Pretty in Pink Shrimp Risotto

1/2 lb frozen small shrimp, peeled and cleaned
2 c water
2 T lemon juice
3/4 c orzo
3 tomatoes, chopped
3/4 c thawed green peas
3/4 c half-and-half
3/4 c tomato juice
1 T minced garlic
1 T dried parsley
1/2 t salt
1/8 t finely ground black pepper

Place a large colander inside of a large bowl, then place shrimp inside.  Pour water and lemon juice over the shrimp, adding more water if needed to cover the shrimp.  Let thaw about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to break the ice. 

In a 2-quart microwave-safe casserole dish, stir the rest of the ingredients and microwave covered on high power for 15 minutes.  Immediately stir in thawed and drained shrimp and let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving. 

Kid review:  Middle Child, whose goal seems to be to grow up to be someone’s very expensive seafood-loving date, cleaned her bowl, ate what was left over in the casserole, then I think she finished her older sister’s serving.  Okay, so that by default means not all three kids loooooved it, but around here, 33% counts as a passing grade. 

Gluten-free hint:  You can switch out rice for the orzo and it’s just fine.  I’ve yet to use quinoa in a microwave recipe, so do so at your own risk… then let me know how it went. 

Veganizing:  Besides skipping the shrimp entirely or subbing kombu-laced seitan, you can probably make this totally with tomato juice instead of any of the cream, or you can substitute some soy milk or rice milk for the cream.

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About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

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