Often times when people come over to my place, they’ll inspect my fridge (I always inspect fridges, and judge harshly based on what I find), stare into its vast spaciousness, then look over at me. I know exactly what the next words out of their mouth will be…”how is it that you are always cooking when there is nothing here?” Unless of course they ask about the unmarked jar with what looks like curdled milk in it- that’s my raw kefir. To the first question, I have two answers. 1) There is no food in there because I cooked it (right?). I’m a minimalist, can’t do clutter, and usually only buy what I need. 2) Having little on hand encourages creativity (or forces starvation – you pick). Tonight was the perfect example.
**Sorry for the mediocre picture quality, these were taken in pretty bad light
After checking out CrossFit LA – my first real exposure to the CrossFit world, I came home to what I knew would be a grim food situation. The most prominent thing in my fridge was a big container of baby spinach. I looked in the freezer and remembered I had a bag of frozen peas and a few frozen shrimp. The wheels started turning. I knew I had a jar of Trader Joe’s Green Curry Sauce in my cabinet (I know just about everything in my place that is hanging around without a planned use – and that jar has been taunting me for weeks).
The Green Curry by itself isn’t particularly nutritious. Note that the second ingredient in this curry sauce is coconut milk – and despite its somewhat recent trendy status as a good source of fat, coconut milk is almost pure saturated fat, no better for your arteries than butter. In moderation – fine. But knowing our cultures “more is better” philosophy, and willingness to adopt results from a few murky studies once promoted by the mainstream media, I see this as the perfect recipe (I know, I know) for over-consumptive arterial disaster. Regardless, adding a few handfuls of spinach to the curry sauce and blending it would up the overall nutritional value a fair amount.
I pulled out the taunting jar of green curry sauce, threw its contents in the blender with a few handfuls of fresh spinach, and let the blades go to work. What resulted was a “super Thai green curry sauce.” And cooked with peas, some green garlic, and the lean protein from shrimp, the nutrition was pretty rounded out.
If you have a jar of green curry on hand, blend it with a few cups of spinach (fresh or frozen). Add the blended mixture to a skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the peas and cook about 5 minutes (8-9 minutes if still frozen). Add the thawed shrimp and cook 3-4 minutes. Serve over rice, or simply as is.
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