Ceviche to me equals party food. It doesn’t matter if it is a party or not. I am always super happy when I eat it so I like to make it for dinner too. It’s extremely easy to make this recipe and a great appetizer to bring for potlucks. It’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser as long as your party peeps like things spicy. If not, just reduce the chiles or de-seed the chiles to reduce the spice level. This can be served paleo with plantain chips, vegetables, endive, or lettuce cups. Or, serve with tortilla chips or tostadas for gluten free.
1 lb. Frozen Peeled and De-Veigned Shrimp
Bowl of Ice Water
1/3 Red Onion, Diced
Juice of 6 Limes
1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt for Ceviche and 1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt for Cooking Shrimp
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Chopped
1 Cucumber, Peeled and Diced
2 Serrano Chiles, Diced
4 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
2-3 Avocados, Diced
Plantain chips, vegetables, endive, lettuce cups, tortilla chips or tostadas
1. De-frost shrimp in a bowl of luke warm water
2. Bring a pot of water to boil
3. Add 1 Tbsp Kosher salt to boiling water
4. Prepare bowl of ice water
5. Add shrimp to boiling water and remove from heat as soon as shrimp turns pink and is cooked all the way through
5. Place cooked shrimp immediately in ice water to stop the cooking
6. Dice cooked shrimp and combine in a bowl with 1/3 Diced Red Onion, Juice of 6 Limes, 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt, 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro, 1 Peeled and Diced Cucumber, 2 Diced Serrano Chiles, 4 Diced Roma Tomatoes, 2-3 Diced Avocados
This heirloom tomato and peach caprese salad is definitely not my invention. If you google it you can find so many variations that all look so good. I love this salad so much that I had to share it. Not only is it fun to make and a beautiful presentation, but it’s another salad that I actually like to eat. I am not usually a tomato fan. In pasta dishes or cooked down to a sauce I am ok but don’t really like regular tomatoes on their own. However, I love heirloom tomatoes all summer long and ripe peaches are so delicious when combined with the sweet tomatoes.
There are many varieties of heirloom tomatoes and you can now find them at almost any grocery store. Some taste better than others. They have a shorter shelf life typically than regular tomatoes which is why you often see them a little too ripe in the store. I like to buy mine in the multi-package at Trader Joes and store them in the refrigerator to make them last a little longer even though the flavor is better when you leave them out.
Arrange the following on a plate:
1 Heirloom Tomato, Sliced
1 Ripe Peach, Sliced – yellow or white but make sure it’s ripe
Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Optional – Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette
This avocado citrus salad is fun to make and is a salad you definitely want to eat. So many salads are boring and not appealing but people eat them because they feel like they have to have some vegetables. Salads for me are an opportunity to be creative, have fun, and come up with great flavor combinations that surprise the taste buds. This recipe is a summer variation of my Beet Citrus salad I like to make in the fall. I love the combination of sesame oil with the citrus. It is so refreshing and light plus super easy. A perfect addition for BBQ meals. Summer is definitely my favorite season for cooking. I can’t get enough BBQing and sitting outside to eat when the sun doesn’t set until 8pm. The best part of all is the cleanup because BBQing doesn’t make a big mess in the kitchen.
So many store bought salad dressings contain hidden gluten. It’s best to select brands that are certified gluten free. Also, beware of some vinegars that are based on gluten grains. Blue cheese dressings can potentially contain gluten and cause reactions for some people with gluten sensitivities. I prefer to make my own dressings at home because they are fresh, I know what’s in them, and I can make whatever I feel like having that day.
Here is how you make the delicious salad.
Cut and combine the following:
1 Pink Grapefruit
For the dressing combine:
1/8 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Chopped Ginger (I use the pre-made one found in the herb section of the grocery store)
Just pour the dressing over the citrus and avocado right before serving.
I am a big fan of non-traditional salads and one of my absolute favorite summer recipes is Nigella Lawson’s Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad. I look forward to summer every year just so I can have this salad. It is exactly as she describes – improbable, savory, and refreshing. The only things I don’t follow in the recipe is I use Kalamata olives and do not include the parsley. I love it with just the mint.
Tonight, I decided to change it up and make these fun appetizer skewers using the same recipe. It’s best to combine everything with the lime juice and then make the skewers to keep the same refreshing flavor as the salad. These skewers make a great appetizer for a dinner party, picnic, or boat food. Nothing says party food to me more than bite sized food on fun skewers. You can buy the adorable Bamboo Skewers on Amazon.
I am so happy it’s almost summer and time for all of my favorite summer BBQ recipes and salads. Last night I made this super easy Mango and Cucumber salad and some skewers.
Here is the recipe for the easy and delicious salad.
1 Mango Diced
1/2 English Cucumber Sliced
Zest of 1 Lime
Juice of 2 Limes
1/8 cup chopped Mint
Mix together and enjoy!
Here are the skewers on the BBQ – so delicious!
One of my favorite places to eat in LA is Lemonade. The variety, lots of healthy options, and awesome flavor combinations just make me happy. Unfortunately the closest one is in Manhattan Beach and although it’s a quick drive there are so many great choices in Long Beach that I really don’t drive up there often. The last time I was there I had this awesome green bean salad and couldn’t find the recipe in their cookbook so I made my own recipe. It’s great for potlucks, to have on hand of quick lunches, or just because. And, it’s totally paleo.
