Skinny Girl Shrimp Yakisoba

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Today we’re talking about a slimmed-down version of Yakisoba. Traditionally, this Japanese dish is made with buckwheat or ramen noodles. However, in this version I’m cutting the carbs and the dreaded gluten (gasp!) by using my new favorite cooking staple, drumroll please…shirataki noodles.

photo 1With a name like Pasta Zero, it has to be good, right!?

Shirataki noodles are typically made from yams or tofu and are the perfect pasta substitute for those of us watching our calories. They come in serval different varieties like fettuccine, angel hair, or spaghetti (which is what I used for this recipe) and can be found in almost every major grocery store – usually in the produce section near the tofu.

While they are perfectly safe to eat directly from the packaging, it is best to drain and rinse them first. WARNING: these little noods are packed in water and can have a somewhat off-putting smell. I’ve found the best way to combat the smell is to boil them in chicken/veggie stock for a few minutes and then rinse and drain again. It may sound tedious, but c’mon, it’s guilt-free pasta!  Trust me, it’s worth it.

With that said, let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS
2 8oz packages of Shirataki spaghetti
10-12 large raw shrimp, deveined & tails removed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small crown broccoli, shopped
1/3 C. button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 head (or one small head) green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

FOR THE SAUCE
1/3 C. low sodium soy sauce
1/3 C. worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. Sriracha
1 tsp. chives

DIRECTIONS
1. Bring a small saucepan of chicken/veggie stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove shirataki spaghetti from packaging and rinse with cold water in a colander. Place noodles in boiling stock and let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water and set aside.

2. While noodles are simmering, chop and prep your veggies and prepare sauce. For sauce combine soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sriracha and chives in a small bowl and whisk until ketchup dissolves. Set aside.

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3. Heat a large skillet on the stove over medium heat and add 1 Tbs. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. Once oil is warmed through, add the shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp are just barely opaque. remove shrimp from pan and set aside to cool.

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4. Increase heat to medium-high and to that same skillet add the additional 1 Tbs. of olive oil and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. Once oil is hot, add crushed red pepper and sauté for a few minutes to bring out the heat. Add minced garlic and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant, but not brown.

photo 5This will be sure to elicit an excited “What’s for dinner?” from anyone in the house

5. Add onion, carrots, celery, broccoli, mushrooms and cabbage to the pan. Stir-fry for 5-7 minutes or until veggies have wilted, but are still slightly firm. ( To keep its crunch, I usually wait 3 or so minutes before adding the cabbage).

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6. Once veggies are wilted, add the noodles and shrimp back in to the skillet.

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7. Slowly stir in the sauce and toss to combine. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes or until everything is warmed through.

8. Turn off heat and sprinkle cilantro over the top of the dish.

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Serve immediately & enjoy!

photo 5A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds makes for a pretty presentation and extra texture. Yum! 

Until next time friends,

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Portobello Lasagna Cups

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Lately I’ve been on a crusade to get back to eating right. I struggled with my diet over the holiday season and now my waistline is paying for it. For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to eat “clean” and cut out the junk food the fat kid inside of my craves, but let’s be honest, there’s only so many salads one gal can eat.

I was craving something more substantial that wouldn’t undo all my hard work at the gym. After surveying my veggie-stocked fridge, I came up with this little gem! This meat-less recipe was a snap to throw together and it has all the delicious flavors of lasagna, but without the guilt of pasta and unnecessary carbs.

Portobello Mushroom Lasagna Cups
INGREDIENTS
2 large portobello mushroom caps
1/2 C non-fat greek yogurt
1/4 C (combined) shredded mozzarella & shredded parmesan cheese
1/5 C fresh spinach, chopped
2 Tbs plain bread crumbs
1 egg white
1 tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 C prepared marinara (I prefer Prego Heart Healthy)
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a spoon, gently scrape out the gills of the mushrooms. Brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil, lightly salt and pepper both sides.

2. Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet, cap side down, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Once tender, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

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3. While mushrooms cook, prepare filling by combining; greek yogurt, egg white, spinach, shredded cheeses, bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil.

