Thursday, May 5, 2016

Shrimp Fajita Salad

Give Peas A Chance Shrimp Fajita Salad

It's been beautiful lately, the Cherry Blossoms have peaked. People are in shorts. I am excited for spring! I wish it would stick around longer. Shorter summers would suit me well, with longer fall and spring seasons. I know there is still snow in some areas of the US and the world. We've had light dusting that melt away by the afternoon. As much as I love snow, one or two good storms a year suit me fine. I don't need it months on end.

With this warmer weather, I'm excited for lighter meals, more fruits and vegetables. Meals right off the grill! Don't get me wrong, I love the comfort foods of fall and winter also. I just find that I don't crave salads as much during colder weather. I could live on salads when the weather is warmer, especially if they are as good as this Fajita Salad. This salad is easy to make. You don't have to grill it, you can pan fry it, use a grill pan, or a broiler also. The marinade can be made a few days ahead, if you add the cilantro before making the salad, it will last a little longer. I used shrimp for these pictures and it's delicious, but a flank steak gets nice and tender from the citrus in the marinade. Grilled or broiled whole, then sliced thinly against the grain. Oh. My. Yum. Most any protein is great. Tofu can be used for a meat free salad. 
Leftovers served cold the next day. Perfect for lunch!


Grilled Fajita Salad (Shrimp)


Dressing/Marinade

1-2 Jalapenos (seeded)
3 cloves garlic
2/3 cup (130 grams) lime juice (about 1.5 to 2 limes juiced)
2-3 teaspoons (10-15 grams) honey or dark brown sugar *
1.5 teaspoon cumin
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder, ancho if you like it to be a little smokey
7 tablespoons olive oil (73 grams)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (12 grams)
(*Omit honey for Whole 30, and use coconut amnios or fresh squeezed orange juice to sweeten)

Shrimp and grilled vegetables

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and cleaned*
1 - 2 bell peppers, sliced
1/2 onion sliced

Salad

2-3 Romaine hearts
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cubed
1/2 mango, peeled, seeded, cubed
1/3 cup sliced purple cabbage
1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
Mexican cheese, crumbled (Optional)

Notes:

  • Flank steak, boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, tofu, fish, or pork loin are wonderful proteins for this salad. 
  • Steak, pork, chicken can be marinated overnight, as the citrus juice will tenderize them.
  • Fish, and shrimp do better marinating before cooking, but the citrus can end up cooking the fish and shrimp if left overnight, like a ceviche.
  • Grill, pan fry, or broil protein and vegetables.
  • Romaine hearts can be cut in half and grilled also.
  • I use 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and 3 tablespoons of Blood Orange olive oil for the dressing.
  • Use any vegetables, etc in season that you like for the salad. Kernels from grilled corn on the cob is awesome.


For the dressing/marinade:


  1. Place the first 7 dressing ingredients in a blender and blend.
  2. Slowly add oil while blender is running.
  3. Add cilantro and pulse, to combine. 
  4. Taste. Season as needed.
  5. Reserve half of the dressing for the salad, use the other half to marinate the shrimp, onion and bell pepper.
  6. This can also be made without a blender. Mince the jalapeno and garlic, then stir the ingredients together.

Shrimp, onion, and bell pepper:


  1. Using  1/3 of  the marinade (NOT reserved dressing) toss the onion and bell pepper in a bowl.
  2. Use remaining 2/3 of the marinade for the shrimp. 
  3. Let sit while preparing salad.
  4. Once the salad is prepped, cook the shrimp. Discard the marinade.
  5. Cook the onion and bell pepper, discard the marinade.
  6. Place grilled vegetables and shrimp on the salad.

Salad:

  1. Wash and assemble the salad greens, mango, avocado, cucumber, etc while shrimp and vegetables marinate.
  2. Toss salad ingredients with reserved dressing, or just serve it on the side, which is what I do. 
  3. To serve place shrimp and grilled vegetables on top of salad ingredients, with more dressing on the side.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and crumbled Mexican cheese if using.

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