Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail

My husband and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary!

We had agreed not to do gifts, and to spend money instead on a great night out or a little trip, but the husband happened to see a juicer while he was out shopping and, knowing how much I’ve been wanting one, he couldn’t resist getting it for me. To be fair I also broke my end of the deal, but I got him something much less extravagant.

Having a juicer has made my life so much easier. I can make almond milk without having to strain by hand. I have been making syrups with fresh ginger and citrus that I boil on the stove with honey and then mix in with sparkling water for a healthier alternative to soda–kind of like a homemade ginger ale. And most importantly, having a juicer helps me make sure I’m getting enough veggies because, while I can’t large amounts of most eat raw veggies–especially greens–I can juice a huge amount and drink them just fine! I replace a meal or two each week with veggie juice–like a big salad in a cup–and sometimes make green juice to use in my morning smoothies, which helps to cut down on (naturally-occurring) sugars and boost nutrient content.

Chris loves tomato juice and a couple of weeks ago he asked me to make him something like a homemade V8 for a weekend lunch. I’m usually not a fan, but I tasted it and was surprised by how much I liked it. As we were sipping on it, the same thought occurred to both of us: SHRIMP COCKTAIL. 

This is my second variation on the Sonoran shrimp cocktail. As I explain in the first post, this is one of my husband’s favorite, but most recipes call for lots of processed foods including Clamato juice, ketchup, and even orange soda. This version replaces all that with a homemade, fresh-pressed juice made from tons of veggies. Chris claims that he likes it even more than the traditional stuff, and whether you have special dietary restrictions or not, this version is definitely much healthier!

Sonoran shrimp cocktail is usually more of a summer food since it is served at room temperature or chilled, but maybe you need a break from all the heavy holiday food. Rumor has it shrimp cocktails are also a miracle cure for hangovers–not that anyone would need to worry about that during the holiday season, of course. I think this could even be served up in small glasses as an alternative to the classic shrimp cocktail appetizer. Also, I’ve listed approximate amounts of everything below, but you know, feel free to mix it up if you like your juice more or less spicy, for example.

I mean, this is just what goes into the juice. This dish should be able to revive the dead, not just the hungover.P1000896__1416170084_61672__1416170084_63047

These are the veggies that should get chopped up to be eaten instead of drunk.P1000904__1416170000_56295__1416170000_14550

Chopped veggies waiting for a delicious juice bath.P1000905__1416170243_66839__1416170243_87530

Looking at this picture makes me want to be on the beach. With one of these to munch on.P1000909__1416170275_58108__1416170275_27179

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients

Juice Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium sized tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 peeled oranges
  • 4-5 stalks celery, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach (I know, my measurements are super precise here)
  • 15-20 small chives (about the equivalent to 1/4 cup roughly chopped)
  • the stems from a bunch of cilantro
  • 1-2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 beet, chopped in half
  • the juice of two limes
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos*
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce of choice (we like Cholula!)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

*I always thought coconut aminos were SCD legal. I’ve recently found out this is controversial in the SCD community, but most people report no ill effects of including them in their diet. If you feel uncomfortable adding coconut aminos, simply omit and add sea salt to taste as a replacement.

Other Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • the tops of a bunch of cilantro, finely diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced

Sonoran Shrimp Cocktail Method

  • First prepare your juice. Wash all of your veggies really well. Juice all of the vegetables and fruits, except for the lime, listed in the juice ingredients according to your juicer’s instructions.
    • Pour the juice into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let boil about 5 minutes, until it has reduced slightly. Remove from heat. NOTE: If you are going to eat all of your cocktail immediately, you can probably skip this step. However, for food safety reasons, any fresh pressed juices should be pasteurized or boiled if you do not expect to consume them in less than 24 hours.
    • Stir in the coconut aminos, hot sauce, fish sauce, and sea salt. Taste and adjust seasoning. Then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then grill over medium heat until pink and curled.
    • When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, remove tails and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set in refrigerator to chill.
  • Finally, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Combine the cucumbers, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro in a large bowl. NOTE: I use the food processor to chop these ingredients quickly, finely, and uniformly. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Add in the juice to the large bowl and stir to combine. Serve in bowls topped with shrimp and avocado, with extra lime and hot sauce on the side.
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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.

Lemon Shrimp with Tzatziki

This recipe is inspired by Against All Grain’s Lamb Gyro with Tzatziki. I have tried her recipe as is, and make no mistake, it is good. My husband declared it one of his all-time favorite meals (SCD or not!).

But I had a dilemma when I went to the grocery store recently and they were out of lamb. We have been trying to incorporate more seafood, anyway, so I decided to slightly alter the recipe to make it work for us.

Shrimp are a wonderful source of the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient astaxanthin. This nutrient suppresses inflammatory messages like tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is actually similar to the way common IBD medications like Humira reduce inflammation in the body. Shrimp are also very high in B vitamins, which patients with IBD sometimes have to receive by injection because of chronic deficiencies, along with selenium and protein. They are a good source of iron, zinc, and several other minerals as well.

And let’s not forget that they are delicious and super fast to prepare!

First prepare your marinade by mixing all these ingredients in a large bowl.P1000442

Throw in the raw shrimpies, toss well, and put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinate. P1000446

While they are marinating, prepare your tzatziki.P1000443

Combine in a bowl.P1000444

Mix well. I forgot the garlic at first. DON’T FORGET THE GARLIC!P1000445

Once the shrimp have marinaded for awhile and the tzatziki is ready, heat up a large pan until very hot and dump shrimp, along with marinade, into pan. They will cook very quickly so don’t step away.P1000450

Cook, stirring regularly, until the shrimp are pink and curled and the liquid has reduced.P1000451

Serve with veggies of choice (pictured here with my Mediterranean Roasted Veggies) and a generous serving of tzatziki. I tried to make it look pretty for the picture but in reality we mixed it all up and inhaled. This would also be very good on salad greens if you tolerate raw vegetables well.P1000452

Shrimp Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

  • 1 pound raw, cleaned shrimp, 40-60 or larger
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons salt free Italian seasoning (or equivalent of basil, oregano, and fennel)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Method

  • Combine all ingredients except the shrimp in a bowl and stir to mix.
  • Toss the shrimp in the bowl until evenly coated and let marinade in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat a skillet until it is very hot. Pour entire contents of bowl into the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are pink and curled with no translucent spots in the middle and the liquid is somewhat reduced.

Tzatziki Ingredients

  • 1 cup strained plain yogurt
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and grated
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder (or 1 tablespoon grated fresh onion)

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Best if prepared at least 30 minutes ahead of serving so that flavors can meld.