Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Chop, Chop, Chopped!   This is not about the T.V. show Chopped, but about a salad.  Where salads are concerned, “chopped” is the new buzz-word.

“Tossed” is the word most often associated with putting a great salad together.  A very enjoyable jumble of greens and vegetables comes out of this technique.  Then there’s the “composed” salad, a thoughtful work of art; leaves placed just so on the plate form a base, with slivers of vegetables, fruits, nuts and other delightful ingredients carefully arranged over them, with the dressing drizzled on like splatters of paint.

But the “chopped” salad is perhaps the most satisfying creation that can come out of a salad bowl.  All it takes is a sharp knife and you can cut lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, avocado, chicken, shrimp—anything you want—into a mixture of delectable morsels.  Coat it all with dressing and the whole thing becomes infused with flavor.  When you take a bite, the full impact of a chopped salad hits you:   each forkful has a snippet of all the ingredients.  You get the perfect bite every time.

IMG_7489

So get out your knife and cutting board for this crazy-good summer salad that features two favorites;  shrimp and avocado.  Healthy fats (avocado) and protein (shrimp) insures that you will be satisfied and all for less than 400 calories / serving.

The shrimp can be cooked outdoors on the grill, for an added smoky flavor that plays well with the bacon.  To me, this is the perfect meal to eat outside on the deck on a warm summer evening.  If calories are not a concern, you might want to add a warm crunchy roll or rustic bread with this salad.

 

SHRIMP AND AVOCADO CHOPPED SALAD

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill ( or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Puree the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Set aside while you prepare the salad.

Shrimp and Salad:IMG_7488

  • 1 pound raw shrimp ( 21 – 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup assorted cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 slices crispy cooked bacon, diced

1.  Preheat grill to medium or heat a grill pan over medium heat.

2.  Toss shrimp with 2 teaspoons oil, lime zest, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

3.  Grill the shrimp, turning once, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes, total.  Transfer to a cutting board.  Chop the shrimp into bite-size pieces.

4.  Combine lettuce, cabbage, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, avocado and bacon in a large bowl.  Add the shrimp and dressing;  toss to coat.  Season with pepper to taste.

Each serving is about 2  1/2 cups,  398 calories.

IMG_7490

 

SOURCE:   Eating Well

 

 

 

Advertisements

A Girl, A Grill, and a Portobello

Once upon a time there was a girl (me), a grill (ours), and a portobello (mushroom).  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself—-

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I look forward to having dinner outside on the deck.  I can smell the smoky aroma of something sizzling on the grill; and I start to salivate just thinking about it.  The only glitch in all of this is my somewhat shaky relationship with the grill.  I depend on Mr. D. to fire it up and tend to whatever there is cooking on it while I finish the other parts of the meal in the kitchen.  I admit I’m a “girly girl”  and leave things like barbecue tools, fire starters and oven mitts to the man of the house.  As a result we usually grill outside on the weekends or holidays when he is around.

On this day, however, my menu called for grilling portobello mushroom caps along with some vegetables for our meatless evening meal.

Grilled portobellos with Chopped Salad.

Grilled portobellos with Chopped Salad.

Big, meaty portobello caps remind me of hamburgers, so I was excited at the prospect of cooking them on the grill. I thought I could handle that, so I prepped the vegetables and cleaned the mushrooms in anticipation of my big moment(s) at the grill.

With a little smile on my face, thinking about the surprise I had in store, I went out to start the grill.  After removing the cover and lifting the lid, I was ready to turn it on—-open the gas tank, rotate the start dial to High, and press the starter button.  NOTHING HAPPENED.  Try it again, repeat the previous actions.  Still nothing. I know there’s gas in the tank.  Review the directions in the manual. I seem to be doing everything right.  Try one more time.  Still nothing.  I GIVE UP!  I think I need grill starting lessons.   Back into the kitchen I go to see how I can salvage a grilled meal not made on the grill.

Fortunately I have a grill pan and, although on the small side, I was able to make use of it to cook the various components for our dinner. Where everything was slated to go on the grill at one time, using the grill pan I cooked it  in stages and then put it all together for what turned out to be a very nice dinner .  A salad of grilled vegetables and beans tops portobellos smothered in cheese.

This was the happy ending!

This was the happy ending!

This is a meal that is low in calories (312), fat (20g), and carbohydrates (25).   I think the meal would have been a little more tasty if it had been cooked on the grill because of the flavoring the vegetables would have absorbed, but we enjoyed it just the same.   The directions I give here are the ones that go with the recipe for grilling outside, but the pictures show how I improvised.  LOL!

GRILLED PORTOBELLOS WITH CHOPPED SALAD

Yield:   4 servings

Ingredients for a meatless meal on the grill.

Ingredients for a meatless meal on the grill.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or 2 tsp. dried dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
  • 1  15 oz. can small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 small bell peppers, quartered and seeded
  • 1 medium red onion cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar, fontina, or swiss

Directions:

1.  Preheat grill to medium high.

2.  Combine lemon juice, oil, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Prepare the dressing.

Prepare the dressing.

Add mushroom caps and turn to coat.  Remove the mushrooms from the bowl.  Add white beans;  stir to coat.

3.  Place mushroom caps gill-side up on the grill with peppers, onion and zucchini.  Using a grill pan to contain all the vegetables, with the exception of the mushroom caps, keeps them from falling through the grates.  Grill the vegetables, turning once or twice, until they start to char and soften;  About 8 minutes for the mushrooms and 6 minutes for the rest.

Roasting peppers and onions smell sooo good!

Roasting peppers and onions smell sooo good!

Grill the zucchini to get some nice grill marks.

Grill the zucchini to get some nice grill marks.

Portobello mushroom caps on the grill.

Portobello mushroom caps on the grill.

4.  Turn the mushrooms gill-side up again.  Fill each one with 1/4 cup cheese and grill until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.

Fill the mushroom caps with cheese and let it melt.

Fill the mushroom caps with cheese and let it melt.

5.  Chop peppers, onion and zucchini and add to the bowl with the beans;  toss to combine.

Chop the veggies and add to the beans and dressing.

Chop the veggies and add to the beans and dressing.

Top each mushroom with about 1 cup of the grilled salad.      Oh, Yum!  this was sooo good.

All's well that ends well.

All’s well that ends well.

P.S.  This post would have been more aptly named “Along Came a Spider”,   because on investigation Mr. D. found a spider’s nest in the gas line that blocked the flow of gas to the starter button.  Defeated by a spider.   Dang!

SOURCE:   EATING WELL