Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry with Kale Fried Rice

There are two types of people in the world. Those who hate Gwyneth Paltrow, and those who love her. I happen to fall into the latter category. I 'm a subscriber to her GOOP site, make sure I catch any movie or TV show she's appearing in, and even think she's a pretty good singer. Since I keep up on all things GP, I also know that she is a big foodie and loves to cook. As I've told my husband a time or two, I just know that if GP and I were to meet, we would be instant friends.

So knowing that Gwyneth loves to eat and cook, I was excited to get my hands on her first cookbook when it came out in late 2010. Since then I have cooked my way though most of "My Father's Daughter" and have not been disappointed. Just about everything I have cooked has been delicious. The food is the kind of food I love to cook and eat too; simple, easy food with fresh ingredients.

Two of my favorite recipes in the book are the stir-fry and fried rice. Both are great ways to pack lots of veggies into your dinner. Actually, GP's recipe for this stir-fry doesn't include any vegetables, but I've decided to go ahead and load this up with all my stir-fry favorites. Her recipe is also for a chicken stir-fry, and I've substituted shrimp. Too much chicken eating going on around here. We needed to change things up a bit.

Another nice thing about these recipes is that they cook very quickly. The only time consumming part is the chopping. If you are in a pinch you can pick things that are either prepped for you (sliced mushrooms, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, snap peas) or really easy to slice up (peppers, zucchini, broccoli florets). If you get those taken care of, the hardest part of this dish is the peeling and chopping of the ginger. I've come to find that if you keep ginger, wrapped in paper towels and bagged, in the freezer, it makes much easier work of the peeling. A trick I was taught is to use a spoon to peel the ginger. Just scrape the spoon over the ginger and the peel comes right off, and you don't trash half the ginger like when you cut it off. With those things taken care of, the rice takes about 15 total minutes and the stir-fry, about the same. A healthy, delicious dinner ready in less time than take out!

Shrimp Stir-Fry
adapted from "My Father's Daughter" by Gwyneth Paltrow

serves 4

3/4 lb. shrimp - peeled and deveined
2 tbsp cornstarch
kosher salt and fresh pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup garlic- peeled and minced
1/4 cup ginger-peeled and minced
1/2 cup scallions- white and green parts, minced
pinch red pepper flakes-optional
8 ounces mixed mushrooms- sliced
large handful snap peas
1 small zucchini- thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper- sliced into strips
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark, whatever you have on hand)
2 tbsp soy sauce (I like to use reduced sodium)
2 tbsp cilantro- chopped

Toss the shrimp with the cornstarch, a pinch of salt and some fresh pepper.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions and pepper flakes and cook, stiring, for 1 minute. Add the vegetables and cook for another minute. Add the shrimp and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the vinegar and sugar and a bit more black pepper. Cook for 3 minutes at a boil so that the sugar can caramelize.

Add the soy sauce, cook 30 seconds longer and the serve, sprinkled with the cilantro, along side....

Kale Fried Rice
pretty much how it is published in "My Father's Daughter" by Gwyneth Paltrow

serves 4

1/4 lb. kale - stems removed
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic- peeled and minced
3 scallions-thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (my secret here is to buy the already cooked and frozen brown rice from Whole Foods. All I need to do it throw it in the microwave for 3 minutes and it's ready to get thrown in the pan. Of course any cooked rice, brown or white, will do.)
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce

Cut the kale in half, then crosswise into strips. Or if you are like me, just coarsely chop the leaves into small, uneven, pieces. Steam kale for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, making sure not to brown it. Raise heat to medium and add the kale and scallions. Cook 2 more minutes and the add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring. Add the soy sauce, cook for 30 more seconds and serve along with the stir-fry.


  1. It is!! I always look forward to making this one!:)

  2. So glad that you love GP! I feel like you either get her or you don't . This looks yummy..although I would have to omit the shrimp bc I'm allergic:( I do think it would be still great minus the shrimp..maybe with chicken?

    1. I've made it with chicken before and it is super good too! Since you are going to cut the chicken into little pieces, the cooking times aree pretty much the same.