4.14.2015

WE EAT | Garlic Kale + Cashew Shrimp Fried Rice

How many times have I thought about the easy way out for dinner?  More than I can count on my hands (and toes for that matter..) - especially when I am exhausted out of my mind after work + a full afternoon of toddler games.  Add an active fetus that feels every need to kick (head-butt?) me in the crotch multiple times a day, and I'd say I'm done before I even walk into the kitchen.

Some how 'take-out' smells, tastes, and means so much more when I am feeling this way.  But then.. realizing the amount of monies that I don't have to spend on a family meal for now four people if I make it myself.. wins out most of the time.     

Garlic Kale + Cashew Shrimp Fried Rice
serves 4
adapted from how sweet it is
2 cups brown minute rice
1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil + 4 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
12 ounces raw medium sized shrimp, peeled + deveined 
1 (6 ounce) container baby kale
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2/3 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
--
Bring stock and oil to a low boil.  Add brown rice and cook according to package directions.  Set aside.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced  onions and give a good sprinkle of salt and pepper, stirring well. Cook until soft and begin to caramelize, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in another tablespoon of olive oil and add your shrimp - stirring constantly.  As the shrimp begins to turn pink, add the kale, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring every minute or so, until the kale wilts. Scoop out the shrimp-veggies mixture out of the skillet and into a bowl. 
Add a 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil to the same and increase the heat to medium. Add the eggs, quickly stirring the entire time they cook, which will take about a minute. Remove from the pan.
Turn the heat up to high and add the remaining olive oil. Add in the cooked rice, tossing to coat, then let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes to toast and get golden. Stir, breaking apart any pieces, and repeat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat another 1 or 2 times until the rice is a bit crispy and golden (do not skip this step!  You'll thank me).
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the soy sauce.  Add the shrimp, veggies and eggs back in, then mix in the cashews. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil over top and serve!
I can take or leave the chicken these days.  Pregnancy the first go round pretty much changed my tastebuds for poultry in general - so, it was no surprise for my complete aversion this go round with baby three.
But- what I am into is seafood.  All kinds of seafood.
Little shrimps, too.
 This was Parker and Jolie's first time with eating shrimp.  While they have had plenty of dishes with shrimp included in the past, I have purposely thought to dig out the shrimp before making their dinner plates.  On this night I felt brave to offer it to them - knowing well enough that the foreign food on their plates could have ruined the entire meal.
Good news.. it wasn't a complete fail at all whatsoever.
 I've decided my kids love rice.  Even more than pasta.  No matter what is mixed in.. and in this case - kale, garlic, cashews, shrimp, + onions. 
They inhaled it without a second thought.

 The best part about this meal is that you can completely change out the ingredients of this dish to meet your personal or family taste. 
I picked some pretty easy veggies and the fastest cooking protein you can buy, but you can totally add in any veggies you like (the original recipe called for a red bell pepper - and I completely spaced out and forgot to add it in) and mix up the protein - chicken, tofu, pork - or go all veggie .. which is sounding awfully great for next week's meal plan.
Whatever you do.. don't skip the toasting of the rice before tossing it with the veggie/protein/egg mixture.  Hands down MAKES the entire dish- no matter what you've got in that pan.

If you haven't tried kale yet, now is a good of a time as any.
Kale is super duper healthy and would be the optimal choice over the Easter candy we are all still grazing.
Am I right?

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5 comments:

Astleigh H. said...

This looks fabulous! And we're a kale household so I'm going to need to cook this! Thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

I've never successfully cooked a shrimp dish (I always overcook the shrimp), but this looks fantastic enough to try!

Random though, why add oil to the rice when it cooks? We have a rice cooker and while I've used stock plenty of times, I've never used oil. In my brain I see it coating the rice and making it slick, but I assume it has a specific purpose in the recipe?

Cassie said...

Looks delicious!

Amber Massey said...

Emily-
Good point! The oil in this recipe is to keep the rice from becoming sticky. Fried rice isn't usually sticky, so the oil acts as an agent to keep the individual grains apart. Really.. How ever you cook the rice prior to adding it to the veggie/protein mixture is totally up to you:)

Ash. said...

Did your girls go through phases where they just did not want to eat anything you put in front of them? And if so, how did you get food into their little bods? My Parker refuses to touch anything put in front of her, whether she helped make it or not. I'M GOING CRAZY.

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