Tag Archives: shrimp

Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl

My favorite food trend right now? The rice bowl. They’ve been around forever, of course. I imagine the entire Asian community is laughing at our “new” obsession with putting things on a bowl of rice and calling it dinner. That being said, one of my favorite things about them is the variety you can bring to it. Want to go Mexican, Thai, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, Italian? Sure, why not. Throw together a few ingredients and spices from the area of the world you have in mind, and throw it on a bowl of rice (or whatever grain happens to float your boat), and you are all set. These find their way on to my menu at least once a week.

While there are usually a few different components, they are quick to throw together and perfect for “build your own” dinners that will please everyone at the table. It’s easy to vary the greens, protein or veggies according to your personal tastes and whatever happens to be in your refrigerator and always fun to experiment with different flavor combos. With this one the only spicy element is the sauce, so add more or less depending on how spicy you like it. Also, you can add more of the gochujang (a spicy Korean pepper paste) into the sauce to make it more spicy as well.

One of my favorite new ingredients with which I’ve been experimenting is finishing salt. I have at least six flavors of infused sea salt from Lords of Salt (check them out at lordsofsalt.com) and I am having so much fun with them! The black garlic flavor was perfect for this, adding a nice depth of flavor to the greens and shrimp and the perfect finishing touch on top.

Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl. When in doubt put an egg on it!

Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl. Yeah, I hid some sautéed greens under there somewhere too. When in doubt put an egg on it! 

Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl
(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 cup dry Batsmati or brown Rice
1/2 pound shrimp
1 bunch chard (or spinach or kale or other green you like), cut into ribbons
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1-2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 green onion, sliced
2-3 eggs (1 per serving)
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp. gochujang (find at Asian markets, or sometimes in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 small clove garlic
Finishing salt (I used Lords of Salt black garlic salt, but any coarse sea salt will work fine)

Cook rice according to package directions. Heat large skillet over medium heat. If using chard, add stems first and let cook for a couple minutes in a bit of olive oil. Then add 1 clove minced garlic, sliced mushrooms, green ribbons and a pinch of sea salt. Sauté 4-5 minutes until greens are tender. (If using spinach, this only takes a couple of minutes).

Remove greens to a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil to pan and then add shrimp. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes until shrimp is no longer pink. Remove to a small bowl.

Build bowls with a big scoop of rice, topped with greens, shrimp, and raw veggies. I usually put each thing in its own little section to make it pretty, but hey, a pile works too.

In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, 1 small clove garlic (smashed into a paste), sesame oil, and gochujang. Stir well until ingredients are blended into a thick sauce.

Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Break eggs into pan and turn down to medium low. Cook slowly until white are done for a perfectly yolky sunny side up egg. Slide egg on top of bowls and sprinkle with a bit of finishing salt and green onion.

Serves 2-3

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Paella

I think people are reluctant to cook food they can’t pronounce.  It makes it seem foreign, weird, intimidating maybe.  But this one isn’t too bad.  One word.  Three syllables.  PA-AY-YA.  Now you can cook it!

Paella is a Spanish rice dish, and one of my favorite one-pot meals.  I’ve had paella with seafood, with chicken, with sausage, with vegetables, or with a combo of all of the above.  There are many different versions.  I like recipes like this where you can put your own little spin on it.  Many years ago I found a recipe for paella on the back of a Minute Rice box.  It was so easy even I, who couldn’t cook much back then, pulled it off without a hitch.  This recipe has evolved quite a bit over the years from the back of that box, but I would still consider it a very simple, somewhat Americanized version of this classic dish.  I love how easy it is:  a quick saute, dump stuff in the pot, and let it cook.  And it smells so amazing!  If you haven’t ever cooked with saffron, here’s your chance.

Paella

Paella

2 tbsp. butter
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups chicken broth
1 can stewed tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 1/2 cup long grain rice
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. saffron threads

Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté shrimp and garlic in butter 1-2 minutes until mostly cooked.  Toss with cornstarch.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes with juice, pepperoni, peas, onions and cayenne to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add rice and saffron.  Turn down the heat to medium low and cover.  Cook around 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.  Do not stir!  Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn but don’t mess with it.  You want to cook it until it starts to brown on the bottom, forming just a bit of a crunchy crust. Makes 4 servings.

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Jambalaya Night

A friend asked me recently if I knew how to make jambalaya and I honestly couldn’t even remember.  I’ve EATEN jambalaya.  Does that count?  I seem to recall making it many years ago, but if it’s been that long, obviously it was high time to make it again.

Searching for recipes for this little project, I realized something:  there are about a million variations of jambalaya.  I chose one that was fairly basic for the test drive.  This particular variation has a lot of tomato, which I personally liked.  The Creole spices (which appear to be a mixture mostly of pepper and garlic) give the dish a real kick and the combination of ingredients lead to a wonderful smelling house!

