Thursday, August 9, 2012

Simple Summer Seafood Salads

I know, I know, I have a thing for alliteration.  Anywayyyy, I was thinking my next blog post would be about the Olympics, since, if you're friends with me, you know, I am obsessed. Completely obsessed. Athletes in all of their glory, on top of the world. The world's greatest coming together for healthy competition and creating a sense of unity across the world.  It's incredible to me how it all comes together and I love every second of it. But, I think I need to gather my thoughts and wait for the closing ceremony before I share all of my views on it.  

Moving on, the last two days I've surprised myself with colorful, healthy, and tasty salads that are perfect for summer.  As usual, I encourage you to use these meals as inspiration, swap out proteins and/or add in other flavors that you love... unlike baking, there's no need to get specific when you 'cook & create' a meal. And so, I share...

Spinach Salad with Lemon Shrimp & Feta
- Large uncooked shrimp (1/4lb for 1: 1/2 lb for 2)
- Baby spinach
- Summer Squash 
- Feta
- Lemon
- Grape tomatoes (handful)
- 1/3 avocado
- Few walnuts, chopped
- Extra virgin o/o (healthy tbs)
- Salt, crushed red pepper

- Peel and de-vein the shrimp, toss in o/o, lemon, and salt - put aside (you don't want to be peeling while you're eating - take off the whole shell! - you'll thank me later - this is something I also recommend doing for shrimp cocktail - your guests will thank you)
- Turn on grill or heat up grill pan on medium heat 
- Chop vegetables/walnuts  and arrange over spinach
- Throw shrimp on grill and keep your eye on it - they cook up very fast and you don't want to overcook - they get chewy (couple minutes each side max)
- Add a few tsps of feta
- Add grilled shrimp and toss with o/o and lemon

Mustard & Brown Sugar Crusted Salmon over Fig Spinach Salad
Few things to share about this before I provide the recipe: 1) My mom has always been way ahead of the game when it comes to healthy eating.  She used to prepare salmon this way for our family back in high school (only she'd pair it with a starch and a veggie) and I fell in love with salmon.  To the point that I'd ask for it all the time and she thought I was crazy because she couldn't believe someone could like salmon that much.  The glaze I made for this is similar to hers but I know I'm missing some ingredients.  You cannot go wrong with this glaze - promise. Maybe she'll share it on fb when I post. 2) I love figs and the best way to serve them is wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with honey and a little gorgonzola cheese.  Seriously delicious - salty sweet.  When you see fresh figs - buy them. You won't regret it.
Moving on... 
- Wild salmon (no farm raised!) (size of palm of hand for each)
- Figs (2-4)
- Grape tomatoes (handful)
- Spinach
- Mozzarella (1oz for 1, 2 oz for 2)
- Walnuts (5)
Glaze/dressing ingredients: 
- Equal parts whole grain mustard, lemon, brown sugar, organic maple syrup, extra v/o/o, red wine vinegar

- Arrange spinach and chopped veggies, figs, mozz, walnuts on plate
- Brush salmon with extra v/o/o and place top down on grill pan (if you have a grill you can skip this step and just grill it)
- While this is happening make the glaze: Mix  stone ground mustard (tsp), organic maple syrup (1.5 tsp), brown sugar (tsp), pinch of salt 
- Brush onto seared side of salmon and throw in the over on 400 for a few more minutes (sorry I dont pay attention to how long - I guess- you'll learn to cook this way though!)
- While it's in the oven, use the leftover from the glaze and add in o/o, lemon, a drizzle or so more of the maple syrup, and red wine vinegar - taste it to make sure it's right then toss in salad... add the Salmon and you're done!

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