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4. After mushrooms have cooled, use a paper towel to blot any moisture from inside of cap before assembling.

5. To assemble, spread a layer of prepared red sauce in mushroom caps, followed by a layer of the greek yogurt filling. Top with one more layer of red sauce and finish with a sprinkle of cheese.

6. Return mushroom caps to the oven and back for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and all ingredients are warmed through.

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I saved a few more carbs by serving the portobello cups on a bed of spaghetti squash. Perfection!

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Guilt free, good for you, and so very tasty!

Until next time friends,

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Major Changes…

OK kids, there have been some MAJOR changes with House McMartin since my last post. Obviously, I have taken a ridiculously long hiatus from by beloved blog, but I SWEAR there is a good reason.

Wait for it….

I’M BACK IN IDAHO!

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That’s right, I have returned to my beloved Gem State! I will save you the exhausting details, but just know I have returned and am ready for all things Pacific Northwest-y (clams, local breweries, clams, hispters, beanies, clams etc). Sadly, the husband and I only had a short amount of time together before he returned to the tundra, but this time it’s only for a few weeks. He’s on his last and FINAL internship of graduate school and let me tell you, April cannot come soon enough. In the meantime I’ve been busy pretending to be a homemaker and attempting to lose the 10 lbs. of Midwest “insulation” I gained over the last few years.

I’ve got a TON of recipes and exciting stories to share so please stay tuned! Team McMartin is back with a vengeance!

Until next time friends,

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I’m All About….

Today, I am ALL about Meghan Trainor.

This song has been circulating for a little while now, but I just can’t get enough!

It’s upbeat, it’s catchy, and it’s about owning your lovely lady lumps. Safe to say I’m obsessed.

I’m definitely all about that bass.

Hope you’re dancing your Monday blues away!

Until next time friends,

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Crock-Pot Curry

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Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of curry. It just wasn’t a food that was on my radar. I can assume this is due in large part to the fact that I grew up in white-bread northern Minnesota where the SUPER CHINA BUFFET was the closest thing we had to “ethnic” food.

I had little to no experience with curry prior to trying this recipe so I was a little nervous, but this method makes it so easy! This recipe uses yellow curry powder instead of paste and plenty of spice, so the flavors are easily adjusted to your palate.

This is about as easy and basic as you can get, so if  anyone has any tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Hope you enjoy!

CROCK-POT CURRY with CHICKEN
INGREDIENTS

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 white onion, sliced in thin strips
2 large carrots, peeled & sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 C. broccoli pieces
1 C. cauliflower pieces
1 C. bell peppers, roughly chopped (use whichever your prefer, I typically use green, yellow & orange)
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed & drained
1 8oz. can coconut milk (shake well before opening)
1.5 C. low sodium chicken stock
2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbs. yellow curry powder
1.5 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. basil paste
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare your ingredients. Cut onions, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in to bite sized pieces. Rinse and drain the can of garbanzo beans using a colander or mesh strainer.

2. In a separate bowl, combine coconut milk (shake well before opening can), chicken stock, soy sauce, curry power, lime juice, basil and crushed red pepper (I also added a little parika and cayenne pepper for an extra kick). Whisk all ingredients together.

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3. Drizzle 2 Tbs. olive oil in bottom of crock-pot and add garlic. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and place in bottom of crock-pot. Add the veggies and garbanzos followed coconut milk mixture. Stir everything together to get even coating. Make sure chicken breast is completely submerged when cooking.

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4. Cover and set crock-pot to LOW for 6 hours.

5. After five hours on LOW, remove chicken breast and allow to cool for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, using forks or your fingers, shred the chicken in to small pieces.

