Southwestern shrimp salad with cilantro-lime dressing

Do you know what absolutely kills my attention span on a Friday? Knowing I only have a few hours standing between me and a 3-day weekend! At noon today we get to break for Memorial Day weekend and I can’t wait. I don’t have any big plans since Riley will be working all weekend, but I’m just excited to hang out around town, go to the farmer’s market, do some shopping, and spend as much time on the patio as possible. Bring on the weekend naps!

Since my ADD has already kicked in, I’ll keep this post short and sweet by sharing the salad I made on Wednesday!

Southwestern shrimp salad 2

I was inspired to make this by a lunch menu item I saw at Bonefish Grill and figured I could recreate it at home, with several changes. The ingredient list is ridiculously simple and an easy dressing comes together in about 60 seconds.

Southwestern shrimp salad ingredients

I don’t like to dilly-dally and my attention span can’t handle it today, so let’s get right to it!

Southwestern Shrimp Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag spring salad mix
  • 1/2 pound cooked, large shrimp
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can yellow corn
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fat-free feta cheese
  • crispy tortilla strips (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from 3 limes
  • 3 small garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Chop all ingredients and place into a large serving bowl. Place dressing ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. I used a mini processor since that’s all I have, but it was perfect.

Cilantro lime dressing

Pour dressing over salad and toss until evenly coated. Enjoy!

Southwestern shrimp salad

I know I said the tortilla strips are optional, but they’re not, really. You should use them. Second, you definitely need to use the fresh dressing for this. I almost never make my own dressing unless it’s just a drizzle of oil and some vinegar, but this was way too easy and so good. The fresh lime juice helps preserve the avocado too, so this salad tastes just as good the next day.

I’m almost tempted to make another batch of this over the weekend since I still have several of the ingredients. One thing I do know I want is a giant hamburger. Riley just got some new replacement parts for the grill and I think Memorial Day Weekend is a perfect time to put them (and Chef Riley) to use!

I’m off to the office to twiddle my thumbs until noon, but hope you all have a great weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Antipasto pasta salad

Well, happy Friday! I’m working tomorrow, but I’ll pretend the weekend’s almost here and celebrate with you all anyway. Tomorrow is Admitted Freshman Day, which is where we have our last push to convince students that our school is, in fact, better than any other school. Two more of these Saturdays and then event season is officially over, so I can’t wait.

The other day I shared my little antipasto spread from when my friend came over. Well, we had waaaay more food than we needed, so I tried to find something to do with the leftovers, other than just eat them while standing in front of the fridge. Eating in front of the fridge is a common occurrence when I’m left to my own devices for dinner. I’m super together at breakfast time, and mostly at lunch. By dinner, however, if I’m not eating with Riley I’m so uninspired I just want to hush the hunger and go to bed.

I actually made this meal for lunch the other day before I headed up to Northern VA for work. I didn’t really have a plan when I started, but the result was an easy, one-pot, dish that can be thrown together in no time.

Antipasto pasta salad 1

I don’t have any measurements here, but you don’t need them. You can really just throw stuff in any way you like.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta (I used Penne)
  • Hard salame (you can easily omit this and make this a vegetarian meal)
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Marinated mozzarella cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Set a pot of water to boil. While it’s heating up, give all your ingredients a rough chop and keep to the side. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander. Set your pasta pot back on the stove, turn the heat to medium, and pour in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.

Toss in the salame, artichokes, peppers, and seasonings and let cook for a couple minutes. I poured some of the artichoke marinade from the can as well, which I highly recommend. Once everything is heated through, throw the pasta back in and stir everything together. Take the pot off the heat and add the mozzarella at the end. Serve and enjoy!

Antipasto pasta salad 2

This was spicy, filling, and delicious! It’s not the healthiest dish, I’ll admit, but there are no heavy sauces and if you wanted to keep it lighter I’d just take the meat out and it would still be good. I wanted to add some spinach to the mix also, but we didn’t have any.

Well, that’s about as fancy as my recipes get! I like to keep things easy, simple and quick and this meal definitely met that criteria.

Have a great weekend!

Which meal are you most motivated to cook for?

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Turkey Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

Happy Friday! It feels weird that it’s Friday, mainly since I had two random days at home due to the snow. I’m back in the office today, but I wanted to share a delicious soup with you before I go.

I love broth-based soups and I especially love it when they’re healthy! This soup is crazy easy to make, lasts for days, is filling, and delicious.

Turkey sausage soup 1

I made this soup a couple times last year and love how long it lasts! I’ll have lunch for several days thanks to this soup. I can’t take all the credit, however. The recipe is based on this one, but I made some tweaks based on stuff I like. The result is a mouth-watering and healthy soup that makes even better leftovers!

Turkey Sausage, kale, and white bean soup

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Turkey sausage and kale soup ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 package lean turkey sausage. I used Jennie O sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium bunch kale, chopped and stems removed
  • 2 cans white beans, drained
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste

1) In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute onion and sausage over medium-high heat, until sausage is cooked through. If you get really lean turkey, you shouldn’t have to drain anything.

2) Add garlic, beans, kale, broth, water, and seasonings. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

Turkey sausage and kale soup cooking

That’s it! This soup is incredibly easy and goes really well with garlic & Parmesan bread.

Turkey sausage soup 2

turkey sausage soup 3

As I said, this soup tastes even better the next day. I’ve got leftovers packed up for lunch today and I can’t wait to dig in! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Do you prefer soups that are broth-based or cream-based?

What are you up to this weekend?