MacGyver Cooking

Ben and I have sort of lost all routine since his parents’ visit last week. We threw everything out the window so that we could be in the moment and 100% enjoy having Mom and Pop C. here.  As we were going holo holo most of the time, our house felt pretty neglected by the time his parents left Maui, and all the food we were meant to eat had gone to waste [we hate wasting anything].

With my first semester of grad school coming to an end and all the madness that life is lately, yesterday I (Miss I-have-to-have-all-five-meals-planned-made-and-ready-to-go-by-the-night-before) quickly scanned the kitchen about five minutes before leaving for work.  When I realized we really didn’t have much, I threw a frozen veggie burger, hummus + crackers, and a persimmon into my lunch bag.

Lucky for me, I’ve been trying to balance the crazy schedule by taking one day off a week to focus on school.  I took my ‘balance day’ yesterday—and since I have three papers and one final exam left, my intentions were to study all day—and to tell you the honest truth, I hadn’t even looked at my papers until 10pm last night.  I’ll tell you what I did do though!

  1. Practiced TurboKick Round 43 – as the new round rocks my socks and kicks my booty, and I have to teach it again on Friday.
  2. Got down and did my push ups – week 3!
  3. Washed about 3 weeks worth of laundry—including a massive load of towels—and hung them up to dry, then folded everything.
  4. Found the floor and counters again (our house had gotten really messy because we just didn’t have the time to pick up after ourselves)!
  5. Updated the Pidgin Glossary page
  6. Updated the Ho`omaika`i Jewelry page
  7. Practiced my wire-wrapping skills and made 3 new pairs of earrings (I’m so excited to show you those soon!)
  8. Photographed a bunch of the newer earrings (coming soon too, I promise!)
  9. Spent too much time researching and ordering gemstones online Who me?
  10. Searched long and hard to figure out what to make, and then cooked (oh how I love cooking)!:

Aside from leftover challah and lots of beer, our fridge was pretty much bare bones. We did have a few leftover veggies from last weekend’s farmer’s market.  And to round it out I got out the shrimp (we always have frozen shrimp because they’re low in fat and calories and high in protein, plus they’re easy to cook up quickly).  I figured veggies and shrimp was a good start and got to it!

I started some quinoa cooking in the rice cooker and whatever lentils we still had boiling while the shrimp thawed out.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure how it would all come together, but quinoa and lentils are great sources of vegetarian protein and I figured we’d use them in the next few days regardless.

And then, because Ben and I have different tastes (he likes cold foods while I like warm), I created two healthy meals from the leftovers sitting in our fridge Smile.



Shrimp + Veggies with Peanut Sauce


  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 small Japanese (long) eggplant cut into half-moons
  • 1/2 zucchini cut into thick matchsticks
  • ~4 leaves of chard
  • ~16 shrimp
  • 2 Tbsp. Judy Fu’s amazing Peanut Sauce

Cook shrimp over medium high heat.  Once done, set them aside.


Over medium-high heat, sauté onions, then add in the eggplant and zucchini until everything is cooked.


Finally, add in the chard (it will seem like a lot at first but will cook down). Once chard is wilted, add in peanut sauce.


Add shrimp to the mix and toss until everything is well coated.



The second meal I made was created to be eaten cold (with Ben in mind).  I used leftover olives from this past weekend and some sundried tomatoes for flavor, lentils for a bit of texture, and quinoa and shrimp for protein.  I’m not a fan of salty Kalamata olives, but this is pretty tasty!

Shrimp + Veggie Quinoa Mix


  • ~2 c cooked quinoa
  • ~1 c cooked lentils
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 small Japanese (long) eggplant cut into half-moons
  • 1/2 zucchini cut into thick matchsticks
  • ~4 leaves of chard
  • ~16 shrimp
  • ~8 Kalamata olives, cut into slices
  • ~6 sundried tomatoes in olive oil and herbs
  • balsamic vinegar to taste

Follow the instructions above to cook shrimp and veggies (you could also omit the cooked veggies and just add raw onion instead).

Instead of adding peanut sauce, add veggies and shrimp to the rest of the ingredients and toss together, adding salt and pepper to taste.




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