Cajun Shrimp and Rice

I know you.  I know what's going through your mind riiiight about now.

You're rocking the Christmas spirit, but you're just about maxed out on the Carpenter's version of "Home for the Holidays."  Don't even get you started on "The Christmas Shoes," oh God no.

You're down with all this Christmas joy, but if you eat another gingerbread man or peppermint crinkle the button on your jeans will end up clear across the room.  Fair warning!

You're feeling the Christmas excitement, but the thought of moving that freakin' elf even one more day makes you seriously contemplate just telling the kids the truth.

And you're on a Christmas roll with your To-Do lists and day-by-day planning, but somehow you forgot to factor in dinner tonight!  It's no wonder with all the wrapping and visiting and baking and packing.  Your mind is in 20 different places right now and dinner-planning isn't one of them.

I know you though.  You come here for answers to your dinner-time dilemmas.  I get you.

And so tonight's dinner has nothing to do with Christmas.  Consider it your mid-week-before-Christmas break from the crazies, and consider it the quick and healthy dinner you need to fuel a night of gift wrapping and holiday cheese ball making.

This recipe was so quick and so easy that it literally came together in 20 minutes.  Chock full of shrimp and veggies, it's healthy and satisfying so you can get dinner out of the way and get back to the business of getting stuff done and off your brain.  Enjoy!

Cajun Shrimp and Rice
Adapted from
Serves 4

1 lb large shrimp, frozen, peeled, deveined, tail-on
2 c low-sodium chicken broth
1 c instant brown rice
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 tbs minced garlic
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp chili powder
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

To thaw the shrimp, run under cold water in a colander until thawed.  Drain well and move to a cutting board.  Remove the tails, and cut each shrimp in half.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of brown rice in 2 cups of chicken broth.  Cook according to package directions.  Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with oil.  Add the carrot, celery, onion, and green pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add in the Cajun seasoning, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir to thoroughly combine.

Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine.  Add in the shrimp, and stir to combine and heat through, about 1 minute.

Stir in the rice, heat through for 1 minute, and garnish with fresh parsley.

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