If you've been following along, you know that I have been traveling a lot lately. It has been super fun but also doesn't leave much room for my regular routine, which usually includes weekend meal planning. I love traveling and experiencing new foods in new cities, but, to me, there is nothing like a meal cooked in your own home. It can be the simplest dish around - nothing more than a grilled cheese and soup,. However, for me the process of picking my own bread, my own perfect mix of cheeses and the fresh ingredients for a simple tomato stovetop soup is often times the perfect creative re-centering endeavor after crazy airports and plain rides and days of eating out.
I recently just finished back-to-back trips where I went to Belize followed by NYC. Needless to say, there was zero meal prep done in-between. Breakfast was pretty easy b/c I managed to stock the fridge with some less-perishable fruit and milk before we left and I always make sure to keep Sun Butter and my go-to granola bars in the pantry. Those are staples I highly recommend keeping around. While breakfast was simple, Monday night dinner didn't come quite as easily; however, I was excited to still be able to get a fresh and fast dinner on the table. Being tired from travel and a full day of work, I was tempted to call on my usual go-to's, Zoe's or Eatzi's, but I knew that as tired as I felt, what I really needed was to get in my kitchen and chop and toss and mix and grill. I know myself and I know that taking an hour or so to myself after work and using that time to create something in the kitchen would leave me more rejuvenated than our standard take-out. It's something about the mixing of flavors and textures and a variety of spices that inspires me and makes me feel like myself again. I guess some would say that't the "creative" in me.
Anyway, the recipe I put together this past Monday is what I want to share with you here. I want to walk you through my train of thought and how this delicious dish got to our table.
Ever since I made those incredibly scrumptious salmon tacos by Ina Garten back in May (see my Instagram post), I knew I wanted to try her salmon rub in other dishes. I'd been wondering how it would turn out on shrimp for a while now and so that is what popped into my mind first. I knew the marinade would be simple and shrimp takes basically no time to cook. I also knew that my husband and I were not going to want something super heavy after just coming home from back-to-back trips and, in general, I always tend to crave lighter dishes in the summer. So, I mentally threw together a picture and ingredient list for this Chili Lime Shrimp Salad in between projects at work, stopped by the store on the way home, and then got to prepping in my kitchen. This dish is so simple and full of flavor. You whisk together a 5 - ingredient marinade and let the shrimp sit in it while you chop the mangoes, tomatoes and avocado and plate the mixed greens. Then fire up the grill (or grill pan) and cook those shrimp before topping them on your fresh mixed greens salad. The longer you let the shrimp marinade the better. I let mine marinade while I prepped a few lunch items for the week so it was probably about 30 to 45 minutes but I don't think it's an absolute requirement if you're in a pinch.
Here are the details for my quick and simple Chili Lime Shrimp & Mixed Greens Salad. I hope you can make it a last minute go-to like I have.
CHILI LIME SHRIMP & MIXED GREENS SALAD
To make 2 salads I used (& we had left-over shrimp for later in the week)...
About 5 cups of mixed greens (3 for Kyle & 2 for me)
1 small yellow mango, cored, peeled and cut into larger chunks
1/2 of an avocado, cubed
About 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound of peeled & deveined shrimp. I put about 8 shrimp on Kyle's plate and 5 shrimp on my plate and had about 5 more shrimp leftover, which will perfect for another one of these salads again this week
About 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
~2 - 4 teaspoons EVOO, for dressing
Balsamic Vinegar, as desired for salad
Crusty bread, optional
Marinade ingredients (inspired by Ina Garten)
Combine ingredients for marinade in a large Ziplock bag. Add shrimp, coat evenly and let sit about 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Add mixed greens to each plate or bowl.
Top mixed greens evenly with the chopped mango, avocado and tomatoes
Preheat grill pan on medium high heat.
Once hot, using tongs, place shrimp on grill pan and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side or until the shrimp are pink and no longer clear in the middle. Place cooked shrimp on a serving platter for guests to add to their salads or go ahead and plate onto dinner salads.
Bake or toast crusty whole grain bread to accompany salads
Serve salads with crusty bread, and drizzles of fresh lime, EVOO and balsamic vinegar as desired.
Mangos: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, fluid
Mixed Greens: iron, vitamin K, fiber, fluid
Tomatoes: vitamin C, lycopene, fluid
Avocado: monounsaturated fat, potassium, lutein, fiber
Shrimp: protein, B12, iron, phosphorus, selenium
EVOO: monounsaturated fat, vitamin E