Sunday is usually a big day around here for the kids and I. We make snacks for the week, perhaps some exciting dessert or side dish, and we take a billion photos … but yesterday, with the soaring temps and humidity, we didn’t cook at all, save a quick, easy new coleslaw recipe that will appear on AmazingMoms later this month.
Still, even though I was totally not cooking yesterday, Paige pulled her pink stool up to the counter at lunchtime and said, “I help you, Mommy!” It wasn’t a question, it was a demand from a little girl who doesn’t care if her cooking job is measuring, mixing or just arranging the clean berries on a plate (yesterday’s job!). Sometimes, cooking with kids is just about being in the kitchen together, even if the result is an uncomplicated, easy lunch.
In any case, I don’t have an inspired Cooking with Kids-themed recipe today. But I do have this fabulous salad with an even more fabulous dressing. Like yesterday’s lunch, it’s uncomplicated but perfect.
It’s greens, half an avocado and some wonderful grilled shrimp. Drizzled with a fabulous homemade dressing that’s sweet and tangy all at once, it’s perfect. I found the dressing in the latest issue of Body + Soul. It will be eaten on repeat this summer — it’s fresh, light flavors are perfect for hot and humid days like this weekend … and even today when rain threatened all day.
For the shrimp, I bought raw, shell-on shrimp at Trader Joe’s that came butterfly-cut (just defrost before using).
But you can prepare them at home as well. This video from Coastal Living is a great tutorial for learning how.
Easy Grilled Shrimp
- 1 lb shell-on, , deveined butterfly-cut shrimp
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 8 cups salad greens, , in bite size pieces
- 2 avocados, , sliced
- 1/2 cup Asian Vinaigrette, (see below)
Asian Vinaigrette (recipe adapted very slightly from Body + Soul, May 2010)
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, , minced
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Heat your grill to its medium temperature setting.
- Place the butterfly-cut shrimp flesh down on the grill. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover and let cook for 5-6 minutes, until flesh closest to the flame is mostly opaque.
- Flip the shrimp and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover the grill again and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until cooked through. The shrimp should pull slightly away from the shell. (Hint: Remove the shell before eating.)
- Divide the greens among four salad bowls. Arrange 1/4 of the shrimp on top, followed by 1/2 an avocado each.
- Next, make the vinaigrette: Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic, ground ginger and red pepper flakes to a small bowl. Whisk together until combined. Drizzle a thin stream of oil in, whisking constantly, until fully combined. Transfer to an airtight container, refrigerate and use within a week. This yields about 1 cup, half of which you'll use for this salad.
- Drizzle each salad with 2 tbsp Asian Vinaigrette.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.