Easy Roast Shrimp with Quick Braised Dinosaur Kale

September 7, 2012

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Some days I just want ease. When things come at me from every direction, I dream about being dropped onto an uncharted South Pacific island to be left alone. Preferably on one with lots of coconut palms so I can eat because I do not possess any fishing skills and could actually starve to death before ever catching my dinner!

Ah yes, the food thing. It always comes back to food for me.

Okay, so scratch the South Pacific island escape fantasy. In lieu of that, I opt to sit in nature wherever I can find it. Even if it’s just sitting in my car and staring at a nearby tree. I sit until I feel centered and then I support my cells with clean food and lots of fresh water.

When Life is slamming into me, I want my time in the kitchen to be quick, easy and healthy. I’ve learned that when I’m feeling off-balance, I need to take extra loving care of my whole being. Preparing and eating this meal is a nourishing place to start.

Quick Braised Dinosaur Kale

Note: I prep the shrimp first, pre-heat the oven and make the kale while the shrimp marinates. Once the kale is covered and finishing the final braising stage, I slide the shrimp into the oven. I spoon the kale into a bowl, tent it with foil and turn the shrimp over for it’s final 4 minutes of roasting. Easy!

Dinosaur kale is also known as lacinato kale and is a gorgeous deep green in color. It’s an Italian variety that has a sweeter taste than other kale. If you’re just starting to eat kale, this is a great one to begin with.

And believe me, you do want to be eating kale regularly! Kale has one of the highest phytonutrients of any vegetable and phytonutrients also work as antioxidants to keep our cells healthier by decreasing free radicals. Kale has high levels of carotene, vitamin C, manganese, fiber and has 93 mg of calcium in one cup.

20 ounces organic dinosaur (lacinato) kale (I use 2, 10 oz. packages from Trader Joe’s)

1 large onion, cut in half from top to bottom and each half cut into ¼ -inch thick half-moons

1 tablespoon coconut oil

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (or kosher salt)

How to make Quick Braised Kale:

Heat coconut oil over medium/high heat in large pan with high sides. Add in onion slices and sauté, stirring often, until onion is golden-tinged and slightly softened.

Reduce heat to medium. Add in half of the kale, the water (stand back as this will create steam) the red pepper flakes and the salt. Stir well until the kale begins to wilt, creating more room in the pan.

Add remaining kale in batches, stirring to incorporate. When all the kale is in the pan, cover and braise for 3-4 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

Easy Roast Shrimp

I appreciate shrimp for things beyond its fabulous taste. And these do taste Fabulous – the garlic and smoky Spanish paprika are a “knock-your-socks-off” taste combo! I love that shrimp are a really good source of selenium, which can be challenging to get into our diet. Selenium improves our immune system against bacterial and viral infections.

Shrimp are also a good source of B12, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamin D. And since vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, shrimp are ideal to eat with kale!

2 pounds uncooked wild-caught shrimp (peeled, tail-on Colossal size, under 15 count per pound)

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon mild smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

How to make Easy Roast Shrimp:

Preheat oven to 425˚ F.

Wash and dry shrimp, place in dish large enough to hold them in one layer.  Scatter garlic, olive oil, paprika, black pepper and oregano over shrimp. Massage shrimp gently with your fingers so the shrimp are well coated with those ingredients.

Marinate at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Place shrimp onto 2 baking sheets, leaving space between each shrimp so they roast, instead of steam, while cooking.

Roast for 4 minutes; turn shrimp over and continue roasting for an additional 4 minutes, or until desired doneness. It’s important to not over-cook the shrimp. You want them plump and juicy yet still cooked through.

Makes 6 servings






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