Monday, March 15, 2010
This will be my last entry for about a week; I'm going to southern California with my sister to hang out with a bunch of our fabulous relatives. Whenever we go there to visit we always make sure to eat our fill of In-N-Out, and I'm sure this time will be no exception. With that in mind, I made a relatively light dinner tonight.
One of the perks of being a lifetime member of Weight Watchers (or even just a member in general) is that you get these weekly emails full of motivational tips and light recipe ideas. The one I made tonight was a stew called a Vindaloo, which means "wine and garlic". It was originally a Portuguese dish, but it eventually migrated over to India where it evolved into a spicy curry dish. This particular recipe is healthier than the types of Vindaloo you might find at an Indian restaurant because you use squash instead of potatoes, and shrimp instead of lamb, chicken, or pork.
This meal was tasty, but SO SPICY! I'm a total wimp about spice, but even Joe thought it was pretty spicy (but not so spicy that he didn't like it). If you like spicy food, then you'll probably like this recipe. If you are not a fan, then I would suggest omitting the cayenne completely. I ended up drinking two full glasses of milk to get through this meal (that's alright though, I usually don't get enough calcium and vitamin D anyway). If you had cream or half-n-half, you could drizzle a little bit into your bowl and that would help cool it down a bit as well.
Shrimp and Squash Vindaloo
adapted from Weight Watchers Everyday Gourmet (via email newsletter)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 medium acorn squash (I used two smallish ones)
1 spray nonstick cooking spray
3 medium shallots, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, no-sodium vegetable broth
1 pound medium shrimp (at about 35 shrimp per pound), peeled and deveined
Combine the spices (curry powder through cayenne) with the vinegar in a small bowl. Stir until you've made a paste. Set aside.
Cut your squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp. Set the squash halves cut side down on a cutting board and use a knife or sharp vegetable peeler to shave off the skin. Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes (some of the skin will be easier to remove once you've cut the flesh into smaller pieces). Set aside.
Apply the nonstick spray to the inside of a large saucepan. Heat over medium. When hot, add the shallot and garlic. Stir often as it cooks for about three minutes. I had to add a little olive oil (about a teaspoon) because all the oil had dried up and you don't want the garlic to brown.
Add the prepared curry paste, attempting as best as you can to break it up somewhat. After about 15 seconds, add the squash. Stir constantly to coat with the spices (don't worry if it doesn't really). After about 20 seconds, add the broth and bring to a simmer (I spent a couple of minutes trying to find clumps of spice and breaking them up by pressing them to the side of the pan with my wooden spoon). Cover and reduce the heat to low, so it simmers gently, until the squash is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the shrimp and cover again. Cook for about three minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and firm.
Serving size: 1 1/4 cups, 4 Points each serving