Luckily this recipe also serves 6-8 people, so invite a few friends and have a jambalaya night!

Jambalaya with a side of fresh green beans.

Jambalaya

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 green onions, chopped

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add sausage and cook, stirring, 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove sausage with a slotted spoon; set aside.  Add onion, pepper, celery, garlic and seasonings.  Saute 5 minutes or so until veggies are tender.

Veggies and seasonings. Smells so good, but don’t breathe too deep right over the pan, those peppers will get you!

Stir in reserved sausage, tomatoes, broth and rice.

This is what it looks like before the rice sucks up all the liquid. Looks pretty good to me! Is there a jambalaya soup experiment in my future? I think so!

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Stir in shrimp, cover and cook 5 minutes or until done.  Sprinkle each serving with green onions.

**If you are making this for a group that includes vegetarians (which I was), you can saute the meat first and set it aside to serve on top of the rice dish, rather than cooking it with it.  I sauteed the sausage and then added the shrimp for a few minutes at the end and sprinkled it all with a bit of Creole seasoning for some extra flavor.  Vegetable broth can also be substituted for the chicken broth.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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Easy Roasted Shrimp & Green Beans

Green beans are my favorite vegetable.  Fun to eat, crunchy and good.  This time of year, farmer’s market has them by the bucket so I picked some up last time I went. Roasting is my preferred method to cook just about any vegetable, and the only thing easier is to go ahead and throw the other ingredients for dinner on the pan with it.

This dish has all the yumminess of shrimp scampi (without the gobs of butter) plus the crunchiness of the roasted green beans.  Serve with some simple couscous for an easy, delicious dinner that’s actually good for you.  If you don’t like mushrooms, leave them out.  Same goes with the crushed red pepper. This is one that is very easy to adapt to your own tastes.

Easy Roasted Shrimp & Green Beans

Easy Roasted Shrimp & Green Beans

1 pound of fresh green beans
1 pound peeled shrimp
A handful of small mushrooms, if you like them
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (add more or less to adjust spiciness to your taste)
2 lemons
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400˚. Line large baking sheet with foil or parchment (this is mostly for easy clean up, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to).  Combine shrimp, green beans, garlic, crushed red pepper and zest from both lemons.  Spread out in pan.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Squeeze juice of one lemon over the top.  Drizzle the whole thing with a bit of olive oil (you don’t need much).  Bake for 20 minutes until green beans are tender but still have a bite and shrimp are cooked through.  Cut the other lemon into wedges for garnish and to squeeze over the top of both the shrimp and couscous if desired.  Serves 4.

Fresh out of the oven. Yum!

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Shrimp & Roasted Asparagus Salad with Apple Cumin Vinaigrette

This Saturday was the grand opening of the summer farmer’s market in the mighty metropolis of Oregon City, Oregon.  My mom and I met there to explore, taste and buy goodies and I left with my shopping bag stuffed full.  Check out this haul!

What to eat first? I bought fresh asparagus, spring onions, broccoli raab, 6 kinds of lettuce to plant, apple jalapeno vinegar, pickled green beans, homemade frankfurters, two kinds of goat cheese, and fresh baby shrimp!

For my first dinner with my tasty bounty, I put together a big salad, using the shrimp and asparagus (plus some other tidbits I had on hand already), and made a wonderful vinaigrette with my apple jalapeno vinegar.  I got the recipe with my purchase and can I just say…yum!  You could easily substitute apple cider vinegar if you’d like.

Shrimp and Roasted Asparagus Salad with Apple-Cumin Vinaigrette

Shrimp & Roasted Asparagus Salad

Baby Spinach (about 1 cup per serving)
Salad shrimp (1/2-3/4 cup per serving)
Asparagus
Tomato wedges
Croutons
Hard-boiled eggs
Apple-cumin vinaigrette (see below for recipe)

Preheat oven to 400˚.  Spread out asparagus on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Roast for 8-10 minutes until tender.  Build your salad starting with a bed of spinach.  Add shrimp, asparagus, tomato, egg and croutons.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and dive in.

Apple-Cumin Vinaigrette

Apple-Cumin Vinaigrette
(from Blossom Vinegars)

1/3 cup apple jalapeno vinegar (you can substitute apple cider vinegar)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnut oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of dried herbes de provence
Salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Using a wire whisk, combine ingredients until they are well blended and begin to emulsify.  Use at once.  Leftovers will keep in the fridge for several weeks, but it probably won’t last that long!
 

