Take out Night: Shrimp Stir fry with Quinoa

Don't get take out the next time you want shrimp stir fry! 

Broccoli stir fry cooking in wok

Broccoli stir fry cooking in wok

It’s very tempting to get delivery or take out on Friday nights because it’s the end of the week and cooking is the last thing we want to come home and do at the start of the weekend. A Friday night meal does not have to be a huge time investment. We aren’t huge fans of going out to dinner (for many reasons), but on a Friday night the wait can be unbearable. Take out and delivery foods are, for the most part, NOT healthy. They may contain healthy ingredients, but they are drowning in fat, salt, carbs, or all three. I like to cook mock-fast food and mock-delivery food on Friday or Saturday nights – like homemade pizza, Chinese stir fry, or chicken fingers or patty sandwiches with oven-baked fries. Some days are stressful, and I don't feel like cooking, but take out and fast food come in large portions and they are high in sodium, fat, & carbs. It’s not that we NEVER order out, because we do, but I really prefer to make it myself. It’s better for the wallet and better for my family’s health.

This is a quick (less than 30 minutes) mock-Chinese delivery meal with the nutritional value increased by quinoa. Quinoa (typically thought of as a grain, but it’s really a seed) is high in protein, has fiber and healthy fats, and it isn’t overly processed like some other grains, because it's usually bought as a "whole grain." It’s easy to cook and it is good mixed into things. The protein, fat, and fiber from the Quinoa really help to fill you up, so I use it in the place of rice. A serving is close to 1/3 cup (cooked), much like cooked rice or pasta.

Quinoa in bowl

Quinoa in bowl

Here is the nutritional information for 1 cup of cooked Quinoa compared to 1 cup of cooked brown rice: 

  • Quinoa: 223 Calories, 3.6gm Total Fat (2 gm Polyunsaturated, 1 gm Monounsaturated), 0mg Cholesterol, 13 mg sodium, 39 gm Carbohydrate, 5 gm Fiber, 1.6 gm Sugar, 8 gm Protein
  • Rice: 216 Calories, 1.8 gm Total Fat (0.6 gm Polyunsaturated, 0.6 gm Monounsaturated), 0 mg Cholesterol, 10 mg Sodium, 45 gm Carbohydrate, 3.5 gm Fiber, 0.7 gm Sugar, 5 gm Protein

I would serve this dish with a cooked (store-bought) spring roll, small cup of wonton or miso soup, or an Asian-inspired slaw or salad.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag broccoli stir fry mix or 3 cups of Asian vegetables – broccoli, carrots, red pepper and snow peas (fresh or frozen, but fresh will be crisper)
  • 1 lb medium to large shrimp, peeled and de-veined (wild-caught)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked in low-sodium free-range chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of my Citrus Asian Marinade (link here) or 1/4 cup Asian Salad Dressing (like Sesame Orange or Ginger Soy Dressing)
  • 1 tsp corn starch for thickening
  • 2 Tbsp Roasted Sesame Seeds (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Heat Sesame Oil in Wok (best) or large sauté pan to medium-high. 
  2. Put in bag of vegetables and cook in oil, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Push vegetables to one side and add shrimp. Let shrimp cook on one side by itself, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile stir corn starch into marinade. 
  4. Reduce heat in pan. Add quinoa, sesame seeds and marinade to shrimp and vegetables and mix all together. Make sure marinade bubbles and thickens and cook another 3-5 minutes. 
  5. It is now ready to serve. Makes 4 servings. 
Shrimp Sir Fry with Quinoa  

Shrimp Sir Fry with Quinoa