Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shrimp & Tomatoes with Garlic Mash

As I post meal ideas using my friends shopping list (yesterday's post), I'm keeping in mind that this is a family of four with two children, aged 12 and 10.

Tweens are at an age when appetites increase in direct relationship to physical growth. This is particularly so for boys.

And it's a tricky age, particularly for girls, who are suddenly aware of their body-image and hence at risk for developing an unhealthy relationship to food. Either they won't eat properly, for fear of getting fat or they satiate they're pubescent emotional ups-and-downs with too many delicious sweets and snack foods.

Additionally, tween taste buds are maturing and so they're often open to eating a wider ranger of foods and flavors -- that is, so long as you introduce them into your cooking.

In summary, family meal-times can be a challenge. However, the important ingredient is to model healthy eating by consuming a range of simple, colorful meals with texture, flavor and eye-appeal.

With that in mind, here's the first family-meal idea using my friend's shopping list.

Shrimp & Tomatoes with Garlic Mash
  • Shrimp is a slightly sweet crustacean with a subtle flavor that lends itself well to delicate flavor pals, or big flavors. Kids tend to like shrimp fried because that's how it comes at family restaurants on the "Kid's Menu." Frying makes most foods delicious, and it can drown the subtle flavor too. I'm pairing shrimp in this dish with vegetables: tomatoes, leafy greens, cilantro, and some onion. The shrimp flavor will hold its own paired with these veggies.
  • Potatoes have an earthy flavor that lends itself to many flavor pals. Because the shrimp and tomatoes are sweet and delicate, I'm adding garlic and butter to the potatoes to enrich them and add oomph to the whole meal. Plus, mashed potatoes are a fave with kids, probably because the buttery texture is non-threatening to their palate.
1) Boil several potatoes (you can either peel or not peel them).
2) Meanwhile, toss a chopped onion and a smashed clove of garlic into a pan with some olive oil. Saute gently until transparent.
3) Wash and chop leafy greens, and several tomatoes (and a couple of carrots, if you wish).
4) Add veggies to pan with onion, stir, then put lid on pan and turn heat to low, letting veggies cook in their own juices for about 10 mins or so.
5) At the 10-minute mark, pour frozen shrimp over veggies and replace lid. The moisture from the frozen shrimp will cause the veggies and shrimp to gently steam cook.
6) Once potatoes are tender, mash them with a fork, tossing in a couple chopped gloves of garlic, a big blob of butter, some milk. Season to taste.
7) Chop cilantro and toss over shrimp and veggies, season, then squeeze a lemon over the lot.

To Serve: I've sliced an avocado to decorate the plate--adding color and eye-interest. Though avocados aren't on my friend's shopping list, they're abundant and well-priced at the moment, and they're a great flavor and texture pal for potatoes. Try them with this dish and see if your family enjoys the combination.


Carmela said...

This recipe looks wonderful.

Welcome to foodie blog roll.

Buon appetito,


Veronica Lee said...

Hi and welcome to MBC! Happy Easter!