Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but the new year is always a clean slate for me. I get all gung ho after maybe indulging a bit over the holiday season – and by holiday season I mean from Halloween to New Years Eve!
I rein it in the month of January though. I do a dry January, so no wine. Just shots of vodka. Kidding! I tend to tighten my budget and try to eat out of pantry/freezer and fridge for a while, and I try to eat healthier, yet tasty dishes.
Have you ever played Chopped in your kitchen? Just like the TV show, you pick out random ingredients and then try to put them together into one dish. As luck would have it I had frozen shrimp, chow mien noodles and light coconut milk, so this quick and delicious Thai Shrimp Noodle Soup was born.
First tip from me to you – buy this jarred chicken broth. It is so much more cost effective than buying boxed chicken broth – for about $4.99 a jar you get the equivalent of 38 cups of broth vs. $2-$3 a carton for just four cups of chicken broth.
Next frugal tip? Buy frozen shrimp. You only need to defrost what you need and it only takes a few minutes to thaw under cold running water. Be sure to pat the shrimp dry on a paper towel before using.
Whenever I use coconut milk, I always use light coconut milk. I think you can use less and it’s a fraction the calories of full fat coconut milk.
Check out your local grocery stores Asian aisle and you’ll be sure to find chow mien or low mien noodles – the best part is that these noodles only take a few minutes to cook, so this dish can easily be made on a busy weeknight.
Since I typically eat alone, I made this recipe to serve one, but feel free to double or triple the recipe for a bigger serving size. Also, if you plan to eat this later for leftovers, I would keep the noodles separate, and marry the soup and noodles together just when reheating – you’ll never have soggy noodles again!
Thai Shrimp Noodle Soup
1 teaspoon coconut oil
3 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup yellow pepper
½ cup broccoli
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons light coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped baby spinach
2 ounces dry lo mien noodles
1. Cook the lo mien noodles according to package directions, drain and set into your soup bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat a skillet with the coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for about a minute and a half. It may not be cooked all the way, but that’s okay. Lightly salt and pepper and set aside.
3. In a mason jar, add the garlic, chicken broth, coconut milk and red curry paste, seal with the lid and shake to combine. Add 1/4 of the liquid to your pan and add the yellow pepper and broccoli to the pan. This avoids having to add extra oil.
4. Let the vegetables simmer over medium low heat for about 5 minutes.
5. Turn the heat up to high – add the shrimp back in and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and add in the baby spinach and cilantro. Pour mixture over noodles and serve.
This dish packs such a flavor punch; it will soon be on your regular meal plan rotation – promise!
If you are a soup lover like me and want to watch one of The Chopping Block chefs show you some wonderful soups (which you’ll get to eat!) check out Cold-Weather Soups and Stews at our Lincoln Square location:
Or if you’ve declared 2018 New Year, New You, check out our Wellness Chef Alia Dalal's Clean Eating Boot Camp on Sunday, January 21 at Lincoln Square. This day-long workshop dives deep into the principles of clean eating. You'll also get guidance in going off-recipe and learn formulas to make dinner from what you have on hand, while adding interesting flavors and texture.
What are your goals for 2018? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Here’s to you having a healthy and happy 2018 – cheers!