young athletes

Citrus Shrimp & Avocado Toast


So, it appears I have a recipe theme of “shrimp meals” going on this month as my last post was this super simple and delicious Grilled Pesto Garden Salad with Warm Balsamic Shrimp. Today I’m continuing on with the theme and sharing my Citrus Shrimp & Avocado Toast Recipe. I have had this one in my recipe binder for years now and it has a regular presence in our home. I don’t know how it has not made it's way to the blog until today! Needless to say, I’m really excited to share this one with you guys.

As you probably already know by now, I’m a big fan of simple meals with simple but tasty quality ingredients. I always ask myself, “How can I bring out the flavors of simple ingredients and pair them together for a memorable meal with family and friends?” I, personally, think this recipe is one that answers this question perfectly. It takes the classic avocado toast but adds a few more ingredients, including a little bit of protein, to help make it a more complete meal and a good option for you and your busy athletes!

The tomatoes can cook on the stove or you can broil them in the oven while you cook the shrimp and toast your bread (I typically broil them so it frees me up to work on the other components of the dish). Once that is complete, you just have to start building your toast! This dish has alllll the wonderful flavors going on with the layer of creamy savory avocado, juicy sweet and salty tomatoes, a pop of sweet yellow corn and those warm citrusy chili shrimp. I seriously do love this dish and it’s so easy for those hot southern summer nights when you want something cool but satisfying for dinner. Whatever your schedule may be, I hope you can enjoy this dish with me this summer!

Happy Fueling!



Makes 2 toasts



For the Shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (you will have shrimp leftover for meals later that week. I typically do 3 or 4 shrimp per piece of toast)

For the Toast:

  • 2 slices of whole-wheat bread

  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 2 medium avocados)

  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 dry pints of cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons frozen & thawed corn (or you can use fresh cooked)

  • OPTIONAL - 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, served on the side and sprinkled over toast


  1. To make the shrimp marinade, combine the ingredients for the shrimp in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.

  2. Add the shrimp to a plastic sealable bag and then pour in the marinade.

  3. Place plastic bag in the refrigerator and allow the shrimp to marinate for around an hour (you could also put in the fridge in the morning and have it ready to go in the evening for dinner)

  4. Set the oven to broil and line a small baking sheet with foil.

  5. Add lime juice to the mashed avocado to flavor it and prevent it from browning while you prepare the rest of the dish.

  6. In a medium bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes with the 1 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

  7. Add the tomatoes to the baking sheet and allow to broil in the oven about 6 to 8 minutes.

  8. While the tomatoes cook, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.

  9. Add the marinated shrimp to the skillet and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are white throughout.

  10. Remove the cooked tomatoes from the broiler and set aside.

  11. Begin to toast your bread and remove the shrimp from the heat when done cooking.

  12. Place your slices of toast on separate plates or a serving platter and assemble by adding to each slice:

    1. Mashed avocado

    2. Broiled tomatoes

    3. Sweet yellow corn (about 1 tablespoon per toast)

    4. 3 to 4 orange lime citrus shrimp

  13. Sprinkle slices with feta, if desired, and enjoy!


The shrimp and whole grain bread provide PROTEIN

The roasted tomatoes are full of VITAMIN C and LYCOPENE. The vitamin C can help the body absorb any iron found in this dish (like in the whole grain bread or any in the shrimp)

The creamy avocado provides POTASSIUM, LUTEIN, and MONOUNSATURATED FATS. Beneficial for bone health, muscle contractions, good vision, brain health and helping fight inflammation!


Use any extra ingredients as toppings on salads, mix-ins for eggs, or make another round of this delicious toast!

Grilled Pesto Garden Salad with Warm Balsamic Shrimp

05_Grilled Pesto Garden Salad.JPG

Here is another summer salad idea for ya! I created this salad recipe years ago (probably 5 years ago?) and it has been a consistent favorite for me and my fam ever since. I love this salad not only for its great flavor but also for its simplicity - just what I’m craving on busy weeknights or summer nights. And, I was just telling my husband that I love grilling out because it seems to make for minimal kitchen cleanup, which is a double bonus to me!

This salad is easy to prep with 3 pretty simple steps:

  1. Make the balsamic marinade and marinate the shrimp the morning of or a few hours before you plan to grill them (go ahead and skewer them before putting them in the marinade if you intend to cook them skewered on the grill).

  2. Chop up all your veggies and add to a bowl with the olive oil and salt.

  3. Make sure all other ingredients are on-hand (I used store-bought jarred pesto that I keep in our fridge, but you could prep that ahead too if you wanted to use homemade pesto).

I prepped our shrimp in the morning before church and then in the afternoon prepped the veggies and started to build the salads as items went and came off of the grill.

This is such a super fresh and delicious dinner option that I hope you try it and I hope it makes just as easy of a dinner for your busy family as it does for mine. Depending on how many you are serving, this salad can also make at least one more filling and energizing meal for lunch the next day. The pesto makes it a flavor-packed way to get your veggies and the shrimp bumps up the protein. We enjoyed ours with fresh bread from Central Market’s bakery. I’m LOVING the new Central Market on NW Highway. Sadly, they didn’t have my favorite bread, the chia & flaxseed bread, at this location. However, they did have a Seedsation bread that both my husband and I like and we made that the easy quality carbohydrate of our meal. I’m always a proponent of including some sort of quality carbohydrate with a meal and it’s really important for young athletes. Whether it’s before events to fuel their muscles, getting them ready for an hour or more of running, kicking, jumping, etc. or it’s after the game, restoring used energy pools in the muscle or being used as any energy source for the body so that protein can rebuild and repair, it’s important! I hope you, your family and your young athletes can enjoy this warm simple summer salad.

