Category Archives: Asian Recipes

A quick stir fry made easier

Image: Shrimp Pad Thai

Happy Saint David’s Day! I should have included a leek in today’s recipe in honor of the patron saint of Wales. But I didn’t.  I’ll post a Welsh recipe later in the week, then it will be on to the Irish recipes for St. Patrick’s Day.  But for today, I was thinking Asian when I made this for dinner last night.

I like to experiment with the products I find in the produce department. A couple of days ago, I found Taylor Farms Pad Thai Kit. While it is not too high in carbohydrates, it is a little higher when made with the included sauce than I can use in my daily intake. So, I tossed the enclosed pack of sauce and made my own. This was about 6 or 7 carbs lower a serving than using theirs. If you can enjoy around 30 or more net carbs in the day, then this might work well for you.

I turned to making my own Pad Thai sauce with what I had on hand in the house. You can use fish sauce in it if you wish. I found the vegetables were pretty well chopped or sliced, but not as evenly as I’d like and some pieces required cutting. The carrots are thin slices where I would prefer thin rounds or sticks that cook faster, but they worked out okay. I made mine with 2/3 pounds of medium-sized shrimp, about 27 of them. You can also add in tofu or mushrooms as an alternate protein in the dish. This makes it a good candidate for meatless Monday.

If you can’t find the Taylor Farms mix, you can make your own. The vegetable selection for this includes about 1/3 cup each of Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, green cabbage, snap peas, bok choy, and carrots. Most are chopped or sliced thinly.

Shrimp Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash 

6 ounces Shrimp, cleaned
1 package Taylor Farms Pad Thai Kit (vegetables only)
1-1/2 cups Spaghetti Squash (about 1-1/2-pound squash)
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Chicken Broth or Bullion
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Thai Chili Sauce
1/8 teaspoon Ground White Pepper
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar Substitute (Swerve or LC Brown)
1 tablespoon Canola Oil

Cook the spaghetti squash by roasting it or cooking it in the microwave until tender. It’s easier to remove the seeds if you cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scoop them out before cooking it. Use a fork to shred the squash into strings.

Clean shrimp, removing shells and veins. Cool until ready to use.

Prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, add the rice vinegar, chicken broth, soy sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar substitute, and pepper. Stir together to combine completely. Set aside.

Heat a bowl-sided skillet or wok on medium high heat. Add oil and swirl to distribute. Add the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides, about a minute and a half on each side for medium-sized shrimp. Larger shrimp will take a little longer. Remove the shrimp to a platter and cover to keep warm.

Add the vegetables from the Pad Thai kit into the pan and stir them around. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. Lower the temperature to medium and add the prepared sauce. Stir it in and cook the vegetables a few more minutes, then add the shrimp back to the pan. Heat for two more minutes.

Put 1/2 cup of spaghetti squash in each serving bowl, then spoon the vegetables and shrimp on top. Sprinkle with chili flakes if you’d like a little more spice.

Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition Information

Shrimp and Chicken Fried Cauli-rice

Photo: Shrimp fried Cauli-rice

Chinese New Year is coming up tomorrow, January 25th to start the Year of the Rat. But there’s nothing ratty about this quick-to-make and tasty cauliflower fried rice. You can get an easy start by using Green Giant’s Fried Rice Blend with carrots and broccoli all chopped up into crumbles to cook quickly. Or you can use one of the frozen rice blends with peas and carrots.

If you want the meat version, get pre-grilled chicken from the grocery store and shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces. Add in shrimp and you have a great celebration fried cauliflower rice that is low carb and delicious. To make this meatless for Meatless Monday, use just the shrimp or add tofu cubes. To make it vegetarian, use tofu only.

I did use a little too much soy sauce in mine, so I cut back on it in the recipe, but adjust to your own taste.

