Tag Archives: shrimp

Return to the Stove

I know, I know — zero posts for nearly two months, what gives? Well, now that I have a quarter of a year at my new job under my belt, spending more time on my fitness and healthy eating goals may be justified again. And chronicling said pursuits, of course.

What have I been doing aside from working? Well….

My brother visited in October for 11 days and we explored New York, D.C., and State College together. All explorations were naturally accompanied by great food.

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This was a Turkish restaurant by the UN. Such a great night.

… Dave and I ran a 50-mile relay race with five friends. It was an amazing experience — the weather, the beauty of central PA, the company, the running. I am hooked on this event and want to do it every year we live here.

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This is me passing the baton, a shiny purple wrist-band, to my team mate. Who knew that volleyball jacket from 2001 would serve me so well? This was the third chilly-weather race I’ve done in it.

(That guy, by the way, was the best team mate ever. He ran 6-minute miles and volunteered to take the most difficult legs. Definitely made up for my 11-minute mile pace….)

… I indulged in everything fall — Pumpkin beer, apple cider, haunted houses, pumpkin pie/ice cream/lattes, and of course, pumpkin carving.

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We created these beauties with our friends the night before Halloween.

… And, I did very little cooking. I was bad. If I cooked, I just used old recipes I already had. Busy-ness will do that to you. October was seriously insane. So was September. But the insanity isn’t going to stop anytime soon, so it’s time to step it up!

I have a new fitness plan that plans out my fitness priorities from now until I turn 30 (June of 2015). Essentially, this means I have progressive running goals assigned for each month plus an additional exercise priority, like swimming, biking, fitness classes, or Yoga. The plan is to work out six times a week with one rest day.

Then, at the beginning of each month, I actually map out how I will be exercising on each day. This month, I will be running 3 times a week, shooting for 3 miles each time at a 10-minute pace. I expect to reach that closer to the end of the month. Right now, I’m still slow as a snail.

This month, my supplement exercise, if I can call it that, is fitness classes at Kinetik Fitness. I went for the second time tonight and it kicks my butt. I love it though. It’s totally different from what I would do on my own and also from any other fitness classes I’ve done. Each class is different and members never know who will be teaching on any given day and what they will be asking you to do. The workouts combine cardio and strength training and are often done in circuits, with partners, etc.

And, since I’m talking about stepping it up, I also am focusing on cooking new things again. Tonight, I made not one but two dishes without recipes. I know making up dishes may not necessarily sound appealing, but I really want to get very good at intuitive cooking. If there is such a thing.

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The first meal — our dinner for tonight and lunch tomorrow — is a cauliflower/broccoli/potato casserole. All I added to the vegetables was almond milk, garlic salt, pepper, and Trader Joe’s vegan cheese.

Maybe it’s because I was super hungry from my workout, but this was delicious. I went back for seconds for sure.

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The second dish — our dinner tomorrow and lunch Thursday — is a shrimp curry. I was pretty proud of this one since it was my first real attempt at making curry myself. Basically, I was at the store, contemplating buying the glass jar of curry sauce, but the ingredient list turned me off. Too much unnecessary stuff. So this is a basic mix: coconut milk and curry powder.

The other ingredients are: olive oil, shrimp, red and green peppers, paprika, garlic salt, and garbanzo beans. I later added brown rice to let the curry soak in and make it very, very tasty for tomorrow evening.

Here’s to November, fitness, and home-made food!

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Shrimp Egg Drop Soup

As promised last Saturday, here is the simple shrimp egg drop soup recipe.

Ingredients (in the order you’ll need them):

Makes 4 servings. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium veggie broth
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 large egg, beaten

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Directions:

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until tender.

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Stir in broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and ginger. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 1 minute.

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Add reserved cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for two more minutes. Stir in peas and carrot. Pour egg into soup in a steady stream, stirring a few times to create shreds.

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Weekend lunch perfection.

