Friday, February 1, 2013

Scrumptious Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

Happy Friday and Happy Ground Hog's Eve everyone!

Where did the week go? In fact, where did the entire month of January go? Tomorrow will be Punxsutawney Phil's 127th prognostication! What's your prediction? 6 more weeks of winter or will spring come early? I did a little research and found that Punxsutawney Phil has had only a 39% accuracy rate regarding his early spring/late winter forecasts. Hmmmm. I am thinking that I could do better than him just by predicting the opposite of what he predicts. Here in Maine, the little bit of snow (2 feet) that we got after Christmas has all melted, and tomorrow is supposed to be mostly cloudy, however, I'm still banking on 6 more weeks of winter. I really want to use my new cross-country skis (that I got last year for Christmas!)

OK, now on to why you really logged in to read my blog. Tonight's dinner-- Scrumptious Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry-- was sooooo simple and sooooo yummy. I really did change up the recipe quite a bit. First, I don't have a wok so the "stir-fry" happened in my Lodge cast iron pan. Second, I have lots of vegetables to eat before I go on travel next week.... so they all got incorporated into this dish. Third, you know me... I never follow a recipe exactly!

These are the INGREDIENTS

  • Large Shrimp (16-20/lb) – 1 lb.
  • Garlic cloves, minced – 2 or 3 (I love garlic!)
  • Onion, chopped – 1  (I used Pearl onions because I only had 1 yellow onion that I am reserving for my Super Bowl chili recipe!).
  • Broccoli, chopped – 1 cup
  • Zucchini- sliced, about 1/4 inch thick - 1
  • Mushrooms, sliced – 1/2 cup. –Shitake or button or whatever your favorite mushrooms are or happen to have on hand
  • Corn starch – 2 Tbs.
  • Soy sauce – 2 tbs. – I used Mitsukan Ponzu Citrus-Seasoned Soy Sauce (no MSG)- from Reny's!
  • Rice vinegar – 1 tsp.
  • Brown sugar – ½ Tbs. (you can also use honey or maple syrup- the real stuff, of course)
  • Vegetable stock – ½ cup (of course you can use chicken stock or OJ or white wine or even water)
  • Canola or Grapeseed oil – 2 Tbs.(I used Canola. Someday, I will get some Grapeseed oil to have on hand)
  • Lemon juice – 1 Tbs.(Please try to use the real stuff; not the "RealLemon" that is "lemon juice from concentrate, sodium benzoate, and other ingredients used as preservatives" - really?) 
  • Dash Red Pepper flakes


  1. Remove shells from shrimp, leaving tail on. (You can leave the entire shell on, but know that it will be messier when you start eating). 
  2. Place shrimp in Ziploc bag and toss with 2 Tbs. of corn starch and Pepper (I use Luce’s Maple Garlicky Pepper)
  3. Combine  soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, 2 tsp. corn starch, and vegetable stock
  4. Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add 1 Tbs. oil and heat for 30 seconds more. Add shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes, until outside is golden. You are not cooking them all the way; just giving them a golden coating. 
  5. Transfer shrimp to bowl and set aside. 
  6. Add onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes until softened.
  7. Add broccoli and zucchini. Stir-fry for ~2 minutes; add sliced shitake mushrooms
  8. Add shrimp back to the pan. Create a space in the middle by pushing the shrimp/vegetables toward the outer edges of the pan. Whisk sauce briefly to stir up the settled corn starch, and add sauce to center of pan. Cook for about 30 seconds. Coat all of the ingredients with the sauce by gently stirring.
  9. Remove from heat and add lemon juice (the real stuff!) and a dash of red pepper flakes. Bam!

Enjoy this dish "as is" or feel free to serve over rice or pasta (I ate this meal “as is” because I’m trying to cut back on my daily carb intake).  Feel free to change it up a bit because this is definitely a recipe that you need not follow exactly..... if fact, I was just thinking that if you have some tortilla shells, you could make these into tacos!

Enjoy. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bean Good Fudgey Brownies

One of my New Year's resolutions was to become a better blogger. "Better" means not waiting a year between posts! "Better" means working fewer hours so I have more time for blogging.  "Better" means sharing the many fun recipes that I have been trying in the hope that I will inspire others to try these dishes. 

With that intro.... I'd like to share an interesting dessert that I made today. This one is in keeping with my other New Year's resolution, which is to eat healthier (bet you never heard that one before, huh?)  As a chocoholic, I am always looking for ways to lessen the carbs, reduce the sugar and/or fat in desserts. This recipe does that and also packs a protein punch; plus, they are gluten free.

My "Bean Good Fudgey Brownies" have a "secret" ingredient in them. I guess as soon as you read the first ingredient in the recipe, the secret will be out!  Now, when you make these for your family, friends, and co-workers, you can keep the ingredient a secret or see if they can guess what it is. My husband just tasted them and said, "Mmmmm, I like them!" (I think I'll keep the ingredient a secret).

Bean Good Fudgey Brownies (Makes 16)


  • 1 can (16 oz) Black Beans (you can also use Garbanzo Beans or Navy Beans)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (you can also use agave nectar or honey)
  • 3 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup  light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup oat bran 
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ¼ cup Egg Beaters (or 1 egg)
  • ¼ cup Chocolate Chips or Carob Chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350oF. Lightly coat 8×8 pan with PAM® cooking spray.
  2. Rinse beans in water and drain. 
  3. Blend garbanzo beans, maple syrup, and peanut butter in a food processor until smooth. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. 
  5. Stir in ¼ cup chocolate or carob chips (if using). 
  6. Spread batter in pan and bake for 25-27 minutes. 
  7. Cool slightly and then cut into squares. 
Enjoy these as is or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, drizzle with chocolate sauce and/or top with a scoop of ice cream! Let me know how you like them and remember, never follow a recipe exactly...