So… guess what. We’re still eating seafood — though in the past few weeks, I’ve narrowed it down even more. More on that in a few.

The past few weeks have been an interesting hodgepodge of doctor visits, meal prepping struggles, and still not quite feeling like myself. After still feeling fatigued 8 months post-partum, I began searching for answers: first by tackling my diet (introducing seafood after being vegan for over a decade), and then finally visiting my primary care physician.

The initial bloodwork came back with normal results, but two areas warranted a closer look: my borderline low vitamin D levels, and my borderline high TSH levels (aka underactive thyroid). Before we take a dive into prescribing any medications that I may or may not need, my doctor and I have decided to first tackle the vitamin D conundrum and see if that helps.

In the meantime, I’ve been less-than-thrilled with my seafood consumption. A part of me feels guilty having given up veganism for a dietary switch that isn’t quite doing the trick. But our house is still overflowing with seafood — salmon and cod portions, catfish, mussels, etc. — and none of it is appetizing to me anymore.

(Like, literally. Last week, I fed our dogs my cod and catfish portions because I just couldn’t deal.)

Shrimp does seem to be the exception. Physically, I can stomach it… and the thought of cooking or ingesting it doesn’t send me running for the hills. I’m still getting a ton of protein and other key nutrients — like selenium, vitamin B12, and choline — which is a major perk.

So, while I’m in limbo waiting to see if my vitamin D prescription (a whopping 50,000 IU weekly!) works, shrimp it is.

This weekend, I was craving something a little “lighter” to munch on. I’ve been struggling to get my daily intake of fruits and vegetables lately — not sure why — and I can tell my body is really starting to pay for that. Like, seriously, I’m just craving broccoli and tomatoes and strawberries ALL THE TIME.

I saw the bag of frozen wild-caught shrimp in our freezer and instantly thought: pasta primavera. It’s gonna happen. And our family is gonna love it.

Spoiler alert: our kids never got a chance to give this a try. My partner and I killed it within 24 hours. Didn’t stand a chance.

When I asked my partner what he thought of this dish, do you know what he said? “Top 5 all-time favorite.” And that says a lot, considering I’ve cooked hundreds of meals for this man and he’s happily eaten everything.

And it just goes to show that simple + healthy doesn’t mean boring and flavorless. If you’re still feeling like you need an extra “zing” to make your pasta pop, consider adding some chopped basil or fresh lemon juice to the mix.

Shrimp Pasta Primavera

Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. medium frozen shrimp (unshelled, tails off)
  • 8 oz. rotini pasta (I used Banza chickpea pasta)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets
  • 8 oz. frozen green beans (half of a 1 lb. bag)
  • 2-3 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1-2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1-2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • Chopped basil, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain, then set aside.
  2. In a large pot, add your vegan butter with the frozen broccoli,  green beans, and garlic. Turn to medium heat and cook for 6-7 minutes.
  3. Once broccoli and green beans are no longer frozen (but still cold), add your peas and shrimp. Let simmer for another 6-7 minutes.
  4. Finally, add your halved cherry tomatoes. Let simmer for another 6-7 minutes.
  5. Cook shrimp and vegetable medley until no longer cold. Stir in pasta to incorporate flavors. Add salt and lemon zest.
  6. Serve with chopped basil or lemon wedges. Enjoy!