Shrimp and Quinoa Alla Puttanesca


I’m a BIG believer in being prepared.

Preparation streamlines your activities, increases your chances of success and not to mention the priceless peace of mind that comes with feeling prepared. And we all know that when it comes to sticking with a healthy diet, preparation is key.

But what happens when things get in the way of your weekly meal prep? Or when you find yourself home late, famished and without a clue as to what you’re going to eat?

That’s when you need an emergency meal.

Emergency meals 101

An emergency meal is a meal you feel comfortable preparing in 30 minutes or less using staple ingredients. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be instagrammable. It just needs to be simple, quick, delicious and balanced.

I recommend compiling a list of 3-5 recipes that fit this criteria for you. Think omelet, salad, stir-fry or quinoa bowl. Once that’s done, commit to keeping these core ingredients in your kitchen at all time. This way, the next time you’re stuck,  you have what you need to put together a delicious meal  in the time it would take for delivery to make it to your door.

In today’s episode, I will be preparing one of my own emergency meals: shrimp & quinoa puttanesca. It comes together quickly, using ingredients I always keep on hand like frozen shrimp, quinoa, canned tomatoes. Plus, this recipe packs a TON of flavour.

Shrimp & Quinoa Puttanesca Bowl


For the quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Shrimp puttanesca

  • 1 pound (21-30) shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 5 plum tomatoes, diced or 1 can (389ml) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon caper juice
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 cups baby greens (baby spinach, baby kale, baby arugula)


For the quinoa

  1. In a medium saucepan add the quinoa, water, bay leaf and salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 12-15-minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Remove from the heat, let stand for 5 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork.

For the shrimp

  1. Wash and pat the shrimp very dry. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium and add the garlic, anchovy, chili flakes and saute 1 minute.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add the olives, capers and season to taste.
  5. Lay the shrimp evenly over the sauce and cover with a tight lid and cook 5-7 minutes until the shrimp turn pink, are opaque and cooked through.
  6. Toss in the baby greens and cover another minute until wilted.
  7. Serve with quinoa.

Now it’s your turn:

Share your favourite emergency meal below, along with the core ingredients you will commit to keeping on hand. 

Thanks for sharing your comments below!

3 Responses to Shrimp and Quinoa Alla Puttanesca

  1. This recipe looks great! I definitely want to try it. Having frozen shrimp is a great idea.

    I also love to do breakfast-for-dinner after a long day where I haven’t prepared well – something fast to make that doesn’t feel heavy or create a million dishes, but is delicious and healthy and feels like comfort food. My favourites are:

    2 eggs (scrambled or poached), avocado toast, sliced apple
    Oatmeal with maple syrup, raisins, and sliced almonds
    Toast with almond butter and sliced banana
    Greek yogurt with honey, banana, raisins, and nuts…and a diced up piece of Lint dark coconut chocolate, if I’m feeling dessert-y 😉

    Would love to hear other ideas!

Leave a reply


T | 514-515-2801

E |

© 2017 Motive Nutrition, all rights reserved