Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Budget-Smart Chinese Feast is the Cat's Meow

The Writing Gourmet
“As long as there's pasta and Chinese food in the world, I'm okay."
Michael Chang
Thanks to the warm snowstorm it's super slush outdoors here in the Sierras. Question: Do I like to walk the dogs in the slippery white stuff? Answer: Not so much. I'd rather stay indoors and whip up hot and spicey Chinese food. No kidding. I remember paying $25 for Chinese--enough rice, veggies, fried shrimp, and two fortune cookies for two. But last night after walking like a penguin on the snow covered ground, I cooked up a meal that's enough for four humans and a taste of shrimp for one fish-loving senior cat, Kerouac. (The Brittanys, a sporting breed--wannabe snowdogs--were are whooped and already ate.) The best part, homemade Chinese food costs less, and you can healthy it all up which is grr-eat...

Shrimp Stirfry
* * *
1 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cups cruciferous vegetables mix, pre-cut
jumbo shrimp, pre-cooked (about 3-4 shrimp per person; warning high in cholesterol)
orange extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ginger (optional)
garlic, chopped (optional)
pepper as desired

Simply follow the cooking rice instructions on the package. Sautee veggies in oil. Repeat with shrimp (no more than two minutes on medium heat). Fold in al dente vegetables and fish with rice. Serves four or makes four meals for one.

But don't stop there! Include antioxidant, immune boosting green tea. And for dessert serve chocolate dipped fortune cookies. This tasty and easy to cook meal cuts the price a lot. Rice is budget-friendly. A large bag of cruciferous vegetables is less than five dollars. The shrimp (low in saturated fat, a good protein, vitamin B12 and iron source)? I got more than less for five dollars. I always have green tea, olive oil, ginger, and pepper. Not to forget no MSG. The vegetables aren't tainted with a meat sauce. And the orange flavored EVOO gives the dish a nice light citrus flavor.
And the cookies? (Check out Chocolate Fortunes--the blog post before this one tells you all about these gems.) And chocolate fortune cookies--the traditional or festive ones--are frosting on a flavorful and healthy homemade Chinese meal.

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