I usually cook meals for myself and my boyfriend (who will be known as MM from this point forward) about 2-3 times a week. We do not live together, but we’re in the same neighborhood so it’s convenient for us to eat healthy meals together. MM has also recently taken more of an interest in wine. When I first started introducing wines to MM last year, he would say “it tastes like wine.” But now he is able to point out fruit, sweetness, acidity, and the most important factor: whether or not he likes it. A couple of weeks ago, as I called him out for trying to get the last drips of Malbec from a bottle before we dashed out of the house, he said “I really like wine now.” While I won’t give myself all the credit for fine-tuning his palate, I will take some.
Last night MM and I decided to prepare a healthy shrimp stir fry. Stir fry is a great meal for the winter because the heat and spice of the dish warms you up. It’s also fun to make and pretty simple, which is always good for a date night! MM did all the grocery shopping while I was at work (following the list I emailed him), and even defrosted the shrimp before I came over! While it’s fair to say that I do the majority of the purchasing and cooking, MM always offers help in the kitchen and more importantly, does ALL the cleaning. What a catch!
MM picked out these salad-sized frozen shrimp. Initially I was apprehensive because I typically use jumbo shrimp when I cook, but these turned out to be perfect (and healthier – only 3 Weight Watchers points per cup)! Frozen shrimp are a great thing to have around because they defrost quickly and can be used in pasta, stir-fry, salad, oven baked… the possibilities are endless. The remainder of my grocery list was as follows:
- 1-2 red peppers
- 1 head of broccoli
- 6-8 brown mushroom caps
- 1 zucchini
- 1 carrot
- 1 yellow onion (we only used half)
- ginger (to be used in the sauce)
- Shirataki angel hair noodles
I chopped up all the veggies and heated the wok. A wok is a huge plus when making stir-fry, but not essential. You can always use a large, non-stick pan. The vegetables mostly cook in their own juices and flavors, so you just need to use a little cooking spray on the wok. Start with the onions, carrots and pepper and saute for about 3 minutes. Then add the broccoli, mushrooms and zucchini and saute for another 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and prepare the noodles.
You can find Shirataki noodles in most grocery stores, and definitely Whole Foods. They are made of tofu and come in several different shapes, but the noodle shape is perfect for stir-fry and soups. Make sure you drain and rinse them thoroughly before cooking. Then add them to a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. While they’re cooking, toss the shrimp into the wok and coat with 2/3 of the sauce:
- 3 TB low sodium soy sauce
- 1 TB toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 TB yellow miso
- 2 tsp Sriracha (or more if you like it spicy, but you can always add on top)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used my Garlic Zoom!)
- 1 TB of ginger, finely chopped (MM used his Slap Chop!)
Once the noodles have been cooked, remove from the pot, drain and add to the wok with the remainder of the sauce.
And now for the wine… this is the perfect dish to pair with a California Sauvignon Blanc. JAQK Cellars makes a delicious $23.00 2009 Sauvignon Blanc called ‘Charmed’ that they recently sold out of (until they release the 2010 in March). Fortunately for me, I stashed two bottles in my wine rack before the inventory started dwindling. It’s 100% Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc aged in 100% neutral French oak. The aroma features lemon-lime flavors, spearmint, vanilla and creme fraiche. The taste is slightly acidic, which blends well with the concentrated flavors. It goes perfectly with spicy, Asian foods because it cuts through the spice and provides a good balance. I’m glad I pulled one out of my rack for this meal – totally worth it! And MM thought so too.