Crunchy paleo coconut shrimp made even more mouth-watering with lime and chili. Serve with lime wedges for another extra punch of flavor. Some heat from a dipping sauce like Chipotle Mayo would make it even better! Use any size shrimp you like.
The other day, I wanted fresh spring rolls. Badly. I also happened to be staring at the collard greens in the grocery store and this idea was born. I know you love quick and easy recipes, but I’ll be honest: this one is a bit more labor intensive because there is more cutting / chopping than usual and it depends which sauce(s) you make on the side. I could see these being an awesome weekend treat or something neat to bring to a summer party. All the components can also be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated for a day or two before use.
You’ll need to blanch the collard leaves so they become more pliable and lose some of their bitter flavor (this can be done ahead of time). Set up a large bowl with ice water. Bring a very large pot of water to boiling. Dip the WHOLE collard leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately place them in the ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
Peel and devein the shrimp, if needed. Into a small skillet over medium heat, place the raw shrimp and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover and steam until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Slice in half from head to tail.
Rinse and drain the kelp noodles. Set aside.
Prepare the carrot, cucumber and green onion. How thinly you slice them depends on how much chewing you want to be involved.
Now that the collard leaves are cool, remove the tough stem with a sharp knife by cutting upward toward the top of the leaf in an upside-down V shape. The leaves will roll better.
Now assemble a wrap: Lay the collard leaf on a flat surface. Place two halves of shrimp at the top of the leaf. Next, put a small amount of kelp noodles (a little less than a 1/4 cup worked for me). On top of that put a few mint leaves, and two or three slices EACH of carrot, cucumber and green onion.
Now you’re ready to wrap, burrito-style. Gently but with a bit of pressure, roll from the shrimp end toward the stem end. Once you’ve rolled over once, fold in the sides and then finish rolling all way down.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Slice each wrap in half and serve cold with your choice of dipping sauces, if desired.
It’s not too good to be true, it’s just ceviche – a dish of seafood that’s “cooked” using citrus juices and served up with ingredients like tomato, jalapeño and avocado. YUM. Last year, I posted a recipe for ceviche – along with one of the first videos I ever made…eeeek – and recently, I created a different one with shrimp that came out just as good (if not better).
Since I cook for just one person, I only used 1/2 lb. of shrimp but you can easily double the recipe or more. Plan the day (or morning) ahead so you can give the ceviche enough time to “cook”. If you don’t like shrimp, you can substitute scallops or firm white fish. Rumor has it that the juice from the marinade is a hangover cure though I haven’t tested that theory yet
Prep time: 15-20 min Cook time: 6+ hoursMakes: ~3 cups
Thai Coconut Soup is one of my favorite Asian dishes.
Usually I have recipe writer’s block. The harder I try to think of something to make, the more I can’t. It’s those times when I buy random ingredients and get home to my pantry and fridge that inspiration strikes.
My local market had wild-caught shrimp on sale, which I couldn’t resist, and when I got home I suddenly thought: tom kha! This is a common Thai soup that is really easy to make but has so many layers of complex flavor.
That’s the flavor hitting your tongue.
The only problem is that I didn’t have lemongrass or Thai chili paste that most of the recipes I looked at called for, so I thought, “I’m going to solutionize this scenario.”
I omitted the lemongrass but doubled the lime juice and used sriracha instead of red chili paste. In 5 minutes – plus the time it took me to peel and devein the shrimp – I had a hot, yummy bowl of tom kha in my hands! It might not be 100% authentic but it is 1) easy, 2) fast and 3) a damn good recreation.
I absolutely love shrimp. There. Confession. What I don’t love is cleaning all the icky shells off and taking the vein out, but it’s a small price to pay for these delicious little morsels. I usually look for wild-caught shrimp when it’s on sale and try to avoid farmed when I can, but that’s just personal preference. This would be pretty tasty served with roasted spaghetti squash!
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 5 min Makes: 1 pound
Ingredients for Shrimp with Garlic and Artichokes
1 pound (500 g) shrimp, any size, shelled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped
1-2 Tbsp capers
Black pepper to taste
Coconut oil or fat of choice
Directions for Shrimp with Garlic and Artichokes
Shell and devein the shrimp. Set aside.
Mince the garlic and chop up the artichoke hearts.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a spoonful of coconut oil or your fat of choice. Saute the shrimp until it begins to turn opaque.
Add the garlic, artichokes and capers and continue cooking until the shrimp is cooked through.
After a brief hiatus – traveling back to the States and returning to reality – I’m back with a tasty new recipe. This meal was inspired by 1) Patton Oswalt’s stand up comedy routine on KFC’s “eating my lunch in a single bowl” and 2) every noodle dish that you miss when you eat Paleo. Zucchini noodles form the base of the bowl…wait, what’s that? No julienne peeler? Try kelp noodles, use a spiralizer or test your patience at julienne by hand instead (or honestly, just make the veggie / shrimp combo and eat that because it’s TASTY).
