Chili Lime Shrimp Salad


There is nothing like fresh shrimp, straight from the coast. It is hot here on North Carolina–not as hot as usual, but it is definitely summer. This salad is another in our summer series of foods that will help you stay cool and healthy in the hot weather. I love shrimp salads, but I don’t like a lot of mayonnaise on a hot day. This salad uses lime juice to keep the salad flavorful and interesting, but not heavy. I may try this again with some butterfly pasta and make a shrimp pasta salad version of this. Soooo yummy!

The original version of this recipe came from Gina’s Skinny Recipes (here). I added some fresh cucumber and some fresh corn to the mix (who doesn’t love shrimp and corn?) as well as some smoked paprika to the dressing. I also added more lime juice and left out the cilantro because I have not acquired a taste for it. All good! The version below is my version, but you could alter this to suit your own tastes!

Wondering where to buy your shrimp? Before you head out shopping check THIS past SOLE Food Kitchen post on why local shrimp is important!

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad (serves 4 as a main dish)

1 lb. shrimp
1 medium tomato, washed and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 cup fresh corn (about 1 ear)
1 avocado, peeled and diced
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 3 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Peel and devein shrimp. Put shrimp in a deep sauté pan, cover with water and poach for 2-3 minutes, until shrimp is pink and opaque. Drain and let cool.
While shrimp is cooling, mix lime zest, juice, oil, paprika, salt and pepper together. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except avocado. Pour dressing over all and carefully stir the salad so all ingredients are coated with dressing.
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Just prior to serving, add the avocado and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and correct if necessary.
Serve chilled.

Other shrimp dishes:

Pasta with Shrimp, Green Beans and Tomato

Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp

Pasta with Shrimp, Asparagus and Mushrooms

Local Shrimp Pad Thai

Tuna and White Bean Salad


July is not the time to be cooking big meals here in North Carolina. In fact, it’s best not to be cooking at all, if you can help it. It is hot, hot, hot here, and cold salads are a great way to get a healthy, refreshing meal while using all those wonderful vegetables from the farmer’s market. This tuna and white bean salad uses canned, organic cannellini beans (look for a BPA-free can), but you could also cook some dried beans (that would require using the stove, so you decide what works for you). We are also using some sustainable, water packed tuna from Wild Planet. Wild Planet was a vendor at the recent Esprit de She race, and I scored some free samples after the race (sometimes it pays to finish later!). This salad is light, nourishing and delicious–very fresh for summer!

Tuna and White Bean Salad (makes 3 entree servings or 6 side dish servings)

  • 1 can organic cannellini beans
  • 1 can tuna packed in water
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper, washed and diced
  • 3 scallions, chopped (just the white parts)
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers (rinse if salt-packed)
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • Butter leaf lettuce or arugula leaves
  1. Combine all ingredients except lettuce in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Cover and keep refrigerated at least one hour, to let flavors come together.
  3. Arrange lettuce leaves in serving bowls or plates.
  4. Scoop salad onto lettuce and serve.

Summer Corn and Black Bean Salad


When summer starts blazing with heat and humidity, I usually lose my desire to cook anything complicated. I love cold vegetable salads in the summer–their fresh flavors add a a lot to grilled foods and if you add some protein (like sustainably caught tuna), you can turn a side dish into an entrée in a snap!

I found a corn salad recipe on Pinterest recently, and it looked promising. The photos were artful and lovely and the description sounded very tasty. I made it according to the directions, and not only was it not tasty, it didn’t look anything like the photo. Grrr. This made me wonder if anyone had actually made the recipe or if they were just re-pinning a bit of food porn. Pinterest is weird like that. Also, what is up with all the processed food recipes calling themselves “Amish” recipes? Pretty sure Amish people don’t eat cheese spread and Nutella. Just sayin’.

Once I found myself with a sub-par recipe, I re-assessed the situation, and came up with a plan to fix the salad. This is what I ended up with. The photo may not be beautiful, but the flavors are, and I vouch for the recipe because I actually did make it and eat it myself!

To update you, I finished my first 10K race, the Athleta Esprit de She, in the blazing heat and had such a great time, even if my time wasn’t great. It was wonderful to run with a group of women–what terrific, positive energy! I met some wonderful people, including a lovely lady named Pam, who encouraged me to run the Disney races. At 59, she has been running for 3 years, and has finished 8 half marathons with her daughter. Her blog, We Run Disney, is HERE if you want to check it out! As I close in on 50, I have been really giving a lot of thought to what I want to accomplish before that milestone. Pam was so friendly and encouraging, that I emailed her for more info. and now, I have set a new goal–Tom and I are going to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2014! Yes, yes, you wonder how Tom qualifies as a “princess”. Turns out, princes can run with a qualifying princess, so now our decision is what kind of matching costumes to wear (Tom would vote for “no costume,” but what fun is that?). And at some point soon, we will start training. Fun!

Salads like this will help us train in the sweltering months ahead! You can make this full recipe or divide everything in half for a smaller amount. Either way, it’s all good!

Summer Corn and Black Bean Salad (makes about 8 servings)

  • 4 ears of organic corn
  • 2 cans organic black beans
  • 1 pint organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped chili peppers (I used 1/2 can of roasted Hatch New Mexican peppers)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook corn in your preferred method. I leave the cobs wrapped in the husks, cut the bottom inch off and microwave the cobs two at a time for 3 minutes. Let the cobs cool a bit, then grab the tops of the husk and silk and push the cob out the bottom. You should end up with one naked cob and a handful of husk and silk.
  2. Using a sharp knife or a scraper, remove the corn kernels from the cobs and put in a bowl.
  3. Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the bowl.
  4. Wash and halve the tomatoes. Add to the bowl.
  5. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour over the vegetables and mix well.
  6. Cut up the avocado (or mash like guacamole) and fold into the vegetable mixture.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  8. Serve chilled.

Wilted Salad


Bacon. Bacon makes pretty much everything better. We don’t eat a lot of it, but when we do buy it, we go for the best quality, locally produced bacon from Mae Farm or Coon Rock Farm, both located here in central North Carolina. It has a smoky, “real meat” flavor that grocery bacon just doesn’t have.

As part of the challenge, A Salad A Day, I found several ideas for wilted salads. I hadn’t made one in ages, but they are really good. Traditional wilted salad uses spinach or even iceberg lettuce and little else–maybe some radish or egg. Since bacon loves all vegetables equally, I decided to go outside the traditional lettuce and radish and really load up our salads with local vegetables. The end result was pretty darn delicious and a definite “do again.”

We served our salad with fresh rosemary sourdough bread that we toasted with some delicious mozzarella from Hillsborough Cheese Company. The bread came with our produce box this week and is from La Farm bakery. Sooooo delicious!

Wilted Salad (serves 4)

2 smallish heads of local romain lettuce, washed and dried
2 radish, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1-2 tomatoes chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced

5 slices bacon
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white parts only)
Black pepper

In a large salad bowl, tear leaves of romaine into bite sized pieces. Add radish, carrots, tomato and cucumber.
In a sauté pan, brown the bacon, rendering the fat. Remove bacon when crisp and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve.
Add the vinegar, sugar, onions and pepper to the pan of hot drippings. Wisk together and cook 1 minute.
Pour dressing over greens in the bowl and toss well to coat all the leaves and vegetables.
Plate the greens and top each serving with crumbled bacon and chopped eggs. Season with additional pepper, if desired.
Serve immediately.

%d bloggers like this: