It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Well, here we go! It’s time for our next international adventure. This time we’re heading back to Africa for a culinary visit with Mozambique. Mozambique is in southeast Africa and borders the Indian ocean. Now what I was surprised to learn is that the official language of Mozambique is actually Portuguese; and like the language, the food is infused with Portuguese influence.

For our first recipe, we went with one that had a high chance of success around here – Shrimp Mozambique. Not only did it promise to be simple, but we’re all big shrimp fans. We started today’s recipe by melting some butter in a large skillet and then tossing in some diced shallots.

When I came back from shooting the pics for the shallots, I found Miss A already at work peeling the garlic.

We then minced the garlic, grabbed some cilantro, turmeric, some saffron (which we dropped in some warm water) and a 1/2 cup of water.

We added everything to the skillet and sautéed it for 3 or 4 minutes.

Next we poured in a 1/2 cup of red wine and used the juice from one lemon.

It was then time to peel the shrimp. We had all hands on deck for this part of the recipe.

Mr. N and Miss A, while a little grossed out initially, did a great job. I only found two partial shells in the mix. With our shrimp peeled it was time to pick our hot sauce of choice. This time we went with Cholula.

We tossed the shrimp and a bit of hot sauce into the skillet and cooked it until the shrimp was pink and heated through.

We served our shrimp Mozambique over basmati rice and with a dash of crushed red pepper. The dish smelled amazingly good, but we were a bit turned off by the color.

It ended up a bit more green than we were expecting. The kids were definitely afraid to eat this one. They’re still into avoiding things that are green, and I have to admit I was a bit uneasy about the color too. However, after my first taste, this was actually pretty good. It’s almost like a scampi, but with a spicy twist. It ended up with 3 spoons from me.

Mr. N was next to dig-in and he thought it was pretty good. He said it wouldn’t be his favorite way to eat shrimp, but it wasn’t bad at all. He too came in with 3 spoons.

Mike was a huge fan of this dish. He said he could eat this all the time. It was easily a 4 spoon meal for him and he was thrilled to have leftovers for work the next day.

Miss A was the last to try the shrimp. In fact it took a bit of coaxing. While Mike, Mr. N and I were all eating and chatting Miss A was busy carving into the kitchen table. Yes, that’s right. I looked up and saw her using her fork to carve into the kitchen table. I told her to stop, that we didn’t carve into furniture and that forks were for eating. She said, “But mom, I have to finish my smiley face.” I said no, she had to finish her dinner. She then asked if she could eat her shrimp under the table. Well, we knew where that would go…So once we finally got her to consent to try the shrimp, she actually ended up liking it. She said she gave it sixteen-hundred spoons. LOL. We’re going to say she really gave it 2 spoons though. I doubt she’d want to eat it again, but she did get through some of it that night.

Now I know that carving into furniture is not something that should be condoned, but I have to admit, after dinner I secretly went over to check out her artwork in the hopes that she finished her smiley. I thought, you know someday, I’m going to really love that being in our table. It’s faint, but if you look very closely it’s there. Kind of like how last year Mr. N added some graffiti to his brand new swing set. I wasn’t happy about it at the time, but it’s one of those things that captured a moment in time. Have a great weekend everyone and we’ll see you next week with some more from Mozambique. Tee hee. 😉

Print this recipe: Shrimp Mozambique

65 thoughts on “It Ain’t Easy Being Green

  1. Purely.. Kay says:

    I LOVE the flavors in this shrimp dish. I could eat shrimp all day so this recipe is welcome to my kitchen :). And is Mr. N and Miss A getting slightly bigger by the moment or is it just me? 🙂


  2. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Cherish that table forever Kristy, they are young for a short time and the next thing you know, you’ll blink and they will be off to the university.
    I would have my doubts too if I saw a green shrimp, glad it turned out well in the end


  3. Courtney says:

    I think I’d be more prone to make shrimp if I had some helpers who would actually shell them correctly…. 🙂 And we have a carving or two in our table – though certainly not as artistic as a smiley. 🙂


  4. spicegirlfla says:

    Darn, I don’t have any marked furniture! I’d love to NOW be able to look back and see some little sign of when my kids were little. Cherish that table forever! As for the green shrimp, I bet it tasted really good based on the combination of ingredients and flavors. I’m impressed your kids will try things even with colors not in their liking. That would not have happened with my kids!


  5. Charles says:

    Ah, that’s one massive clump of cilantro… I love that stuff! What fun to visit Mozambique. I had no idea the official language was portuguese either. Shrimps and cilantro – delish, I know I’d love this and I’m looking forward to seeing what new things are in store from Mozambique 🙂


  6. infinebalance says:

    Personally I go back and forth between feeling of “why don’t we have nice furniture” to “thank-goodness we don’t have nice furniture” My daughter is almost 8 and I still find her name all over the house in strange places. Although, now she has moved on to writing her name in cursive. My son, well, he just breaks things.


