Orange Shrimp & Snap Pea Stir Fry and Fried Rice

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This is my first real grocery shopping of the new year. Don’t worry, I didn’t just food shop. This post is a little behind. I really like grocery shopping. I hate that the store is a mile walk (or an inconsistent bus ride) from my house. That sounds lazy, but I don’t care. No one wants to drag home bags of groceries.

The night E made the stuffed chicken marsala I made fried rice and a shrimp and snap pea stir fry in orange sauce. Both dishes on the healthier side. (Yea January!)

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I chopped, deveined and toasted some sesame oil while E hogged the stove. Which meant I was able to put things into little dishes like they do when they cook on the morning shows. Fancy! So, when it was my turn on the stove, everything went really fast.

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Heat up scallions, ginger root an orange zest.

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Added snap peas and shrimp.

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Added bean sprouts.

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Then poured in the liquids.

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Quick, easy and so good.

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The fried rice was just as easy. I wiped out the pot I used for the orange shrimp stir fry and heated up more scallions and some shredded carrot.

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The mixed in some rice I had made earlier, peas, and an egg I had cooked while the carrots and scallions were cooking.  (I totally lied about E hogging the stove. I used it my fair share.)SONY DSC

And done. Cheers!

Stir-Fry Shrimp and Snap Pea in Orange Sauce
Serves 5; WW Points: 4
Prep time: 20 min; Cook time: 9 min

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
4 medium uncooked scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, minced
1 Tbsp orange zest, finely grated
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced; or 2 1/2 tsp minced garlic
3 cups snap peas
8 oz uncooked shrimp, small, peeled, deveined (about 36 to 40 per lb)
2 cup(s) uncooked bean sprouts
1/2 cup(s) unsweetened orange juice, freshly squeezed recommended
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Directions:
Coat a large nonstick wok or saute pan with cooking spray; heat to smoking over high heat, about 2 minutes.

Toss in scallions, ginger, orange zest and garlic. Stir and toss constantly over the heat for 30 seconds.

Add snow peas. Continue tossing until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Add shrimp; continue cooking, tossing all the while, until shrimp are pink and firm, about 2 minutes.

Add sprouts, orange juice, soy sauce and honey. Toss until bubbling, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, combine cornstarch with rice vinegar in a small bowl.

Stir in cornstarch mixture; continue cooking until sauce has thickened a bit, about 30 seconds. Remove wok or pan from heat and drizzle oil over the dish. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Fried Rice
Serves 6; WW Points: 4
Prep time: 10 min; Cook time: 10 min

Ingredients:
cooking spray
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup uncooked carrots, shredded
1 cup uncooked scallions, sliced, divided
3 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

Directions:
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; warm pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; tilt pan so that eggs cover bottom.

When eggs start to set, break them up into pieces with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until eggs are cooked through, about 1 minute more; remove eggs from skillet and set aside.

Off heat, recoat same skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Add carrots and all but 2 tablespoons scallions; sauté until carrots are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in cooked rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute. Gently stir in cooked egg and remaining scallions; heat through. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Cooking Music: Still Paloma Faith (not completely mandatory for good stir fry)

Stuffed Chicken Marsala and French Onion Rice

E and I have finally gotten together to cook again, and it seems like it’s been forever. You cook all the time for months and months, start a blog, and suddenly we’re both too busy to actually cook. Murphy’s Law? Eh.

E made stuffed chicken Marsala and French onion rice. In one of our simpatico moments, I also planned to make two dishes and the second was rice. But more on my stuff next time.

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E used to work for a bakery/coffee shop where she would make big batches of caramelized onions for one of their dishes. She was schooling me on how much easier it is to caramelize in big batches because then onions don’t burn so easily. Unfortunately, we got distracted while we were chatting, and what started as beautiful onions ended up being a little crispier than normal.

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I still liked the flavor, but you know how critical you can be when something you make doesn’t turn out perfect? E was not thrilled.

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And that wasn’t our only onion problem. E started to cry while I was chopping scallions. It, naturally, got worse when she started cutting onions for the rice. Even more naturally, I made fun of her a bit. I mean, who cries over scallions?  This is her “you just don’t understand” face. Which I got a lot that night.

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It took a while, but we both got over that moment and got to the business of cooking. E got busy stuffing some chicken.

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And maybe you can see it coming.