6. Add shredded chicken back in to crock-pot and mix to coat. Allow to cook for another 45-60 minutes.

7. Serve immediately over rice & enjoy!

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MEGHAN’S NOTES

  • Even though this is a pretty healthy meal, you can save a few extra calories by using reduced fat coconut milk, but trust me when I say you will lose out on so much flavor. The last time I made this I used So Delicious Coconut Milk and it just wasn’t the same. For full flavor go for the real stuff!
  • This can easily be made vegetarian by substituting extra firm tofu cubes (added during the last hour of cooking) for the chicken and swapping out the chicken stock for a veggie-fied version.
  • Curry is best when paired with jasmine or basmati rice, but I just can’t justify buying it for one meal, so I serve this up with plain ol’ instant brown rice and it is still delish!
  • The hubby likes his curry plain, but since yellow doesn’t quite satisfy my need for spice, I love mine loaded with sriracha and fresh cilantro. Yumm!

 

Until next time friends,

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Small Town 4th of July

OK people I’m just going to come right out and say it….the 4th of July is my absolute favorite holiday.

That’s right, I said it, I like America’s birthday more than Christmas. Deal with it.

I love everything about the 4th of July and what it represents to the good ol’ U-S of A. But then again, it’s pretty hard not to love the 4th when you grow up in a small town that devotes the other 364 days of the year to planning this one holiday.

I was so excited for the 4th this year because the hubs and I were actually going to be able to spend it together! For the past two years we were apart on the 4th, and honestly, fireworks just aren’t the same when he’s not there. (Barrrfffff I know, but it’s true!) So as soon as I got off work on Thursday we loaded the car up with beer and patriotism and headed north.

Where I’m from, the 3rd of July means the annual street dance. Main street shuts down completely, there’s a live band, awesome food trucks, and all the bars open up onto the street. It’s like a very small Vegas….with less people handing you porn and waaay more Miller Lite.

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The 3rd of July is also traditionally the night of the big fireworks show. I am not kidding when I say it is the best fireworks display I’ve ever seen outside of major metro areas or Disney World (Mickey knows his shit). Between myself, Will, and our limited knowledge of explosive displays, we estimated that the city must have dished out at least $20,000 for the fireworks. $20k is an amazing figure on its own, but it’s even more impressive when you realize that people donate all year long to keep this tradition alive. Not to mention that the whole shebang is coordinated by the local pharmacist and a group of volunteers. Needless to say, the street dance delivered.

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The morning of America’s 238th birthday started off with a bang…literally. My aunt and uncle were nice enough to let us stay with them for the weekend at their awesome lake place, but they failed to mention their little 4th of July tradition where everyone on the lake fires off 3 shot-gun rounds….at 7 a.m.! I was up and at em’ bright and early.

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We headed back into town for the parade and a few bloody marys, which are absolutely vital to any early morning birthday celebration. We had a pretty good spot, but forgot chairs so I’m not proud to admit that we bailed early. Nap time was immenent.

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We spent the rest of the day in typical celebratory fashion at the golf course with beers, burgers, and the time honored tradition of shoe kicking. Yep, a shoe kicking contest. Will didn’t win this year, but he had a much better showing than in years past (Shoe Kicking Contest 2012 ended with a shoe to someone’s face and two years of shame).

photo 2REDEMPTION!

We were able to fit in a pontoon ride around the lake with the fam and even made it back over to my parents in time for dinner and a campfire. It was pretty much the perfect 4th of July weekend!

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In my opinion, if you have the chance to celebrate 4th of July in a small town, do it. Sure the major urban areas have fancy parades and gigantic fireworks, but I think you’re missing the heart and soul of the 4th until you see it up close and personal.

Until next time friends….MURICA!

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MSP to BOI

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Well, it only took 11 months and two weeks, but Will and I finally made it back to Idaho this past weekend! We hadn’t been back to Boise since we were married there last July, and after the winter we had in Minne, we were more than ready for some desert heat.

Will finished the didactic portion of PT school last week, meaning that he is done with classroom work FOREVER, so this trip was perfect timing for a little celebration getaway. But it was a celebration weekend for more than just us since the main reason we went back was to see our good friends tie the knot. Yes, wedding season is upon us!

