When in doubt, grill it out. I made this beautiful dish for a romantic dinner at home with John, and he swiftly declared this as his new favorite dish. He has since requested this meal again, about a week after the first time we had it. I didn't mind! This was a pretty quick meal, and so full of delicious flavor, how could I say no?!
This was inspired by a dish served at The Hangout in Seal Beach, CA. It is honestly one of my favorite places to eat! I have never ordered the dish that inspired this recipe, but it just looked so delicious I had to try and make my very own version! Who knows, I might end up liking mine better. Who am I kidding, I love The Hangout....
The zesty marinade for the Cajun Shrimp is so simple to literally whip up, and just thinking about it is making my mouth water. Beneath the tender shrimp is a bed of vibrant and peppery Southwestern Quinoa. Not going to lie, I definitely make extra of this and take it to lunch a few days in a row. The protein and fiber in the black beans, roasted bell peppers and quinoa make this a pretty great meal all on its own. Overall, this dish is amazing and WHY HAVEN'T YOU MADE THIS YET?
Cajun Shrimp and Southwestern Quinoa
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
- 1 lb raw, deveined, tail off shrimp
- 1 cup rainbow quinoa
- 1/2 each red, yellow and green bell peppers
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup fresh parsley (not chopped; basically one full handful)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp grated parmesan cheese
- bamboo skewers
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cayene
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
1) Mix together all marinade ingredients. Rinse shrimp, then put into a gallon sized freezer bag and pour marinade all over. Close the bag and shake around in the bag so that marinade is covering all peices of shrimp. Try to get as much air out of the bag as possible, to ensure contact with marinade. Put in fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours.
2) When you are ready to cook the shrimp, put chicken broth and quinoa in a medium pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir the quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer and put the lid back on. Let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is gone. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and cover.
3) Start heating your grill, and put your bell peppers over the flame to roast. You want them charred and a little bit soft. When done, let them rest before you handle/chop them.
4) While boiling quinoa, rinse skewers under water for a minute so they burn less easily. Take your shrimp out of the fridge and begin to put them on the skewer. Spray your grill with cooking spray to prevent sticking (Careful! There will be flames if you are doing it on an open fire grill instead of a grill pan. Just a light spritz should do it.) Place the skewers on the grill and let cook on each side for about 7 minutes, or until the shrimp begins to curl a bit more and look a bit more pink. Shrimp is really easy to overcook, so be a little overprotective of them! Once done, removed from heat.
5) To finish the quinoa, open and rinse the black beans, chop the bell peppers into small peices, and toss with cooked quinoa. Put garlic cloves, olive oil, parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper into a blender/food procesor/immersion blender and blend until everything is well combined. Mix 1 spoonful of the dressing with the quinoa mixture, adding more as desired.
6) Plate up quinoa mix, topping with the Cajun Shrimp skewers.
7) ENJOY and post with #perfectleehungry