Wanna lose some of that holiday jiggle? I suggest big rice bowls packed full of whole grains, leafy greens and lean meats. This shrimp and black bean recipe has protein-packed quinoa along with spinach, tomatoes, avocado and peppers. To add fragrance and flavour I used the shrimp shells to make a quick stock which I folded into the quinoa.
Although, this black bean quinoa bowl is full of wholesome, real food, you may be looking to further reduce the calories and fat, if so try swapping the olive oil for a cooking spray. Don’t omit the avocado though, the warm avocado combined with the tomato and shrimp is worth every calorie.
Shrimp Black Bean Quinoa Protein Bowl(serves 4)
Remove the shells from the shrimp and roughly chop the shells. De-vein the shrimp, chop into bite sized chunks and place back in the fridge. Heat a medium saucepan to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 of your onion. Sweat the onion for 3 minutes, then add the celery and continuing to sweat them they are both soft. Add half of your minced garlic, the shrimp shells and a pinch of salt. Stir regularly until the shells are pink, this should only take a few minutes but you don't want your garlic to burn. Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add 2 cups of cold water, the peppercorns and the bay leaf. Bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer gently for 25 minutes (or as long as 45 if you have the time). As foam and scum rise to the surface skim it off and discard it. Once the time is up strain the stock and discard all the solids.
Give your saucepan a quick rinse, fill with cold water and bring to a boil. Rinse your quinoa under cold water. Add a palmful of salt to the boiling water and then quinoa. Cook until soft, it should take 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a medium sized skillet to medium heat and add two teaspoons of olive oil. Sweat the remainder of your onion until nice and soft and then add the diced red pepper, a pinch of salt and the cumin. Sweat for 3 more minutes, then add 1 cup of your stock. Bring it to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes, stir in spinach and once it is wilted also stir in your black beans. Turn off the heat.
When the quinoa is finished cooking drain it and return it to the pot it cooked in. Stir in the vegetable and bean mixture, along with the juice of half of the lime. Taste it and add salt, you will likely need 2 teaspoons. Cover and allow to sit while you cook the shrimp.
Remove the shrimp from the fridge, pat dry with paper towel and toss with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a small skillet to medium high heat and add your remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add shrimp and sauté for 3 minutes or until pink. Add tomatoes, cilantro and the remaining lime juice. Saute for another 30 seconds. Chop the avocado. Turn off the heat and toss the avocado in gently.
To serve top the quinoa with the shrimp mixture and extra cilantro if desired.