Typically when we travel we fly out of Minneapolis since it’s so much cheaper than flying out of our local airport. The problem is MSP airport is about a 2.5 hour drive from our house…meaning we have to plan for at least 3 hours to get down there, 1 hour to check in and get through security and at least 30 minutes of cushion room in case something happens. Ultimately this meant I had to run home from work, finish packing, get my poop in a group and head out the door.

We made it to the airport with time to spare, but it’s still an exhausting feeling to drive 2.5 hours and know you’ve still got a 3 hour plane ride to go. Luckily, our plane left at 10:50 p.m. so most everyone was asleep….except for me. I can’t sleep on planes. Like ever. However, knowing this about myself I had the forsight to purchase the entire Miranda Lambert album before we left so I at least had some company. (PS the album is amazing, I listened to the whole thing from start to finish!)

We made it to Boise without incident and Will’s mom and brother picked us up from the airport…..they also had a cooler of Red’s waiting for us in the car. Have I mentioned how awesome my in-laws are??

Thursday night we stayed up just long enough to say hi to the family and then promptly face-planted into bed.

Friday I woke up super early thanks to the time change but I did get to spend some time chatting with my MIL. It’s not all that often we get to chat just us gals so it was a great way to start the day. After Will got up we ran to the mall quick so I could stop by the holiest of holies….H&M. Ugh I could spend all day in there! I didn’t find anything too exciting, but I did manage to revel in being in a “real mall” for a little while. So nice to be able to shop somewhere besides JC Penney.

After some shopping and a haircut for Will we headed back to the house to get ready for the night’s festivities. I had decided many weeks ago that Friday night was reserved for dinner at my favorite Boise restaurant, Bardenay, and some downtown shenanigans. We had a few pre-dinner cocktails at the house and I was FINALLY reunited with my Boise bests. I miss my friends oh so much!

Dinner was a delicious success and since we were at Bardenay, I obviously had to have some vodka martinis. Duh.

photo 1Bardenay with all my favorite people! 

After dinner we headed downtown to dance the night away, and dance we did! Obviously I was having a good time because I didn’t take one single picture….and we’ll just leave it at that.

Fast forward to Saturday….

Lets’s be honest, after the amount of fun had on Friday night I was in no shape to be a productive member of society. So instead we recovered with gatorade and biscuits and gravy and watched a little world cup action before we had to get ready for the wedding.

The wedding was absolutely perfect. It was at this adorable outdoor venue that had cute little fountains and gardens and plenty of open space to mix and mingle. It was so fun to see all the girls and significant others and just catch up on life. It seems like no matter how much time passes, we always go right back to where we were….just a bunch of friends sharing laughs.

photo 3Bride & Groom sharing their first dance. Her dress was to die for!

Will’s parents were kind enough to pick us up from the wedding and taxi us downtown to continue the festivities. I love downtown Boise because it never fails to feel like a reunion. I swear I saw everyone I’ve ever met that night. We played until the wee hours of the morning and made it home without any major issues.

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photo 1This sneaky nugget came down from the mountains to surprise us! Love him.

Sunday I was in pain. I’m not a young buck anymore and two nights of shenanigans is waaaay too much for my body to handle. But even though I would have been content to feel sorry for myself on the couch all day, we had organized a Sunday Funday BBQ, so I had to get it in gear. Amazingly, the best and I were able to pull off something that sort of resembled a planned event. I made my famous black bean & corn salsa, she whipped up some cous cous salad and we had burgers and dogs a-plenty. Done and done.

Eventually the fun had to end, so we said our goodbyes and headed back to the house to pack.

We flew out on Monday around 2:30, so we had time to visit with Will’s grandma and snag some Flatbread for lunch, which was so so good! Honestly, I think I miss the food in Boise almost as much as I miss my friends and family.

We said our goodbyes at the airport and headed to the gate with heavy hearts. Not going to lie, I may have shed a tear or two during take-off, but it makes it a little easier knowing we will see our friends again in August when we hit wedding #2 in Coeur d’Alene.

So for now I’m headed east, but don’t worry Idaho, you still have my heart….

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Until next time friends,

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