Quick Dinner for 2: Shrimp, Red Potatoes, and Asparagus

Why do I usually post sweets? Besides the fact they're fantastic... Most free-time is at night, when it's too late to make 'real' food but a little treat is doable. Most don't even have time to enjoy 'breaks' at work. It's a sad sight... hunkered over the keyboard, sandwich in hand, trying to type and nibble at the same time. There are days when I want to leave early that bad.

Time isn't the only issue. Enforcing healthy food choices is tough. What's quick, easy, and cheap- a quality salad or General Tso chicken? Exactly. I bet you got Chinese take out on speed dial! It's okay, I got the Vietnamese spot down the street (though I think pho is healthier). Your diet is a reflection of your life style. It's okay...

Life can be hectic.

Breath.

Yes, it's hard enough to take a break, much less actually MAKE a meal. That does not mean it's impossible. I hope this little recipe helps.

This is a healthy, quick and easy meal. It's meant for two but you can always tailor it to your needs. We had some left over potatoes, that's about it. The potatoes take the longest to soften, but while they're in there, you can easily finish up shrimp and asparagus.

The stir-fry shrimp is full of flavor and I thought the touch of lime at the end was perfect. It's very light and tasty. I got the recipe from Cannelle et Vanille. It's something my family would make- but simplified which is why I love it.

To help fill you up are garlic red potatoes. Compared to my mom's old fashioned mashed potatoes, these are a much healthier alternative. There's isn't a ton of butter or cream. If you love garlic-- go crazy. This is a hand me down from my big brother.

As for the asparagus, it's natural and untouched. I hate when people ruin veggies with too much sauce and seasoning. They're blanched with a touch of salt. That's really all you need.

This meal is good to go in about 30 minutes.

Mashed Garlic Red Potatoes

8 medium red potatoes, quartered
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup fat-free milk, warmed
1/2 teaspoon salt

Asparagus

Some fresh asparagus (8 stalks, 4 per person)
Salt

Shrimp

8 large shrimp, peeled
red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lime wedges
Fresh parsley on top

Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Drain well. Add the butter, milk and salt; mash. Done.

While the potatoes are simmering, blanch the asparagus. Set some water to boil in a medium pot. Once it reaches a boil, drop the asparagus in. Let it cook for about 4 minutes. Fill a bowl with ice water and put to the side, waiting for the asparagus to finish cooking. Once the asparagus has achieved that bright green color, remove immediately and drop it in the ice water. Leave it there until it's time to serve.

In the meantime, peel the shrimp and season lightly with salt. Set aside. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan on medium-low heat. Add the red pepper flakes and infuse the olive oil for a minute. Add shrimp, cook them in the olive oil for 1 minute on each side. Shrimp is done once it turns pink.

Once everything is done, serve the potatoes as they are. Serve the shrimp with more fresh parsley and lime wedges. Lightly salt the asparagus. You can add a touch of olive oil if you want.

Breath.