As we all know, one of the best ways to tell if you are eating healthy is how colorful your plate is. Essentially, taste the rainbow; just not the Skittles rainbow, as tempting as it may be! If you cook with a vibrant mix of colorful vegetables you are bound to end up with a nutritious meal for you and your family. Two of my favorite dishes my Mum made when I was young were Chicken Cashew (loved the snap peas!) and Fettuccine Alfredo (so delicious and savory!) I like to think of this as a guilt-free version of those two dishes; especially since I don’t eat meat and prefer not to cook with heavy cream. The one thing I do allow is a fairly generous portion of Parmesan cheese, because it is one of my absolute favorites. I have been working on perfecting this recipe for awhile and think I finally got it just right. It sure does prove to be satisfying!
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
light olive oil
2 tbs. extra light butter
25 pieces of frozen cooked shrimp (I used Trader Joe’s!)
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1 small white onion, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/8 cup white wine
3/4-1 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste (depending on the level of spice you like)
Remove shrimp from freezer and place in a strainer in the sink. Run cold water over shrimp and continue to mix around with hands so that all pieces thaw out equally. Allow water to run into strainer as you start the next steps. Check the shrimp as you go and turn off water when they are completely thawed out. It should not take too long.
In a medium pot, add water and a few dashes of kosher salt; bring to a boil for the pasta.
While the water is coming to a boil, heat 2-3 tbs of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add garlic and onions. Saute until barely translucent and then add the chopped carrots and peppers. Saute for two to three minutes. Add frozen peas, stir and lower heat. Add salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and transfer the garlic, onion, carrots, peppers and peas to a large pot. Cover with lid and set aside.
When water in pot reaches a boil, add the pasta and stir. Allow water to return to a boil and cook pasta until it is al dente. (*Follow directions for the pasta you choose to cook; there are different instructions for rice pasta versus regular pasta. I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals which tells you to cook for two minutes in boiling water, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
Rinse out skillet and dry. Add 2 tbs of light butter and turn on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute 3-4 minutes until golden brown but still firm (cooking time dependent on size of mushroom slices). Do not overcook as they will cook for longer in the pot they are transferred to.
Add mushrooms, shrimp, vegetable broth, white wine, red pepper flakes (be generous if you like extra spice!), salt, pepper and cheese to cooked veggie mixture and stir over low heat. Cover and let sit on medium to low heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more cheese to firm up the sauce, if necessary. Add more salt and pepper to taste, as well as a splash more of white wine, if preferred. I always do at the end! I also like a lot of Parmesan cheese, so I am not shy when cooking with it. 🙂 Serve over pasta in bowl and enjoy the leftovers the next day.