This keto and paleo dish is simple with just a handful of ingredients — yet it’s big in flavor. In this palatable meal, tasty shrimps are accompanied with fresh, gently cooked spinach. Garlic adds a sharp flavor while ginger lends a zesty bite. This dish is super-quick to make — it takes less than 10 minutes, so it makes just the perfect nosh for the busy weeknights. Serve as is, or over cauliflower rice and a slice of good low-carb bread or some keto crackers.
Tips for preparing the Flavorful Sauteed Spinach and Shrimp
There is nothing complicated in preparing this dish — so it’s just perfect if you are hungry and tired but still have to whip up a proper meal. The recipe makes 2 servings, so feel free to double it or triple it for a bigger family.
Please don’t hang me when I recommend high-quality extra virgin olive oil for sauteeing the shrimp and the spinach. Well, EVOO is not that often used for frying and true, it’s at its best unheated, as a salad dressing. But yes, you can use it for cooking, too. Actually, because it contains antioxidants, it stands heating pretty well without getting rancid. You can read more about cooking with olive oil here. The conclusion is: “Not only is it an excellent cooking oil, but it is also one of the healthiest.” There you got it! Well, maybe you don’t want to use your best extra virgin olive oil for cooking but some okay-quality stuff anyway.
So, when preparing the dish, when you add the garlic and the ginger, be very careful that they don’t burn. In fact, don’t let them even get brown. They can turn golden in color, but not brown. If they get brown, they taste already too pungent and bitter. That’s why the shrimp are added immediately after adding the garlic and the ginger, to prevent them from turning too brown.
Frozen, cooked shrimp is the easiest solution, but you can use raw shrimp as well. If you use frozen shrimp, thaw it first under lukewarm water. (Here’s actually the method I use; I learned it when working in a hamburger restaurant in my study times.) If you use raw shrimp, be sure that it’s cooked through, until bright pink. This takes about 5-10 minutes. Don’t overcook the shrimp! It will turn our tough.
Fresh spinach works best here, but if you absolutely don’t have fresh spinach, feel free to use frozen spinach that you thaw first. It needs to be just warmed, not cooked, as it’s already pre-cooked.
Oh yes, be sure to use high enough heat when cooking the shrimp and especially the spinach. As the spinach releases some fluid, high heat ensures that it evaporates immediately rather than stays in the bottom of the skillet. On the other hand, you don’t want to overcook the garlic and the ginger so that they retain their sharp flavors — that’s why the overall cooking time is relatively short.
But let’s take a look at how to prepare this super-quick dish:
So, you need crushed garlic…
…and freshly-grated ginger.
Well, here are all the 5 ingredients you need:
To prepare the dish: Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil…
…and the shrimp.
Cook, stirring, until the shrimp is heated through (or if you use raw shrimp, cook until bright pink in color).
Finally, add the spinach…
…and cook just until wilted. This takes about 1 minute. Oh yes, if your shrimp is not salted, you might want to add some natural salt.
My Sauteed Spinach and Shrimp experiments
I came up with this recipe pretty spontaneously. I just wanted to make something simple with spinach and shrimp that I had recently bought. Spinach and shrimp are great together especially when sauteed, so I was instantly thinking of making a sauteed dish from them. But, as those ingredients taste quite mild, they require some kick. I was pondering, which spices and seasonings would be good. Onion, maybe? No, garlic it has to be! I think both shrimp and spinach cry for some garlic. So, crushed garlic it was.
But, I wanted to add yet another spice. Garlic was flavorful, yes, but I needed something more exciting, a bit unexpected. Then, I thought grated ginger would be just a perfect match. It adds up wonderfully to the flavor world of shrimp, spinach, and garlic. So, I decided to try how the dish turns out if I add a little bit of grated ginger, too.
I was pondering the amounts of ingredients. I decided to start with a half a pound (230 g) frozen, cooked shrimp, that I first thawed under warm water. I had bought some fresh spinach that I was planning to use for the dish. But how much should I use? Well, 2 cups (470 ml) sounded like a good start. If it looks too little, I can always add some more, I thought.
And to get all the flavor out of the garlic and the ginger, I decided to add them in the very beginning, after heating the oil in the skillet. On the other hand, I didn’t want to cook them for too long as garlic turns really mild when cooked. For the cooking oil, I chose extra virgin olive oil as it’s so flavorful, and in this dish, I really wanted to amp up the flavors.
I took 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and poured it into a hot skillet. Right after that, I added 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger and immediately followed with the shrimp. I let the shrimp heat through. That took about 5 minutes. Then, I added the spinach. I didn’t want to cook it much, just that it gets wilted. Well, the added shrimp didn’t like cooking either: it would get tough if cooked too long.
The amount of spinach looked too little – especially when wilted – so I added another 2 cups (470 ml) to get some more green stuff to the dish and to balance out the amounts of ingredients. Now, it looked perfect!
I was surprised how quick the dish was to make — and easy as well. Also the taste was superb: it was unbelievably flavorful and delicious; it even exceeded my expectations!
Here’s the dish for you to enjoy:
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 2 servings in total|
|Protein||36.4 g||18.2 g|
|Fat||29.7 g||14.9 g|
|Net carbs||2.0 g||1.0 g|
|kcal||423 kcal||212 kcal|
Tips for variation
If you don’t like ginger, just omit it. Feel free to add other spices, like onion powder, Cajun seasoning, or cayenne pepper for a less or more sharp kick.
In case you are really in a hurry and don’t have time to crush the garlic or grate the ginger, use garlic powder or granules and ginger powder. The fresh stuff is naturally the best, but sometimes you just have to cut corners. Anyway, in many grocery stores they sell frozen crushed garlic, and you can find even frozen ginger or ginger paste. Those come in handy.
And if you want to make this dish even more satisfying, top it with toasted, crushed macadamia nuts right before serving.