Kung Pao Shrimp

I know you know I love love love seafood. I also like my food with a lil kick. While Kung Pao Chicken is good, Kung Pao Shrimp is even better. I prefer cashews to peanuts. To cut the carbs, sometimes, I serve the Kung Pao over my Sesame Garlic-Ginger Cabbage. With or without rice, this recipe is a spicy flavorful keeper. Adjust the level of spice for your tastebuds. And, of course feel free to use chicken or even pork. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking, how about Kung Pao Salmon? That’s definitely on my recipe creation list now!. 

Peace & Java
Prep Time: 20 min            Cook Time: 20 min               Total Time: 40 min    
      Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

Servings: 4                          Difficulty: Intermediate      Yield: about 6 cups           SP: 4


1 pound medium shrimp (41-50), peeled and deveined

1 large green bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 large red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 large onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup cashews

8-10 dried red chilies

2 green onions, white and green, thinly sliced

1 tablespoons canola or peanut oil


2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Mirin

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Kung Pao Sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar  

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon chili garlic paste, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced


1. In a medium bowl, whisk the soy sauce, Mirin and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the shrimp, and toss to coat. Set aside and prepare the rest of the veggies and sauce.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the black vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, chili garlic sauce, cayenne and garlic. Whisk until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved and set aside. 

3. Chilis are potent and can really smoke up the kitchen. Turn on the exhaust fan if needed. Add the canola oil to a large work or skillet on medium high heat. Add the chilies and stir-fry about 30 seconds or until the chilies have begun to blacken. 

4. Add the bell peppers and onion. Stir-fry until a lil browned, but still crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. 

5. Stir the marinating shrimp, making sure they are coated. Add the shrimp to the pan and stir-fry until just pink. Add the Kung Pao sauce and and coat the shrimp and veggies. Add the cashews and cook 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thickened. 

6. Remove from the heat. Garnish the Kung Pao with the green onions and serve over Sesame Garlic & Ginger Cabbage or brown rice.  

1 cup of Sesame Garlic & Ginger Cabbage is 1 SP and 1/2 cup brown rice is 4 SP.


Mirin is a rice wine. It can be found in most grocery stores or at an Asian market. 

If you can’t find Chinese black vinegar, my fav is Gold Plum Chinkiang, use a good-quality balsamic vinegar. Amazon carries Gold Plum if you can’t find it locally. 

Hoisin is a Chinese barbecue sauce. You can find it at most grocery stores. 

If you can find ground Sichuan pepper, use it in place of the cayenne. 


Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

Like Shrimp? Like Fried Rice? Wish there was a healthier version? Well, thank me anytime, because I’ve got you covered. This mock fried rice features califlower rice. It’s tasty, healthy and soooooo soooo good. And, the bonus is, you can have a second helping without any guilt!! Get your “fried rice” on friends!!

Substiute any of your favorite veggies to suit your stir-fry tastes. 

Peace & Java

Prep Time: 30 min            Cook Time: 30 min         Total Time: 1 hour          Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups        Servings:

Difficulty: easy peasy       Yield: about 8 cups          SP: 2 without oil; 3 with oil


3 teaspoons canola oil divided, optional 

Non-stick cooking spray

1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 eggs, lightly beaten

6 scallions, chopped

1 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 carrots, chopped

4 cups cauliflower, riced (use 1 package or prepare your own with 1 small-medium head of cauliflower)

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tableshpoon garlic chili paste, or to taste

1 tsp sesame oil

1. Spray a wok or large skillet with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat. Or, if using oil, add 1 teaspoon canola oil to the pan. Add the shrimp. Stir-fry in batches, until pink and just opaque in the center, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. 

2.If using oil, add 1 teaspoon to the wok or skillet. If not, add more cooking spray. Add the lightly beaten eggs or medium to low heat. Softly scramble the eggs, about 2 minutes. Add the scrambled eggs to the plate with the shrimp.

3. If using oil, add the last teaspoon to the work or skillet. If not, add more cooking spray. Add the carrots and stir fry until a little browned, but still a lil crunchy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the scallions, ginge and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes to incorporate. Add the peas, shrimp and scrambled eggs. Cook until heated through, 3-4 minutes.

4. Stir in the soy sauce, hoisin, garlic chili paste and sesame. Stir-fry to combine veggies with shrimp and seasonings. Add the cauliflower rice. Mix well, 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed. 

5. Chow down!!

NOTES, TIPS & TRICKS: Speed up cooking by preparing the cauliflower rice and chopping the veggies the day before. Or, use pre-chopped veggies from the salad bar.

You can buy riced cauliflower in the cold pre-packed veggie section of your store. To rice it yourself, just pulse cleaned cauliflower florets in a food processor or chop finely with a knife. 

Gazpacho with Roasted Peppers and Shrimp

It’s too hot to cook. Crisp summer salads and cool soups are a satisfying way to eat fresh and get plenty of veggies into you belly. This recipe features the tomatoes and cucumbers I nabbed from the Farmer’s market this weekend. I also used peppers and basil from my garden. The shrimp adds protein to the refreshing soup, making it more filling for lunch or as a light dinner.

It is my understanding that authentic Spanish gazpacho is blended with softened bread, so that it is more soup-like and less like a chunky salsa. Though I have yet to visit Spain, I have attempted to honor the tradition. Feel free to adjust the thickness and spice of the soup with more tomato juice and spice. I like it spicy, as you may have begun to notice, but I know it’s not for everyone. Keep cool and enjoy the beautiful in-season summer veggies.

Peace & Java


Prep Time: 30 min                 Cook Time: 15 min                       Difficulty: Easy Peasy

Servings: 8                             Serving Size: 1 cup                       Yield: about 2 quarts.          SP: 3


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2 slices thick french or Italian bread

2 limes,  juiced

1 cup spicy tomato juice

2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

12 oz medium shrimp (41-50), peeled and deveined

1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped, about 1 1/2 cups divided

1 small red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1 small jalapeno, roasted, seeded and minced

1-2 small banana or havasu peppers, roasted, seeded and minced

3.4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1/4 cup  tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

2 tablespoons balsamic or sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons Shrimp & Crab Boil

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted


GARNISHES (optional): avocado, radish, cucumber, red onion


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1. Roast the peppers over a medium flame on the stove top, turning  frequently to char all sides of the peppers. The peppers may also be roasted on a sheet pan in a 425 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through. Once the peppers have charred, place them in a resealable plastic bag until cooled. Once cool, remove the skins from the peppers, seed and chop.

2. Soak the bread in a small bowl of water to soften, about 15 minutes. Squeeze the bread into a ball to remove the excess water and set aside.

3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 10-15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath to cool. Once cool, peel, core and seed the tomatoes.

4. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Season the water with the juice of 1 lime and the shrimp and crab boil. Boil the shrimp for 2 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside to cool. Once cool, cut the shrimp in 2-3 bite size pieces, season with the Old bay and set aside.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted peppers, red onion, garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Stir mixture and adjust seasoning as needed.

6. Tear the softened bread into chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Add about 3/4 of the tomato mixture to the bread and puree.

7. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl. Add the tomato juice and seasoned shrimp. Stir and adjust seasoning. Cover and chill for 2 hours up to overnight.

8. Serve with chiffonade basil, garnishes of your choice and crusty bread.


NOTES, TIPS & TRICKS: To keep this dish vegetarian, omit the shrimp.

Add more or less tomato juice depending on the preferred consistency for your soup.

Perfect Pairing: Peach Tea Sangria!