  7. ceciliag says:

    Aren’t your kids just fantastic. I remember the eating under the table trick! We have an old family table that has the burn marks and paint marks and even a few tiny gouges from generations of use. My son has it now in NZ and now a grown up he can still point proudly to a particular mark and OWN it.. though i am sure i was not pleased at the time!! c


  8. hotlyspiced says:

    I had no idea the official language was Portuguese. Thanks for teaching me something new! That’s a delicious looking meal and I’m sure it had amazing flavours. I don’t mind green food! xx


  9. profiterolesandponytails says:

    I’ve been tempted to leave my youngest daughter under the table in restaurants just so that she won’t make a big fuss — but common sense returned and we got her back in her chair! Now at home is a different story! I’d go with just about anything to keep them eating — especially something green! Great story Kristy!


  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Yup, that surely is green, Kristy, but then again so are salads! Perhaps the white of the rice made it even more green. I would have NEVER thought to ask to eat my meal under the table! Very cute! Sounds like Miss a needs some plasticine to carve; you have an artist there.


  11. says:

    Maybe if you add some tomato sauce the result should be more colorful, and become a feast for the eyes.
    a french cook Chantal


  12. Just A Smidgen says:

    Your story brings to mind my friends house.. her kids (younger then as teenagers) and their friends have all inscribed little saying on her white subway tiles with washable pens (not sure if the grout withstands this coloring, though).. but it’s just such a beautiful expression of their joy.. I loved it! Your daughter’s face is so skeptical when she’s peeling the shrimp and your son’s so ernest!! I think this is a lovely recipe that we’d really enjoy here!!


  13. artbycamila says:

    I just think that what you do with your family is so wonderful! I enjoy your all your posts… I was expecting a photo of the carved smile face lol… keep it up the good work… is worthy!! Be blessed!


  14. Three Well Beings says:

    I like this journey, Kristy. I was struggling a little bit with Greenland 🙂 I also didn’t have any idea that Portuguese was spoken in Mozambique. I would expect that the flavors will be very unique–surprising combinations. This looks great, and I love that the kids peeled the shrimp. I am going to ask my daughter if she’d mind if sometime I post about her childhood phase of carving her name into our furniture! It only happened a few times, but it was such a shock! She was my “compliant” child….but do I have some stories. And you’re right, thirty years later we still talk about them and laugh. I’m so glad to hear how you have already seen that this is the small stuff…and just cherish it as one “odd” moment of experimenting. The getting under the table to hide or dispose of food…now that would have been me! I love hearing about your family. Great stories to go with the recipes! Debra


  15. May says:

    I carved my initials into the side of the attic stairs after watching a Robin Hood cartoon, and my parents were not impressed. Got to admit that when I caught one of my au pairing charges sawing up the table with her knife I followed my parents’ reaction rather than yours – but a smily face is cuter than a load of deep gashes in the wood.


  16. ChgoJohn says:

    Well, yeah, the color was a bit off but there’s a difference serving yourself a plate of green shrimp, one that you yourself prepared, and ordering a shrimp dish in a restaurant and having a green entree place before you. In the first case, you know what went into it; the second, you wonder what the heck went into it. 3 cheers for the Sous Chefs for giving it a try and enjoying it!


  17. Norma Chang says:

    Mr N and Miss A sure are focused on cleaning those shrimp. Glad your dish turned out great.
    All mothers can relate to the art work on your kitchen table and have stories to tell, great memories.


  18. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    The shrimp sounds AND looks great. I would have been surprised by the color too though but glad it all turned out well. My daughter splattered green paint when she was 4 as a christening to our newly rennovated family room. She was talking to me while she was painting and proceeded to talk with her hands as she stopped painting. Next thing we know, there were splats of green paint on our “butter” colored ceiling. We were a little horrified but said nothing. Recently, we had that room painted (it’s been 10 years since then), and I forgot to tell the painters not to paint the ceiling. I might have cried a little bit when I noticed the freshly painted ceilings, green paint free.


  19. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    “It ended up more green than we were expecting. The kids were definitely afraid to eat this one.”

    Everybody on the train is looking at me because I just burst out laughing when I read that line… too funny! I love verde sauces and salsa but I get that it’s not always an easy sell. Sixteen-hundred spoons, eh? Gotta find me some cholula sauce!

    I’m so with you on the engravings that humanize our furniture and remind us of our little ones… they grow up so quickly after all; their markings are a blessing. Have a great weekend Kristy!


  20. Lisa (@LisaNutrition) says:

    What a great looking “green” dish! Wow, I’m impressed that your kids deveinded shrimp and Ms. A peeled garlic! My kids think both are gross! ha, ha, ha. My kids love the smell of basmati rice, they say it smellsl like popcorn! 🙂


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