Crockpot Wednesdays: Caribbean Shrimp and Quinoa

Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker

For 2011 and I decided to do something different. Crockpot Wednesdays.

Two years ago my brother bought me an awesome slow cooker. This Hamilton Beach version comes with three different sized stoneware crocks so that you can make small to large dishes. Since I'm a Pampered Chef consultant, I already have a love of stoneware. It distributes heat well and it's easy to clean.

I decided I want to use it more and discover the versatility of slow cookers. So every Wednesday I will post a slow cooker recipe. I picked Wednesdays because it gives me the latter part of the week to choose the recipe and get the ingredients, and then Sun-Tues to get around to making it.

This first recipe is adapted from the Crock-pot cookbook. When I saw it several things struck me. First it called for shrimp. I thought to myself that seafood is not something you associate with slow cookers. After all, overcooking it can make seafood either tough or fall apart. So then I saw that the cooking time was only two hours. Most people associate slow cookers with putting it together in the morning and then letting it cook all day while you're at work. So two hours is not typically what you think of for slow cookers. But it does make sense for seafood.

I also, like my friend Poor Girl, love quinoa. I try to use it in my home instead of rice because it is so much better for you - high in fiber and protein. The original recipe called for rice, but I substituted quinoa.

Caribbean Shrimp and Quinoa

1 lb of shrimp, peeled, thawed

1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 t chili powder
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 c frozen peas
1 medium tomato, diced
3/4 c quinoa

Combine everything but the tomato and peas in slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours.
10 minutes before serving, add peas and tomatoes. Let cook for final 10 minutes.

*Note that cooking times could vary slightly due to differing cookers.