Easy Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great weekend. Sad to think that half of spring break is already over – on the glass-half-full side, at least we’ve got another week coming up. I can’t wait. Lots of fun activities planned for next week, including rock climbing and scouring farmers’ markets!

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Sundays are always a super relaxing day for my family – we visit Grandma’s, have lunch at a restaurant together, buy groceries for the week at a Chinese market, and then rush home at 2:30 to let our dog out to wee. šŸ˜‰Ā This means dinner’s gotta be quick, easy, and healthy. Because Sundays are grocery days, we always have tons of fresh produce in the fridge. This 15-minute meal is perfect because you can use ANY vegetable you have. That being said, you could even use any protein you want. We use shrimp here!

The first step is to defrost the shrimp. I don’t think we’ve ever used fresh shrimp in this house! Frozen shrimp works just as well, in my opinion, as well as being more economical and really convenient! My mom defrosts shrimp by leaving the big block of frozen shrimp under cold running water in the sink. This really helps to break them apart without cooking them! Then, she makes a small incision in its belly and scrapes out the digestive tract (the strip of black) with a little knife. I assume this step is optional because I’ve had shrimp WITH the digestive tract at many restaurants… but why not remove it anyways?

Boil some water and steam theĀ vegetables. We use broccoli, onions, mushrooms, and carrots. You can also use cauliflower, asparagus, snap/snow/sugar/what’s the difference peas, peppers… once again, any veggie you have lying around! Onions don’t have to be boiled, by the way, because they are so thin and tender. Oh, hey, frozen corn and edamame would also be amazing! The next step is to heat up some oil (we like canola) over medium heat. Cook the shrimp, then remove them from the skillet. We always have a small bowl next to the stove to pour cooked protein into. We don’t want tough shrimp!

Add another drop of oil, and then some mincedĀ garlic. Mom has aĀ oldĀ salsa jar in theĀ fridge filled with minced garlic. We buy garlic in bulk from grocery stores, andĀ use theĀ food processor to chop it into tiny pieces. Then, we store it inĀ a jar that we keep in theĀ fridge. WorksĀ SO well because we don’t have to peel, chop, and wash a cutting board + knife every time weĀ need garlic! Plus, the garlic is sort of “marinating” in theĀ fridge, so it has evenĀ more flavour! I think the convenienceĀ factor is theĀ mostĀ important part. šŸ™‚

Anyways, saute the minced garlic in the oil. You could also add some scallions here now!

When the vegetables are boiled until tender, toss them into the wok. We have a big nonstick wok that is perfect for this stir-fry! Stir ’em veggies around, then add a splash of chicken broth (or fish/vegetable broth). Water would work, too, but broth adds so much flavour! Let that bubble for a little while, and then throw in a bit of cornstarch. A teaspoon should do ‘ya! Stir it around, until the sauce becomes somewhat thick. Thinner than gravy, but thicker than soup! Cornstarch is a Chinese-cooking magic ingredient because it adds thickness to sauces, and helps the garlic-infused brothy-saucy mixture stick to vegetables.

Perfect! Add the shrimp and stir it all around to coat and combine. Lastly, throw in a splash of soy sauce, a squirt of sesame oil, and season with salt and pepper. Dump onto a serving plate and top with sesame seeds, which I ALWAYS do to Chinese meals… except not here for some reason. I would also love a drizzle of sesame oil and my favourite – scallion oil! The BEST on vegetables.

We served this with rice, but I’m thinking egg drop soup and some Chinese squash would be excellent on the side. Yum! This meal rocks because its so freaking healthy, easy to prepare, and takes less than 20 minutes to cook. Plus, you can use any vegetable/protein you have!

Great, now I want dinner… except it’s 3:30pm.

Have a wonderful Sunday evening and I have an awesome recipe + pics for tomorrow!

 

QUESTION OF THE DAY!

Do you remove the veins from shrimp? Or do you leave it the way it is?

We remove it! Once, at our house, a friend commented that we were literally eating the shrimp’s poop… not appetizing! In restaurants, I’m not really picky about shrimp digestive tracts. They don’t bother me as much at a restaurant, for some reason!

Berry Almond Oatmeal

It’s no secret that I am a serious oatmeal connoisseur.

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This bowl features some of my favourites – creamy Quaker oatmeal made in milk and water, fresh blueberries and blackberries, a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds, and a puddle of almond butter. The almond butter makes the whole bowl of oatmeal. I like getting a tiny spoonful in each bite, and I NEVER mix it all together (the horror!). Now, this was before I discovered granola as an oatmeal topper. :mrgreen:

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I can’t wait until May for the farmer’s market. Local, fresh berries are truly irreplaceable in the winter! Trust me, I’ve tried it all – there are frozen berries in the freezer and dried berries in the cupboards. Nothing can beat farmer’s market berries, especially on top of oatmeal. Yum!

 

QUESTION OF THE DAY!
Is there a food that you consider yourself an expert on?

Mine is definitely oatmeal. Like Kath of Kath Eats Real Food (see the Oatmeal Queen’s blog for thousands of craaaazy oat concoctions! http://www.katheats.com/kaths-tribute-to-oatmeal), I eat oatmeal at LEAST 6 days a week. Too many people look down on oatmeal because it’s “too mushy” or “too healthy” (my dad). Not true! Like salad, oatmeal is all about the toppings. I like nut butter, granola, and chocolate chips if I’m feeling rowdy. šŸ˜›