File this under, “I’m trying to keep my kitchen clean.” We don’t have a dishwasher, and we eat at home for breakfast and dinner pretty much every day. If you’ve ever eaten paleo, or cooked any meal period, you know meal prep and cooking create tons of dishes. Storage containers, pots, pans, food processors/blenders, and of course utensils and plates. So my conundrum as of late is cooking meals that won’t take too long and won’t leave my kitchen a mess. This morning, I experimented with making eggs in a muffin tin, to which I was asked, “Was there a reason for doing this?” ::Insert tired bitch face here:: Anyway, my strategy lately is entering ingredients into Google and searching for the easiest thing to whip up in the kitchen. “Paleo chorizo and shrimp” sent me to Paleo Table, which took Food Network’s recipe and made it paleo-friendly. As usual, I made a few adaptations based on what was available in my own kitchen.
Recipe yields enough stew for dinner for two (and lunch the next day!)
1/4 cup olive oil (coconut oil can also be used, but I prefer olive oil for savory dishes)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed (I used at least 6 cloves)
1 pound bulk fresh chorizo sausage (emphasis on fresh; go to the butcher counter at the grocery store and ask for chorizo)
I’m interrupting the list of ingredients to insert a note regarding my philosophy on measuring spices. These are merely suggested amounts!!! I definitely did not use specific measurements, rather, honored the ratio. Clearly, you need more paprika than thyme. Thyme is one of those obnoxious spices that can overpower a dish if misused. I also used three bay leaves. Please use discretion, and if you don’t feel comfortable eyeing the amounts, use measuring spoons and follow the suggested amounts listed below.
2 tsp smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (I did not have this in my pantry, but I did have a 14oz can of diced tomatoes, and a 6oz can of tomato paste plus 1 1/2 cups of water to substitute)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (did you know there are a gazillion varieties of sweet potato? I used Japanese yams for my stew—purple skin, white flesh—and found the substitution rather brilliant)
1 bunch kale (1/2-3/4 pounds), stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I’m cheap and only bought 1/2lb and wasn’t lacking shrimp by any means)
[FLAVOR BOOST: Not called for in the recipe from which this was adapted, but I tossed my shrimp with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, Old Bay, cayenne pepper, and parsley and let it marinate while I cooked the rest of the stew]
- Warm olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add chorizo and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until just cooked through (this may require removing the casing).
- Add tomatoes and their juices, breaking the tomatoes up with a large wooden or metal mixing spoon.
- Add paprika, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, and salt. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes just begin to soften.
- Add kale and cook until potatoes and kale are softened, about 10 more minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook until it turns pink, abut 3 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
- Serve in whatever bowls you have available.
One pot + two bowls + a few utensils = clean kitchen (a.k.a. WINNING)