1 lb green beans trimmed, cleaned and cooked
1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
For the dressing combine with a blender or Cuisinart:
Juice of 3 Limes
1 tsp Crushed Garlic
1 Tbsp Allspice
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1. Combine the chicken, toasted coconut, and green beans in a bowl
2. Toss with Jerk dressing
1. I cook the chicken in a pan on the stove with a little bit of olive oil and shred it with 2 forks after it has cooled.
2. For the green beans, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the green beans. Mine were ready in 4 minutes.
3. To toast the coconut, spread coconut on a piece of foil and toast in a toaster oven for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Until about a year ago I never knew how to cut a Jicama. I still don’t. But at least now I can easily get the skin off. I tried a peeler and it was too hard so I just use a regular knife. Cut as close to the skin as possible to get the skin directly off the jicama. I don’t know how you are supposed to do it, but this works for me.
I love love love this salad. About a year ago I was at a video shoot and the catering company for the shoot made this salad and gave me the ingredients, not the exact recipe, along with 2 other salads I love to make from them. So that week I went and bought all the ingredients so I could come up with the recipes. This salad is so easy, delicious, and a really fun and unexpectedly refreshing flavor combination. Also, it’s so pretty and looks just like Christmas to me. Perfect for holiday potlucks.
1 Jicama, Skin Removed & Chopped
1 Cucumber, Sliced – I use my Spiral Vegetable Slicer
1 Pomegranate, Seeded
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh dill
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1. Combine the Jicama, Pomegranate, Cucumber, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow salt to draw out juices from jicama and cucumber.
2. Add Fresh Dill and Red Wine Vinegar. Mix to fully combine.
Just for fun, I found an old photo of this same salad I took last year with my iPhone. I wanted better photos for my blog without having to spend a lot of money on a camera so I googled and found this blog post about how to take better food photography especially at night. It’s not realistic for me and my schedule to only cook during the day when the lighting is better. So, I bought the Clamp Lamp, Light Bulb, and Umbrella all on Amazon for less than $30. It has made such a huge difference. I still want to take better photos and buy a nice camera someday. But for now I am happy with this very inexpensive solution until I am able to upgrade. Here is a photo of the before and after plus my setup at home.
I used to think roasting was a fancy word that meant some sort of super complicated cooking method that took too much time to do. Boy was I way wrong. Always remember when you see “roasted” anything that it basically means you put it in the oven and do nothing else. It’s super easy and you’ll have tons of free time to watch tv or hang out while you are waiting. I roasted the beets wrapped in foil the night before at 450 degrees for 1 hour. I literally did nothing else. Here are the specific instructions in case you don’t believe how easy it is.
How to roast beets:
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
2. Remove greens and anything hanging off the beets with a knife.
3. Clean off with water.
4. Wrap beets in foil and place on foil lined baking sheet.
5. Leave in oven for 1 hour. You can rotate the beets if you want but you probably wouldn’t know the difference.
6. Remove from oven and let cool
7. Remove skin
8. Place in fridge until you’re ready to eat them.
Beets are super good for you. If you want to read more about the benefits of beets, click here
Here is what you need for the awesome salad:
1 Roasted Beet, Sliced
1 Grapefruit, Sliced
1 Orange, Sliced
Roasted Unsalted Pistachios – Shells Removed
For the dressing combine:
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Chopped Ginger (I use the pre-made one found in the herb section of the grocery store)
Talk about yumminess.
I think I may have a problem. A salad problem. I hate regular salads with too much lettuce. So I am obsessed with making great salads with unusual ingredients. This recipe may look gourmet but is super duper easy and delicious. Oh, and paleo. And, of course gluten free. If you are as obsessed with salads as much as I am you will definitely love this recipe.
What you need:
1 Mango diced
1 Jalapeño diced
1 Pint Strawberries diced
Zest of 1 Lime
Juice of 2 Limes
2 Tbsp Fresh Mint chopped
Combine all ingredients
So many people “fall off the wagon”. Or, decided last minute to have a “cheat day” and regret it later. Or, are trying to go paleo and decide they can only be “80% paleo”. I’m sure you’ve heard them. They are what need to be called what they really are. EXCUSES. Don’t worry, we are all guilty of them. And that’s ok as long as you’ve reached your goals and are happy with your body. But it’s not ok when you are trying to get lean, eat clean, lose belly fat, be 100% paleo, or whatever your goals may be. The secret to consistency is good planning. This especially helps when you have a food allergy or intolerance to ensure you always have something to eat and aren’t running around hungry trying to find something healthy and get tempted to eat something you don’t really want because it’s convenient.
Here are my top 3 tips for staying consistent.
1. Plan – Plan your meals out by day and by meal including snacks before you go shopping.
2. Shop in Advance – Go shopping for multiple meals at a time so you know you have plenty of options and have all the ingredients you need.
3. Leftovers – Buy enough for each meal so you have leftovers for lunch or even dinner the next day.
If you do just these 3 things, you will stay on target, not be tempted, and will not have any excuses that prevent you from sticking to your goals. Last night I made this awesome gluten free thai skirt steak recipe. I skipped the marinating so it took about 20 minutes including less than 5 minutes of prep and made enough for 4 servings. It was delicious! So with the leftovers tonight, I made an awesome thai skirt steak salad. It was such a different meal that it didn’t even seem like the leftovers from last night. Super easy – only 30 minutes of time made 2 nights worth of delicious healthy dinners.