Since my husband and I both have our own businesses, a big family vacation hasn’t been in the picture for many years. We never felt that we could take the time off from work or spend the money during uncertain economic times. But with Daughter #1 off to college (we hope) in two years, we decided it was now or never. So here we are in Amsterdam with two teenage girls and a picky 8-year-old on the first day of a 3 1/2 week European adventure. So far so good!
We are hoping to create some amazing memories, expose the kids to beautiful and interesting places and cultures, and enjoy some quality family bonding time. I purposely didn’t purchase any international phone plans for the girls so that they would focus on our experiences, but somehow they have already figured out how to call and text their friends for free. Oy. Regardless, I decided to let a lot go before we embarked on this trip, especially with regard to food. Sometimes you have to go with the flow and not create any unnecessary stress at a time when you are supposed to be relaxing. So I ate a cheese and tomato pancake in Amsterdam today and didn’t think about the white flour, non-organic butter and cheese I had inhaled. Until now. Just kidding! Totally ok with it.
What I did think about before I left was you dear people and how I still wanted to continue to inspire you with some healthful recipes to cook. I hope you know that I really do walk the talk and prepare dinner for my family at least five nights a week, sometimes six or seven. I especially like to make sure I cook the night before I leave for a trip so that we have a proper meal and a good night’s sleep. So I thought I would share with you what I made for our last dinner at home.
Granted, the night before we left for 3 1/2 weeks was a busy one and Pamela had veeeeery limited time. Shrimp with tomatoes, white beans and spinach was one of the only things I knew how to whip up in about 15 minutes and feel good about. Yes, you see white rice on the plate because my choice was either brown rice and not going out to buy Mr. Picky a rain jacket or white rice and keeping him dry on our trip but losing a little fiber. Mr. Picky always wins and I’m glad since we had a little sprinkle tonight as we walked back to our hotel after dinner.
With some grilled zucchini, this was otherwise the perfect meal. You know by now I could eat tomato-garlic-olive oil on anything and I love seafood. But I will admit right now that Daughter #2 is still boycotting anything that swims and I my husband doesn’t eat shellfish. The beauty of this dish is that you can easily adapt it for vegetarians or non-seafood eaters by eliminating the shrimp since the white beans add lots of good protein. So the two of them just picked out the shellfish. More for me! If you can find good quality wild shrimp, it’s actually a really good source of Vitamin D and iodine, and very low in fat.
I used Eden Organic canned white beans for this recipe and fresh tomatoes. The beans make the sauce nice and creamy so include something in the meal to soak up the juices. Besides rice, I think polenta or millet would be good choices too. You could also sub arugula for the spinach, but Mr. Picky just started eating spinach so I didn’t want to push my luck. Speaking of pushing it, it is now morning and everyone is waiting for me to head over to the Van Gogh Museum. Check out my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook for more European updates!
- 2 Tablespoons unrefined cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 6 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (or canned, drained)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- sea salt
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans or 1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, less than a minute. Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, parsley and a few healthy pinches of salt. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and cook, turning, until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, spinach and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook until everything is heated through and spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Delicious served over rice, millet, polenta or pasta.
[…] shrimp with tomatoes, white beans and spinach (we love this with rice or garlic […]
Is there any substitution for the wine? Can I use Vegetable broth instead?
Yes, you can use vegetable stock mixed with a teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
This is such a wonderful recipe. I have made it so many times and will make it again tonight! Always a hit with everyone! My only problem is that I never make enough!
One of my favorites. At least it’s easy enough you could make another batch very quickly!
Have you ever used anything other than shrimp for this? I keep kosher and can’t eat shrimp or other shellfish
I haven’t, but if you cut fish (like wild cod, for example) into big chunks, you could do it that way
Try boneless chicken thighs, or breast. Very good with either.
Excellent with chicken, lamb or halibut
Can I use frozen shrimp? Trying to cleanout my freezer!
100%!!! Just thaw, rinse and pat dry before using. 🙂
Delicious – as always! You NEVER disappoint
Added zucchini into the dish – super yummy!
That’s nice to hear! Zucchini — great addition!!
What kind of shrimp do you buy no from where? I often find the wild shrimp from Whole Foods to be very heaveynin iodine flavor.
I buy wild shrimp from Whole Foods or Santa Monica Seafood. Do you give the shrimp a good rinse when you bring them home from he market?
Can you make this in advance and serve room temperature ? I am having a 10 people over and don’t like to make in advance. I’m having other entrees as well!!!
I meant I do like to make in advance!!!
I love prepping in advance, too! I would not make this whole dish in advance though since the shrimp won’t do well sitting around at room temp and it will get overcooked. Do everything to the point of adding the shrimp up to an hour in advance and turn off the heat. 10 minutes before you want to serve it, bring the mixture back up to a simmer and add the shrimp, cooking them until they’re done. 🙂
I made this tonight and it was delicious! I served it over pasta. My family loved it!
Thank you for sharing such a great recipe!
My pleasure! So happy it was a success!
Another amazing recipe!! Thanks so much… the whole family loved it. So exciting. 🙂
i get excited too when everyone loves a new dish 🙂
Can this be made in advance and served room temperature? I hate cooking when I have company. Looks delicious!!
Planning on making this this week, if using canned tomatoes, would that be a 15oz can? Thanks for your gorgeous recipe inspiration!
Yes, that would be perfect. Enjoy!
This was delicious! I will definitely be adding this to my frequent recipes, the whole family loved it! Served it over polenta with roasted asparagus and your kale salad with citrus dressing (another all time favorite). Thank you again for such healthy, great tasting recipes!
What a fantastic meal! I agree, perfect for a weeknight family dinner.
I also add lemon juice to mine. Maybe a tsp?
Sounds perfect with shrimp!
This sounds fabulous I will make it for a party I have coming up. I also need a pot luck dish, do you think I could use cooked chicken tenders instead of shrimp, and serve it room temp. I am worried about the shrimp being out for 1 to 2 hours.
Thank you, Ilse
If you’d like to make chicken for your potluck, why don’t you try the grilled lemon herb chicken with the mint drizzle or chicken paillard with tomato and arugula? Or you can make a simple grilled chicken and make the checca sauce from the pasta alla checca recipe?
I recently came across your website. All I gotta say is tons] of quality reading material. Would you be willing to swap links?
Stuck in the house waiting for hurricane to pass us by and decided to treat myself for lunch, and I have to tell you, that was amazing! it was perfect on its own. Besides being delicious it was also visually beautiful.
Cant wait to make this again.
Oh dear! I hope the storm spares you! Cooking before a hurricane sounds like something I would do ;). Thanks for your note — stay safe!
Made this tonight for dinner & it was truly delicious. Served it over basmati brown rice. My husband just found out that he is severely allergic to beef, pork, diary, wheat & corn. He’s been mourning his former diet all week, but this dish made him
Excited about the future… Thank YOU. X
It sounds like it will be an adjustment for you both, but glad you found one recipe that he likes! If you find a recipe on my site with any forbidden ingredients, please don’t hesitate to ask about substitutions. 🙂
This dish was so good, so easy and so well received! Thank you!
You are welcome! Just what I like to hear =)!
Pamela,thank you for inspiring us!!!! So happy you have embarked on the extended family vacation. We are vacating along side of you, in capri with the freedman’s wondering what we will eat and drink next. Loving all this fresh food and especially gorgeous tomatoes, your recipe fits right in. I will try it when we return. Have a fantastic trip. Enjoy!!! Nancy
Southern Italian tomatoes are the BEST in the world! How lucky you are! Enjoy your travels and all that amazing food :)!