Happy Fueling!



Makes about 2 to 3 salads


For Salad

  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved and sliced into about 1/4 inch thick slices

  • 1 bunch of asparagus (1 pound, give or take), chopped into about 2-inch long spears

  • 1 red bell peppers, cut into large pieces or squares (I like having the bigger grilled pieces to bite into)

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into large pieces or squares (like the red peppers)

  • 4 cups mixed greens (or more if you want bigger salads)

  • 2 tablespoons of pesto (plus more for serving, if desired)

  • About 1/2 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined (this may get you around 5 to 6 shrimp per person, depending on the shrimp. If you want more then, certainly use more. I bought a pound of shrimp and grilled so that I would have leftovers for a lunch or two during the week)

  • OPTIONAL - 1 loaf whole grain rustic bread (we love the Seedsation bread and Chia & Flaxseed bread fro Central Market)

For Vinaigrette for the Shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

  • Pepper, to taste


  1. The morning of or a few hours before cooking, whisk together all of the Vinaigrette ingredients.

  2. Pour vinaigrette into a large ziplock bag along with the shrimp.

  3. Seal tightly and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

  4. When ready to cook, heat grill or grill pan to medium heat.

  5. Add your pesto to the bottom of a large mixing bowl (you will be adding the grilled veggies to this later and tossing together).

  6. Toss the chopped vegetables with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt and a dash of pepper.

  7. Grill the vegetables on the grill until they start to soften and begin to get grill marks, about 10 to 20 minutes).

  8. Place the grilled veggies in the bowl with the pesto and gently toss together. Tent with foil or place in a warm oven to keep warm.

  9. Remove shrimp from the bowl or bag with marinade and grill about 2 minutes per side.

  10. Assemble salad by adding 1 cup of mixed greens to base of each plate.

01_Grilled Pesto Garden SaladJPG.JPG

11. Top the spinach leaves with the warm pesto roasted vegetables.

02_Grilled Pesto Garden Salad.jpg

12. Sprinkle each salad with about 1 tablespoon of feta cheese.

03_Grilled PEsto Garden Salad.JPG

13. Top with your balsamic grilled shrimp

04_Grilled Pesto Garden Salad w Shrimp.JPG

14. Serve with warm crusty rustic bread, if desired, and enjoy!

Make It Again!

With the leftovers from this recipe, I like taking the pesto grilled veggies and the leftover balsamic shrimp and adding it to cooked quinoa and then adding a little feta sprinkled on top. You can give it a quick reheat in the microwave or enjoy it as a cold salad as is!

Sun Butter Squares: Doubled for the Growing Young Athlete

bars cut aerial view.JPG

Hey there!  Hope you had a fun and restful weekend.  To kick off this week I want to share with you a twist on this recipe that I previously posted.  It's yummy as originally written, but I created this modification in response to a need I commonly see in the young athletes I encounter.  Lately as I've been working with young athletes, I realize that we often talk a lot about ways to pack nutrition and /or energy into small quantities.  That's because one of the obstacles with young athletes can be getting enough calories and good nutrition in them throughout the course of their busy days and jam-packed schedules.  Breakfast has to be quick, lunch is short, snacks need to be easy.  

With that in mind, I decided to re-make my Cherry Sun Butter Squares but this time double the recipe.  I tried them this weekend and loved them just as much as the original recipe.  The taste was the same but they were denser so more to bite into.  And being thicker, or denser, than the original recipe, made it a little easier to cut them into squares, not crumbling as much when I sliced through them (there will be some crumbling b/c there is no flour, egg, butter, etc. in these).  If you or your young athlete have trouble getting a bite in before running out the door in the morning or if your young athlete doesn't have a huge appetite in the morning, these could be an easy solution.  Now that I've doubled the recipe you get more "bang for your buck".  They are great either way, but if you're having trouble getting enough breakfast in the morning, these bars, or something like them (because you can create your own variety with your favorite dried fruits, nut / seed butters), could be a great option.

The doubled recipe is below.  For my initial post with step-by-step pictures of how I put it all together, click the link here!



  • 2 cups rolled oats (quick cooking)

  • 1 cup Sun Butter

  • 1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons) dry milk powder

  • 1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped

  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons) honey


  1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

  2. Mix ingredients together with a rubber spatula until well-incorporated (can also use a fork).

  3. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper ( I actually used an 8" x 8.5")

  4. Spread oat - Sun Butter mixture out evenly along bottom of dish, making sure to get to all sides and corners

  5. Cover dish and place in the freezer. Allow to rest in the freezer for at least 3 hours. I leave mine in the freezer overnight.

  6. When ready, bring dish out of the freezer and lift up the bars with the parchment paper, placing parchment paper and bars on a flat surface.

  7. Run a sharp knife through hot water and then blot carefully to remove excess water. Making the knife really hot will make it easier to slice through the cold bars.

  8. Slice evenly into 9 individual bars.

  9. Serve bars immediately or wrap, individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer so that squares are ready to go as you need them!

Hope you and your family enjoy these bars as much as we do!

Happy Fueling!