Friday, January 1, 2010

Shrink-My-Ass-Month: Garlic-Basil Shrimp

Welcome to the first annual Shrink-My-Ass-Month at TheKitchenWitch! I must admit...usually I avoid the bathroom mirror. In fact, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that when I'm exiting the shower, I scuttle past the bathroom mirror like a cockroach.

I've had two kids, people. That mirror is not my friend. So why, why, why did I look in it yesterday? Without clothes on, in broad daylight, which is seven kinds of suicide?

Because I'm one of those freaks who can't look away from a car crash, either. I'm sick that way.

Let's just say that one look at that sad-sack lump of dough and hail damage...Hoo boy. I went sprinting for my sweatpants.

RIP, the ass of my youth. We had a good run. And I'm sorry that I didn't appreciate you more when I had you.

Now I'm not naive enough to believe that I'll ever get my old ass back. That sucker be gone. Still, it just might be time to lighten up things a little in the kitchen for a month or so. Because while my 20-year-old ass is a thing of the past, I might be able to at least get my 39-year-old one back. Maybe.

Mama, in an act of holiday genius, gave me Ellie Krieger's new cookbook So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week in my stocking this year.

Now seems like the perfect time to try some of these recipes. Because boring rabbit food is suckage. Healthy food can also be delicious, if you put some thought and effort into it.

So hop onto the Lighten Up Boat with me and we'll see what we can crank out. Now if only y'all could go to the gym for me...because I hate that joint.

Garlic Basil Shrimp
from Ellie Krieger's So Easy
serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste*
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups cooked orzo pasta, preferably whole wheat
teensy sprinkle of feta (my addition)

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, the add the shrimp and cook, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Return the shrimp to the pan and cook just until heated through. Serve with the orzo.

*I used 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and added a handful of chopped kalamata olives, as well.

Per serving (1 cup shrimp mixture and 3/4 cup orzo): 380 calories

I thought the addition of olives and a sprinkle of sharp feta cheese added nice depth to this dish. It's delicious and a stunner to look at. You won't feel deprived eating this, I promise you.


  1. I need to print up that picture--QUOTE INCLUDED--and tape it to my fridge! I need to make real resolutions for New Years and tape them to the inside of my eyeballs. I need to get on board with you for a LIGHTER MONTH over here before my ass doesn't even fit into my big-ass pants any longer.

    I, too, am mourning the loss of my 20-year old ass. And just about every other body part. What the hell happened? My GOD!

    And I, too, shrink from the bathroom mirror, the bedroom mirrors, the department store mirrors. All of them.

    A couple of months ago I was looking good. How quickly it changes--after an illness and a return to my sloth-like ways.

    Love ya, Kitch! Happy New Years!

  2. Mmmmm shrimp AND feta? Together? TKW: You need to write you own cookbook. Pronto.

    PS: I'm totally with you on the "wishing I'd appreciated my body when I had one to appreciate."

  3. Amen to Ck's comment and thanks for making me laugh again!!

  4. This looks terrific! I love orzo. And yes, have also been on a shrink my ass mission for about two months now...count me in!

  5. This recipe looks NOM NOM. But, I'll have to put brown rice in mine, being gluten intolerant sucks.:(

  6. That looks amazing.

    I won't go to the gym with you, but I will talk to you on the phone and help make fun of other people while you run the treadmill.

  7. Mmmmm.... will be on my list. I love Ellie Kreiger. Every recipe of hers that I've tried, we've enjoyed.
    The past month sweat pants have been my best friend, I'm not ashamed to admit it. Buddy, don't look in the mirror until after a month of your booty shrinking recipes... it's just not worth it!

  8. Wow, this looks good and almost easy enough for me to attempt. Perhaps I will ask Hubby to attempt it...And my 20-year-old ass? Hmmmpph...don't miss it as much as I miss my 20-year-old stomach!!!

  9. Your garlic basil shrimp looks divine, however, you need to pop over to my post, where you will see you may require an attitude adjustment. Don't wait until you hit the half-century mark to see the light.

    Your ass, I am certain, is perfection.

    Happy new year, TKW.

  10. I think back to my 20's and I can't believe I actually thought I had a terrible figure! I was almost underweight with about 11% body fat. What was wrong with me?

    I LOVE Ellie Krieger!Her recipes are always a hit with my family!

  11. I'll join your shrink-my-ass-month. I'm about to step on the scale and am very scared. I think I'll drink some champagne to get the courage.

  12. You're cracking me up! Well, if it helps at all, I didn't think you were anywhere near 39 yet. In fact, everytime I pop over and see that photo of you holding your baby I am thinking you are so adorable. You remind me of a darling blonde I went to school with named Paige.

    I'm with you on not appreciating my figure when I had it. I used to have a great butt! :D

  13. Two kids = ideal body suicide. I can't wait to try this recipe!

  14. I am so glad you are doing this, but I'll start tomorrow! and replace the shrimp with something else. What a nice picture! I think I can get healthy just looking at it:)

  15. I Will be trying this one out! Yum! Big shrimp fan over here. I'd settle for my 30 year old ass instead of my 20 year old ass since I think at 20 I was drinking far too many brewskies to make it a desirable ass. But at 30 - pre-kids, still going to the gym every day ass... yeah, I'll take that back.

    I'll motivate you if you do me. Promise.

    happy new year!

