This hearty dish of braised tomatoes, beans and garlic is made almost entirely of items you can keep on hand in your pantry; bagged frozen shrimp are easy to thaw and nestle into the simple stew. And they’re often overlooked as a protein source. Add a bagged green salad and crusty baguette, and dinner’s ready in less time than it takes to order a pizza. For dessert, calcium and protein-rich Greek yogurt is easily transformed into a creamy mousse; spoon or pipe it into bowls and top with a quick berry sauce for a healthy alternative to ice cream sundaes.
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 pkg. plain gelatin
1/3 cup (125 ml) sugar
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup (250 ml) heavy (whipping) cream
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
1–2 cups (250–500 ml) frozen mixed berries
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar, or to taste
Start by making the mousse. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin overtop; let sit for a minute to soften, then bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring in the sugar until it’s dissolved. Pour into a bowl and whisk in the milk mixture and yogurt; whip the cream with the vanilla until stiff peaks form and fold into the yogurt mixture. Put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill.
Put the berries and sugar into the same small saucepan you used for the gelatin; bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar and slightly crush the berries. Pour into a bowl or small pitcher and chill alongside the mousse.
olive oil, for cooking
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 14 oz (398 ml) can diced or whole plum tomatoes, undrained
1 19 oz (540 ml) can white kidney, cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh thyme (leaves removed)
1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
340 g (3/4 lb) large raw, peeled, tail-on shrimp
While the mousse is setting, put a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous drizzle of oil. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes, beans and thyme and bring to a simmer. Stir, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, until the mixture thickens. Add the balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and cook for another minute.
Sink the shrimp into the tomato-bean mixture and cover the pan. Cook for 3–4 minutes, turning the shrimp over once, until they turn opaque. Remove the pan from the heat to keep them from getting tough.
Serve the shrimp and beans hot, in shallow bowls, drizzled with extra olive oil.
To serve dessert, spoon the mousse into small dishes (alternatively, spoon the mixture into a heavy duty resealable bag, seal and snip off a corner, then pipe into small dishes) and top with the cooled berry mixture.
Serves 4, with enough dessert for seconds.
Per serving (shrimp and mousse): 560 calories, 17.7 g fat (9.6 g saturated fat, 6.7 g monounsaturated fat, 1.4g polyunsaturated fat), 156 mg cholesterol, 71 g carbohydrate, 29.1 g protein, 8.4 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2014.