Striving for a heart healthy diet doesn’t mean food is bland or boring. This delicious dish is perfect for a dinner party or impressing a date while keeping you on the right path, as far as your heart goes. Although shrimp, once considered taboo, is higher in cholesterol than fish, it is now considered safe for a heart healthy diet.
It’s usually the way shrimp is prepared that makes it bad choice but we are poaching it, so it get’s a big thumbs up. Olive oil, low fat (or no fat) labneh, pistachios are all great as far as keeping your ticker healthy, arteries clear and help to lower that LDL (the bad cholesterol). Using lots of bold spices, citrus and fresh herbs keeps your taste buds buzzing.
Moroccan Shrimp with Roasted Carrots and Labneh
You will need:
Ras al Hanout carrots
approx 3/4 cup low fat labneh or *strained greek yogurt
1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped pistachios
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled but leave the tails on
pinch kosher salt
Heat a small pot with lightly salted water. Poach the shrimp JUST until they turn opaque, then remove and rinse under cold running water and set aside.
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch italian parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch mint, chopped (keep a few leaves back to garnish the finished dish)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
hot chili to taste (I used about a 1/2″ piece of the hot orange chili I had in the fridge)
1 1/2 small preserved lemon, seed removed, chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of two lemons
1 tbls ground cumin
1 tbls ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
pinch kosher salt
Put everything in a food processor and buzz until you have a mildly chunky paste, like pesto – don’t totally puree.
Put 3/4 of the chermoula in a glass jar or non reactive bowl, add the cooked, cooked shrimp, to the 3/4 batch of chermoula and mix well. Put this in the fridge for at least 8 hours although it’s fine to leave it overnight as well.
*If you can’t find low fat labneh, you can strain low fat greek yogurt to thicken it up and turn it into labneh. line a strainer with cheesecloth (or use a coffee filter), put about 1.5 cups of 0% or 2% greek yogurt in there, set it over a bowl and let it drain while your shrimp are marinating in the chermoula. When it’s time to plate, discard the liquid that has drained off into the bowl and you will be left with super thick yogurt that you can use like labneh.
Ras al Hanout Roasted Carrots:
1kg (2 lbs) multi colour carrots, halved horizontally and then again vertically
2 tbls of olive oil
1 tbls ras al hanout
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 450F and move a rack to the bottom third part of the oven.
Toss the carrots in the oil, ras al hanout and salt and lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for about 25-35 minutes (after 25 minutes keep an eye on them), until they are starting to brown and are tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
To serve, let the labneh, carrots and chermoula come to room temperature so that only the shrimp are cold.
Spoon a few tbls labneh on the bottom of a plate, drizzle with olive oil and a tiny pinch of maldon salt. Top with a nest of roasted carrots and then arrange three jumbo shrimp on top of the carrots. Spoon a bit of reserved chermoula over the top of the shrimp and finish with about a tbls of chopped, toasted pistachios and a sprig of mint.