Tag: shrimp

Meal Plan: A Vegetarian Christmas Eve Dinner

(Above: Watch the video to see how to make stuffed swiss chard and then get the recipe below.)

We’ve been hosting Christmas Eve dinner for family and friends for many years. And because meat is usually featured prominently on Christmas Day, I try to stay away from serving any the night before.

This year’s menu would be considered vegetarian if it didn’t include the shrimp course. And it still can be if you elect to serve one of the alternate first courses listed below and refrained from serving the antipasti courses that contain meat.

Vegetarian does not necessarily mean light. And for better or worse, I guarantee you that Uncle Charlie won’t be able to leave the table after eating this without unbuckling his belt.

A few of these vegetarian recipes come from what was my favorite restaurant: La Zucca Magica in Nice, France: an Italian vegetarian restaurant that created rich dishes that didn’t shy away from butter, cream, and eggs.

My Plan: Meat is Over (if you want it)

Guests always have something to pick on as soon as they arrive at our home: something to nibble on with their cocktail or first glass of wine or beer.


  1. Pub Kettle Chips (skip if you want to go completely vegetarian or just omit the bacon)
  2. Bread Sticks Wrapped in Prosciutto (substitute marinated olives if you want to go completely vegetarian)
  3. Stuffed Pappadew Peppers

After about an hour or so, tell your guests it’s time to take their place at the table:


Shrimp Sautée: This recipe, from Joshua’s Restaurant in Wells, Maineis quick and easy. Tip: Be sure to have all of the ingredients ready and measured out before you start cooking. This comes together quickly and should be served immediately.
If you want to keep the meal completely vegetarian, try serving one of these as the first course: Root SoupPatata Ball in Tomato Sauce; or Tomatoes Stuffed with Pasta Salad.



Chard Stuffed with Risotto and Mozzarella: This recipe comes from an Italian vegetarian restaurant in the south of France. Rich, healthy and delicious, it makes a good first or second course before the main course.




Vegetable Lasagna Masterpiece: This is the best vegetable lasagna recipe. It’s something I perfected over several years. A creamy spinach mixture is cradled between silky ribbons of pasta and topped with a porcini-flavored tomato sauce. You can make this the night before and heat it up or cook it the next day.



Italian Christmas Pudding (aka: Pudding with the Red Stuff)This couldn’t be any easier to make. It’s my grandmother’s recipe and she served it at family dinners, including on Christmas Eve. It’s a quick and easy version of an Italian dessert called, “Zuppa Inglese.”

(Thanks for reading this far. To show our appreciation we’re offering this free eCookbook with “9 Recipes to Help you Relax and Enjoy the Holidays.” )


Shrimp Saute, “Fresh From Maine”

Shrimp Saute, “Fresh From Maine”

Get a free Rootsliving eCookbook with “5 Recipes to Help you Stay Healthy
and Lose Weight.”  

This can be served as an appetizer or as the main dish.

It’s pretty easy and fast to make. In fact, you have to work pretty quickly so be sure to have all of the ingredients assembled before-hand and placed into small bowls so that you can add them to the frying pan when needed. The French call this “mise en place,” which literally translates to “everything in its place.”


Pepper, tomatoes, garlic in bowls
Prepare the ingredients and put them in separate bowls before cooking.


The first thing to do is to roast the red pepper and the half of jalapeno pepper in a hot oven (400 degrees or higher). This could take 10-15 minutes and you should turn them over at least once. You want the peppers to become soft with a nice black char on them.


Charred peppers
You can roast the peppers on a cookie sheet.


Then, while the peppers roast, you can chop the tomato and garlic and start assembling the rest of your “mise en place.”

Shrimp Buyer Beware!

As far as shrimp goes, buy American and buy wild! This is because there are no regulations in place in Asia and Central America (where most of our shrimp comes from) to ensure the shrimp are healthy to eat. Shortcuts in farming shrimp in these places include practices that are unhealthy and some shrimp farms use antibiotics that are not allowed in the U.S. The FDA looks the other way and allows this food to be sold here.

I use shrimp that is labeled, U.S. frozen wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also uncooked. I find pre-cooked shrimp doesn’t have as much flavor.


Shrimp cooking in a frying pan
You finish this dish by adding butter and white wine to the shrimp in the frying pan.


Fresh From Joshua’s Restaurant in Maine

I got this simple and delicious recipe from a book called “Fresh From Maine, Recipes and Stories from the State’s Best Chefs.” It’s from Joshua’s Restaurant in Wells, Maine.

The book features more than 50 recipes and interviews with chefs from 20 restaurants in Maine, all of which get their ingredients from local farmers and fishermen to create all-natural and organic dishes.


Shrimp Sautée in a bowl.
It’s best to serve this dish in shallow bowls as you want to pour some of the tasty liquid over it.


My friend, Russell French took the photographs for the book and his friend, Michael S. Sanders, wrote the text. You may remember Russ as a guest photographer on Rootsliving when he took photos for my grandmother’s chicken and polenta recipe.

