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18 May 2008

Dinner: 18 May 2008

This meal easily fit our "easy prep" requirement. At 30 minutes (including time spent boiling pasta), it was both delicious and quick.

We have:

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Bell peppers (2)
  • Stewed tomatoes (one can)
  • White onion (1)
  • Most of one bag spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Mushrooms--fresh would have been better, but of course all we had laying around was canned.
  • A metric buttload of shrimp.
  • Some Italian seasoning.
Start the pasta. It will take 15 minutes or so. Simmer the onions for five minutes. Add the bells. Cook another 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to simmer and add the shrimp (ours were precooked). Be careful not to overcook those buggers. Simmer until the shrimp are done. Remove from heat. Add the spinach and stir. The dish should be hot enough to wilt/cook the spinach.

Spoon over the pasta and serve with Parmesan cheese (if you like).

How to improve:
  • fresh mushrooms!
  • use raw shrimp--this would have give the dish more shrimp flavor.
  • more tomatoes--probably another can would have been great. If not, a shot of tomato sauce or paste would have been good. You can use spaghetti sauce in a pinch, but that would make you a weenie in my mind, so don't.
One of the neat things about this meal is the color. Depending on what kinds of peppers are used (we used red and yellow), you can end up with a plate that stands out visually. If you're entertaining, that is a good thing (kids appreciate it much less).

A note about juice/sauces: I prefer to let the juices cook off (I tossed in juices from the tomatoes and mushrooms) to keep the flavor but have a less runny dish.

Shrimp is always a winner with out kids--they like it. One bad thing about cooking with shrimp is that it doesn't make good leftovers. Reheating in the microwave tends to overcook shrimp, leaving them tough. To avoid that, you could cook the them separately (in a little butter and garlic) and add them to the dish at the end. Other than that, this meal makes great leftovers.