MEDITERRANEAN WARMTH: A HEART-HEALTHY SHRIMP CASSEROLE

Just a couple of evenings ago I had the most interesting girl’s night in with an old, old clique of super close friends. We shared some old-fashioned tea and scones and went over the regular gossip, laughter, and surprisingly deep insight combo over two hours.

What a delight it is to catch up with those we care for! Two more ladies in the group seem to be experiencing the first hormonal flusters (and another one already went through this ordeal over 6 years ago), so the topic quickly switched to the results of my kitchen lab. When I mentioned the success I’ve had, in both the wellness and heart-health areas, with Macafem and the Mediterranean Diet, one the gals said Mediterranean fare was falling short on her because “salads, grilled fish and lightly-dressed pasta just don’t cut the custard on chilly nights”.

As everyone (especially my friends) know, I am always the one to rise to the challenge, so I set out to break a new frontier in Mediterranean comfort food. After all, the southern half of Europe cannot live on Caprese alone, and they have many thick stews and casserole-like dishes full of unusual rich flavors. I rest my case with this baked shrimp with tomatoes and feta: anything baked is automatically full of richer flavors than their grilled counterparts, and feta cheese is a budget-friendly type of goat cheese, low in fat but bursting with calcium. Shrimp has its own advantages, from its decadent associations to its high zinc and omega-fatty-acid content.


mediterranean warmthIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup finely minced parsley
  • 1 ¼ pounds of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup crumbled goat feta

Here’s the recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Meanwhile, in an oven-proof skillet, warm up the oil over medium high heat and add onions and garlic. Let them cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, juices and all, and bring the mix to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, and quickly stir in the parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly while still hot to let the aromas blend. Add shrimp and crumbled feta.
  4. Place the full mix in the oven until the cheese melts and combines with the stew (10 to 12 minutes).

The end result is not quite a casserole – it has a lot less carbs! Nonetheless, it will be a cheesy and tasty delight. For a dinner party, it works well as a topping on that flaxseed focaccia I’ve told you about before. I’m bringing this dish to my next girl’s night, so Mediterranean diet: 1 – Heart disease: 0

 

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