Tacos de Camarones

I was really in the mood for shrimp tacos for dinner the other night. Jill said she didn’t care what we had for dinner as long as it included “lots of vegetables.” So, I made shrimp tacos with a lot of vegetables.

To make the shrimp tacos, or  Tacos de Camarones, extra-veggieful, I quartered mushrooms, chopped some garlic, and sliced up an orange bell pepper and a small onion.

Prepared vegetables for the taco filling
Prepared vegetables for the taco filling

To give the vegetables a fajita flare, I sautéed them in a little olive oil until they started to caramelize.

Saute the vegetable filling
Saute the vegetable filling

While the vegetables were sautéing, I also sautéed the shrimp in a very small amount of olive oil in a non-stick pan.

Saute shrimp in a small amount of olive oil
Saute shrimp in a small amount of olive oil

As soon as the shrimp started to turn pink, I poured in a couple of glugs of beer into the pan and simmered the shrimp until they were completely cooked. I had a bottle of Sam Adams Coastal Wheat and thought it sounded like an appropriate pairing for shrimp, so I used that.

Simmer the shrimp in beer
Simmer the shrimp in beer

Placing two or three shrimp (depending on their size) on small corn tortillas, I topped the shrimp tacos with the vegetables. Because of the heartiness of the mushrooms, the two or three shrimp were enough to make the taco satisfying. You could always add more shrimp, but this recipe for shrimp tacos is a great way to save money and make a great dinner with only a small amount of shrimp.

Put the filling on a corn tortilla
Put the filling on a corn tortilla

To add even more vegetables to the dinner, I chopped up some spinach and sliced up and avocado (Jill’s family grows avocados). I topped the shrimp tacos with the spinach and avocado as well as with some shredded cheddar, salsa, and sour cream. The sweetness of the onions and bell pepper and the meatiness of the mushrooms supplemented the shrimp well. Because we only used a few shrimp in this recipe, we actually made this for dinner two nights in a row.

Add your favorite toppings
Add your favorite toppings
Advertisements

Fiesta Spinach Salad

Oh, this was soooooo good!  On Wednesday, after a long day of cleaning out the storage closet at work (no small feat!) followed by a post-work bike ride, all I wanted for dinner was something simple and delicious that used up some random ingredients in my fridge: black beans, an avocado on its last leg, and spinach.  Enter my creation of the Fiesta Spinach Salad:

Start with a bed of spinach (I used two big handfuls).  I give mine a quick chop first.

Top with chopped bell pepper.  I used 1/2 of a large pepper, but you could use the whole thing if you bought a small one.

Top with about 1/2 cup-ish of black beans – I just eyeballed it.

Top with the protein of your choice.  I’m currently in love with Amy’s veggie burgers, which I mentioned before in this post.  As far as frozen veggie burgers go, these have the best texture, flavor, and ingredient list, hands down.

Top with 1/2 a small avocado.  Want to know an easy way to dice an avocado?  After slicing the avocado in half lengthwise, carefully score the avocado (make crisscross cuts that don’t pierce the skin).

Then carefully use a spoon to scoop the avocado out of the skin.  So easy!

To keep the other half of the avocado from turning brown (the technical term is oxidative enzymatic browning – can’t believe I remember that from an undergraduate nutrition class!), wrap the avocado in plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the entire surface of the avocado.  This will keep the other half from turning brown as quickly.

Back to the salad – top the whole creation with a healthy amount of salsa.  
Another one of my favorites.  Paul Newman, what a guy!  Artie and I probably go through a jar of this each week.

Finally, give the entire thing a sprinkle of cheese.  We had white cheddar on hand.

Mmmmm so good.  This was easy to assemble (only got 6 dishes dirty – a cutting board, a knife, the cheese grater, a spoon, a fork, and a bowl), tasty, and exactly what I was craving.  It was enjoyed with an episode of this:
And the recipe was easily replicated the next morning to make for a delicious Thursday lunch:

The second time around, I didn’t have much spinach left (maybe a handful or so?) so I added in about a cup of raw broccoli florets, chopped into little pieces, and it worked really well.

Have a great weekend!