Citrus Shrimp with Quinoa

oct-food-001As promised, I am posting the recipe I wrote for my recipe challenge in a recent course I took on recipe development.  The challenge was to come up with a recipe based on a variety of ingredients presented to us, and to make sure it was a good fit for our chosen audience.  Well, that’s you.  So you’ll have to let me know if I succeeded once you try it for yourselves.

We had a variety of proteins from which to choose…but when I saw a two pound bag of huge, gorgeous shrimp, I made it my business to grab that quickly.  I chose the shrimp for two reasons:  first because I love shrimp and they were HUGE, and second because shrimp are extremely quick cooking—perfect for weeknight meals.  I then spotted a bag of quinoa (that’s “KEEN-wa”).  Quinoa is a whole grain and extremely healthy for you….one of the healthiest grains out there.  Like shrimp, it also happens to be very quick cooking (under 20 minutes).  So I snagged a few more ingredients (like citrus fruits and fresh herbs) for color and flavor and set off to complete my recipe challenge.   We presented our creations to the class and received feedback from the teacher and other students….and everyone really put together some extremely impressive dishes.  Talk about inspiration!  Looking at a table full of ingredients, rearranging them in various combinations in your head, then executing your idea all in under an hour.  I felt like I was on an episode of Top Chef (but everyone was nice)!  Hope you enjoy it….

Herbed Citrus Shrimp with Quinoa and Goat Cheese

Serves 4

2 cups quinoa (available in most grocery stores and specialty stores near the other grains)

2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and tail off

1 lemon

1 orange

 1 lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2  t salt

1/4 cup each of chopped fresh mint and parsley

3 oz goat cheese, broken into small chunks

2 tablespoons basil, cut into thin ribbons


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the quinoa and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender.  Drain in a collander with very small holes (so it doesn’t pass through).

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the juice of the three citrus fruits, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and 2 tablespoons each of the mint and parsley.  Allow to marinate approximately 15 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the marinade and place in preheated pan.  Cook about 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp just turns opaque white. 

Toss the shrimp with the drained quinoa, and remaining fresh mint and parsley.  Add goat cheese and toss to combine.  Garnish with basil ribbons.


Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.


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2 Responses to “Citrus Shrimp with Quinoa”

  1. Ruth Says:

    This sounds fantastic! I’ve never tried quinoa, but have been wanting to. This may just be the test recipe. Gotta go to the store today anyway… Thanks for suggestion!

  2. REH Says:

    This looks fantastic. I’ve never cooked with quinoa, but have been wanting to try it. This just might be the test recipe. Have to go to the store today anyway… Thanks for the idea!

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