Shrimp and Chicken Fried Cauli-rice

12 oz. package Green Giant “Cauliflower Crumbles” Fried Rice Blend
1/3 cup sliced Snow Peas, fresh
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Ginger Root, minced or grated
1/3 cup Chicken Breast, cooked and chopped or Tofu, cubed
1/4 pound small Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Eggs
2 stalks Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Red Chile Flakes (optional)

Slice snow peas into small pieces and set aside. Slice green onions into thin slices using both the white and green parts.

In a deep skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the fried rice blend vegetables and stir and cook for about 7 minutes until they are softened. Add the snow peas and chicken (if using) and cook two more minutes.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside for now.

Add the sesame oil, then add the shrimp and chile flakes to the mix. Cook until the shrimp start to turn pink, then add the beaten eggs and stir into the rice. Cook until the egg is done, then add the green onions and stir in. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Info for Fried Cauli-rice.

Thai Coconut Soup Bring the Flavor

Photo: Thai Coconut Soup

This week’s “Meatless Monday” recipe isn’t entirely without “meat,” but as I understand it, seafood isn’t included in the ban. I’m using shrimp in this tasty and slightly-spiced soup, but if you’re vegetarian or don’t want to eat seafood, then you can leave it out or replace it with cubes of firm tofu.

The base recipe came from the Atkins web site; however, I added more to it to make it a heartier soup. While it is delicious, it isn’t completely filling, so maybe you can add a salad and/or a low carb roll or even make a grilled cheese sandwich to accompany. Although the recipe makes six one-cup servings, it is low enough in carbs that you can make four servings and gain another half cup of yum. You can also increase the amount of shrimp in it.

Thai Coconut Soup

3 cups Chicken Broth
13.5-ounce can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 piece fresh Ginger, 1-inch, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
1/2 cup Spinach or Bok Choy, chopped
2 tablespoons Fish Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce
1 Jalapeño Pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated Lime Zest
1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
1/2 pound medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces Mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup Daikon Radish, cubed
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh Lime Juice

Peel and chop or slice all the vegetables before you begin to cook. Cut the daikon into  small cubes so it will cook quicker.

In an eight cup pot, add the chicken broth, coconut milk, ginger, jalapeño, fish or Worcester Sauce, lime zest, and sugar substitute. Cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring a few times, then reduce the heat to low, partly cover the top, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the ginger slices and discard. Add the daikon and cook another 10 minutes to soften the daikon.

Add shrimp, mushrooms, and bok choy or spinach, Stir well and cook until shrimp are cooked, about four minutes. Stir in the green onions, cilantro if using, and the lime juice.

Spoon into bowls and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Info: Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp

Nutrition Info for Thai Coconut Soup

 

Quick Vegetable Stir-fry

Photo: Vegetable Stir Fry

Ready for “Meatless Monday?” Here’s a quick to make rice-less fried rice. This replaces the starch with a variety of crumbled or riced vegetables to give you a deliciously satisfying Asian-flavored vegetable stir-fry. To make this even easier, you can start with a bag of Green Giant’s Cauliflower Crumbles “Fried Rice” Blend, which is cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and onions. If you are on phase 1, you might want to make your own riced vegetables and omit the carrots.

If you can’t find the mix at your grocery, you can use your food processor or grater to process cauliflower, broccoli stems, carrots, and onions to make your own mix. You’ll need three cups for the recipe with about 2 cups of it being cauliflower with the rest split between the broccoli, carrots, and onions.

I added in mushrooms and my adapted recipe adds in fresh spinach, but I didn’t have any in the house. I’ve listed even more possible add-ins at the end of the recipe.  Even on Monday, you can add any seafood to the stir fry. Shrimp is a great option. Any other time you want to make this, you can add chicken, beef, or pork to it.

For my friend and others who are trying to keep sodium low, I’ve included a recipe for a substitute soy sauce. It doesn’t taste like soy sauce, but it brings flavor to the dish without a lot of sodium.

 

Vegetable Stir Fry

3 cups (1 package) California Crumbles Fried Rice Blend (GG)
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ginger paste
1 cup Spinach, fresh (optional)
2 stalks Green Onions, chopped
1 tablespoon Oil

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and ginger and stir for a minute or two. Add in the fried rice blend and mushrooms. Stir them in. Cook and stir for about 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender.

