Recipe: Five-Spice Shrimp and Rice Bowl

by Cate on February 24, 2011

Tonight's DinnerOne of the tricks that my old trainer taught me was the key to making the quickest dinner (or lunch possible) … prep ahead.  And this weekend, I actually got a chance to do that.  I roasted two trays of vegetables (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, red bliss potatoes and parsnips) and loaded them into small sealed containers.

But how does that become dinner?  Simple.  Add a protein and a carb, mix it all together and serve.  The hard part (and really, roasting vegetables isn’t hard, it just takes a bit ‘o time) is done, so then during the week, when you’re a bit short on time, you just need to add the extras and you’re golden.  Two dinners this week took less than 15 minutes.

1.  For Sunday night’s dinner, I added Five-Spice Shrimp (recipe below) to roasted vegetables and brown rice.  Once plated, I squeezed half a lemon over the whole thing and added sliced avocado and fresh chopped cilantro.  It was perfect, and light (yet filling enough for a meal) and one of our guests remarked that it was one of her favorite meals here so far I mean, really, did you LOOK at that picture?  It was sublime.

2.  For a second dinner, I marinated some flounder in lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and parsley and again, added the roasted vegetables, brown rice and lemon juice.

For alternatives instead of brown rice, whole wheat cousous would be great, as would some quinoa.  Mix and match the roasted vegetables.  Add a sprinkling of fresh herbs and lemon juice over the top and call it a day.  Or a meal.  Crumbled turkey meat, wild salmon or grilled chicken would also be pretty awesome (in place of the shrimp or flounder) as well.

Prep WorkThe key here, as with many meals, is to have some of your prep work done ahead of time, so when it’s time to start making your meal, it’s just a little bit of mixing and matching, a little bit of heating and a whole lot of devouring.

Project 365
February 24, 2011, Photo #54

ThankfulDear Grandma, thank you so much for the soft yellow duckling that plays the Bruno Mars song over and over and over again.  I love it. My mom?  Not so much.  xoxo Madeline

PS – Want one more recipe before escaping for your weekend?  These Banana Walnut Pancakes I have over on Betty Crocker’s website are the perfect start to your lazy Sunday morning, or a great treat for breakfast at dinner.  Enjoy your weekend!

Five-Spice Shrimp
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound medium or large shrimp, peeled

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat.  In a Ziploc bag, put the oil, garlic five-spice powder, sea salt, black pepper and shrimp.  Seal the top and mix to combine.  Grill the shrimp, turning once, until just firm and opaque (tails will start to turn in when done).

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne February 25, 2011 at 7:15 am

I really need to get better about pre-prepping things. I mean…I still always end up cooking dinner but it’s usually at the expense of my studying! I love the idea of just roasting veggies and then mixing them into whatever protein you decide to make. It makes life so much easier when you already have your base on hand.


Betsy February 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Just wondering if there was a trick (or at least to me) for heating up the roasted veggies. For example in dinner two.

I love roasted veggies but usually end up eating the leftovers ar room temp. Also, like some leftover oasted veggies (say zucchini, onion, eggplant, tomatoes etc) with wh wheat couscous (love TJ’s) and some feta, olive oil and lemon juice etc.


Cate O'Malley February 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I usually heat up the roasted vegetables in a skillet on the stove, instead of microwaving them. I think it gives it the chance to have them get a little crispy again, instead of limp versions of their former selves.


Jen February 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Planning and prepping ahead is key and I am working on that :) Great job on the Five-Spice Shrimp! I love the addition of avocado!


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