“Food is our common ground, a universal experience..” James Beard. This quote certainly held true today when during lunch with one of my best friends, Jenny, and then again, while getting my toes manicured with Amy, the subject of food played a major part in the conversation. Food is something we all can talk about…it encourages comparing and sharing of that “common ground”.
As usual, I skipped breakfast today and just had my coffee but for good reason this time. I was meeting Jenny for lunch at First Watch Cafe. We discussed our current diet plans…she is trying out WW and so far is being pretty successful. I got to share all about my new plant-based diet and it was so much fun sharing what we loved about our choices. I definitely believe including your friends in your path to health really helps improve the experience.
It took me a while to decide what to get because while there are so many healthy choices, so much of it is extremely high in calories. I ended up going with the Market Vegetable Sandwich and the Vegetable Soup. It was wonderful and filled with delicious veggies like spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini on the most tasty grilled artisan whole grain bread. I couldn’t eat the 2nd half of my sandwich but I took it home and did finish it later. I’m going to work on creating an even healthier version of this at home.
After lunch, I went to see my favorite manicurist, Amy, for a mani/pedi. I’ve been going to Amy ever since she did my nails for my first tv cooking segment for a local station over 4 years ago. Naturally, we talk a lot about food when I go since she knows that my nails will be seen while doing the segments. Amy is from Vietnam and loves to cook with her mother. In fact, the last time I was there, we discussed how her mother makes authentic pork egg rolls and she offered to bring some to me on my next appointment. Since, I’m now not eating meat, I texted her about that beforehand and she offered to make half of them pork and half shrimp..I was so excited! After a wonderfully relaxing massage of my legs and toes, she gave me 30 perfect little egg rolls! Of course, now dinner had to be all about those so here comes stir fry!
Obviously, my “indulgence” for dinner was going to be those egg rolls even though I was cooking them in the air fryer. Therefore, my stir fry needed to be light and the place where stir fry can go down hill is in the sauce. Typically, stir fry sauce has cornstarch is in it. I researched substitutes and came across arrowroot powder but did find that if it was cooked too long, it can become bitter. So, I swapped it with whole grain rice flour and it was the perfect substitution.
I decided on a shrimp stir fry and chose just a few of my favorite veggies to keep it simple.
Healthy Shrimp Stir Fry
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 tbsp whole grain brown rice flour
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Shrimp Stir Fry
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and washed
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 3 oz mung bean sprouts
- 2 bunches baby boy Choy
- 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, washed
Prepare sauce and let stand while you prep shrimp.
In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of sauce and mix with shrimp.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and sauté shrimp for about 3-4 minutes; you want them slightly undercooked.
Remove shrimp from pan, leaving excess oil and sauce, and sauté red bell pepper for 2-3 minutes until slightly soft.
Add in bean sprouts and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add in bok choy, mushrooms, and desired amount of sauce. Note: I start with a couple of tablespoons at a time because I don’t want the sauce to overwhelm the veggies and the amount of sauce you use, will depend on the quantity of your veggies.
After about 5 minutes, add the shrimp back in to finish cooking (about 3 minutes). At this point you will want to add in any additional sauce you want depending on how saucy you like it.
Serve over brown rice (topped with a little of that pan sauce) and if you are lucky, a homemade air -fried egg roll!
Bottom Line: This was so light yet hearty and it left me completely satisfied after dinner. It’s so easy to switch our your favorite veggies or even add more veggies and leave out the shrimp completely. I will be making this again and again! Thank you, Amy, for helping to make our meal extra special!