Are you looking for a fresh and easy weeknight meal? This Lemony Shrimp Quinoa Bowl is the perfect answer and on the table in less than 30 minutes!
I don’t know about you, but once Spring hits my body is ready for lighter meals and this lemony shrimp quinoa bowl hits the spot! We eat a lot of shrimp in the spring and summer, so I brainstormed a meal that would showcase the shrimp, while still enjoying fresh seasonal produce.
Lemony Shrimp Quinoa Bowl
I frequently try to introduce my kids to new foods or different takes on familiar foods, so I focused on the radish in my lemony shrimp quinoa bowl.
While I’ve tried raw and pickled radishes in a few dishes for the kids (with little success), I decided to cook the vegetable to bring out a subtler hue and flavor. Guess what? It worked!
Now, I am not getting overly excited and do not think they will be begging me for radishes at every meal, but this was a successful food try!
I would often tell clients in my occupational therapy practice that research shows it can take up to 15 presentations before a child tries a new food. While the novelty of the food may wear off with multiple exposures for some kids, varying the cooking methods of certain foods may work better for others.
Also, spinach! Our entire family loves raw spinach salads, but I have been met with resistance to sautéed spinach.
I decided to barely wilt the greens for our lemony shrimp quinoa bowl as I know both children are bothered by the somewhat stringy textures of cooked spinach. Also, when you combine the spinach with the quinoa, it continues to wilt a little further, so be careful not to overcook.
You may be asking, “Why use ghee to sauté the vegetables?” Well, I have a child with lactose intolerance, so ghee is a better choice for us.
Ghee is a clarified butter made by heating the butter and allowing the liquid and milk portion to separate from the fat. The milk forms a solid and the remaining oil is ghee.
Because the milk is separated from the fat, ghee is a lactose-free butter substitute. It also imparts a richer, buttery-like flavor to foods and has a higher smoke point than butter which makes it ideal for sautéing vegetables.
Favorite Quinoa Preparation
I love quinoa and don’t need a lot of extra ingredients for it to be palatable to me, however I have heard of others who don’t care for it. Before you side with this category of people, try this preparation! The infusion of garlic in the oil and sautéing the dry quinoa before cooking in liquid adds so much flavor to this yummy complete protein!
Adaptations for Kids:
I suggest separating each component of the lemony shrimp quinoa bowl for kids. Most younger kids prefer and tolerate singular foods better than a combination of textures. We find that our kids will naturally try combining different food textures when they are willing and ready, preferring to explore different tastes and textures individually. Additionally, some kids will not eat quinoa; I have one! I continue to present it on the plate, but you could also cook an additional grain, such as pasta or rice if needed.
Adaptations for Meat-Lovers:
While my goal is to have everyone in our family eating more vegetables, I recognize that not everyone enjoys or can tolerate shellfish. Quinoa is a complete protein, so there is not a need to add additional protein from a dietary standpoint. However, if someone must have meat, I think a few slices of grilled, organic chicken breast would be a fine substitute in this recipe.
Adaptation for Vegans:
If you are vegan, simply leave off the shrimp.
Please let me know your thoughts on my lemony shrimp quinoa bowl, as well as any adaptations you try! Please tag @restandrelish on social media if you try and post your creation!
I would also love any ratings and reviews here!
- 1/2 T. olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 4 radishes finely sliced
- 1/2 T. ghee
- 1 cup baby spinach
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic in oil for one minute until golden brown being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add quinoa to pan and stir for two minutes.
- Add water to pan and stir to combine. Cover and turn heat to low to cook for ~12-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat. Squeeze lemon juice into quinoa, stir to combine and set aside.
- Toss radishes with ghee and saute for 4-5 minutes or until radishes are al dente.
- Add spinach, salt and pepper; tossing to combine with radish mixture. Cook until spinach is just barely wilted.
- Remove vegetables from heat and reserve in a bowl.
- Plate quinoa, vegetables and shrimp and garnish with lemon wedge. Squeeze lemon wedges to taste and enjoy!