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E’s stuffed chicken marsala didn’t exactly stay stuffed.

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But between the cheesy stuffing falling all over the rice,

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and the creamy mushroom marsala sauce,

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everything tasted pretty amazing.

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Maybe it’ll take us awhile to get back into the swing of things. Until then, you can find the recipes E used at:

Cooking Music: Paloma Faith

Snacks! Cauliflower Poppers

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I’m on the hunt for fun, easy, healthy snacks. I like to have snacks at work to keep me from going downstairs and grabbing some coffee (with a shortbread cookie). I found these cauliflower poppers recipe on the Weight Watchers website. I’m not a huge fan of cauliflower, but I liked the idea of adding a different flavor to them, and they looked pretty easy to make.

Cut up a head of cauliflower in to snack-able bits.

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Sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoons each of cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss and bake for 10 minutes. Super easy, right?

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I’m not the biggest fan of cumin, but I’d like to try these again. I’m not sure with what. I think I’ll try dill or mustard next time. Or maybe something sweet like cocoa powder or cinnamon. Is that too weird? I’ll have to try to find out.

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Cauliflower Poppers
Servings: 8; WW Points 0
Prep time: 1o min; Cook time: 10 min

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Cut cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces (there should be about 4 cups). Place cauliflower in a medium bowl and add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper; toss well to coat.
  • Spread cauliflower on prepared baking sheet and bake until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy, stirring halfway through, about 10 minutes. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Cooking Music: Stacey Kent

Iceland!

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Great picture stolen from Kori Schmidt!

This week, my sister and her friends are visiting Iceland. She got a lot of guff for going to Iceland in January, but at the moment, Iceland is 50 degrees warmer than Chicago. So … way to make good choices, sister!

Their pictures are amazing. I’ve never facebook stalked so much in my life. They are hoping (fingers crossed!) to see the Northern Lights. Apparently, this is the best time to see them. Not only is it only daylight for about 5 hours, but every 11 years there is a “complete field reversal” of the sun’s polar magnetic fields which determines the intensity and frequency of the Northern Lights activity. That time is now. Yes, I looked it up.

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Best Gift!

These girls are getting to try all sorts of interesting foods like puffin and whale, which taste (reportedly) like red meat and “chewy”, respectively. I might get a more thorough report when they are back in the country.

I figured I’d make some sort of Icelandic treat to honor Jill’s trip. For Christmas my other sister gave me a book about how to select, prepare and cook with more than 2,500 global ingredients (awesome!). Whale and puffin aren’t in the index. That’s okay. Something tells me it would be hard to find whale meat at my local grocery store.

The weather does not make it conducive to heading outside to the grocery store (-14 degrees and over a foot of snow), so we’re working with what’s in my kitchen. After a little bit of research I found something called skonsur. From what I’ve read, skonsur is a soft, fried bread that tastes like a pancake, but is often served like an open-faced sandwich with veggies, cheeses or cold cuts. Skonsur is exactly like a pancake. You probably have the ingredients on hand. It’s easy to make and easy to dress up.

I tried my first skonsur with thinly sliced sharp cheddar and sauteed broccoli. It was absolutely delicious. I made a second one with some cream cheese, deli turkey and roasted red peppers. Then this morning I had to try it with butter and maple syrup to make sure it tasted just like a pancake. It does. Totally worth it. And I have more batter left over for lunch! I see another cheddar cheese and broccoli skonsur coming my way.

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White Cheddar and Broccoli

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Cream Cheese, Turkey and Roasted Red Peppers

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Butter and Maple Syrup

The recipe I found calls for 4 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. Anyone else think that is a lot of baking powder for one small recipe? But baking powder is just used for making baked good lighter and fluffier … which is never bad in a pancake, or anything you’re frying.

Jill took her camera with her to Reykjavic, so all pictures were taken with my phone. Can you tell? I’m looking forward to getting her camera back.

Stay warm!

IMAG0915Skonsur
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk

Directions:
Mix together the dry ingredients then add eggs and melted margarine, and thin with milk. Stir until smooth. Pour on a greased skillet and fry on both sides at low temperature.

Where I learned a bit about Reykjavik cuisine and skonsur:

Visit Reykjavik – Wine and Dine Section

Jo’s Icelandic Recipes

Taste of Iceland

Cooking Music: Melody Gardot