Sunday, June 18, 2017

Celebrating Summer Salads with Litehouse, Fresh Express, and NatureSweet...Featuring Chopped Shrimp Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

Summer is officially here in Texas -- we hit 100 for the first time this week! That means I'm always on the lookout for dinners that are refreshing and quick to make. For us, that often means a main dish salad. Today, I'm partnering with my friends at Litehouse, NatureSweetand Fresh Express to share a fabulous salad that's bursting with fun flavors and textures. Best of all, it's hearty enough that Michael is plenty satisfied after eating it! Thanks to using Litehouse Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette ready-to-use salad dressing and Fresh Express chopped Hearts of Romaine, and delicious NatureSweet Cherub tomatoes, this salad is ready to eat in about 30 minutes...perfect for busy Summer nights!
My Chopped Shrimp Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette features chopped grilled shrimp, creamy avocado, crumbled goat cheese, chopped sweet cherub tomatoes grilled zucchini, and a couple of fun crunchy components. Just before serving, it's tossed with a sweet-tart vinaigrette. If your family is allergic to – or doesn’t eat – seafood, simply use bite-sized cubes of chicken. To make it veg-friendly, you can add cubed tofu or roasted chickpeas for your protein. You really can’t go wrong!

Chopped Shrimp Salad 
with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (serves 2-3 people):
  • 1 bag Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine
  • 1 zucchini, halved and cut into half moons
  • 12 NatureSweet cherub tomatoes, cut into quarters length-wise
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup packaged wonton strips
  • ¾ cup honey-glazed sliced almonds
  • 1 lbs. extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbs. + 1 tbs. Creole seafood seasoning blend
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
For the dressing:
  • 2/3 cup Litehouse Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro 
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Step 1: Evenly coat a cast-iron grill pan with the olive oil. Heat the grill pan over med-high heat for 5 minutes, until hot. Sprinkle the zucchini slices with half of the Cajun spice. Grill the zucchini until the pieces are cooked and they have grill marks on both sides. On my grill pan, this took about 5 minutes per side. While the zucchini cooks, sprinkle the remaining Cajun seasoning on the shrimp and toss to evenly coat.
Step 2: After the zucchini has cooked, set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and sear the shrimp until they are cooked through. This takes about 5 minutes, flipping the shrimp over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the cooked shrimp to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces. While the shrimp cook, you have a pocket of time to chop the green onions, cherub tomatoes, and avocado.
Step 3: Make the dressing by adding the Litehouse Red Wine Olive Vinaigrette, lime juice, cilantro, honey, and salt & pepper to a small cup. Whisk until the honey is completely incorporated.
Step 4: To assemble the salad, add the chopped Fresh Express hearts of romaine to the bottom of a large, shallow serving bowl. Drizzle with with half of the vinaigrette. Place the chopped shrimp in the middle, in a circular pattern. Arrange the almonds, wonton crisps, avocado, NatureSweet cherub tomatoes, green onions, goat cheese, and zucchini around the perimeter of the bowl. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top of the salad. Just before serving, toss to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients.
This salad is an explosion of flavors and textures...making every bite slightly different. The creamy goat cheese and avocado, the crunchy almonds and wonton strips, and the spicy shrimp combine to make a fabulous main dish salad. I had never added zucchini to a salad, but their earthy flavor worked really nicely with the tomatoes and green onions. The dressing was perfect: light and sweetly tart. I love this salad and plan to enjoy it all Summer long! I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think...

Disclosure: Litehouse, Fresh Express, and NatureSweet provided me with coupons for free product to facilitate recipe development for this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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