  16. Sucker be gone indeed! I'm still hopeful that I can regain my youthful ass, but I'm not holding my breath.

  17. I'm afraid there's little hope for my behind; but recipe has potential!

  18. Yeah, I wish I appreciated mine, too, back in the day. Which means I'll probably never appreciate mine, ever.

  19. sooo freakin crack me up. I love your sense of humor. Reminds me of me!!! lol
    If you find your 20's ass hanging out with my 20's metabolism..can you tell them they are grounded and kindly send them home. Thanks

  20. I'd make it without the shrimp. I'm weird and I don't like seafood.

  21. I'm with you. My mirror is not my friend. While I doubt I'll give up my favorite dishes, I'm looking for ways to downsize how much heavy cream and butter I use. As for Ellie-- I can't stand her voice! But, I like her recipes. Good call on the teensy feta. Actually, this recipe looks damn good! Happy New Year!

  22. If you locate my 20 something ass, can you let me know? Because now, I have a 45 something ass and I can really appreciate what I could not appreciate then :-)

    Happy New Year TKW- I love your blog and look forward to all the posts in 2010 that are going to make smile and then laugh.

  23. Just popped over here after reading BLW's post - and it seems like the post-holiday reality is hitting many of us right in the gut...or, as the case may be, the butt.

    What about a New Year's resolution to eat as the French women do? Everything delicious, but in moderation. Oh wait, I forgot that moderation is really, really hard to pull off. I just like the idea of full-fat dairy and full-throttle chocolate!

  24. The 20-year old ass is overrated. Its problem is that it was attached to the 20 year old version of us--a woman who was really not yet worth knowing. She chose creepy men and worried about things like what she was doing on Friday night. The ass we carry around now, smooshy and dimpled though it may be, is attached to a much more interesting woman.

    Revel in it, TKW, and put a dimmer on the bathroom light.

  25. I had no idea that would shrink my ass when I was eating it. . . yummmmm. . .

  26. I have to tell you I love my ass now at 48 more than I did at 20.

    The recipe sounds great but it will have to wait until #5 leaves as he swears he is allergic to shrimp (he just dislikes it intensely).

  27. The way we've been eating around my house is out of control! Yesterday our excuse was being hungover, so today we're actually starting to eat slightly healthy food again. In fact, I just had some fruit with my breakfast!

    I've been catching up on your posts, and since I"m lazy I'm going to leave other comments here :) Your dad's college drinking story was great (and the hair at the end was amazing!). The winter veggie cure looked so good, too... I like eating less meat after gorging myself on food and beer for the last couple weeks, so I might have to try that recipe soon!

    Happy New Year!!

  28. this looks really good. it is shrink your ass time for a lot of us!

  29. Can't wait to try this one- already tried those 3 we talked about-thanks for the book!BTW, everyone-Dana is full of shit-she is a hottie! :) Tink

  30. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who indulged a bit this holiday season. That recipe looks tasty!

  31. Oh my lovely little Witch....I hate to break it to you but at our age, and with your build, eating right isn't going to do much for the ASS. We need to fill out that sagging flesh with the perfect combination of FAT and MUSCLE! (If you pinch, be sure to pinch me where there's FAT!) I love your recipe and love to eat healthy. Except for the cheese and chocolate which I will NEVER GIVE UP so for that reason I have also developed a love for the gym. In your case, I understand, the gym is out. You cuss too much. The housewives wouldn't have it. So I think you should clench your gluts together tightly for 10 seconds every time you drop an f-bomb. You will have a perky little ass in no time!

    Love You!

  32. You are reading my mind! I just met some girlfriends for coffee where we all moaned about weeks of over-indulging in everything and how fat and gross we are at the moment.
    We made a vow that beginning tomorrow we are back on the wagon and more importantly, back in the gym. Then, we all hurried home because we have to drink the last of the wine and eat the last of the good stuff before D Day tomorrow.

    The recipe looks delicious and I will be trying it soon. I'm going to find it VERY hard to make it a teensy bit of feta. I love that stuff.
    BTW, they're called prawns ;)

    Happy New Year friend. Love you, love your blog! You bring a smile to my face every day xxx

  33. Like everyone else- I love this post! I am hearing you loud and clear, I'm joining you on the healthy eating approach. Shrimp and feta delish but if you threw in crisp bacon- heaven!

  34. Count me in for the SMAM Club. I have a physical the end of the month. Think I can drop 25 pounds by then?

    Something to ponder, however...I read an article in the SF Chronicle that a Biblical scholar (Harold Camping) has figured out that the world will end May 21, 2011. I'm trying to decide whether I'd rather go out with a small butt or with no dessert untried.

  35. Yeah, I am right there with ya. I just need to force myself to lighten on thigh shrinkage. Oi. This sounds like a great shrimp dish, though...full of flavor!

  36. This sounds right up my alleyway...yum!

    As for the ass...I haven't even had kids and I'm still somewhat lamenting mine and how it has changed over the last five years...and my tum...but it is my fault...I love my food...:) Oh well...who cares?! One day we'll be dust anyway! xxx

  37. Funny, I was actually reading one of the cookbooks that a nutritionist gave me, hard to do... with my time off work and the general crazyness I have put on a couple too. I will be following the lighter side you are taking.

  38. Love this recipe -- must hie me down to the market to get some shrimp once I've returned to the land of fresh seafood. Down here in the ol' panhandle of Texas, we're a bit landlocked ...

  39. I love that you are doing this! It's just what I need and your first recipe looks awesome. It's on the menu this week!

    PS-RIP to my pre-twins stomach! I'm so with you on this...

  40. TKW, what are the chances that your 20 year old ass and mine are somewhere living it up together? Do you have any openings for Cruise Director on the Lighten Up Boat? If so, I'll send you my resume...and maybe some shrimp and feta.

  41. This looks wonderful. It's too cold right now to eat anything that isn't steaming hot, but when warmer weather comes around would this work well as a chilled salad?

  42. That picture looks good to eat. The one with the shrimp I mean.

  43. I made this tonight and it was a huge hit :) Cous cous instead of orzo, but it was still yummy.