Grilled Shrimp, Bacon and Avocado Salad

Shrimp Salad

Yummy, yummy, yummy!  I love a good salad and usually have plenty of items on hand to throw one together really quickly.  Not only is this recipe healthy, it’s super quick and easy and any leftovers can be used in a variety of ways.

A few years ago shrimp got a bad reputation as being unhealthy and high in cholesterol.  However, there are two kinds of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and both function very differently and affect your body in different ways.  To keep it simple, LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that collects in the walls of your blood vessels and puts you at a greater risk for a heart attack.  HDL is the “good” cholesterol and is a seeker and destroyer of LDL cholesterol.  HDL acts as a cleaner for the walls of the blood vessels by reducing and reusing LDL by escorting it to your liver so it can be reprocessed, therefore lowering your level of LDL and risk of heart attacks.  It is also the cholesterol contained in shrimp, so for those watching cholesterol levels shrimp are not off the menu.

Okay, y’all don’t say Kim said I could have all the shrimp I want and go out and eat a ton at one sitting.  Just because they’re good for you doesn’t mean you can have all you want!  As with any food, portion control should still be followed.  About 12 medium shrimp are a serving, with approximately 7 calories per shrimp.

Not only do shrimp have good cholesterol and are low in calories, they’re high in protein (20 grams per three ounces) and have two powerful antioxidant sources, selenium and astaxanthin.  They’re also really high in vitamin B12, approximately 75 percent of your RDA per serving.

Avocados are also high in good cholesterol, which helps to lower your bad cholesterol.  They have almost 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (more than bananas and helps to control blood pressure), lutein (good for eyes), and folate (repairs cells) and are good sources of B vitamins as well as vitamins C and E.

The leftovers from this salad make a great wrap.  Simply spoon it into a whole-wheat tortilla, wrap and put in your lunchbox for the next day.  You can also cook extra shrimp (or whatever protein you choose) and have it on hand already cooked for another supper later in the week.  Pair them with quinoa and oven-roasted asparagus and red pepper, dinner is done!

 

Dressing ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 lb. medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or mixed cherry heirloom)
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and rough chopped
  • 6 cups spring mix salad greens

 

Directions:

  1. Puree the dressing ingredients in a food processor (or blender) until smooth
  2. Preheat grill and grill pan over medium heat. Toss the shrimp, olive oil, chili powder, salt and lime zest until well coated.
  3. Grill the shrimp three minutes on one side. Turn and cook for two minutes or until cooked through.  Be careful not to overcook, over-done shrimp will be rubbery.
  4. Combine the greens, tomatoes and bacon in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Add the avocado and toss gently.
  5. To plate, serve 2 ½ cups of the salad mixture topped with shrimp and garnish with lime wedges.

 

Options:

  • Instead of shrimp, chicken, salmon or beef will pair well.
  • If you don’t like avocado, leave it out, it will be fine without it.
  • Sprinkle a little freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top. If you want to get fancy, you can do parmesan curls.
  • Before adding anything to the salad greens, chop them well. The same thing, but you’ll have the popular “chopped” version, which I prefer.  I’ve shared with you before my pet peeve of trying to eat a salad and you have half of it in and half of it out of your mouth.  Totally a personal preference.

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