Money Matters: Shrimp Fajita Pasta

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I’ve been feeling as though I’m in a vegetable depression.

Other than asparagus, this time of year is spent waiting for all the best of produce to come into season. And even asparagus, that I love so much…especially grilled, has taken a back seat as the weather temperatures regressed back into into the 40’s and 50’s. Grilling and summer evenings out on the deck were a tease in March.

Mother nature, if I tell you I appreciate you for every beautiful day, will you believe me?

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A CostCo trip did bring about some good veggie scores. While they weren’t grilled, this has got to be the next best thing.

After pizza and wings, Mr. Prevention would probably say fajitas are his favorite meal. When we eat out at a Mexican restaurant he always get them. I give him a hard time for even perusing the menu, because his order never changes. Which he would say isn’t true because he bounces between shrimp fajitas…or chicken fajitas. Livin’ on the edge.

Which, let me make mention now, would go the same for this meal. You can easily swap in chicken, beef, or even pork for the shrimp. Heck, even tofu or tempeh…why not? Shrimp happen to have been on sale lately…hence, all the shrimp recipes. Plus, we love our seafood in this house!

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Without sounding overly confident of my recipe selection skills, I knew we would enjoy this recipe. A lot. Alas, it was absolutely delicious and if you’re looking to put a pretty quick meal into your weeknight dinner rotation…this would be a good one to choose. It’s very similar to the Cajun Chicken Pasta I made back in December, but instead of half and half this recipe uses reduced-fat cream cheese and enchilada sauce to pack in that creamy goodness.

When I was dicing up the peppers and onions I knew that the bulk of the vegetables would drastically reduce the calorie count while increase the nutrition, fiber…and portion size. For right at 400 calories, you can enjoy a heaping plate full of pasta and fajitas veggies…and let me tell you, those are well-spent calories. This is delicious!

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Shrimp Fajita Pasta slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum

13.25 oz box dry whole wheat linguine
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 bell peppers, sliced thinly into strips (I used 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 orange)
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly into strips
2 1/2 Tbsp fajita seasoning, divided
1 1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
10 oz can enchilada sauce
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet or cast iron skillet until rippling. Add the peppers, onions, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the fajita seasoning. Cook 8-10 minutes or until tender and onions are translucent. Add shrimp and remaining 1 tablespoon seasoning. Cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are no longer opaque.

Add enchilada sauce and cream cheese. Toss to incorporate and melt the cream cheese.

Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss. Note: If the skillet is too small, toss pasta with the shrimp mixture, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

Yield: 7 servings (about 1 3/4 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 401 calories; 9.1 g. fat; 140 mg. cholesterol; 618 mg. sodium; 52.9 g. carbohydrate; 7.4 g. fiber; 28.7 g. protein

Result: Must make recipe! That’s right…get on it! Choose your favorite protein if shrimp isn’t it. You can prep your veggies ahead of time to make this a 20-minute meal. Husband-approved…dietitian-loved. This makes a lot of food…perfect for leftovers, entertaining guests, or lots of hungry mouths to feed. With all the protein and fiber, this is one filling meal packed with flavor…and only 400 calories. Enjoy!

Money Matters: Pasta is $1.19 a box. The cream cheese is $1.25 for half a block (4 ounces). The shrimp is the most expensive ingredient at $6.99/lb. The sweet bell peppers can be found fairly easily for $1 each, while the green peppers are more affordable at $0.60 each. Onions are $0.60, a can of enchilada sauce was $1.19, and the fajita seasoning is $0.70. The total cost of the recipe comes to $18.02 and $2.57 per serving.

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 Clinic today…lots to do! Thank goodness this week is going fast and this weekend looks bare of too many commitments! 😀

Be well,

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18 Comments

  1. April 25, 2012 / 6:11 am

    What a great pasta dish! I’ve just started using cream cheese for quick pasta sauces. This is great, totally going to try this. And p.s. thanks for the tip about the flour for the doughnuts. They are on my list of things to make this weekend (hopefully I have time!)

  2. April 25, 2012 / 6:57 am

    This looks great, Nicole! I love enchilada sauce – sometimes I’ll eat it by the spoonful! 😛

  3. April 25, 2012 / 7:25 am

    I love this! Will definitely be making this soon (with chicken) 🙂

  4. April 25, 2012 / 9:13 am

    yum! This looks fantastic. I know it’d be a big hit with my hubby!

  5. April 25, 2012 / 12:21 pm

    YUM! This pasta dish looks fabulous! And a pasta with enchilada sauce..you can’t go wrong! 🙂

  6. April 25, 2012 / 2:38 pm

    I really need to remember to buy some shrimp this weekend. This sounds so good, it’s just my type of meal.

  7. April 25, 2012 / 3:44 pm

    This looks so delicious – your photos are beautiful! This is just my kind of healthy recipe – I love to bulk up my pasta dishes with lots of veggies too – yum! 🙂

  8. April 25, 2012 / 6:04 pm

    This looks so good. I love the creamy sauce, the shrimp, the pasta. Oh and the veggies too 😀

  9. April 25, 2012 / 9:22 pm

    I’ve done a stirfy pasta, but a Mexican pasta sounds awesome.

  10. Nicole Olson
    April 25, 2012 / 11:38 pm

    So, thanks to you making us write a paper on vegetarians, I’ve decided I may try it. I’m going to keep my animal by-products, because us American women cannot live without our cheese, and I think I may keep fish. I know that doesn’t really make me a veggie, but it’s worth a try…and I think this may be my first recipe. Here goes nothin’ !

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      April 26, 2012 / 6:28 am

      I’m glad you liked the article. I knew it was long, but worth the read 🙂 You’ll do great. I love, love, love vegetarian meals! And seafood. I can’t give up seafood 😉

  11. April 28, 2012 / 11:19 am

    This was fantastic – I made this the other night for my family and everyone was raving about it!

  12. Pingback: Pasta Dishes
  13. kmcp
    January 13, 2013 / 7:25 pm

    Made this tonight, and it was delicious. Even my husband, who is not a big shrimp fan, said it awesome. Thanks!

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      January 13, 2013 / 9:57 pm

      Woo! It would be great with chicken, too! Glad it was a hit regardless with the hubby! 🙂

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