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Fire Pot Soup

Tofu is one of those things I have been trying to enjoy more.  It’s a great source of plant-based protein, and since we are eating a lot less meat these days, it just seems like a good idea to expand our horizons.  I started out really hating it.  But, being a little stubborn about things like this, I’ve continued trying.  After cooking and eating it many different ways, believe it or not, I have come up with a few ways I actually like it.  In my opinion, the key to enjoying tofu is to not think of it as a substitute for meat.  It’s not.  There is no way I have ever eaten it where it reminded me even a little bit of meat.  Trying to pull this off is futile, and in many cases, really disgusting, not to mention disappointing.  Accept tofu for what it is, a food unto itself, and enjoy the unique qualities it has to offer.

One of those unique qualities is that rather than having much of a taste of its own, it tends to take on the flavors of whatever you cook with it.  This is one of the qualities that makes it terrific in soup.  It adds a little texture (I like the extra firm tofu that actually holds its shape), and soaks up all the flavors in the pot.

For this soup, you don’t have to use tofu if you’re dead set against it.  Make it with just shrimp, or just tofu, or neither, or both.  It would also be excellent with chicken.  And though the name might lead you to expect something excessively spicy, I found it to be rather mild.  You can make it more or less spicy by adding or subtracting chile peppers (or chopping them up instead of just stabbing them), and/or adding or subtracting curry paste, which does have a kick.  This is the recipe I used, and I would rate it a medium on the spicy scale – enough to make my nose run, but not to make my eyes water.

Fire Pot Soup

Fire Pot Soup
(adapted from Eat, Live, Run)

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
8 oz. extra firm tofu, cute into small cubes
3 tbsp. thai red curry paste
Canola oil
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn (thai basil is preferred, but regular basil works fine too)
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 – 14 oz. can coconut milk
2 cups chicken broth
Lemongrass – 1-2 small stalks, smash with flat of knife
Juice from 1/2 lime
2-3 red or green Thai chiles (or you can use serrano peppers), pierced a couple of times with a knife
Cooked rice

Heat a drizzle of oil in dutch oven or soup pot.  Add shrimp and saute less than a minute, just until it’s turning pink and curling.  Remove shrimp and set aside along with the cubed tofu. Heat another drizzle of oil over medium high heat.  Add curry paste and stir and mash together with oil until combined.  Whisk in coconut milk and broth.  Add fish sauce, brown sugar, salt, basil, lime juice, lemongrass and chiles.  Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Coarsely chop the cooked shrimp and add both that and the tofu to the pot.  Heat through and serve over rice.  Be sure to remove the chiles and lemongrass before eating!

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Southwestern Shrimp Salad & Creamy Cilantro-Tomatillo Dressing

We all should eat more salad.  Tons of veggies, nutrients, the freshness, the crunch…yadda, yadda, yadda.  Boo.  Hiss.  Salad is diet food.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like salad.  It’s fine.  It’s even really good sometimes.  But when you get right down to what I like MOST about salad, it’s that it is a conveyance for wonderful salad dressing.  Which is not diet food. Which makes me like it more.

This salad dressing is one of the best I’ve ever had; certainly one of the best I’ve ever made.  I would swim in it, wash my hair in it, eat it with a spoon.  If I had any left, I would put it on just about anything.  I loved it so much I ate three bowls of salad just so I could have more dressing.  Now that’s love.

To give credit where credit is due, the original recipe for this salad and dressing came from another web site I came across on Pinterest, skinnytaste.com.  I did take some liberties with the salad recipe, changing it up a bit for our tastes, adding and subtracting items and adding some cooked elements to make it more dinner-like.  The shrimp is warm, flavorful, but not spicy.  The dressing I left alone for the most part, since it’s already perfect!

Southwestern Shrimp Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Tomatillo Dressing

Southwestern Shrimp Salad

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup frozen corn (or fresh corn kernels)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Juice of 1/2 lime
6 cups romaine lettuce
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 english cucumber, diced
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, diced

Start building the salad in a large serving bowl, layering romaine lettuce, beans, cucumber, and tomatoes.  Combine raw shrimp with chili powder & salt in a small bowl.  Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat.  Add chopped onion and corn to skillet.  Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until onion is soft.  Add shrimp.  Saute until shrimp is done.  Squeeze lime over the top of the shrimp.  Pour over the top of the salad.  Top with avocado and chopped cilantro.  Serve with Creamy Cilantro-Tomatillo Dressing (recipe follows).  I drizzed a little over the top of the serving bowl and then let everyone apply more as they saw fit.

Southwestern Shrimp Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Tomatillo Dressing on the Side

Creamy Cilantro-Tomatill0 Dressing

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tomatillo
1 clove garlic
1 scallion
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp. dry parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Apply generously to Southwestern Shrimp Salad or anything else that strikes your fancy.

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