When my sons were younger, dinnertime was one of my favorite times of the day. We didn’t get to sit down together every single night, and we didn’t always eat elaborate meals. But sitting together and talking about our days, or making jokes, or even just sitting quietly and enjoying the moment was so valuable. It connected us as a family.
It made me realize that sharing food with our families is about so much more than just a meal.
When I packed up the kids’ lunches for school or made them breakfast — whether it was just cereal or a whole hot meal — that, too, was about more than just filling their tummies. It made the boys feel cared for and loved and made me feel good about my role as a parent. When we celebrated together with cupcakes or a favorite dish, we made memories. Because they never had to worry about when their next meal would be — no matter how hungry they were after football practice — they were able to focus on just being kids.
That’s one of the reasons I’m so proud that Land O’Lakes is partnering again this year with Feeding America® to help fight hunger. We know that when we help a family put dinner on the table, we’re helping them connect as a family and grow stronger together. We’re helping kids look forward to better futures.
You can help Feeding America®, too. Between now and May 31, every time you pin or repin a Land O’Lakes recipe, we’ll donate the equivalent of nine meals to Feeding America®. That’s nine times a family can sit down together around the table or a parent can send a kid off to school knowing they’ve had enough to eat.
Even though both my sons are living on their own now, I still cherish family dinners when we can get together. And, just like when my family was young, I don’t feel like I have to make anything elaborate. As the weather heats up, I love serving salads as a main dish. This simple Miso Shrimp Salad is both refreshing and satisfying.
Shrimp is a great protein to keep in the freezer because it thaws quickly under cool running water, it cooks in almost no time on the stove and it picks up and enhances the flavors you cook with it. I also have warm memories associated with shrimp because my grandparents loved it, and I learned to love it from them.
Shrimp cooked in butter is a classic, of course, but this salad includes white miso paste, one of the most versatile Asian ingredients in my fridge.
Miso is a fermented soybean paste. It’s used in Japanese cooking to add umami — that savory “fifth flavor” to complement salty, sweet, sour and hot flavors. In your grocery store’s refrigerated section, you will probably find white, yellow and red miso paste. We chose white for this recipe because it is milder and sweeter.
With the shrimp, some fresh veggies and an easy miso dressing, you can have this whole meal on the table in a little more than half an hour.
I’m already looking forward to warm evenings on the deck, with a crisp salad like this and my favorite people around me, saying thanks for what we have and our ability to help others in need. Won’t you help out, too?
Miso Shrimp Salad
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon white miso paste
4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1 cup finely chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup pre-cut matchstick carrots
1/2 cup fresh snow peas, tips and stems removed, sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter
8 wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon Land O Lakes® Butter
2 teaspoons white miso paste
6 ounces (31 to 35 count) raw medium shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined, tails removed
Combine all dressing ingredients with whisk in bowl; mix well. Set aside.
Place all salad ingredients into another bowl; toss. Set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat until sizzling. Add 4 wonton wrappers; cook, turning once, 4-6 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Wipe out skillet with paper towel; repeat with 1 tablespoon butter and remaining wontons. Wipe out skillet.
Combine 1 tablespoon butter and miso paste in same skillet; cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. (Mixture may look lumpy.) Add shrimp; cook, stirring occasionally, 4-6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat.
Crumble wonton chips into salad bowl. Add desired amount of dressing; stir to coat. Top salad with shrimp. Serve immediately.
$1 helps provide 9 meals* secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. The Land O’Lakes Foundation guarantees a minimum of 2.7 million meals* (monetary equivalent of $300,000.00) to Feeding America and member food banks from March 28 through May 31, 2014.