Changing for the better, one bite and (deep) breath at a time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Island Shrimp Bowl {and new intern Kayla!}

Meet Kayla.

She's one of two interns we have this academic year at Nutrition Transitions.  You will meet our other intern, Macy, soon.

I'm thrilled to have some extra hands around here.  We are working on a big, exciting launch of a pediatric feeding business this fall in collaboration with a supremely talented occupational therapist.  I have been engaged in some really fun, challenging projects, and I am loving the diversity in the work I am very lucky to have.

Anyway, back to Kayla and her delicious Island Shrimp Bowl.  As you will see, she's a perfect addition to the Nutrition Transitions team.  She loves real food, is sensitive to those with sensitivities, and likes to get creative in the kitchen!



My name is Kayla, and I am excited to have the opportunity to assist Megan this year. I was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and am a southern girl with all my heart. At 22 years old, I am currently in my final year of pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, set to graduate this upcoming Spring 2015. I am employed at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea as a Diet Representative. 

I have a wide scope of interests and experience, however within the past year I have been able to zero in on a focus. I have deep personal attachments to pursuit of alternative therapeutic diets, as I myself suffer from several food intolerances and allergies. Due to my restrictions, I took on the challenge of finding different methods and ingredients to prepare delicious meals for myself and those around me. Since I started my journey with my alternative nutrition, I have developed a true passion for sharing these discoveries with others and helping others become empowered in taking care of their health by taking control of what they put in their bodies. 

While alternative nutrition has been a several year pursuit, it wasn’t until the past year when I discovered my intrigue for maternal and pediatric nutrition and health. Once again, I am so grateful for the opportunity to dive into all that Megan is about, and I am ready to learn everything she has to teach me!

Island Shrimp Bowl

Amidst the sweltering heat of Phoenix, one could do nothing other than day dream of a cool, serene island beach somewhere NOT here. I wasn’t able to book a getaway, but I was able to let my taste buds embark on an island adventure.  Meet the Island Shrimp Bowl: a perfect blend of sweet and spicy, creamy and crunchy, bold and beautiful. Just look at the colors!

Ready to dive in?

Island Shrimp Bowl

Serves 2
Prep Time: 20 Min
Cook Time: 20 Min
Inspired by the Coconut Rice recipe from the book Color Me Vegan

½ cup brown rice
¾ cup coconut milk, full fat
½ cup water
1 tsp. coconut extract (optional…but recommended!)
2 T. olive oil
½ yellow bell pepper, julienned and then halved
½ red bell pepper, julienned and then halved
1 zucchini squash, julienned and then halved
½ cup eggplant, julienned and then halved
8 oz frozen shrimp, cooked, deveined and tails removed
1-2 T. chili garlic sauce
2 mangos, diced
1 avocado, diced

Optional to garnish:
¼ cup green onions
3-4 lime wedges
¼ cup cilantro

First, get the rice cooking. I used my rice cooker (set it and forget it!), but you can definitely get it going on the stovetop. In the rice cooker, simply add the rice, coconut milk, water and coconut extract to the magic pot. Push the red button and RUN! Just kidding, just turn it on. And distract yourself with preparing the rest of the dish… don’t just sit there and stare… you’ll annoy the rice.

If you choose to be a rebel and go with the stove, add the aforementioned ingredients (rice, coconut milk, water and extract) to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the rice, waft the coconut goodness into your nasal passages and feel yourself floating away to the sandy shore.

Wait come back! You can keep the grass skirt on, just come make the rest of the dish.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat until it sizzles when you splash water in the pan. Add the peppers and sauté for about 5-7 minutes. Add the zucchini and eggplant and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add the shrimp and sauté until shrimp is warmed through—about 5 more minutes. Finally, dollop in the chili garlic sauce for the final round of sautéing: you guessed it, about 5 minutes. 

Now for the fun part: Lay a bed of rice on each plate. Top with half the shrimp and veggie mixture.

Sprinkle with the diced mango and avocado, and add any of the optional garnishes mentioned. I only used what I had on hand from my nearly naked struggling-student pantry, but I thought green onions, cilantro and lime would have perfectly complimented the dish!

Ok, go ahead and dip your toes in the sand. I can hear ya’ll saying: Jamaican me hungry mon!