Soft Greens of Spring Are Here Serenity Garden

Emergency Meal

It's been estimated that at 5:30pm any given night, 75% of American women have no idea what they will be making for dinner that night. If you are part of that group, here's a lifesaver emergency meal. Some variation of this is on our dinner table often!

Sautéed Shrimp (or chicken or beef or pork tenderloin)
Sautéed Baby Spinach

As with any emergency, boil water. Put your pasta water on to boil right away, it is the most time consuming part of this meal.

This meal cooks up FAST, so be prepared to multi-task. Cook the Shrimp and Spinach at the same time!

Sauteed Shrimp

16 - 20 shrimp, depending on size

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 cup white wine

Wash and peel the shrimp, leaving tails on (if it wasn't already prepared at the market). Heat olive oil, sauté onions until transparent, add garlic and continue stirring. When garlic browns, add shrimp. Turn and stir until pink. Add paprika to coat and lightly flavor. Shrimp is done when nicely orange. Remove from pan to warm plate or place on top of pasta if done.

Pour in wine into pan, and simmer, stirring bits that have stuck to the pan. Let liquid reduce and pour over the finished shrimp.

Sauteed Spinach

2 bags prepared baby spinach, washed and dried

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 - 3 cloves minced garlic

Heat oil in pan; sauté garlic until brown. Add spinach, 2 or 3 handfuls at a time, adding more as the spinach cooks down. As you add spinach, 'shift' the pan's contents so the sautéed spinach is on top and the uncooked spinach is underneath on the pan. Serve alongside pasta and shrimp.



Substitute boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Add lemon pepper instead of paprika.


Substitute pork tenderloin, sliced into medallions. Add black pepper, freshly ground instead of paprika. Use red wine instead of white for the sauce.


Substitute round steak, sliced on the bias. Add black pepper, freshly ground instead of paprika. Use red wine instead of white for the sauce.


Any green vegetable you have on hand will do. (I always keep frozen spinach on hand. Creamed spinach also cooks up in a flash!)