Shrimp Quinoa Pad Thai
Shrimp quinoa pad thai is the perfect weeknight dinner. Full of the flavor you would expect from pad thai and full of nourishment. This dish is filled with colorful vegetables as well as protein, fiber, and healthy fats for the perfect, balanced meal! Shrimp quinoa pad thai is one of my go to meals for the weeknight. I am OBSESSED with Asian flavors. Obsessed. We eat Asian-inspired meals at least a couple times a week. So far, Nick hasn't complained, so I will keep rolling with it!
I like Asian inspired dishes, like this shrimp quinoa pad thai, so much because I can use healthy fats like coconut oil and peanut butter to flavor the dishes. It is much easier to incorporate these types of fats in the meal, because the flavors pair so well with other Asian flavors, like salty soy sauce and spicy sriracha.
Coconut oil is already something I have gushed on here in this post. I purchase coconut oil from Aldi (reallyyyyyy great price), Trader Joe's or Costco. I believe almost all stores sell it now and is a very reasonable price these days!
Shrimp is one of my favorite sources of lean protein of that Nick and I eat often. Shrimp offers 18 grams of protein per serving! I specifically purchase Gulf coast caught shrimp so that it is local (to where I personally live). Most of the time I get mine already frozen though, as it is more cost effective. Look for raw frozen shrimp, most frozen pre-cooked shrimp is high in sodium and taste gross!
This dish also contains another favorite of mine, quinoa! Quinoa is one of the few sources of vegetarian complete proteins and also packs a ton of fiber and a healthy dose of iron, magnesium and other minerals. Oh, and it is gluten free if you are in to that kind of thing (or need gluten free for a medical reason). I purchase my quinoa typically from Aldi or Costco (see a trend here?), but is also at a great price at Trader Joe's and most grocery stores. I use this method to cook quinoa. Turns out perfectly every time!
- Coconut oil or spray
- ¼ cup broccoli, chopped
- 1/4 cup carrots, chopped
- ¼ cup zucchini, chopped
- 8-10 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined (if large shrimp, may want to cut into smaller pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce- divided (choose liquid aminos if needs to be gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce, optional
- 1 teaspoon sugar (raw sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (or 1/8 if you don’t like spicy)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- Optional toppings: chopped green onions, srirarcha, pickled ginger, miso
- Heat a large wok pan (any large saute pan will work) over medium heat. Once heated, coat the pan with coconut oil or spray and add the vegetables and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce (the rest will go in the peanut sauce). Saute for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are cooked but still retain texture and color.
- While the vegetables are cooking, mix together the sauce- adding together the peanut butter through grated ginger, mixing until well combined. It may help to heat the mixture for 15 seconds in the microwave to help mix better. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash more of vinegar or water until desired consistency is reached.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, add the shrimp and cook for another two minutes. Stir frequently, shrimp cooks very quickly and shouldn’t take any longer than two minutes- the shrimp should be opaque in color when complete.
- Take the wok or large saute pan off the heat, and stir in the cooked quinoa until it is well mixed with the shrimp and vegetables. Then add the sauce, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Divide into two servings and top with your favorite toppings- mine include green onions, a dash of sriracha and lots of pickled ginger!
This dish is very forgiving and you could easily sub chicken, chickpeas or soybeans (to make the dish vegan) for the shrimp, brown rice for the quinoa and use any vegetables you like (I also think asparagus, cauliflower and snow peas taste wonderful in this!)
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week! I am leaving today for Baltimore for the annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Management conference, I am presenting a poster at the conference but am most excited to geek out and learn so much about weight management! Cannot wait to share with you all about the nerdy things I learn.
Now to just learn some food photography skills...this meal was hard to make pretty with my lack of skills :) I am working on it!