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We just ate two servings each, so there were no leftovers. Would make a good packed lunch for work, too if you can save half of it.

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Easy Weeknight Pasta Dinner

When I plan meals for the week, I try to think about what’s easy, nutritious, and can be eaten for lunch the next day as well. I also try to consider innovation because repeating the same five meals over and over gets old. But on busy days, relying on what I know and can make quickly is definitely the best stress-reducer.

Tonight, I opted for an easy shrimp & pasta dish – a staple in our household and a good choice during the last few weeks of half-marathon training (exactly one month until race day!).

It took about 15 minutes to prepare.

First, I cooked some penne in olive oil and salt. I would have preferred to use whole grain penne, but white was what I had.

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Next, I sautéed shrimp in some olive oil and garlic.

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Then, I added chopped, filleted tomatoes.

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I had to switch the shrimp over to a new sauce pan because I charred the bottom of the first one. Oops. I get so distracted by my German soap while cooking.

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I also added a little bit of chopped red onion, and a handful of spinach and kale each. I seasoned it all with lemon juice, lemon pepper, and garlic salt.

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That’s it. I had a small portion because I didn’t want to overdo the carbs at night, but my leftovers will make a perfect lunch before my night-run tomorrow.

Speaking of running, I am icing my legs as we speak. Yoga at lunch today helped me recover too, but I want to avoid any preventable soreness.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying this chocolate almond milk for desert.

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My number one goal for tonight: a solid 8-hours of sleep. Why do we as a society prioritize everything else over sleep? It’s so incredibly good for us. I am trying to be more conscious of what little tasks I squeeze into my nights that keep me from getting to bed at a reasonable time. Sure, they all seem more exciting than hitting the hay, but then I pay with a lack of focus and energy the next day and often many days after that. A simple realization, but still so difficult to act on.

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From Snooze to Scramble

Ever since I can remember, I have hated getting up in the morning. During high school, my mom had to come into my room every day and yell at me for hitting the snooze button over and over again. In college, I was regularly five minutes late for my 8 a.m. classes. Since grad school, I’ve been a little better – teaching or work meetings at 8 a.m. got me out of bed, and carpooling does the trick now. But except for the occasional over-achieving mornings when I work out at 5 a.m. and am ready to go 15 minutes early, I still don’t love to comply with my alarm clock.

Today was no different. 5:30 came, I hit snooze several times, and I didn’t get out of bed until 6:06. A bit late considering my carpooling friend was picking me up at 6:50. So there I was in scramble mode – I showered, had breakfast (apple oatmeal muffin and smoothie again), and somehow still managed to prepare our work foods.

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Mine contained a cultured coconut milk yogurt, sesame covered peanuts, lentil soup, apple slices with almond butter, and a banana. Dave’s is distributed between the two brown-bags there in the background because his lunch box zipper broke yesterday. He is now talking about replacing it with a Star Trek themed one – go figure.

Work was pretty uneventful. I was still tired although I slept a bit more last night than the night before. My lunch workout was an easy one – I walked on an incline for 30 minutes and read the newest edition of my favorite German news magazine Der Spiegel on my iPhone.

I was out of food by 3 p.m., but needed a little pick-me-up before the meeting we had scheduled. I found some gourmet hot chocolate powder in the break room, so I made hot cocoa with almond milk.

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Dinner tonight was a little bit of an experiment. I didn’t feel like having our usual combo of shrimp, veggies, rice, and curry sauce. White rice is so full of sugar. So I decided to use eggs and see how we like it.

Here are just the veggies, baby spinach leaves, and shrimp cooking in coconut oil.

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When all that had cooked through, I added some nutritional yeast and scrambled in four eggs.

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And finally, the curry sauce to finish it all. It was actually really delicious and satisfying. And I’d rather have eggs than rice any day, although if you’d want to, you could mix in both for a more filling, carb-heavy meal (not a bad idea on a night before a long run, I guess).

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So today literally went from snooze to scramble.

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