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Cheese: a food consisting of the coagulated, compressed, and usually ripened curd of milk separated from the whey. This is the official definition of cheese from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. It sounds so flat compared to the aromatic and delicately balanced flavours of many a great cheese, such as Grana Padano, a fairly new love of mine.

Parmesan is pretty much a, North American, general term that refers to hard dry, Italian style cheeses, with a sharp flavour. The term Parmesan began as a nickname for Parmigano Reggiano a cheese from the Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua regions in northern Italy. It is made with a mixture of skim and whole milks. Grana Padano has a subtler flavour, less salty and nutty. It is made the five regions north of the Po River Valley (padano means Po River Valley) in northern Italy. Grana Padano is made with skim milk. Both cheeses were originally produced by monks. Lesson over!

Grana Padano Cheese

I am very happy with how this recipe turned out. I would make two changes next time. I didn’t realize when I baked the shrimp on their own that there would be so much liquid, very flavorful liquid. Next time I would place the pre-cooked quinoa or rice on the bottom of the casserole dish and allow either to soak up all that tasty goodness. I am posting the directions with this step in place. I would also marinate the shrimp, which I didn’t have time for when I made it.

PLEASE REMEMBER that the calories mentioned apply to the brands and quantities of the ingredients I use. Please alter the calories based on the brands and quantities of ingredients you use. Same brand items made in the United States, may have a different calorie content than same brand items made here in Canada, please always read the calories on the label. I calculate the calories in the recipe section of the “Lose It” app on my iPhone. Lose It is available for Android, iOS, Nook, Kindle and on the Web.

Parmesan-Shrimp-4

Ingredients:
– 1 c. cooked TruRoots Quinoa (made with water only), 194 calories
– 1/4 c. Classico Four Cheese Spaghetti Sauce, 45 calories
– 340 g./~12 oz. Country Morning Frozen Cooked Shrimp, 204 calories
– 2 tbsp. Renées Spring Herb Italian Dressing, 40 calories
– 1/2 tsp. Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs Paste, 7 calories
– 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper, 0 calories
– 1 tsp. granulated garlic, 9 calories
– 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 0 calories
– 38 g./~1.4 oz. finely grated Western Family 7% Skim Milk Mozzarella Cheese, 76 calories
– 28 g./1 oz. finely grated Antico Caseificio Italiano Grana Padano Cheese, 107 calories

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF / 175ºC.

Parmesan-Shrimp-3

In a 1 1/2 quart round casserole dish, I use French White by CorningWare, blend quinoa and spaghetti sauce together and distribute evenly on the bottom of the casserole dish. This is one of the steps that I didn’t do that I am adding in, please read the third paragraph above.

Parmesan-Shrimp-1

In a medium mixing bowl blend shrimp, salad dressing, Italian herb paste, lemon pepper, granulated garlic and sea salt together. I didn’t have time to let the shrimp marinate, I think a 30 minute marinade would be great if you have the time.

Parmesan-Shrimp-2

Layer the shrimp over the quinoa and top it with the cheeses. I put the Grana Padano on first and the Mozzarella over it.

Cover the casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes, if you would like the cheese to brown remove the cover for the last 7 to 10 minutes.

Yield: 2 servings, each serving is 341 calories.

Parmesan-Shrimp

Since I didn’t bake the the shrimp on top of the quinoa, the liquid caused the separation of cheese and shrimp, as you see in the above photo, rather than the liquid combining with the quinoa or rice if you prefer.

It’s my personal goal to make weight loss and weight maintenance deliciously easy for you and me. May your journey be scrumptious and the company you keep inspiring and supportive.

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