Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Shrimp Stirfry kinda night…

I originally bought the frozen shrimp last week for a yummy shrimp salad recipe I saw on Kayln’s Kitchen. (Check out Kayln’s blog if you haven’t before, she has great healthy carb/South Beach recipes with fresh, beautiful ingredients!)

When I brought the shrimp home, I told Michael about the chilled shrimp salad I was going to make… he just looked at me with those puppy dog eyes of his and said, “Well could you pan-fry a few for me?” Apparently, Michael isn’t into exciting fresh gourmet salads with shrimp in them… “Sure honey, I’ll fry a few for you!” Which really meant he wasn’t going to eat any of the salad, he just wanted the few pan fried shrimp…SO change of plan.

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of interesting food blogs and websites relating to celiac disease and gluten-free cooking and eating. I’ve been interested in this because I have migraine headaches on a very frequent basis (along with several other symptoms of this disease) and I would really love to find a natural way to cure them. I’ve tried a lot of different things, but I’ve never really changed my eating habits completely in a way that might help.

I’ll be featuring gluten-free recipes the next several weeks to see if there is any change in my headaches. I also look forward to trying this new way of cooking. One thing that’s intriguing to me is that so many diets are basically centered around the same principals: eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, less fat, less sugar, less refined carbs, more exercise. Sounds familiar right? Well, I think in a nutshell, that is a gluten-free diet… with the exception that you just have to think differently about the carbs. Unlike South Beach and other low-carb diets, most grains are completely not allowed due to the gluten content, BUT you are allowed to eat rice, potatoes, and corn. (Oh life will be good! And I’ve been trying for so long to stay away from those so-called “bad” carbs!!)

Back to the shrimp… I knew Michael wanted the shrimp pan-fried, and I originally wanted the fresh chilled salad. As I was pondering what I could actually cook with the shrimp that was gluten-free, but something I really was hungry for; I remembered a delicious green bean dish that I had made last week. It was just a basic stir fry recipe. I could do a stir fry! So, I stopped by Food Lion on the way home and bought most of the ingredients to create an original gluten-free shrimp stir-fry. Here’s what I came up with:

Fresh green beans, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, green and red peppers, snow peas, and bean sprouts for garnish:

To start, I prepared all the vegetables: I rinsed and julienned the carrots, green and red peppers, and a small zucchini. I rinsed and snapped the ends off of the fresh green beans and sliced the mushrooms.

Next I shelled and de-veined the shrimp (de-veining is really gross… next time I might splurge for the ready prepared shrimp!!)

Than I pulled out my spices for the stir-fry: Extra-virgin olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, SPIKE garlic seasoning (the best!!), freshly ground salt/pepper, Tony’s original Creole seasoning (or Lowry’s), and gluten-free soy sauce.

We don’t have a wok, but we do have a large frying pan that can be used for just about anything: it’s about 15” in diameter about probably close to 4” deep, so it’s perfect for a stir-fry. To start, I put 2 inches of water in the pan and cooked the carrots and green beans until they were tender but firm.

When finished, I drained the green beans and carrots and put aside.

Next I sautéed the shrimp in 2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil, peanut oil, and GF soy sauce just until they were pink on both sides (about 2-3 minutes).

Then I removed the sautéed shrimp from the pan and put them to the side. After that, I begin to sauté the rest of the vegetables with a little more olive oil and soy sauce, adding back the green beans and carrots.

While the vegetables were cooking, I prepared two bundles of cellophane noodles (YES, they even had THESE at Food Lion! I was amazed!). These noodles are incredibly easy and versatile to use! They are also COMPLETELY gluten-free! They are made from mung beans and potato starch, and they are very easy to cook! Simply place the noodles in a bowl and pour enough boiling water to cover them. They will cook in about 2 minutes. Once cooked, simply drain and toss into the stir-fry. (The next time I do this, I will break up the noodles into pieces instead of leaving them in long strands. This will help them incorporate more evenly into the stir fry.)

Once the vegetables have sautéed to your liking, the last step is to simply toss in the sautéed shrimp and cook until they are heated through. Here is the finished stir-fry:

Plate it up and eat!!!

The great thing about a stir-fry is that it is completely adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Use whatever fresh vegetables, meats, or seafood you prefer. I also like stir-fry with rice, but I wanted a something different and the cellophane noodles were really good. I might even use them in a pasta dish sometime, I think they would be a great gluten-free substitute to regular spaghetti noodles!

Here is a basic list of ingredients I used:

Fresh Garlic Shrimp Stir-fry

  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, cut into 1” lengths
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ c. fresh baby carrots, cut into strips
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into strips
  • ½ green pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ red pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ c. fresh snow peas
  • bean sprouts
  • 2 bundles cellophane noodles (saifun bean threads)

Oils and seasonings:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Peanut oil (optional)
  • Sesame oil (optional)
  • SPIKE garlic seasoning
  • Tony’s original creole seasoning (or Lawry’s)
  • Gluten-free soy sauce

I spent about $15 on all of the ingredients for this dish. While, it was NOT frugal, it was delicious and a great experience working with new ingredients. Tomorrow I’ll be working on a gluten-free, great-tasting muffin recipe, so I hope you’ll check out the blog to see how it’s going! Happy eating!


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