ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Friday, February 13, 2015


GARLIC BUTTER SHRIMP AND QUINOA: Low country cooking meets high country health
Author: Living Dangerously
Duration: 30 minutes
Average Cost: $16.00 US
Serves: 6 with small salads

Use two kinds of quinoa for added color

Can butter be healthy? Do you mean there's a meal with six tablespoons of butter that's healthy?


Here's the answer- Yes and No. 

The No = If you eat a meal loaded with fats and carbs and then throw in a stick of butter then hells yes it is unhealthy. That much butter, especially on a regular basis is bad for your heart and a big turbo boost to bad cholesterol.  
The Yes = If you eat a light meal with ancient grains and no fat, then a little butter, even a stick of butter won't hurt too bad as long as it's not every night. We're talking once a week or every two weeks. If this is the case then, yest, it can be healthy.

Full disclosure. This is a dish I modified from Taste of Yum. Not that this was the first place I'd seen it. I'd had something like it when I was in the Golden Isles many years ago (Jeckyll Island specifically), but it was served with couscous. When you think about it, this is nothing more than a healthy version of shrimp and grits, a staple of low country cooking.

So why quinoa?  According to authoritynutrition.com, here are the health benefits:

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
  • Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E.
Sautee low and slow for tenderness
This is coming with a total of 222 calories, with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat. It also contains a small amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Quinoa is non-GMO, Gluten Free and usually grown organically. Even though not technically a grain, it still counts as a “whole grain” food (11 Proven Benefits from Quinoa).

So yeah... Quinoa... duh!

I'm also a terrific fan of shrimp. Although deveining is a pain in the back, I always try and get uncooked shrimp because it's the only way to still impart flavor. I cook shrimp really slow which keeps it from getting rubbery. I usually wait until there's about five minutes left in the cooking time for the quinoa before I even fire my pan for the shrimp. Try and find medium to large shrimp. I try and get them to be forefinger-sized.

This is a great recipe for weeknights because it only takes 30 minutes to make. But it's also something to cook and serve with friends over, sitting around and chatting and drinking a nice white wine.

I used meyer-lemon olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
5 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
2 cups uncooked quinoa (1 red & 1 regular)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 yellow, red, or orange pepper (not green)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
2 pounds raw tail-on shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
lime zest for top and juice for shrimp
fresh cilantro for serving
fresh lemon juice for serving

Heat the oil in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the uncooked quinoa and ½ teaspoon chili powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1 tsp of chili powder. Saute for another 1 minute to add flavor to the quinoa. Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15-25 minutes (depending on elevation). When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and toss with fresh minced parsley. While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted, add the shrimp and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder directly in the pan and juice of one lime. Season with salt and pepper and saute until no longer translucent and golden brown on the outside. Just at the end of the saute, add 1 teaspoon garlic and swirl around in the pan until the garlic is very fragrant. Melt the
Picture is Too Fuzzy but you get the point
remaining 5 tablespoons butter with the 2 teaspoons garlic to make a sauce for drizzling (for this, crushed garlic or garlic paste would work really well but minced is also fine). Toss finely diced red, yellow, or organge pepper into the quinoa for color and crunch. Serve the quinoa and shrimp together in one dish, with shrimp layered on top, topping with fresh chopped parsley and lemon juice if desired. When the butter is melted and cooled slightly, drizzle over the shrimp and quinoa. Drizzle lime zest over top. Serve immediately, while still hot.

1 comment :

  1. Making this tonight. Looked good. Smells great. Unfortunately had to leave out an onion (just forgot it). I notice it calls for cilantro, but in the body, says parsley. I like cilantro better anyway.