Tom Kha – Thai Shrimp Coconut Soup

Tom kha is one of my favorite soups!  It’s rich, creamy, salty, savory, tangy, and a bit spicy.  I’ve tried many many many times to make a batch that somewhat rivals that of one of my favorite local Thai restaurants to no avail.  But this time I think I finally nailed it.  It’s surprisingly easy and despite what I previously assumed to be the reason why it wasn’t turning out to be as good as Lulu’s, it doesn’t require a trip to the Asian market.  While the traditional version uses galangal, Thai basil, and lemongrass, I was able to create a more approachable version using ginger and lime juice.  This soup comes together quickly and is perfect for a night spent cozying up on the couch! And of course, it’s full of a variety of vegetables, with spaghetti squash instead of noodles or rice, which keeps it lower carb but no less filling!

It does require a few items probably not normally in your pantry, but not to worry!  They’re still pretty easy to find at your local grocery store!  They also add tons of flavor while keeping the ingredient list to a minimum.  So, what are these secret ingredients?  Thai red curry paste and fish sauce!  Both add intense flavor and really give the broth the most satisfying touch of tang and spice!

Additionally, if you utilize a fish sauce that doesn’t contain sugar, this soup is both paleo and whole30!  I used Kame brand because that’s what I was able to find at the store, but Red Boat makes a version without sugar.  While the fish sauce smells a bit funky, you absolutely cannot skip this ingredient!  It was the ingredient that I had been missing on my previous attempts and the flavor it adds is not replicable!  It adds saltiness and tanginess, along with umami (savory) flavor.  It’s made from anchovies, which, if you didn’t know is also the key ingredient in Caesar dressing!  Because of the fair amount of fish sauce used in this recipe, no additional salt is necessary.  And I even cut down on the sodium further by using a low sodium chicken broth.  I also highly recommend using fresh ginger and garlic.  I’m just not sure that dried or powdered versions would bring quite the flavor punch necessary to really make the broth for this soup sing!  And really, the broth is what it’s all about, so don’t skip out on it!

Alright, so besides the insanely delicious broth, I mentioned that this soup is full of vegetables and I wasn’t kidding!  Bell peppers, onion, green onion, chilis, and spaghetti squash are all swimming around in there, and shrimp adds a good bit of protein to help keep you full and satisfied!  For additional flavor, add some fresh cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

tom kha veggies

 

tom kha soup

Tom Kha – Thai Shrimp Coconut Soup

Servings:  4          Time: ~ 45 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 serrano chilis (or Thai chilis if you can find them!), halved and thinly sliced, optional
  • 3 limes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 14.5oz can light coconut milk
  • 1 14.5oz can reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 rounded tsp red curry paste
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise, scrape out seeds, and rub cut side with a bit of olive oil.  Place cut side down on a foil lined baking pan.  Pierce skin with a fork several times.  Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until softened and strands scrape out easily.  *Don’t overcook as it will continue to cook a bit once added to soup.
  • While squash cooks, over medium heat in a large dutch oven, add ghee (or oil/butter of choice) and melt.  Add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes per side, until almost cooked through.
  • Add regular onion, chili, and green onion (reserve about 2 tbsp. green onion for garnish later, if desired) and saute a couple minutes until lightly softened.
  • Add ginger, garlic, and red curry paste and continue to saute, stirring continuously, for about 2 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, and juice of 2 limes (tip – gently roll the limes on the counter before slicing to release the juices) and bring to a simmer.
  • Add red bell pepper to soup.
  • Once squash is done and cool enough to handle, scrape out strands and add to soup.  Continue simmering for 5 minutes or so until everything is combined.
  • Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges
Nutrition Info:

315 total cal, 13 g fat, 23 g carb, 27 g protein

 


Shrimp in Tomato Sauce

I’ve been focusing on making simpler, less time consuming, and fewer ingredient recipes lately as I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by life in general. ūüôā

We’ve all been there, where it seems like our to do list continues to grow rather than becoming smaller and more manageable.¬† And while I am whole heartedly looking forward to the weather warming up once and for good this Spring, in the back of my mind I also know that means that my schedule is going to be even fuller.

I’ve consistently played sports and stayed active in adult activities since moving to Kansas City in 2008.¬† Three seasons a year (and even year round in years past), my husband and I play in multiple sand volleyball leagues.¬† On 2 evenings a week, we join our sand volleyball family for 2 hours of competitive sand volleyball.¬† Additionally, I’m playing in a kickball league that plays for 2 hours every Sunday afternoon.¬† Both volleyball and kickball have started for the Spring season, but have had game cancellations due to the midwest weather that can’t make up its mind this year!¬† Winter just doesn’t want to clear out!

So, with the upcoming busy weeks creeping up, I need to focus on preparing meals that continue to nourish by body, give me energy, but also don’t take an inordinate amount of time to plan and prepare.

This recipe does the job and the ingredients can be kept on hand for moments when you haven’t planned ahead yet don’t have time to run to the store to pick up ingredients to cook a meal with.

It starts with frozen, peeled, and deveined shrimp.¬† These get cooked in a tomatoey sauce made with canned, fire roasted tomatoes and a few seasonings.¬† Then you serve it alongside your favorite vegetables or for a fun twist, that makes it seem kind of fancy IMO, some cubed polenta croutons. ūüôā

shrimp tomato sauce cooking

There’s the shrimp simmering away in the tomato sauce.

