December 18, 2017

Chef on a diet: Caribbean stew with shrimp

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Caribbean stew with shrimp

It’s a cold and rainy day here in New York City.  My diet is hobbling along with no end in sight.  What I really want right now is something special, something not New York, something that reminds me of warmer times.

Just last month I was with my family in St. Croix.  Relaxing on the beach, eating good food and cooking up a storm with the local ingredients.  One night I prepared a coconut curry bisque that was so darn good but oh so fattening.  That one dish summed up my whole culinary adventure in the islands.  The bisque combined vegetables from a nearby farm, coconut milk, heavy cream and veal stock from the market.  Some curry and mango chutney made the dish sing.  My mother in law came back for leftovers the next day.  Couldn’t get a better compliment from Sam Sifton himself.

I want some Caribbean love on a day like today. Something like that coconut bisque but healthier. It also has to meet some standards:

  • Recreate this dish as an entree and do it with fewer calories.
  • It had to be a fast and easy dish.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner.
  • No mess and little prep work. Some newbie home cooks are asking for easy recipes.

Caribbean stew with shrimp(No knives used preparing this dish)

This is a perfect Weight Watchers dish.  Only 2 points per cup!


  • 1 qt vegetable or fish stock.  I use Kitchen Basics brand
  • 12oz package frozen cooked winter squash or similar
  • 1.5 tablespoons curry powder. Not spicy
  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 16oz package frozen bell pepper medley
  • 16oz package frozen cut okra
  • 16 oz frozen or fresh peeled small raw shrimp
  • 16oz coconut water
  • 3pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon papaya or carrot Scotch bonnet hot sauce if desired

Cooking instructions

Bring stock, frozen squash, curry powder and mango chutney to boil then lower heat to medium.  Whisk till smooth.  Stir in coconut water, frozen peppers and okra.  Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer. After 15 minutes add the shrimp, hot sauce and 2 pinch salt.  Cook till shrimp turns pink.  Taste, adjust seasonings and serve over favorite rice in big bowls.


PS: For all you Astoria people out there, go check out Trade Fair on 30th avenue by 31st street.  They have the most amazing selection of Caribbean ingredients.  Plus foods from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, more, more, more.  I use this market for all my creative thinking.  You just never know what you will find next.


  1. colleen says:

    took your idea and tweaked it with what I had in the freezer and it was so, so good. Thanks mucho:)

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