My wife Jan has started on the Noom program, and I am adapting recipes to fit the new restrictions. While there is nothing really restricted on this diet, some foods are better than others—you are meant to fill up on “green foods” with some limited “yellow foods” to keep you happy and satisfied. Finally, there are “red foods”—foods like white flour and sugar that are to be severely limited in this diet. She requested orzo shrimp for dinner and I adapted the recipe to be more Noom friendly. The real goal of Noom is to reduce the amount of “red foods”—like butter and to include more “green foods” like vegetables.
Note: One of the peculiarities of the Noom program is that it is entirely phone-app based. This means that you may only view their recipes on your phone. Since my wife has paid their fees, she has the app and I do not. As a result, I cannot just look up their recipes online—unless someone has posted it and I have found myself on some very problematic sites when I have clicked on supposed Noom recipes.
Karl’s Lemon Orzo Florentine with Pan Seared Garlic Shrimp
14.5 low sodium chicken broth, separate uses
1 Tbs. Better than Bouillon, Roasted Chicken Base, low sodium
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chervil
½ tsp. thyme
1 cup orzo
1 lb. large shrimp
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbs. European butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
6 oz. baby spinach
1 lemon, juiced
1. Put the chicken broth, bouillon paste, oregano, chervil, and thyme into a small pot and bring it to a boil.
Tip: Save back about 2 tablespoons of the broth to steam the spinach later.
2. Stir in the orzo, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot.
3. Simmer the pasta until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
4. Remove the pot from the heat to finish steaming.
5. Peel the shrimp and lay them out in a tight pattern on a paper towel covered plate.
Tip: Lay each shrimp so that they are nested together, so that when you sprinkle on the seasonings they end up on the shrimp, rather than between them.
6. Pat the shrimp dry with a second paper towel.
7. Sprinkle half of the salt and pepper over the shrimp.
8. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan, over a medium high heat.
9. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
10. Invert the plate of shrimp over the pan.
Tip: The shrimp should land in the pan in a tight group.
Note: Remove the paper towel if it has remained stuck the shrimp.
11. Sprinkle rest of the salt and pepper over the shrimp.
12. Sear the shrimp for 2-3 minutes and then flip them to the second side.
13. Sear the second side for another 2-3 minutes.
14. Remove the shrimp to the plate and set them aside.
15. Without cleaning the pan, add the onions and celery to the pan.
Tip: Deglaze the pan, if necessary, with a splash of water.
16. Sauté the vegetables for 3-4 minutes and then add the spinach.
17. Add the remaining chicken broth and cover the sauté pan.
Tip: If you forgot to reserve the broth, use water or a splash of wine.
18. After the spinach has wilted, about two minutes, add the orzo to the vegetables.
19. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the orzo and return the shrimp to the pan.
20. Fold the ingredients together and cook until the shrimp have just re-warmed.
Tip: Do not continue cooking the shrimp too long or they will turn rubbery.
21. Serve warm.