When life hands you lemons (or just a series of unfortunate events), make good food.
This morning I had an internal debate with myself for a split second: should I use this as an excuse to make really good, full-flavor and full-fat food, or should I use this as an opportunity to make yummy but still healthy food? Then I remembered everything I ate yesterday. And the day before. And all week.
So yeah, I went the healthier route.
For breakfast/lunch, I abandoned my weekend morning chilaquiles longings and made a pretty stereotypical single girl sunday morning healthy scramble. Boring. Slightly sad. But still good.
Then, I decided to make something with pizazz for dinner. I went to Owajimaya last night and picked up some red curry paste finally, so I invited a friend over and put together a red curry shrimp dish. It’s kind of hard to make curry dishes for one person, unless you want leftovers all week that get progressively mushier, but it makes a really great meal for two or more!
I was pretty happy with how it turned out, especially considering how quick it came together. The nice thing about it is you can use pretty much whatever veggies you have on hand; I used a mixture of frozen mixed vegetables and chopped broccoli and fresh bell pepper and onion. The shrimp I used were a bit too small for my liking, but it still tasted good (enough to have seconds). I think next time, I would use chicken or buy larger shrimp.
There are a lot of different ways red curry is packaged; I bought a small tuna-sized can of it instead of the normal sized cans because I couldn’t find any jars of the paste I wanted. While most grocery stores I go to carry it, Asian supermarkets like Uwajimaya have a much wider selection (I also picked up my fish sauce there). I like to get my coconut milk at Trader Joe’s though; they sell a light version and it’s pretty inexpensive.
Both of these meals were simple and relatively healthy; here are both “recipes” if you’re interested!
Easy/Expected Single Girl Healthy Scramble (serves 1)
6 tbsp liquid egg whites
1 Laughing Cow light swiss cheese wedge
Handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
about 3 tbsp chopped red onion
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 cup spinach
chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium)
salt and pepper
In a pan on medium-high heat, add onion and mushrooms and a bit of broth. Cook 2-3 minutes, then add spinach and tomato, and a bit more broth as needed. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan on medium-high, scramble egg whites. Add cheese halfway through; cook until eggs are done and cheese is melted in. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the vegetables from the other pan (make sure liquid is drained) to the egg whites. Toss until mixed.
Quick Red Curry Shrimp & Vegetables (serves 2-3)
6-9 oz. frozen shrimp (3 oz. per person), defrosted
approx. 2 cups frozen veggies, defrosted
2 fresh bell peppers, cut into strips
about 1/2 small sweet onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tbsp red curry paste
about 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 can light coconut milk (trader joe’s is great!)
brown sugar (optional)
fresh lime juice and cilantro (optional)
cooked brown rice
In a pan on medium-high heat, spray cooking spray and add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, then add red curry paste. Cook another minute. Add coconut milk and brown sugar and stir. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Add vegetables and shrimp, and the fish sauce. Cook 5-7 minutes until veggies and shrimp are cooked. Taste and add seasoning/spice/sugar as needed. (If you like things spicy, add more curry paste, if you prefer your red curry to be milder, only use 2 tbsp of the paste)
Serve over brown rice. Top with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice