Last Friday night I shockingly did not make pizza.  I know, I can hardly believe it myself!  But, we ate out the night before and Hannah and I had pizza, so I figured I needed to balance out my pizza love.  Believe it or not, this is a pantry/fridge/freezer meal.  I found a bag of shrimp in my freezer and thawed them earlier in the day.  These aren’t that big of shrimp, maybe 21-30 count per pound.  But what makes any shrimp better is brining them.  I know, I never thought to brine shrimp either, but I’ve seen it around Pinterest and Instagram.  For every pound of shrimp you have, mix with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.  Toss the shrimp well, and refrigerate 30 minutes before using.

I opted to use my grill pan to grill the shrimp.  No need to towel off the shrimp or rinse them off.   I made this recipe for one person, so multiply accordingly.


This is the garlic spread I used from Jewel.  You could sub in 1 teaspoon of butter with 1 teaspoon of garlic in place of that for the same 1 point value.


this is a photo of shrimp on top of polenta with marinara sauce

Grilled Shrimp and Polenta

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

My daughter declared this "restaurant quality" when she first tasted it. This comes together in minutes and is great as an appetizer or a main dish.


  • 4 ounces shrimp
  • 4 ounces polenta**
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup marinara of choice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 small zucchini, peeled with a veggie peeler
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper


    1. Heat grill or skillet over medium high heat. Cook the shrimp about 2-3 minutes a side, depending on how big they are. Set aside. 
    2. Slice the polenta into 4 slices. Each slice should be about an ounce. Grill or cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until heated through. 
    3. Microwave the marinara sauce. Using a veggie peeler, peel the zucchini. Once the polenta is cooked, cook the zucchini for about a minute. 

Now lets plate! 

Place the zucchini on the bottom of the plate. Top with the polenta rounds, then pour the marinara sauce over the polenta. MIcrowave the garlic and butter. Toss the cooked shrimp in the garlic butter and toss in the crushed red pepper and parsley. Toss to coat. And put the shrimp on top. 


The points are going to vary based on the products used - but the 4 ounces of polenta is 2 points, the marinara is 2 points, and the butter is 2 points. Feel free to add Italian sausage - just don't forget to add the points! ** the polenta I buy is prepared and comes in a round package - almost like breakfast sausage would - you can find it on the Italian aisle of the grocery store. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 265mgSodium: 2069mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 35g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

That whole plate of deliciousness is only 4 points on #teamblue and #teampurple and 5 points on #teamgreen and so delish.  The brined shrimp tastes almost like baby lobster it’s so tender.  Paired with the crispy polenta, rich marinara, you’ll think you are dining in a four star restaurant instead of your back yard.  I’ll definitely make this again.  You never know what you can come up with using what you already have – one night just pretend that you are on Chopped!

One of the projects I was working on in my basement is my desk.  Over the years it just became the “I’ll deal with it later” desk and it was piled high with so much stuff, I literally had no idea what was even on it anymore.  I’ve been slowly going through stuff, making piles of papers to shred (um, I may have had cell phone bills and bank statements from 2007 in some of the piles!).  I do need to have Hannah help me organize the mementos I want to keep, and I also have hundreds, thousands of old pictures that are so out of order it’s not even funny.  Below are just a few of the gems I found.


That church picture is from 1985 – my brother Charlie was already in college, hence why he is not in the picture.   I realized after I did the math that my Mom was 45 and my Dad was 47 in this picture – and my sister and brother and I are all older than that now.  Crazy!


Not kidding, this picture was right behind that church picture.  How do I have a 1985 and a 1972 pic together?!  Um, can I just comment on the sweet pants my sister and I are wearing?  I think my Mom sewed those for us.


Ah, look at how young me and Hannah look!  This was taken in the fall of 1999 – I was about half way to my goal weight and about six months before meeting Tony.  Back then I didn’t have a scanner or anything, but I was able to take that picture (cropped Hannah out!) and take it to Walgreen’s so I could have a digital picture to use as my profile pick on love@aol, which later turned into where Tony found me.  He saw that picture, then we talked on the phone and I dropped the f-bomb and was instantly intrigued between the picture and my voice!


Why?  Just why?  I believe this is 1987 because I am wearing my sisters Delta Gamma sorority shirt. Not kidding I still have the same Aqua Net hairspray bottle that I had back then, and it is nearly 30 years old.  Could we tease our hair or what?!  Gotta love the 80s.


And since it’s graduation time of year, this is my sister and I on graduation day.  My Mom made these dresses. Our high school tradition if for girls to wear white dresses and the boys to wear blue suits with orange ties.  Can’t believe we are going to be having out 30th high school reunion this fall!

filename-1 (23)

But when I came across this, my heart sank.  When Tony and I first met I had already lost nearly 65 pounds.  My favorite cereal was Kashi, but I would always add in 1/4 cup of Lucky Charms to make it feel like I was “cheating.”  He said he’d never heard of it.  A week after we met in real life, he found it in the grocery store, bought me five boxes, but faxed me this note on a copy of the Kashi cereal box. 


We basically moved in a week later, three weeks after we met.  It seems so crazy to me now, but it just seemed so right at the time.  I’ve said it before, but I believe I was put on this earth to help him through the last years of his life.  I was honored to be his wife for 14 years.  I miss him so much.

I am off to the farmers market now – early to bed and early to rise.  I went to bed at 9:30 last night and set my alarm for 4:15 this morning.  I only wake up that early when I have a plane to catch – but I am sure I’ll get used to it.   Wish me luck!

If you love shrimp, check out my other shrimp recipes.