Almond butter, coconut aminos and fish sauce combine to make the creamy, umami-powered sauce in this comfort dish. For my friends living abroad: I just spent 3 weeks in the UK and realize that ingredients like coconut aminos are harder to find than Nessie or a prancing unicorn. You could substitute something like gluten-free tamari instead. Also, if shrimp isn’t your thing, substitute any cooked protein. The quantities listed below made about 6 cups of veggies + shrimp and another 2-3 cups of zucchini noodles.
1. Make the zucchini noodles by using a julienne peeler or spiralizer. Put noodles into a strainer and sprinkle generously with salt. Let the noodles sit for at least 20 minutes until they soften and water drains out. [Science nerd alert: You’ve created a hypertonic environment with the salt which pulls water out of the plant cells via osmosis.] Rinse the noodles well and squeeze gently to remove the excess moisture. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp if needed.
3. Prep the veggies: slice all the veggies into pieces of roughly the same thickness.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat: add the coconut oil and when it’s hot, sauté all the veggies until softened but still a bit crisp, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes.
6. Add the almond butter, coconut aminos and fish sauce to the pan. Stir until the almond butter is well incorporated.
7. Plate the zucchini noodles on the bottom (I like them uncooked but you could heat them through) and the shrimp / veggies on top. Garnish with cilantro.
8. Delight in the fact that you’re eating your lunch from a single bowl. Yeah!
The idea for this recipe came from the back of a Trader Joe’s bag of mixed cooking greens…I modified it by cutting back on the amount of olives called for as well as the addition of the shrimp and sun dried tomatoes. This meal has everything I like: it’s fast, can be made in one pot, and has tons of flavor. You could easily double the recipe and have leftovers for a couple of days. If you don’t like shrimp, you could add in your meat of choice after the greens have cooked down.
Ingredients for Shrimp and Greens
3 cloves of garlic
1 lb of chopped greens (kale, mustard greens, collards…mix and match or use what’s on hand)
1/2 can of olives, chopped
1 cup sundried tomatoes (I like them dried instead of packed in oil)
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 oz raw shrimp
Black pepper and salt to taste
Directions for Shrimp and Greens
1. Chop garlic and olives.
2. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil and sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes and black pepper. Saute for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the chopped greens and chicken broth. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, allowing the greens to soften and cook down, about 15 minutes. Add more broth if the pan starts to dry out.
5. After the greens are cooked, add raw shrimp on top, replace the cover and cook for about 5 more minutes until the shrimp is pink.
6. Serve with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Man, I love the Twitters! So many interesting people with lots to share. In fact, my most recent follow is Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay01)…I bloody love him, especially on Hell’s Kitchen where he curses and kicks people out of the kitchen! Today he posted a delish-looking recipe for “Mussels in an Aromatic Coconut Broth”, to which I immediately started salivating. I headed to the market to pick up my shellfish, took one look at the sad, mostly wide-open mussels and asked the fish guy when they were delivered. When he stared blankly at me, I became worried. He left to ask the boss, came back and said, “Tuesday.” Folks, it’s Friday here. Not to mention, when I pressed my face to the glass and looked at the tag buried deep among the shells it said, “Harvested 6/4″!!! It’s the 15th. In true Ramsay style, I wanted to tell the guy to piss off, but instead I bought shrimp and went to town on modifying the recipe.
This recipe varies in technique from the original and also substitutes a couple key ingredients. Since shrimp meat on its own is not super flavorful, I used the shells to infuse the broth with shrimpy goodness. Later, I strained the liquid and used that to create the base for the dish. When I plunked the bowl down in front of the Mister, he took a few bites, then launched into a very long story about his shrimp-eating past. The point of the story: he said it was the best shrimp he had ever tasted. Ever.
Ingredients for Shrimp in Coconut Broth
2 lb. raw shrimp
2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 c. dry white wine (or chicken broth if doing Whole30)
1. Set aside a large skillet. Peel the shrimp of their shells and put the shells into the skillet (do not throw them out…yet). Save the peeled shrimp in a bowl for later use.
2. Add the can of coconut milk, white wine, thyme and garlic to the shrimp shells. Put the pan on medium heat and let it simmer for ~10 minutes until the shells turn pink and the broth is infused with flavor.
3. Strain the shells and herbs out by pouring the mixture through a strainer. Save the broth!!! Discard the shells.
4. Return the broth to the skillet. Add the shrimp, lemongrass, chili pepper, green onion and salt/pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the shrimp is pink and the broth has thickened just a bit.
5. Add the ghee (clarified butter) and stir so it melts into the broth. Be sure to remove the lemongrass prior to serving as it’s very tough…nobody wants to eat that!
