Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shrimp and shitake quinoa bowls

Today didn't really start out as expected. The huge-normous snowstorm we were supposed to get last week duped us and was just waiting for this week. It's been snowing since 7-ish yesterday morning, with periods where it stops for a bit, but at least it's not coming down too hard. We had 7 inches last I heard, and are supposed to get another couple before all is said and done. Oh and another possible snowstorm the beginning of next week...which I'm not griping about because we sure do need to moisture up in this drought...but if Mama Nature could space these things out a bit so they can clean up the one before it first, that would be nice of her. Too bad she can be a coooold B sometimes.
So I didn't try to make the trek (usually a 35 minute commute, but yesterday it was an hour and 15 minutes) in to work today until a couple hours later than normal, to give the road crews a chance to get down and dirty on that ice and snow with their salt layers and plow monsters. I'm glad I did...I saw 5 cars in the ditch in one mile stretch of highway...not a good start to the work day, my fellow commuters, I feel for ya. Instead, I made Main Man an egg white sammich, got some house cleanup checked off the list, and threw in a 30 minute (that's how long it took me anyway) Crossfit workout I found on Pinterest. You guys. I thought this was going to be easy...4 exercises, 10 times...piece of cake. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I'm planning on being sore from this. I do all those exercises in Kosama, so I'm not sure why this was so difficult, maybe the no breaks?? Either way, it's a perfectly intense workout for times when you don't have more than a half hour to throw a little gym time in, and can be completed with nothing but your own body weight, and in your own living room for that matter. Give it a shot and let me know what you think of it...
This recipe also didn't come out as planned.  First, I started subbing things (spinach for snow peas, quinoa for rice) but then things got dicey. I've been looking for oyster sauce everywhere, people...well, one place actually, but it was Whole Foods so I thought it would be an easy one to find there. Well it wasn't. And I had this McCormick Cajun seafood sauce in the cupboard looking at me and jumping up and down and raising it's hand like it knew the answer to the question in I caved. Then I didn't have any eggs (this was supposed to be like a fried rice deal), so I just threw caution to the wind and wung it (wang it? winged it?) to throw this meal together.

And it worked. Oh, boy, did it work. Let me tell you what I did use, since you don't have access to the ripped out page of Cooking Light's magazine where they tried this out in the test kitchen and made it the best way possible. I'm sure it's lovely that way...and once I find me some oyster sauce, I shall compare.

1 lb large cleaned and deveined shrimp
1 bottle McCormick Cajun seafood sauce
3 cups fresh spinach
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T crushed red pepper

Standard drill with the quinoa, ladies and gents...rinse that shizz, put your chicken broth in the skillet and bring to a boil before adding the quinoa. When all the liquid is absorbed, it's done! I chopped my veggies while stirring randomly and it all worked out perfectly in the kitchen of bliss...that night at least, a lot of times when I try to multi-task we've got things boiling over and fingers being sliced...but let's focus on that night when everything under the sun went smoothly as possible.

After the quinoa has cooked all the liquid down, add all the other ingredients. Continue to stir while cooking on medium heat, until the shrimp is pink and cooked throughout. Your veggies should be perfectly done in the same amount of time it takes the shrimpies to get pinkified. The sauce will have plenty of time to meld with the other lovely flavors in that window of minutes as well. This dish works.

Oh, and if you've never bought seafood out of a freezer truck at a gas station in Iowa...I suggest you do so. This shrimp has been the most amazingly fresh stuff we've gotten from any grocer in town (and its even been frozen for a good couple months).

Check that big guy out in the picture below...he wants to be in your mouth. That wasn't intended to be as pervy as it ended up sounding...but really, with it being Lent season and all, put this recipe together on a Friday and you won't be disappointed. I added a splash of soy sauce and crushed red pepper when chowing, and it made all my dreams of shrimp and shitake bowls come true, even if this was an improv performance. Happy snowstorm to all, and to all a good humpday!

Pin It


  1. Love me some CrossFit!!! Those "little" workouts will get you every.single.time.
    This dish looks amazing. If only I could sneak in mushrooms. Ugh, my husband can be so difficult.

    1. Man, I would die without mushrooms...they're by far my favorite fungus :)