The summer heat has been relentless and many of the gentler, more tender crops have dried up. We've also had a drenching rain that caused flooding over the July 4th holiday. In Houston, there's been some PTSD as last year's Hurricane Harvey left us damaged and bruised. The wounds have not yet healed and many people still have not been able to rebuild their lives. It's a tough time for farmers, so it's even more important to support them. Whatever is available at their stands will be what I will cook with. As I live close to the Gulf of Mexico, I'm fortunate to have Lil Emma's Seafood bringing fresh shrimp that were swimming just a few hours earlier right to my farmers' market. With a few potatoes, green beans and a little help from the pantry, a quick, easy and nutritious dish came together.
Using mustard seeds and mustard oil give the shrimp a lovely warm flavor without too much sharpness. Along with the turmeric, mustard is an anti-inflammatory agent in Ayurvedic teachings. I like the flavor of green chilies, but feel free to leave them out or use ground cayenne.
Shrimp are high in cholesterol, but are an excellent source of protein, magnesium and some calcium. Potatoes are rich in Vitamins C, B6, magnesium, iron and fiber. Green beans are rich in Vitamins A, C, B6, folic acid, and the minerals calcium, iron and copper. The fresher the vegetables, the more nutrition they contain as many vitamins, especially Vitamin C, degrade rapidly with storage.
Today, I made basmati rice and Indian style lentils/daal with zucchini and tomatoes (in plentiful supply right now) to go along with the shrimp. As always, the vegetable component of the meal is the largest, with the meat, in this case shrimp, playing a special guest starring role, in small quantities. You can also serve this with bread, or just a fork.
If you don't have fresh shrimp on hand, frozen will be fine. Thaw them slowly in a few changes of cool water.
RECIPE: Shrimp with Green Beans, Potatoes and Mustard Seed
- 1 pound shrimp (cleaned and deveined)
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups potatoes, 1/4 inch dice
- 2 cups chopped green beans, 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds
- 1-2 green chilies, split halfway (Serrano, jalapeño) or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
- Juice of 1/2 small lemon, about 1 Tablespoon
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard oil
- Heat mustard seeds and chilies (if using) in oil until the seeds start to pop.
- Add potatoes, chilies and spices. Sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook for 5 minutes until the potatoes are just tender, but not soft.
- Add the green beans, sautéed for 1-2 minutes and food covered for about another 2 minutes. They should remain undercooked as they will cook further with the shrimp.
- Add the shrimp, and sautéed until cooked through. The time will depend on the size of your shrimp.
- Drizzle the mustard oil over and toss.