Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette

The blog posts have been slowing down. In part that’s because WE FINALLY GOT A GRILL! I know, I know, we’re like the last adult human beings on earth to acquire a grill.

Here is a very blurry picture of my handsome husband grilling. This is why you should use real cameras, folks, instead of your smudged phone camera.

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So, since we are newbies when it comes to grilling, we have spent the last few weeks grilling a lot, but most of the stuff we have made has either been too simple to warrant a post, or has been pretty much an exact replica of somebody else’s recipe. Also, I’ve been working my usual research job, teaching, and returning to yoga (which is a really big deal since I’ve basically lived on the couch for the last year!) so I’ve been a little busier than usual. I’ll post some recipe reviews of our more successful grilling sessions later (including a post about those kebabs in the picture above), but today I will post my very first grill-involved personal invention.

I’m really excited about this recipe, you guys. For one thing, it doesn’t require me to cook anything at all inside. That’s a big deal in the desert in the summer, when the last thing you want to do is turn on an oven inside the precious cool oasis of your house. Secondly, it involves crunchy, fresh raw veggies that I actually seem to tolerate really well! And, of course, it tastes so good. The salad dressing is really light and just adds a hint of tangy-sweet flavor to the salad without overpowering the taste of the veggies.

The inspiration for this dish was one of my husband’s summer favorites: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mexican-shrimp-cocktail/. It’s really good, but I mean, every variation of the recipe includes stuff like clamato juice (hello, MSG and HFCS), ketchup, and even orange soda, so I wanted to find something that would be just as refreshing and flavorful but a little better for us.

Here are the basics. Not everything would fit on the cutting board, but you get the idea, right?p1000726

The shrimpies get a quick toss in the marinade/salad dressing. p1000728

Then you chop up all the veggies.p1000729

Finish off your salad dressing.p1000730

Toss it with the veggies. p1000731

And serve. Yum. It looks like a tropical vacation on a plate!p1000732

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Honey Lime Cumin Vinaigrette Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tail on or off (your preference)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, diced*
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 3/4 cup)
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or other light-tasting oil)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix (optional)

*If you are planning on eating the whole salad right away, mix the avocados in with the rest of the veggies. Otherwise, chop up one just before eating and serve separately.

Method

  • First mix up your marinade/salad dressing by combining the lime juice, avocado oil, honey, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Reserve half and set aside for later. Pour the other half over your shrimp.
  • If you are using the Arizona Dreaming seasoning, sprinkle generously over the shrimp (as in the picture) and toss the shrimp with the seasoning and marinade to coat. If you are skipping the seasoning, you may want to sprinkle a little paprika and cayenne on the shrimp for a bit of color and heat.
  • Send your sweet husband outside with the shrimp. Grill over medium heat until curled, white, and opaque throughout.
  • Meanwhile, toss all the chopped veggies except for the cilantro together in a bowl. I chop my veggies in the food processor so they are more uniform.
  • Place the reserved dressing in a food processor and add the cilantro. Pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped. Toss salad dressing with veggies. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • That’s it. Serve with grilled shrimp and fresh fruit, if desired.
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Quick Salmon Cakes

I don’t talk to that many people about my diet in real life, because let’s face it, people that go on and on about their dietary restrictions can be boring. But, when I do find someone who is interested and I explain what I should and should not eat, the reaction I usually get is something along the lines of, well…what do you eat?? This question is usually followed with isn’t that expensive? and how do you find the time!? 

I am so grateful that, prior to being diagnosed with Crohn’s, my husband and I had experimented with the Paleo diet and the even more restrictive Whole30. We had done that to lose weight (ha…ha…becoming less and less of a problem every day…!) and it worked well for us. It also forced me to learn how to cook meats (I was previously mostly vegetarian), how to make a lot of new things from scratch, and how to get creative with substitutions. These diets prepared both our palates and skill sets for SCD. The biggest problem I had with Whole30 cooking–and with the SCD–is the amount of time required to prepare for and make meals. It can also be expensive.

I will write more in response to the usual questions in another entry, but one big way we have coped with the challenges posed by preparing SCD legal meals is by becoming super organized about our shopping and meal planning. I can tell you, always, exactly what meals we are going to have between now and my next planned grocery shopping trip. I think ahead by a couple of days so I know if I need to get started on a new batch of almond milk or bone broth. I always make enough of everything so that we have leftovers to take for lunch. We make breakfast for dinner a lot. And I have an arsenal of a few tried and true recipes that are very quick to make in a pinch, and that rely on ingredients that are inexpensive, healthy, and that I will always have on hand–the kind of recipes you can talk yourself into making even when you are getting home late and exhausted and running low on groceries. This is one of those recipes.

Here are all the ingredients you will need.P1000504

Start by finely dicing the onion and cooking in butter over low heat until soft. Let cool slightly. Then place in a bowl and add in all other ingredients. Mix well.P1000505

Use your hands to press the mixture into 6-8 patties. You may notice that the canned salmon has some tiny bones and skin in it. I try to pick out the bones but most cans say that they are edible, and in fact, they do seem soft enough that you won’t notice them once the salmon is cooked. Kind of freaky but…eh…just try not to think about it.P1000508

Heat up cooking oil in pan to medium heat and gently slide in patties. Cook fora few minutes on each side, until golden brown.P1000509

Serve with roasted vegetables (I served with my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens. I had some leftover Everyday Paleo Garlic Basil Mayo so I added a dollop of that to the eat with the patties and veggies. Tzatziki would also be nice. P1000510

Easy peasy!

Quick Salmon Cakes Ingredients

  • 1 14.75 ounce can wild-caught salmon (it should only list fish, water, and possibly sea salt as ingredients. Whole Foods’ 365 store brand works well), drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour or almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  • Heat butter over low heat and add diced onions. Cook on low heat until soft. Let cool slightly.
  • Combine onions with all other ingredients except for cooking oil into bowl. Mix well with hands and shape into 6-8 patties. Try to squeeze out extra moisture as much as possible.
  • Heat cooking oil over medium heat and slide patties into pan. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Serve with roasted veggies (pictured here are my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) or salad greens, and your favorite creamy salad dressing or dip if desired.