Jun 17, 2017

Southwestern Quinoa Platter with Shrimp

If you are planning a Father's Day BBQ this is the dish to bring! Quinoa is a very versatile gluten free complete protein rich grain, complete meaning it has all nine essential amino acids with twice as much fiber as most grains. It is hailed as the super grain and interestingly enough I didn't even know what quinoa was up until about six years ago when my Bolivian friend introduced me to it and now I can't get enough of it.  Quinoa is not a staple for Puerto Ricans so it took us some time to even learn the proper pronunciation!  

When I first brought this dish to a family BBQ, there were a lot of questions  The first question was what the hell is this? and where the F&#%@ is the rice???? We take our rice very seriously! Luckily, I had arranged for my aunt to bring the rice so the natives calmed down. I watched to see who would be the first to eat it.  Everyone put a little taste on their plate but it was obvious they were really leery of this new character on the table.  But, by the end of the BBQ it was clear who the winner of this battle was........MY Quinoa Platter!! Unbelievable, but yes the quinoa platter was almost gone and the rice tray was still half full. Now I am tasked to bring this at almost every event! Success! and now we all love the super grain, even my not so healthy eaters!!  

I shouldn't be that surprised considering all the delicious ingredients that go into this dish.  Look at how pretty that looks!  But as I said, Puerto Ricans take their rice very seriously.  So this is a great way to convert your family to a healthy lifestyle, especially our diabetics.  This is a much healthier option then rice.


I don't always use shrimp for this dish.  It's expensive to buy enough shrimp to accommadate the amount of quinoa in this dish.  I usually make just the quinoa if it is a side dish.  However,  this is never my side dish, I add the shrimp when I want to make it a complete meal.  If you are taking this to a family BBQ just omit the shrimp since there will be many other sides to choose from.   

Southwestern Quinoa Platter with Shrimp


  • 4 cups Quinoa
  • 5 1/3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup extra virgen olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced (about 4 tsp)
  • 20 large raw shrimps, peeled, cleaned and deveined
  • 3 limes, (use juice of 1 lime for shrimp)
  • 2.5 tsp sea salt (use .5 for shrimp)
  • .5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large can of black beans
  • 1 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onions, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, loosely packed and chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (or any vinegar)
  • 2 ripe mango's, (about 10 oz)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (2 tbsp)


Quinoa:  Never follow the instructions on the back of the box! It never comes out right! Boil 5 and 1/3 cup of water, add washed and rinsed quinoa, I buy the one already washed.  If you don't buy the pre-washed, make sure you rinse well (and I mean rinse a lot) or your quinoa will be bitter.  when all of the water looks completely evaporated, cover and cook about 20 min on very low heat.  Uncover, flush with a fork and set aside uncovered while you prep the rest.

In a small pan, heat the 1/3 cup of olive oil and add the minced garlic for only 1 minute and set aside to cool

Shrimp: wash, clean and devein raw shrimp (I ask the butcher do this for an extra charge)
squeeze a lime onto the shrimp and add .5 tsp salt and .5 tsp pepper.
set aside

In a large bowl, add all of your ingredients, starting with the juice of 2 limes (the 3rd lime was for the shrimp) sea salt, peppers, cilantro, vinegar, mangos, cumin, oregano, jalapeno and set aside

Heat a cast iron pan (or non-stick) for the shrimp, spray with Pam. Add shrimps, cook in 2 batches,  for about 2-3 minutes on each side. set aside

Assemble: Using a very large aluminum pan, add your quinoa, add your olive oil with garlic,  add your large bowl of marinated veggies and mix well. making sure every grain of quinoa is marinated.

Add your shrimp. you can mix the shrimp in the platter too but I like to top the quinoa with the shrimp

Yields:  Servings: 20, Serving size: 1 cup,  Smart points: 8,  Calories: 257.7,  Total Fat:  6.5g,  Saturated fat: .6g,  Cholesterol: 10.6mg,  Sodium: 305mg, Carbs: 40g,  Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 5g,  Protein: 10.6g  


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