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A speedy summer meal that doesn’t rely on takeout

SHARE A speedy summer meal that doesn’t rely on takeout

Beautiful spring weather and longer days often mean a good, home-cooked supper falls by the wayside. Who wants to be standing around in the kitchen, right?

But don't give in to the temptation of greasy takeout or frozen dinners. There are plenty of shortcuts that can help you get a healthy meal on the table in a surprisingly short amount of time.

This rice and noodle pilaf with edamame and grilled shrimp, for example, is a one-pot meal that can be on the table in around 35 minutes — less time than it usually takes to get a pizza delivered.

The secret to the ease of this tasty meal starts at the market. The starch portion of the dish consists of quick-cooking fine egg noodles combined with instant brown rice, which has all the nutrition of its conventional cousin, but cooks in about a quarter of the time.

To build layers of great flavor, the rice and noodles are browned with sauteed red onion and smoky Canadian bacon, then simmered in dry white wine and chicken broth. Vegetables come in the form of protein-rich edamame. But if you prefer, you could use frozen baby lima beans or even black-eyed peas.

While the pilaf is simmering, throw some lemony, flash-marinated shrimp on the grill. If you don't want to bother lighting the grill you can cook the shrimp in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until they are opaque, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Grilled scallops or chicken would work, too.


Start to finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 small red onion, chopped

2 ounces finely chopped Canadian bacon (about 1/3 cup)

3/4 cup fine egg noodles, broken up

3/4 cup instant brown rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup frozen shelled edamame

1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

Salt and ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more to garnish

Light a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill to high.

In a bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and the lemon juice. Add the shrimp, toss to coat, then set aside.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and bacon and saute until the onion becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the noodles and rice and cook, stirring often, until the noodles begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the edamame and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, thread the shrimp onto 4 bamboo or metal skewers. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill, until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Remove the pilaf from the heat and let stand, covered, for 3 minutes. Stir in the dill and season with pepper. Serve the pilaf topped with shrimp on or off the skewers. Garnish with additional dill, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 380 calories; 121 calories from fat (32 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 179 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 3 g fiber; 510 mg sodium.