I trust that everyone had a good long weekend, if you had one, that is. All of my Canadian and American brethren celebrated Canada Day and the 4th of July, respectively, this past week, so now we’re back in the swing of things until the next major holiday. When is that? Whatever it is, it’s too far away. Siiiigh. On the bright side, it’s still summer and I hope that everyone still has a lot of beaching and grilling and frozen margarita-sipping left to do before the cold comes back. Let’s not think about that. Let’s just look forward to more sunny days in jean shorts and sunglasses, shall we? Kramer and I had a great holiday. We rented a beach house with some friends in Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore – the house was fabulous, the company was super fun and we ate and drank ourselves nearly to death. All good things, of course. I’ll have photos to share eventually, but for now let’s just say that I need to reign it in, cut back on the beer and fried foods, and up my vegetable intake because no, tater tots are not an acceptable vegetable, no matter how badly I want them to be. Neither are those jalapeño poppers that I ate last Thursday. Life, she is a cruel mistress, putting all of these delicious fried and frozen foods right under my nose and expecting me to turn them away. I could never.
Just some 4th of July stuff – you can always find more on Instagram.
In the spirit of lighter eating, check out this Shrimp & Cucumber Salad. I adapted it from Stephanie’s cookbook, Easy Gourmet, by adding shrimp and doubling the sauce, because, well, it’s a delicious sauce. Kramer and I love shrimp, but I generally only buy it when it’s on sale, so it’s usually a treat for us. And what a treat it was to eat it for lunch a few days in a row. Sweet summer shrimp with crunchy cucumbers and celery in a spicy, vinegary sauce? Sign me up. I made this on a Sunday and we both had it for lunch on Monday and Tuesday…and I may have had the last of it on Wednesday. It’s perfect to put on top of a big bed of leafy greens, like peppery arugula, or on its own. If you’re not worried about carbs, throw it onto a bed of sticky rice for what I’m sure would be an insanely delicious meal, but for me, after eating doughnuts and burgers and tacos all weekend, this is the perfect thing to eat all on its own and still feel satisfied despite eating low carb and low fat. Being an adult can suck, with all of the worrying about health and weight and whatever, but it’s not so bad with a little meal prep, ya’ know?
Your ingredients – I found these pretty purple scallions at the market, but obviously regular ol’ green ones will do.
Cook your shrimp, then let it cool.
Toss your veggies together.
Then add in your shrimp and sauce, toss, taste and eat.
- 1 pound of small shrimp, deveined, shelled and tails removed
- 2 cucumbers, washed, thinly sliced and halved
- 3 large stalks of celery, washed and thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil (plus more for cooking the shrimp)
- 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish
- Heat about 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add in your cleaned shrimp, and cook until pink and opaque, about 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle the shrimp with a pinch of salt and pepper, toss, and set aside to cool.
- Toss together your sliced cucumbers, sliced celery, chopped cilantro, green onions, garlic, jalapeño, salt and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together your rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and lime juice. Toss together the cucumbers and cooled shrimp, then pour the sauce over everything. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, though remember that the flavors will intensify after the salad sits for an hour or so.
- Cover the salad, place it in the fridge and let the salad sit in there to chill and for the flavors to come together. After an hour, take the salad out and taste, then adjust seasonings as necessary. Garnish with the sesame seeds and extra cilantro and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature. This salad will last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, so it makes for a great weekday lunch!