Thump, thump, thump, clang, clatter annnnd done. That’s the sound of me racing to the kitchen to make dinner at halftime last night. Yes, the Patriots played and I was glued to my seat the entire game save a hurried trip to the kitchen. Even though I grocery shopped last week, this weekend’s snow storm left us a little light on ingredients. Rather than brave the roads and the storm (or leave the game for any reason), I rummaged in the pantry and dug into the freezer to find a group of ingredients that could make a quick dinner.
Halftimes and football games not withstanding, rummaging and digging for ingredients which then become a delicious meal is, without question, one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. It’s actually also a little calming. Rather than having so many options with a wealth of ingredients, the restriction of “what’s on hand” actually makes the creation process easier, with only a few choices rather than unlimited options.
It’s also, for many, a different way to think about cooking. Rather than planning a menu and shopping to that plan, which I also highly recommend, the rummage and dig method, or “freezer diving” as I like to call it, is a perfect way to reduce waste, use up what’s on hand, and spend a little less at the grocery store.
Hope you like this quick, healthy meal!
Thai Peanut Shrimp and Baby Kale over Basmati Rice
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Shrimp and Kale
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup sliced onion; about 1 small onion
1/2 tablespoon minced lemon grass
1/2 Thai chili, seeds removed and julienned
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger: about 1/2 ginger root
1 tablespoon minced garlic; about 3 cloves
4 cups light packed baby kale
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (16 to 20 count)
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges, for garnish
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Meanwhile, rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Add to the boiling water, cover and remove from heat after 15 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp and kale.
Shrimp and Kale
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and then the onion and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon grass, chili, ginger and garlic and sauté for another 1 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the kale and the rest of the ingredients except the shrimp. When everything is well incorporated and at a simmer, add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 4 minutes watching closely until the shrimp just turns pink all the way through. Serve over basmati rice with garnishes.
Serves 4 to 6