Since many of us are still in the pandemic lockdown, self-imposed or mandated, deciding what to cook has become a chore. Many of us are probably planning out weekly menus to cut down on grocery runs, which many of you know can be a daunting experience with masks, lines, and empty shelves; and I won’t even get into disinfecting all the groceries we bring home! Such is our new “normal” at least until this scourge passes.
Another main concern for many of us is a disrupted food chain caused by virus outbreaks at many of the meat packing plants nationwide. Not only is this virus causing meat shortages, but it puts plant employees considered essential workers, and their families at risk. I know we all want to do our part to stop the spread and also hopefully keep folks from hoarding meat. (Remember the Toilet Paper back in March? I don’t think the factories have caught up yet!) Anyway to show our support for meat packing plant employees and hopefully lessen the demand for meats workers’ advocates are calling for Meatless Mondays. So you might want to plan your weekly menus to include at least one meatless day, it’s good for your health as well as one small step in stopping the spread. So I thought this month I’d share some meatless recipes with you.
One of my favorite seafood dishes is Salt & Pepper Shrimp, we used to order it every time we dined at a Chinese restaurant. Since I found a recipe for it we can enjoy it at home. I modified it to fit our tastes and I think made it a bit simpler to make. Served over steamed white rice it’s yummy!
1 lb. Medium to Large shrimp – peeled and deveined
1 tbls. sea salt
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tbls. ground white pepper
2 tbls. ground black pepper
1 tbls. garlic powder
3 tbls. chopped green onions
2 tbls. minced garlic
1/4 + cup peanut oil
Place shrimp in a small bowl and cover with warm water
Add sea salt and let soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour
In a shallow bowl mix together corn starch, 1 tbls. each of white and black peppers, and garlic powder
Drain shrimp and lightly pat dry with a paper towel
Heat peanut oil in wok or large frying pan on medium heat until hot
Coat each shrimp in cornstarch mixture and place in wok
Cook until shrimp turns pink – turn halfway for even cooking – you may need to add more peanut oil if it gets too dry
Place cooked shrimp on paper towel to drain – Do not turn stove off
If pan is dry add a tbls. more peanut oil – add mince garlic and stir until it starts turning golden
Add fried shrimp back into pan
Add chopped green onions and stir til green onions turn bright green and starts to soften
What is Tofu and is it good for you? Tofu is coagulated soy milk in short soy bean curd. The curd is then pressed into a block and is used in many different Asian and Vegan dishes.
I use it in my stirfrys and egg rolls. I feel that tofu with its soft cheese like texture makes a great protein substitute or addition. I think the verdict is still out on whether or not Tofu or bean curd is healthy or not.
I’ve read arguments for pros and cons. I don’t pay too much attention to them as I did grow up eating Tofu, it’s an Asian thing I guess. Regardless of the debate I see it this way, tofu like anything can be good or bad for you depending on how much you consume regularly. I mean babies allergic to lactose, like my grandson Jett, pretty much live off soy milk for the first year of their lives, so I’m guessing tofu made from soy milk isn’t a bad thing. But like I always say too much of anything is bad for you so I’m thinking Tofu falls into this category.
Having said that here is a tofu side dish I make that the whole family enjoys. It’s super easy to make and can actually be eaten as a main dish when paired with steamed rice. By the way you can serve it hot or cold. On hot summer days I chill it in the fridge and serve very cold. It’s a great side dish that goes well with my Spicy Kalbi Kabobs! The some what bland creamy tofu taste tempers the spiciness of the beef kabobs and kimchee!
1 Block Firm Tofu – sliced into 1/2″ cubes
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1 Tsp. Finely Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
1 Tsp. White Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs. Chopped Green Onions optional
Sautee garlic until they start to brown
Gently add tofu cubes
Cook until all sides turn slightly brown – gently turning cubes with a spatula – about 5 -10 minutes.
Remove cooked Tofu cubes from heat and transfer into serving bowl
In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds until well mixed
Pour over tofu
Gently toss tofu cubes until well coated with soy sauce mixture
Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving
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