Youmian (thin Chinese style noodles)
For the scampi:
4 ounces medium shrimp – about 20 shrimp
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
1 teaspooon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/3 cup white wine
salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil, butter, and garlic until garlic starts to sizzle. Add shrimp, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Cook for about one minute, shrimp will be pink and firm.
- Add white wine, reduce sauce mixture until liquid is half.
- Add salt and pepper, adjust seasoning as desired.
- Add green beans, stir until hot.
- Dish noodles onto a plate, pour scampi over. Feel free to substitute another pasta or starch. Meal can be enjoyed on its own, or you may add freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino romano.
Continuing with my meat-free Lent, I’m cheating a bit with seafood – keeps me from eating just carbs.
I recently ate Shrimp Oreganata at Biggie’s Clam Bar in Carlstadt. Just tasting it I felt I could do something similar to replicate the herbed bread crumb topping, of course using my beloved Ritz Cracker Crumbs.
I thawed some medium sized shrimp that I had in my freezer, and removed the tails. I greased the bottom of a pie dish and arranged the shrimp in a layer kind of near each other.
In a small bowl I mixed cracker crumbs, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, some nutmeg, and a bit of oil to further wet the mixture. I pressed the crumbs over the shrimp and baked everything at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 12 minutes. My tummy was quite satisfied with the results.