In New Orleans and most of south Louisiana, rice is king. We eat rice on our rice. It’s a definitive part of our culture and we love it. But as grains go, it’s not always the most nutritious choice. Quinoa, with it’s tricky pronunciation and upstart attitude, packs an unparalleled nutritional wallop. And when given the SoulCreole touch, quinoa is full of nutrients, easy to prepare and magically delicious.
I first tried quinoa when I wanted to find more nutritious options than white rice. Brown rice is great and I eat it often, but I tried and liked quinoa a few years ago and now eat it regularly, too. I can eat quinoa with almost everything that I pair with rice, but I especially like quinoa with strong, bold flavors, such as garlic and seafood. This Shrimp and Almond recipe is one of my favorites.
What you’ll need:
1 cup dry quinoa, your choice of color
2 cups water or stock
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP olive oil
1/3 cup of onion, finely chopped
2 TBSP sliced almonds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup (8 oz.) fresh shrimp, pealed and deveined
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp paprika
What I did:
Prepare your quinoa by measuring out one cup and then washing it through a sieve or fine strainer. This will remove the sometimes bitter outer coating. Add the cup of washed quinoa and two cups of water or stock to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the fire down to medium and cook off all the water. Check the quinoa as the water gets low to make sure it doesn’t scorch or burn, turning the fire down accordingly. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Your quinoa should be light and fluffy.
Remove the pot of quinoa from the fire and set aside.
Your shrimp can be added whole, but I prefer my shrimp chopped into small pieces for this dish.
Place a large skillet on a medium fire and add the butter and olive oil. Let the combination melt and then add the onions and almonds, stirring gently until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, parsley, shrimp and dried seasonings and combine. Cook on a low fire until the shrimp are pink throughout. When the shrimp are done, turn off the fire.
Add the cups of cooked quinoa and combine. Check your seasoning levels. Add seasoning to taste.
The finished product.