Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thai Pesto Shrimp with Coconut Rice

This recipe is inspired by Southern Living, they actually have a "Healthy Living" section in their February 2009 issue. Not only is this recipe a tasty, quick to fix weeknight meal, but its good for you too. And my favorite part...you can freeze the extra rice and pesto and save yourself the prep time next time you make it. I like freezing extra portions because its great to have on hand for quick meals, especially if I need my husband to cook dinner without my assistance.

Thai Pesto Shrimp (Southern Living, February 2009)

yield: 6 servings*

1 1/2 pounds unpeeled, large raw shrimp (16/20 count)
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher or 3/4 tsp. regular salt
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided

  • While the rice is cooking you can make the pesto and cook the shrimp.
  • Thaw shrimp, peel, and devein.
  • In a food processor or blender process the cilantro, lime juice, peanuts, ginger, garlic, salt, honey, red pepper, and 3 Tbsp of the olive oil until smooth.
  • Taste pesto and make adjustments as needed, if its too tangy add more honey, if you want more a kick add more red pepper flakes.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining Tbsp of olive oil, then saute shrimp for 2 minutes per side or just until the shrimp turn pink (you don't want to over cook the shrimp or they will become rubbery).
  • Stir in the cilantro pesto and serve over rice.

300 calories, 13.9 g fat

*Since this recipe makes 6 servings, I scaled part of it down to two servings. I bought frozen shrimp and only used 1/2 lb of the shrimp. However I did make the full Thai pesto recipe so I could freeze the extra for future use. The extra small Ziploc containers are 1/2 cup and are the perfect size for freezing small portions of pesto or chicken broth.

Coconut Rice**

yield: 2 servings

3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp light coconut milk
¾ cup water
½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup basmati rice
½ tsp lime zest
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp thinly sliced green onion (both white and green parts)

  • In a small saucepan over high heat bring 3/4 cup coconut milk, water, and salt to a boil.
  • Add rice, reduce heat to low, and cover saucepan.
  • Simmer for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Keep pan covered, but remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Spoon in additional 2 Tbsp of coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice, and green onions.

**I have another recipe that I prefer over the Southern Living recipe, so I'm going to share it instead. The Southern Living version is 104 Calories, 2g fat per serving, so we are going to guesstimate this one is close to the same.

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