To help ring in the New Year, we invited our (mostly Charlotte-based) blog team and their spouses over for a pot luck dinner on Saturday. Oddly enough though, the fun began weeks before anyone even arrived. As we started talking food details for our get together we quickly realized, in total, our group deals with quite a list of food allergies and aversions. And if we wanted a meal that everyone could eat we would have to adhere to the following list of (combined) constraints:
- No dairy/lactose
- No gluten
- No pork, beef, or lamb (only chicken or turkey)
- No seafood other than shrimp
Now it’s not very holiday-esque, but I have learned from cooking for another friend with gluten and dairy allergies…Asian cuisine is totally the way to go. Between the coconut-milk based sauces and dishes served over rice, the options are almost endless. So since I offered to provide the main course (and the alcohol!) I ended up settling on the below Green Curry Shrimp dish served over brown rice and topped with steamed sugar snap peas.
The fabulous thing about this dish (aside from how allergy-friendly it is!) is that it is super quick and easy to make. It took me no time at all to sauté the shrimp and throw together the finishing touches while everyone finished up their salad course. This dish definitely qualifies as a quick and easy weekday dinner for any night of the week. Now, as I mentioned, this was a pot luck gathering so here’s a snapshot of what everyone else contributed to our fun and delicious evening together:
Here’s what you see…
- Jill’s Appetizer: Carrots, red bell pepper slices, and endive with hummus plus some homemade quinoa cakes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday cookbook. The quinoa cakes did contain both gluten (breadcrumbs) and dairy (cheese), which is why they were separated by the foil (and they were really tasty by the way!).
- Shawn’s Salad: A beautifully arranged display of greens (including organic baby kale, spinach, chard and spring mix lettuce), lemons, shallots, roasted beets, tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, cucumbers, carrots, red bell peppers and goat cheese. Shawn also brought two homemade salad dressings including both a tahini-based and an olive oil-based one.
- Kiran’s Dessert: I couldn’t write this post about Kiran’s dessert without going in the kitchen to take a bite of the leftovers. This was a delectable flourless chocolate torte that was topped with a simple strawberry as opposed to any dairy-based ice cream or whipped cream. This dessert was a great choice for my (roughly) once-a-week non-real food treat! :)
Before I share our quick and easy Green Curry Shrimp recipe I want to give a shoutout to our meal planning sponsor, eMeals. Recommended by money-management expert Dave Ramsey, eMeals is one of the veteran meal planning services out there. They are constantly adding new plans to their repertoire, which last year included both Clean Eating and Paleo meal plans. They are also one of the few services that allows you to choose a plan for either a large family (3 – 6 servings) or small family (1 – 2 servings). Be sure to check out eMeals if you are interested in having someone else make your weekly meal plan and corresponding grocery list for you!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and patted dry
- 1 cup coconut milk (low fat is not recommended)
- 4 teaspoons green curry paste (homemade or store bought)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- ¼ cup diced green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Optional accompaniments: Brown rice and steamed sugar snap or snow peas
- In a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat melt the coconut oil.
- Add the diced onion and cook while stirring for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and saute for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are pink, curled up, and cooked all the way through.
- Turn the heat down to low and pour in the coconut milk along with the green curry paste. Be careful to mash up the green curry paste with the back of the cooking spoon so it will be absorbed into the milk. Pour in the fish sauce, if using.
- Once the coconut milk has slightly thickened and the paste is bound with the sauce turn off the heat. Sprinkle the green onions and basil over top of the green curry shrimp and serve with whole grain rice and a vegetable.