Thursday, January 1, 2009

Recipe: Shrimp & Green Peas in Wine Sauce, with Quinoa and Spinach

TWO (quinoa) recipes in one day, you say? Well, it IS New Year's Day, and I have the day off. Which means I can cook, photograph, and blog to my heart's content. I should probably organize my closet instead, but this is far more fun. And more yummy. :)

So I had a generous amount of quinoa left from this morning's breakfast, since I like to make a big batch of it and dole it out to different recipe ideas as I see fit. I also had an abundance of leftover frozen peas from Thanksgiving, so I wanted to use them in a non-boring way. Granted, fresh peas would work even more beautifully in this dish, but no one is open on New Year's Day, so I had to make due with what I had. I'd just bought some shrimp last night from Trader Joe's ($5.99 for 50-70 shrimp - what a steal!), and I figured they'd all go together well in a nice dish. The ingredients are simple, as is the recipe, but the flavors are sweet and fresh. It's a healthy meal with just a tiny bit of sass, the sweetness of the shrimp and green peas accented by the sharpness of the wine sauce and feta, the coolness of the spinach lending balance to the dish. This is great for either lunch or dinner, and is sure to become a favorite, as it's swiftly become a favorite of mine.

Shrimp & Green Peas in Wine Sauce, with Quinoa and Spinach (serves 1-2)

15-20 medium cooked shrimp (frozen is just fine)
1 10 oz package frozen baby peas in butter sauce
1 T butter
1 t crushed garlic
1/3 c white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvingon Blanc, Chablis... it will all work well)
1/2 T garlic salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
3/4 c cooked quinoa
2 scallions or green onions, chopped
1 c baby spinach
1 oz crumbled feta

Heat butter in a large skillet and allow to melt very slowly over medium heat. Add package of frozen peas and heat until defrosted (the package usually calls for either nuking the peas or boiling them for 25 minutes in a large pot of water; I find that simply ripping open the package and heating them in a pan is good enough). Add garlic, wine, garlic salt, and pepper, and let heat for about 2-3 minutes. When peas are just starting to become warm, add the cooked shrimp and cook until heated through, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add cooked quinoa to the peas & shrimp, and mix together.

Arrange rinsed & dried baby spinach on a plate. Spoon the shrimp, pea, and quinoa mixture onto the spinach. Sprinkle chopped scallions and crumbled feta cheese on top, and enjoy!

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