Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mediterranean Shrimp over Spinach (Low-Carb, Paleo)

Mediterranean Shrimp over Spinach
This Mediterranean Shrimp over Spinach is easy, quick, and delicious!

Shrimp is such a delicious and diet-friendly food that every so often I splurge on a big bag of frozen shrimp from Costco, and then I have fun deciding what to make with it.  Last week when I was cooking with Jake we started out with a different recipe in mind, and halfway through we took a complete detour and ended up with this Mediterranean Shrimp over Spinach.  Both of us loved this dish that's low-carb and gluten-free and if you use stock instead of the shrimp bouillon, it can even be Paleo!

They're a splurge, but if the budget can handle it, I highly recommend these wild caught shrimp from Costco.  They come in the shell, which I think gives them more flavor than the shelled frozen raw shrimp.  Whichever type you pick, thaw overnight in the fridge for best results.  (This recipe uses half the bag; I kept the other half frozen for another time.)

While you're shelling the shrimp, pour a can of petite-dice tomatoes into a colander and let most of the juice drain away.  (You can catch that tomato liquid and freeze it.)

These were 16-20 size shrimp, which means it only takes 16-20 shrimp to make a pound.  I cut each one into 3 or 4 pieces.  Slightly smaller shrimp will also be fine.

To make sure this had plenty of shrimp flavor I dissolved one cube of Knorr Shrimp Bouillonin 1/2 cup hot water.  If you don't have any shrimp bouillon, use 1 cup chicken or fish stock, simmered to reduce to 1/2 cup.

Heat the olive oil and saute the diced green pepper and onion about 3-4 minutes; then add the garlic and Italian Herb Blend and cook a couple minutes more.

Add the drained tomatoes and water with shrimp bouillon or reduced stock, and simmer about 10 minutes on low, just until the flavors are a little more concentrated.

While the mixture simmers, heat the other tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and add the spinach all at once.

Cook over high heat, turning over and over with a large turner, just until the spinach wilts.  This won't take more than 1-2 minutes.

After the tomato-pepper mixture has simmered about 10 minutes, stir in the shrimp and capers and cook just until the shrimp are pink, not more than 3-4 minutes.  Divide the spinach into 4 bowls and put 1/4 of the shrimp mixture over each.  Serve hot.

Mediterranean Shrimp over Spinach
(Makes 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and Jake when they were experimenting in the kitchen!)

1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes, drained
1 T + 1 T olive oil (or slightly less for non-stick pan)
1 large green bell pepper, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 large onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend (I like this one from The Spice House.)
1/2 cup water with one cube Knorr Shrimp Bouillon  (Use 1 cup chicken or fish stock reduced to 1/2 cup if you don't have shrimp bouillon.)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp, thawed and shelled and deveined if needed (I used 16-20 size shrimp, but a smaller size would also be fine.)
2 T capers (or less if you're not a big fan of capers.)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
24 oz. spinach leaves

Thaw shrimp overnight in the fridge (or you can thaw in the plastic bag in cool water in a pinch.)  Peel away shells and remove the vein that runs along the back if needed (most shrimp comes deveined now, even when they're in the shell.)  Drain the tomatoes into a colander placed in the sink and let most of the juice drain off.  Chop green pepper and onion, and get the garlic, Italian Herb Blend, and capers ready.  Dissolve the shrimp bouillon cube in hot water (in the microwave if needed), or if using chicken or fish stock, measure 1 cup and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan, add the green bell pepper and onion and saute over medium-high heat until it's starting to slightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and Italian Herb Blend and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Add the drained tomatoes and 1/2 cup shrimp bouillon mixture (or reduced stock) and simmer over low heat until the flavors concentrate a little, about 10 minutes.  While this simmers, wash the spinach in a salad spinner if needed. Heat the second tablespoon of oil in another large frying pan, add the spinach all at once, and use a large turner to turn over and over until the spinach is wilted.  This won't take more than 1-2 minutes.  (Do it towards the end of the 10 minutes cooking time for the pepper mixture so the spinach will stay hot.)

After the mixture has cooked about 10 minutes, add the shrimp and capers and cook just until the shrimp is pink and firm, only about 3-4 minutes.  (Don't overcook!)  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.  Divide the wilted spinach into four bowls and top each with 1/4 of the shrimp mixture.  Serve hot.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this recipe is a low-glycemic ingredient and this would be a perfect main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  For Phase 2 or 3 this would be good with something like Pesto Lemon Rice.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Delicious Ideas with Shrimp:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Easy Garlic and Lemon Shrimp ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Brazilian Shrimp Stew ~ I Breathe I'm Hungry
Quick and Easy Spicy Broiled Shrimp ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Sriracha Hot Sauce Shrimp Cocktail ~ White on Rice Couple
Spicy Roasted Green Beans (or Broccoli) and Shrimp ~ Kalyn's Kitchen  
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
counter customizable free hit
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. How about boiling up the shrimp shells for a few minutes in water to make a light shrimp stock? I think that would work if you don't have bouillon.

  2. Lydia, we actually tried that with the shells from this shrimp, but it had a horrible bitter taste. So maybe with fresh shrimp, but I wouldn't do it again.

  3. If you can find them, please buy shrimp caught in the Gulf Coast from American shrimpers. Louisiana and Mississipi shrimpers catch the best! Help keep our seafood industry alive, please.

  4. Ann, I can truly appreciate the sentiment behind that. Unfortunately most people have to buy what's available in their store, and price is also a factor.

  5. My boys love shrimp so it is a luxury when I serve it. Love all the flavors in this recipe Kalyn.

  6. Thanks Jeanette. These giant ones are a splurge, but worth it!

  7. It's so hard to find wild-caught shrimp here. But when I do, I buy a large quantity. This would be a good idea for me as I make my way into SBD1 this month.

  8. Mimi, same here but I was happy to see these at Costco, even if they were from Mexico!

  9. Made this for dinner tonight and it was truly delicious!! Used Gulf Coast shrimp from Texas, Ann. I used to do South Beach but have had better success doing Whole30 (which is a strict form of Paleo) so I used coconut oil instead of olive oil. Thanks for the great recipe.

  10. Ruthie, so glad you liked it. And I think coconut oil would taste great in this.

  11. I just made this tonight. Followed the instructions exactly. It was excellent! I loved the capers. It really mellowed the whole thing. Thanks!!

  12. Thanks Lori, really glad you enjoyed it!


Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

Comments don't appear on the blog until they're approved by me, so no need to try again if you don't see it when you post the comment! Please make your signature a link to your site if you're a blogger, but other links posted within the body of the comment will never be published.

Blogging tips