20-Minute Meal: Shrimp and Zucchini Stir-Fry

Last week was one of those weeks where time seems to melt away like an ice cube in a parking lot midday during the Florida summer. For many of us in this situation, complete meals are out of the question much less an organized trip to the grocery store. Well I feel ya, having been out of town all last week for a conference then heading straight back to work as soon as I returned, the grocery store just didn’t happen. Hence my reasoning for this quick, easy and delicious shrimp and zucchini stir fry. Believe or not, you can make a complete, nutritious meal when you’re short on time using simple ingredients that you have on hand.

Even though a trip to the supermarket did not happen, I had some shrimp in my freezer for this recipe. I like to keep a few protein options on hand that I can turn to for times like this. I’ll usually stock a meal’s worth of frozen shrimp, chicken breast and/or some sort of fish that I can easily transfer to the fridge morning-of to ensure I have a good protein source at dinner that night. Side note: One trick to quickly thaw meat (especially for chicken breasts) is to put the meat in a freezer bag, place in a bowl and cover with water. Put this in your fridge while you’re at work for the day. By the time you get home your meat should be thawed.

However, this time around, I didn’t even think ahead enough to put my shrimp in the fridge. I ended up just popping them in the skillet frozen, cooked them until pink, drained the water and set them aside until they ready to be incorporated into the recipe. Feel free to do the same.

The remaining ingredients were items I usually keep in my pantry or fridge. If you find that there are things on the list you do not have, there are creative ways to make it work for you. My mom had picked up the zucchini I used from a friend who home-grows a selection of summer vegetables. Selecting fresh, in-season vegetables ensures that you the most bang for your buck nutrient-wise from your produce. Because they grow in their preferred environment and can ripen as needed, the nutrient profile of produce in season far out weighs that of out-of-season. This being said frozen vegetables are a great substitute, because they are often harvested when ripe before frozen and therefore retain their nutrient profile very well. So no worries if you don’t have fresh, in-season zucchini, try substituting a vegetable of your choice; thawing frozen broccoli or stir fry blend vegetables are easy options that would taste great in this recipe.

Shrimp and Zucchini Stir-FryIMG_2767

  • 1-8 oz package noodles (I used brown rice Pad Thai noodles, you can find these in the international section)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1-2 medium zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half-moon shape
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or ~ 2 tsp cilantro paste
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water and set aside.
  2. While waiting on water for noodles to boil, make the stir-fry sauce. Stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, ginger and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat. Add red pepper flakes and toast for one minute. Than add eggs. Stirring gently, cook for about 3 minutes or until done. Set eggs aside on a small plate.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and add a dash more olive oil to the skillet or wok. Toss in shrimp and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until shrimp are pink. Once done, set shrimp aside on a separate plate.
  5.  Increase heat to high, add more olive oil if needed and char sliced zucchini for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. IMG_2772
  6. Turn heat down to medium-low and add noodles, shrimp, eggs, and stir-fry sauce to skillet. Stir until all ingredients are coated in sauce. Top with green onions and cilantro just before serving. Enjoy!

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