(Thanks for reading this far. To show our appreciation we’re offering this free eCookbook with “5 Recipes to Help you Stay Healthy and Lose Weight,”  along with free subscription to the Rootsliving newsletter.)


Shrimp Saute From Joshua's Restaurant

November 13, 2018
: 4 as an appetizer; 2-3 as a main course
: 20 min
: 10 min
: 30 min
: Easy-Medium


  • Olive oil (3 tablespoons)
  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined (1 pound, 21-25 count)
  • Tomato, chopped in 1-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
  • Red pepper, roasted, thinly sliced. (1 large)
  • Jalepeno pepper, roasted, thinly sliced (1/2 pepper)
  • Garlic, chopped. (2 tablespoons)
  • Dry white wine (1 cup)
  • Butter, unsalted (4 tablespoons)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Step 1 Preheat saute pan. Put oil in pan and when almost smoking, add shrimp, tomato, peppers, and garlic.
  • Step 2 Let cook for about 1 minute, then toss thoroughly just once to create a caramelized flavor.
  • Step 3 After another minute when shrimp is about half-way cooked, add the wine and salt to taste.
  • Step 4 Reduce wine by half, cooking off the alcohol. Then add butter and parsley to finish.
  • Step 5 Serve immediately with a few pieces of grilled baguette, which is perfect for soaking up the sauce.


Work Night Dinner: Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho/Sandwiches

Work Night Dinner: Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho/Sandwiches

Here’s something to kick off a weeknight in the late summer: two quick and easy recipes, perfect to make and eat after a long day of work or to enjoy while you’re working through dinner.

An Octupus’s Garden Gazpacho with Leftover Chicken Hummus Sandwiches

BEWARE: This Octopus's Gazpacho may attract a puss or two.
BEWARE: This Octopus’s Gazpacho may attract a puss or two.

(Tip: Gazpacho should sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before eating, so you could make this the night before. This soup is also very low in calories. For you Weight Watchers, it’s about 4 points per serving with the shrimp — or only 3 points without.)

An Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho

This recipe came from Parade Magaziine via Epicurious. The original name was Farmstand Gazpacho, but my brother Peter (who first made this for me) had the brilliant idea of adding shrimp to it, so I changed the name.

Eating this is like eating a bowl of nature and combined with the shrimp, you may feel like a playful sea otter surfacing from the deep with a fresh morsel in his mouth.

Octopus's Garden Gazpacho

September 12, 2009
: Easy


  • 2 cups, about 1 large, peeled and diced (1/4 inch) cucumber
  • 2 cups, about 2, diced (1/4 inch) red bell pepper
  • 2 cups, about 2, diced (1/4 inch) ripe tomato
  • 1/2 cup, about one small, diced (1/4 inch) red onion
  • 2 cups of tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce (You can add more if you like it more spicy. I added four dashes and found that suited my taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shrimp (about 16 whole, medium-sized cooked shrimp. More or less to suit your taste.)
  • Step 1 Place all of the diced vegetables in a large bowl. Add tomato juice, vinegar, oil and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 2 Transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse the machine on and off to coarsely puree the ingredients. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
  • Step 3 Add eight of the shrimp to the soup. Save and refrigerate the other shrimp to use as garnish around the cup or bowl. Refrigerate gazpacho for 4-6 hours. I put it in the refrigerator for only three hours before eating it and it was fine.
  • Step 4 Put soup in bowls or cups and hook a few shrimp around the rim. Serve with your favorite sandwich.

I made the following sandwiches with some leftover fried chicken and what I had hanging around my icebox. (The tomato and cucumber in the sandwich echoed some of the main ingredients of the soup making this a perfect combination.)

Leftover Chicken Hummus Sandwiches


  • Good, real, Italian bread (I used a loaf of pane francese)
  • Leftover chicken, sliced thin
  • Tomato slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Hummus

What I did:

Cover one bread slice with chicken. Put slices of tomato on top and add salt and pepper. Put slices of cucumber on top. Spread hummus on the other slice of bread and make a sandwich.


Asian Shrimp Salad

Asian Shrimp Salad

Good recipes endure. And Trish has been making this recipe for more than 20 years. It’s a favorite appetizer at Christmas time in the RootsLiving house, but she also made it this week when we had our next-door neighbors over for a cookout.

She found the recipe in an old cookbook that a previous tenant left in her apartment before we were married.

Asian Shrimp Salad

August 13, 2009
: About 6 as an appetizer
: 15 min
: 15 min
: 1 hr
: Easy


  • 1/2 lb cooked shrimp
  • 1/4 lb sliced ham
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 4-6 spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • For the Dressing:
  • 4 tablespoons of peanut or light sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons of vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of grated, fresh ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
  • Step 1 Cut the ham into ribbons.
  • Step 2 Halve the pepper, remove the seeds, and slice finely.
  • Step 3 Cut the spring onions (scallions) diagonally.
  • Step 4 Rinse the bean sprouts and nip the ends.
  • Step 5 Combine the shrimp and ham with the vegetables in a bowl and chill until ready to serve.
  • Step 6 For the Dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and beat with a fork or whisk until it thickens a little.
  • Step 7 Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly.