Southwestern quinoa with roasted shrimp

This weekend I went to Winston-Salem, NC to visit my sister, Jen. We are super close, so every time I go see her we always have so much fun! She also loves to cook so it is always a great excuse to try out some new recipes whenever I am over there because I know she will help out. My first night there we went out for dinner and drinks and then for some frozen custard. If you have never had frozen custard, do yourself a favor and go get some! Its awesome! Its basically ice cream – just a lot richer (and probably more fattening). But it is delicious. And I ate way too much of it.

So after a night of drinks and custard, we decided that we should make some kind of effort to eat slightly healthier the next night – hence the quinoa. Quinoa is so easy to make and with the addition of some other flavorful ingredients, it really makes it a great meal.

Recipe collaborator: Jennifer Reppucci

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and devained
1 Tbl blackening seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
olive oil
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 avocado, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced and caramelized
Salt/pepper, to taste

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a plastic re-sealable bag add in your shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and blackening seasoning and olive oil. Seal the bag and shake the shrimp around the bag to coat it with the seasoning. Empty the shrimp onto a sheet tray and discard the plastic baggy. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through. Set aside.

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add quinoa and toast until slightly browned. Add in stock and bring to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered for about 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and add in your corn, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, and onion. Pour cilantro vinaigrette over and serve with shrimp over top.

Cilantro Vinaigrette

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt/pepper, to taste

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour over quinoa and toss to combine.