I fell in love with Green Papaya Salad on my trip to Bali in 2011. We took a side trip to Nusa Lembongan, a tiny island off the coast of Bali and spent a couple days snorkeling and enjoying maximum relaxation time. While there, we dined outside at a Thai restaurant and I had my first taste of this dish…flavors of savory, spicy, sour and a little sweet all duked it out on my tongue.
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to make Green Papaya Salad (or som tam as it’s called in Thai) myself and make it Paleo-friendly. I’ll admit, this recipe may fit under the “special” category because you may have to do a little searching outside a conventional grocery store to find some of the ingredients, but any Asian food market should have these basic ingredients. Our local health food market actually has everything you’d need except the fish sauce and dried shrimp!
Most of the recipes I searched on-line use peanuts, bean sprouts and sugar to develop the complex flavor profile of som tam. With a few swaps, I figured out a couple ingredients that did the trick. I substituted cucumber for the bean sprouts (similar in color and texture) and roasted unsalted cashews for the peanuts.
Ingredients for the Green Papaya Salad
1 medium-sized green papaya, about 4 cups shredded
1. Peel the papaya with a sharp knife. Julienne the flesh using a julienne peeler (as I did) or use a box grater to achieve a similar effect.
2. Prep the remaining veggies:
Peel and slice the cucumber lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and slice flesh into match-stick sized pieces.
Quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Slice the green onion into match-stick sized pieces (discard upper dark green parts).
Slice the green beans on the bias (diagonal) into long pieces.
*Mince the Thai chilis. CAUTION: Thai chili peppers, though tiny is size, pack a whallop of heat. Take care not to touch your eyes, etc when prepping them. I scooped out all the seeds prior to mincing and it was still a medium-spicy. I recommend starting with ONE and upping to two or three if it’s not hot enough for you.
Roughly chop the basil leaves. Add all veggies and papaya to a large mixing bowl.
3. Juice the limes and pour over the veggies. Hint: Roll your limes on the counter prior to squeezing to help release the juice.
4. Add fish sauce, coconut aminos and (optional) a drizzle of honey.
5. If you prefer, add the dried shrimp and then let sit for 30 min for all the flavors to meld. Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro prior to serving. Serve straight up or as a delicious side dish to grilled chicken or fish.
Enjoy the taste-circus that’s about to happen in your mouth!
I’m not sure how authentic this ceviche is, and frankly all that matters to me is that it’s delicious and simple to make. With warmer weather coming up soon, this cool seafood-based dish is a nice addition to those spring-summer favorites that you may already keep on hand.
Ceviche uses citrus juices (acids) to “cook” the seafood and render it incredibly yummy with a melange of flavors that will stomp up and down on your tongue and demand your attention. See what I did there…just hit you with some good ol’ chemistry (okay folks…the seafood is really not being cooked here using heat…instead the proteins are being denatured–unraveled–by the acids rendering them opaque. SCIENCE)!
In some areas, ceviche is traditionally served with tortilla chips for scooping up every last delicious bite but since corn isn’t part of a paleo diet, you could substitute in jicama slices (yeah! crunchy goodness!), butter lettuce leaves or even just eat it straight out of a bowl. If you aren’t sure you want as large of a batch, cut the quantities in half. Besides being paleo, this dish is packed with protein and yummy veg. Enjoy!
Ingredients for Ceviche
2 lb. seafood (shrimp, bay scallops, catfish or other firm-fleshed white fish, etc)
1 large red grapefruit
1/2 red onion
1 ripe tomato
1 ripe avocado
1 jalapeño pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 handful cilantro leaves
Sea salt to taste
Directions for Ceviche
1. Wash citrus fruit. Using a microplane or fine grater, remove the zest (but not the bitter white pith underneath) and place in a gallon-sized zip top bag or a large glass bowl.
2. Juice the grapefruit and limes. You want about 1 cup of juice total (slightly less or more is ok). Strain the juice if you think pulp is weird and add to zip top bag.
3. Clean and chop the seafood into small bite-sized pieces. Add to the juice, zip bag to remove most of the air and place in the fridge.
4. Wait. Seriously, you need to wait at LEAST 4 hours, preferably 6+ for the citrus to do it’s magic. You can turn the bag every hour or two to insure even “cooking”.
5. Meanwhile you can prep the veggies: dice the onion, tomato (remove seeds and guts), avocado and jalapeño (remove as much of the seeds and pith as you want to control the heat…for very mild, you’d remove all the white pith and seeds). Slice the garlic cloves thinly. Chop the cilantro leaves.
6. Combine all the veg into another bowl and add a few pinches of salt.
7. After the seafood has completed its “cooking”, pour it all (juice too!!) into the bowl with the veg and stir. For best flavor, let this tasty union co-mingle for another 30 minutes or so before eating…if you can wait that long!