Easy Family Meals – Shrimp & Broccoli

Let me make this very clear: I am not a chef, I have no desire to be one. I am also not a nutritionist. I took one nutrition course in college, which was interesting, but that’s it’s. I’m not looking to become a cooking blog or even a mom-cooking-for-kids blog. I don’t *really* know what I’m doing but I do know that it’s been hard for me to find meal inspiration lately that fits our family and so I thought maybe other mommas could use some tried-and-true recipes and meal ideas.

When I check out recipes or meal plan, I’m looking for health-ish meals that the whole family will like (momma is NOT a short order cook!) that do not require dozens of ingredients and/or special ingredients. They also cannot be too time or labor intensive, which I realize is a bit relative, my biggest thing is I can’t have to just be cooking for an hour straight! I do a lot of prep at other points during the day (like cutting veggies during naptime) to make that witching hour better. You know, that horrid time when the baby needs a catnap and the toddler is hangry and older kids need homework help and the pot boils over and the doorbell rings and where the hell is your father?!???!!   Oops, I digress…

Anyway, I’m going to occasionally share some of our meals/recipes and hopefully they help some mommas! The only “order” to these is if I make them and then have time to type them out. 🙂 Also, sometimes I don’t really measure so my recipes don’t have perfect measurements. #sorrynotsorry

So, without further ado… drumroll…



This one is easy, healthy, and a favorite with all five of us (baby doesn’t count yet!). I serve over brown rice, which I always make in my InstaPot! The best part – I can have all of these ingredients on hand at any time, so this is one I call back on often when I haven’t planned anything else!

You need…

1 lb bag of frozen shrimp

Broccoli, I like to have equal amounts shrimp and broccoli…I just eyeball it! You can use fresh or frozen…I prefer fresh because I like it to remain crunchy, but often use frozen for ease.

Several Cloves of Garlic, diced (probably normal people would use 2-3…I use like 6-8!)

Ginger, diced, about 1 teaspoon

Soy Sauce, 4 Tablespoons

Honey, 2 Tablespoons

Cooked rice of choice

Use a fork to mix garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and honey in a large mixing bowl. Add shrimp and broccoli and toss well to coat.

Meanwhile, heat oil of choice in a large skillet (I only use cast iron, if you use nonstick, you won’t need the oil) over medium heat. You want probably the biggest skillet or wok you own for a thinner layer and more even, and quick, cooking. Add the entire contents of the bowl – shrimp, broccoli, and all “sauce”. Cook over medium, for a couple minutes, then flip shrimp and cook a couple more minutes until shrimp is cooked thru (no longer translucent). Time really depends a lot on how packed in the shrimp are and what size shrimp you get…I generally get what’s on sale!…so adjust time accordingly. Overall, this cooks in 5-15 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy!

That’s it! This is super easy, relatively healthy (I use low-sodium soy sauce and organic ingredients), and my family destroys it! I usually have to either double the recipe or make something else to go with it – we like to quickly boil some frozen edamame or frozen dumplings.

Let me know if you try this!


The hardest thing about motherhood…

Oh the mind of a momma!

My first baby, who is almost seven, needs to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. This is NOT news – we knew this day was coming for years. The kid has snored since day 1, has severe allergies (and now asthma), and we’ve been seeing an ENT for several years. His ENT, allergist, and dentist – all of whom we love and trust – have said this needs to happen. His tonsils are huge. His adenoids are huge. He can’t breathe. I’ve researched (too much!). We’ve exhausted other options like allergy meds, allergy shots, daily steroids (which I hate). I’ve tried to find a balance between helping my kid feel better and not undertaking any unneccesary risks. But this is needed, required, for his health and comfort.

So why am I feeling so conflicted about this decision?! Why am I so worried?!

I generally don’t worry needlessly. I like facts and stats. I smuggly judge (honest confession here) those that fear flying but not driving – don’t they know the odds?!? I’ve researched this surgery, and our doctor. I know my worrying is silly. I know the stats. But stats and facts don’t erase the fact that this surgery is happening to MY BABY BOY! That my little boy (because he’s still little to me) will be operated on while under anesthesia. I’m worried for him. I KNOW he needs this and it will ultimately make him feel better, but I feel so sad that to make him better, he first has to endure some pain. And fear. Although, admittedly, I’m more scared than he is…he is super excited to get to eat ice cream after and has already requested various flavors of homemade milkshake. And I know he’s brave…the kid willingly sits down for three allergy shots every week and doesn’t even flinch.

Being a momma is hard for many reasons.  But, for me, the single hardest part is making these decisions for your kids. Sometimes I feel virtually paralyzed at the decision making, particularly with regards to health: Doctor A or Doctor B? Antibiotics for that ear or give it a day? The inhaled steroids or the surgery? Fluoride toothpaste or no? Of course, I want to do what is best for my kids and, per my usual, I research and fact find and sometimes that is enough, it’s cut and dry.  The kid needs an inhaler during an asthma attack! Clear cut! Easy! But often times it isn’t so black and white, there are so many little things to consider and balance, pros and cons that aren’t evenly weighted. Those are the decisions I agonize over, afraid to make the wrong choice. I know I’m not alone in this, and yet, it does seem like a lonely mental game.

In this case, I am positive that a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy is the right choice for my son. I really have no doubts about this decision itself…although I do still worry about my kid. That’s just part of this mom gig. And it’s a price I am more than willing to pay…because this kid, and his siblings, are worth every agonizing decision, every worry, every gray hair.

Now if only they can sedate me during this process too…