Delicious Dinner

I modified a recipe tonight that I pulled from my ancient Weber Grill cookbook that is so old and well used that it is stored in a 3 ring binder.  I attribute some of the success for this recipe to the fact that I had never made the original, nor do I have much experience with Indonesian cooking flavors so the modified version couldn’t be anything but delicious!

When I approached this recipe, I knew that avoiding fat was a major issue.  Starting with the sauce, I identified that sesame oil is not yet permitted (Phase 2) but I honestly don’t know what purpose the oil has in the sauce.  Again, because I was experimenting, I realized that I could chose to eliminate or modify the oil.  I’m sure sesame flavor would be imparted by the original oil, but I also didn’t think that the fat/oil made any contribution so I eliminated it.  The second issue was peanut butter.  This one was much easier because I knew that powdered peanut butter would offer flavor with significantly less fat.  The recipe called for 3 tablespoons and so I chose to add 2 tablespoons of PB2 that would normally be mixed with 1 tablespoon water.  I know that 2 T dry ingredients + 1 T wet ingredients does not necessarily make 3 T of peanut butter, but I felt it was an appropriate amount.

Another sauce issue was the sugar, which is a no brainer to replace.  The nice thing is that anyone can replace sugar with their own preferred sweetner.  I used Truvia.  I chose Truvia because I have recently felt overwhelmed by the flavor of Splenda and am trying to broaden my tastes.

The last concern with the sauce was thickness.  Last week I finally located a low cost source of Xanthan gum (thank you  Vitamin Cottage) and I was eager to try it.  My internet search about how to use the thickener said to use it sparingly so I got out my previously useless dash, pinch, and smidgen measuring spoons that I have never actually used to measure a quantity of something, internet searched again how much each one contains, and decided to use the smallest measure.  I’m sure I could have used more to thicken the sauce.  For what it’s worth, the best way to avoid lumps is to sprinkle the powder onto the surface, let it rest for a minute or so and then wisk it into the liquid.  Voile!  Thicker sauce.

Next challenge was the shrimp.  The seasoning also called for oil (peanut).  The only purposes that I can envision for the peanut oil would be to prevent the shrimp from sticking to the grill and as a medium for the spices to flavor.  I can spray the grill to keep the shrimp from sticking so that would eliminate the need for oil.  As for flavor, I chose to blend my spices in my Magic Bullet because I like that it makes my spices more fine and able to coat the shrimp easier.   My opinion is that the oil would be more important if I were to saute the spices prior to combining with the shrimp in order to bring out their full flavor.  While I might try this, I think grinding the spices finely achieved a similar purpose.  Not to mention, my recipe conversion was an experiment that did not involve testing that variable today!

The final hurdle was to find a vegetable or salad to serve with my Shrimp Satay.  Another quick internet search led me to some ideas for salads.  I opted for one that had a very simple, oil free dressing and reminded me of what I thought the vegetables inside of a Vietnamese Egg roll is like.  The one mistake I made was that I chopped up the mint and cilantro and made them part of the dressing instead of the salad.  They stuck together in clumps!  With a bit of work, I was able to handle it okay, but I think I would prefer to have the herbs loose around the lettuce mixture.

The final dinner product was fantastic.  I made a triple recipe because I wanted to have leftovers for other meals.  I tripled the sauce and either should have made it thicker or just made less of it because when I combined the leftover shrimp and sauce (to coat the shrimp before storage), I ended up with a pretty large amount of leftover sauce that I ended up throwing away.  Overall though the recipe conversion to SOS friendly was successful.

Shrimp Satay

Shrimp Satay

Sauce:

1/4 c water

2 T PB2 powder

2 T Soy Sauce (I recommend low sodium)

2 T Rice Vinegar

1 T sugar substitute

1/2 t granulated garlic

1/4 t Tabasco sauce

Xanthan gum

Instructions:  Combine all ingredients except the Xanthan gum in a small sauce pan.  Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.  Sprinkle a small amount of the Xanthan gum to thicken.   Set sauce aside to cool.

Shrimp:

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t ground ginger

1/4 t curry powder

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

Instructions:  Combine the dry ingredients.  Use a mixer or grinder to make the spices fine.  Sprinkle onto the shrimp.  Set shrimp aside for 20-30 minutes.

To cook the shrimp, Thread the shrimp onto skewers.  Grill shrimp over Direct High heat until just opaque in the center and firm to the touch 2-4 minutes.  Turn once half way through grilling.  Serve with the sauce.

Thai Salad

For the dressing:

1 clove garlic (pressed or minced)

2 tsp sugar substitute

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp Asian fish sauce

1 tbsp water

3/4 tsp rice-wine vinegar

pinch dried red-pepper flakes

Combine the fish sauce, lemon juice, garlic, sugar substitute, water, vinegar, and red-pepper flakes.

In a large bowl, combine the romaine, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, and mint.

For the salad:

1 small head Romaine lettuce

2 carrots, peeled and julienned

1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and julienned

1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Instructions:  Slice the romaine lettuce into pieces.  You want about 1 quart of greens for the dressing to be most effective.  Combine the vegetables and herbs together.  Top with the dressing.

Nutrition information (calculated by My Fitness Pal and adjusted for the unused sauce)

Calories: 176

Fat: 3 g

Carbs: 4 g

Protein: 31 g

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