Stir Fry with Bok Choy, Shrimp, and Pork Meatloaf, Green Mango Salad, and Oranges in Rose Water

This meal was frustrating.

We invited friends over for dinner and they were set to arrive at 7 p.m. Knowing this and knowing I was making a lot of food, I started prepping early in the day by making the meat loaf at 4 p.m. I read over the recipes numerous times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Since it involved a lot of chopping and mixing, I figured a full hour would be enough time. And it would have been, had I given myself a full hour of just food preparation. But I didn’t. I realistically gave myself 45 minutes to prepare the mango salad, this stir fry, and the oranges.  What did I do with the other 15 minutes? I got all my ingredients together and took pictures.

Melissa, it took you 15 minutes to set up and take those crappy pictures? Yes, I get it, my pictures are nothing special but I prefer it that way. I could use my fancy Nikon, set up all the ingredients to look like they just all happened to get together and pose casually, and then edit the pictures to look magazine ready but that’s not how I cook and that’s not me.

To begin with, I have a very small kitchen. Even though we have a three bedroom house, our kitchen looks like it belongs in a one bedroom apartment. I don’t have a lot of counter top space and the natural lighting is basically non-existent. Setting up pics to get the right angle is difficult enough in a proper space but it’s nearly impossible in my kitchen. And my cooking is chaotic at best. I try to keep things as organized as possible to reduce stress but often times things are just thrown in whatever small, clean space I can find. My kitchen is well “used.”

Secondly, and most importantly, I do not lead a curated life. What you see is exactly what you get. This *pointing to myself* has not been edited. I don’t spend hours getting ready to just go to the grocery store. I don’t just post pics of my kids looking perfect and well behaved on social media (mostly because that never happens). I don’t feel the need to change who I am to fit into an idea of what is perfect and acceptable because, well, that’s a lot of work, and then people would be really shocked when they see what’s under all that perfection. So I take that same approach with this blog. Yeah the pics could look A LOT better but you see what I see and I see good food without filters.

Oh, hey, I don’t remember stepping on this soapbox. That’s so weird, it literally just showed up out of nowhere. Well I’m gonna step off and put that back in the corner…

So back to my story. I spent 45 minutes making the mango salad and then our guests arrived. Yay! Dinner guests are here and there’s no dinner! Thankfully our friends were very understanding and not hungry (they’d had a power bar beforehand) so I sat down, had a glass of wine, and then went back into the kitchen to peel and devein the shrimp. I need to buy a damn deveiner.

We finally sat down to eat at 8:30. Thank goodness for good wine and the Spurs game!

I wasn’t a big fan of the mango salad. If I were to make it again, I would use slightly more ripe green mangoes. I just didn’t like the hard, veggie taste of the unripe mangoes but everyone else said they did. And one of our friends actually got thirds so at least he wasn’t lying. I would also use less shrimp. There was so much shrimp you couldn’t really taste the serrano peppers and when you can’t taste serrano peppers, that’s a problem.

We had the oranges for dessert and they were delicious! I hadn’t ever had rose water before so I was surprised by how aromatic it is. This was a very light, fresh dessert and I’ll definitely try the syrup again but with different fruit. 

The best part of the entire meal was the stir fry. The meatloaf was very tender and crumbly. This was my first time making a pork meatloaf. James’ grandmother said that if I like crumbly meatloaf, it’s best to use 2/3 ground pork and 1/3 ground beef; I normally use all beef. I also really liked steaming it. It takes an hour to bake a meatloaf, same amount as steaming, but then you have a messy casserole dish afterwards. My clean up involved throwing away the foil and wiping down the base pot. I feel like the meatloaf made a huge difference in the stir fry. Rice noodles, bok choy, and shrimp are pretty basic ingredients for a stir fry but the addition of the meatloaf made it exceptional!

So aside from the hiccup of my bad time management skills, this meal was a success. The girls ate everything except for the mango salad. I didn’t even bother giving them any because I was worried that the mango would be too hard for them. Yeah, unripe mango is that hard. 

I’m going to buy a deveiner today!

Recipe, Recipe, Recipe


3 thoughts on “Stir Fry with Bok Choy, Shrimp, and Pork Meatloaf, Green Mango Salad, and Oranges in Rose Water”

  1. I love that GrandMary has a specific ratio for "crumbly" meatloaf! This all sounds great, including the mango salad. I enjoyed the afterglow of feeling vicariously vindicated via your soap box 🙂 (says the working mom who gets on the bus with fraggle hair and then straightens it at work because it’s easier than doing it at home with the baby hanging onto her leg while she balances a pocket mirror on top of the record-player)


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