Stir in the beaten eggs and mix them into the vegetables, continuing to stir until the eggs are cooked. Add soy sauce or Non-Soy Sauce, which is much lower in sodium. Stir to mix. Top with chopped green onions if you wish.

Makes four servings.

Optional add-ins: peanuts, almonds, cashews, shrimp, any greens chopped, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, chopped celery or chopped peppers. Add Hawaiian flare on a non-meatless night by stirring in 1 cup of diced SPAM and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh pineapple. (The pineapple will boost those carbs a bit, but it really adds the island vibe.)

Just add in the carb counts for the additions.

Nutrition Information for Vegetable Fried Rice

Non-Soy Asian Sauce

For those with worries about low sodium or gluten or soy allergies, here’s a soy sauce substitute that adds flavor to the stir fry or anywhere else you might use soy sauce.

1 Beef Bone (sometimes butchers have these under soup bones)
3 cups of Water
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
A pinch of garlic powder, ground ginger, and white pepper
Or Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning

Put water in a small pot and add the beef or soup bone. Bring to a boil, then lower to a low simmer. Cook for about one hour for the bone to flavor the meat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Continue to simmer until the mixture is reduced to about two cups.

Let cool, then pour into a jar. If you have more than you can use within 10 days, pour the rest into an ice cube tray and freeze. When frozen remove the blocks to a plastic bag to store until you need them. Each cube will be about one tablespoon.

Makes 32 1-tablespoon servings.

Nutrition information for Non-Soy Asian Sauce

Meatless Asian Stir-Fry is Yummy

Photo: Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry

An Asian stir-fry is a great way to make a vegetable dish that is full of flavor and satisfying. Since meatless Monday allows seafood, you could add shrimp or white fish to this easy stir-fry, but I made it strictly vegetarian.

The biggest part of making a stir-fry dish is prepping all the food before hand. With this many vegetables, you need to get them all cut and ready to go. I split mine into groups — the onions, garlic, and ginger first, then the bell peppers. The next group has the vegetables that take longer to cook, broccoli, carrots, and Daikon. The last group is zucchini. Then add the liquid and thickener and cook before adding the mushrooms to cook a bit before adding the bean sprouts.

I used an Asian Chile paste for a spicy bite, but it is optional. Omit if you prefer a milder dish. You can serve this over riced cauliflower or lightly sauteed angel hair cabbage if you wish.

If you want a non-meatless version, add chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp to the recipe. Cook the meats either before cooking the vegetables or mid-way through the cooking, before adding the zucchini, by shoving the vegetables to the edges of the pan, adding a little more oil and putting the meat into to middle to quickly sear. Stir them in and continue the recipe. If adding shrimp, wait until you add the mushrooms as the shrimp will cook in about five minutes.

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir-Fry

Photo: Stir-fry in the pan

1 cup fresh Broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
1 cup Bean sprouts
1/2 cup Daikon Radish, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup Zucchini, sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Asian Chile Paste (optional)
1/2 tablespoon Corn Starch
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Ginger, shredded or use paste
2 tablespoons Garlic, minced
1 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1/4 cup Carrots, sliced into strips

Cut all vegetables as indicated and have them ready to go. Stir-fry comes together quickly.

In a wok or a deep skillet, add 1 tablespoon to heat, then add the minced garlic and onions. Stir and cook until they are fragrant, then add the sliced bell peppers and ginger, and cook a couple of minutes longer.

Add broccoli, carrots, and Daikon and stir to mix well. Cook and stir for about five minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetable broth and soy sauce and stir into the vegetables. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the vegetables until almost tender.

Meanwhile, add about 1/4 cup boiling water to the corn starch and stir to dissolve. Add to the skillet and stir it around then add the mushrooms. Cook a few more minutes, then add the bean sprouts last along with the chile paste (if you are using). Cook about two more minutes.

Serve with riced cauliflower if you wish. Makes four servings.

Photo: Nutrition Information