Here it is served with some riced cauliflower and a side of zucchini and asparagus.

shrimp tomato sauce bowl

And here’s the polenta cubes (thanks to my friend @foxeatspaleo for the inspiration on this one!)

shrimp tomato polenta cubes

Ingredients:

Servings: 4          Time:  20 minutes

  1. 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (I generally use frozen)
  2. 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  3. 1 T paprika
  4. 1/2 T garlic powder
  5. 1/2 T onion powder
  6. 1/2 T Chile Crunch or crushed red pepper flakes
  7.  Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. If using frozen shrimp, cut the bag open and add lukewarm water and allow to thaw for about 10 minutes or so.  Drain water prior to cooking.
  2. Add tomatoes and seasoning to medium sauce pot over medium low heat.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add thawed and drained shrimp and simmer until shrimp are fully cooked and tomato sauce has thickened slightly
  4. Serve with desired sides!

Optional polenta croutons:

  1. Cut a 1 lb tube of pre-cooked polenta into small, bite sized cubes.
  2.  Toss with salt and pepper
  3.  Toast in a skillet with a small amount of EVOO or coconut oil over medium high heat until lightly browned and crispy
  4.  These soak up the smokey, tomato sauce beautifully!

Nutrition info (for shrimp in tomato sauce w/o sides):

152 total cal,  2 g fat, 8 g carb, 25 g protein


Spicy Shrimp with Cauli Mash and Bacony Garlic Brussels

Thanks for joining me!  This site will be a work in progress while I get the hang of this!  Any and all feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

Take care of your body.¬† It’s the only place you have to live. ‚ÄĒ Jim Rohn

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for awhile in order to share recipes (successes as well as probably a few flops) along with ideas on how I stay both mentally and physically fit and healthy.

My journey with learning and loving to cook started at a young age.  I can happily report that both my mom as well as my grandma are amazing cooks so I learned from the best, in my opinion :).

As a young child, I was labeled an “extreme ectomorph”, which basically was medical jargon for lanky and lack of muscle.¬† Like most kids, my metabolism along with playing multiple sports,¬†allowed me to eat just about anything and everything and remain thin.¬† Literally, Peanut Buster Parfaits from DQ were a regular part of my diet!

That is, until my thyroid got out of whack my sophomore year of high school.  I gained >30 pounds that school year so I had to start looking for ways that I could continue to prepare and enjoy delicious food but become more conscious of what I using to fuel my body.

Thus, my love of cooking began.

For my first recipe, I’m going to share what I put together for dinner tonight.¬† After sharing a picture on social media and getting several requests for the recipe, I decided it was time to stop thinking about starting this site and actually get started ūüôā

Image may contain: food

Spicy Shrimp w/ Cauli Mash and Bacony Garlic Brussels

Serves: 4                               Total time: ~45 min 

Cauli Mash:

  1. 1 head of cauliflower, cut into medium florets
  2. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 T olive oil
  4. 2 C chicken broth
  5. 1 C cashew milk (or milk of choice)
  6. 1/2 C corn meal
  7. 1/3 C nutritional yeast such as Braggs (or cheese such as parmesan if you like)

 Bacony Garlic Brussels:

  1. 1.5 – 2 lbs Brussels spouts, trimmed and halved
  2. 4 oz diced pancetta (or several slices bacon, diced)
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 T olive oil
  5. Salt and pepper

Spicy Shrimp:

  1. 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  2. 2 T olive oil
  3. 1 t crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  4. 1 t garlic powder
  5. 2 t chili powder
  6. Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.  Toss the brussels sprouts ingredients together and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Bake in the oven for approximately 20 Р25 minutes, stirring once.
  2. While brussels sprouts cook, start the cauliflower.  In a medium/large stockpot, heat a few of the larger chunks of pancetta over medium heat until some of the fat has rendered.  Remove the pancetta, add olive oil and cauliflower and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 more minutes.  Add the chicken stock and milk of choice, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or more until the cauliflower is fork tender.  Mash the cauliflower with your fork to desired consistency.  (I like a chunky texture).  Add the corn meal and nutritional yeast (or cheese) and stir to incorporate.  The mixture will thicken up.  Add a few more tablespoons of broth or milk as necessary.
  3. For the shrimp, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Pat the shrimp dry and add to the skillet.  Season with red pepper flakes, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Using tongs, turn the shrimp and cook on each side about 3-4 minutes.  Remove the shrimp and add a few tablespoons of water or stock and heat for a few minutes to create a sauce.
  4. Layer the mashed cauli, shrimp, and brussels sprouts and enjoy!

Estimated Nutrition Info:

  • **404 tot cal, 21 g carb, 21 g fat, 43 g protein
  • 521 total cal, 30 g carb, 27 g fat, 49 g protein

**I divided the cauli mash and bacony garlic brussels into 6 servings and had leftovers so this nutrition info accounts for that

Note: the original version of this recipe called for 1 15oz can of cannelini beans, mashed, and added to the cauliflower mash.  I recently made this again without the beans and found it equally delicious along with less bloat inducing :).  The nutrition information has been updated to reflect the removal of the beans.

This recipe was adapted from Pinch of Yum

 

Note:  CeceOnTheGo participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  The products linked are products actually used when preparing this recipe.