Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chopped Summer Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Mango Dressing {Paleo, AIP, whole 30}

This salad combines tropical flavors of summer like shrimp, mango, avocado and lime, in a dish that's quick and easy and will magically transport you to the beach. Bonus - you don't have to worry about sunburn! Plus, just look at the colors. This salad screams EAT ME and I would happily eat this every day of the week if I could. 

Summer is an odd thing. As kids we can't wait for the summer and then a couple of weeks in get bored and lonely and if you were anything like me, ready for school to start back. As adults we sit in our offices and look longingly outside at the people tossing a frisbie in the park (unless you live in Dubai in which case you run from the air conditioned office to air conditioned car to keep from melting in the heat). But, whenever you are and whatever your situation, there will always be something special about summer. It's time for family vacations (even if that doesn't mean travel). It's a time for cold treats, like maybe this strawberry limeade ice cream. It's a time for late night and board games with friends. It's a unique time in the calendar and should be celebrated. 

I was listening to a podcast this morning about home organization and she was talking about the summer and how we have all these huge plans for the summer that never get done and I almost had to pull the car over because I was laughing so hard when she described July as the month you can't do anything because the ninjas stole your brain.... or something like that. 

Why did I laugh so hard you ask?

Well, my hubby and I have 2 huge projects (1) collect paperwork for his US visa - which we've done and (2) prepare to move from a stuffed full 2 bedroom to a studio or one bedroom apartment. I had all summer and the list has hardly been touched. Plus, I'm sure you've all noticed that blog posts are slower than normal and there's less on facebook, etc. It feel like the heat (or ninjas) have simply sucked away all of my energy and brain power and motivation. 

We now have just a couple of weeks before the move and I still need to.... get rid of clothes I don't wear, clean out the medicine cabinets (where does all that stuff come from), get rid of 1/2-2/3 of my kitchen stuff, find a new home for all of the wedding stuff that's still sitting in the corner of the guest room, donate/ sell a bunch of furniture, pack a shipment of stuff to go ahead of us to the states.... and all of this while handing over my job of 13 years to my replacement and continuing with day-to-day life. 

Needless to say, I need quick meals that fill us up without a ton of prep work or time in the kitchen.

This salad is perfect for our lifestyle these days. And, it's such a filling salad that my snack and sweet loving hubby loved it and even enjoyed it at lunch the next day. Score! 

It's a full dinner on it's own, or you could pair it with a baked sweet potato. And, it's great to pack for lunch the next day, just pack the shrimp separately so you can heat them up and pack some dressing in a small container. 

Chopped Summer Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Mango Dressing

Serves: 4
Time: 25 minutes (or less) - depends on your chopping skills

Ingredients for the salad:
8 cups of baby spinach (or mixed greens of your choice)
3-4 cups finely shredded white Cabbage
1 large red onion - finely diced
1 1/2 mango - diced
2 avocados - diced
2-3 cucumbers -diced
2 mandarins - peeled and segmented
2 pounds of shrimp grilled using 1/2 TBSP avocado oil

Mango Salad Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 mango - chopped
juice of 3 limes
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP chopped cilantro
2 TBSP water
1/4 tsp pink salt

- wash/ chop all of the salad ingredients as listed above
- fill a large salad bowl (or 4 small bowls with chopped salad ingredients) 
- make the salad dressing - combine the above ingredients in a blender and blend til smooth
- grill the shrimp - heat a stovetop grill pan over medium/ high heat  & spread with avocado oil - place the shrimp on the pan and cook for about 2.5-3 minutes on each side until they turn pink on the outside and meat turns white and opaque - remove from heat
- top the salad with grilled shrimp
- pour the salad dressing over the salad and toss to combine