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Simply put, I love food. I revel in everything about it: taste, texture, preparation, presentation, etc. The most favored aspect for me is the social aspect of food…learning to cook from one’s mother, preparing food with friends, grilling out, potlucks, dinner parties or simply meeting for dinner. I light up watching the people I love eat the food that I create. It still truly amazes me how food brings us together. So a little about me. Now in my early 30s, I’ve learned all I know about cooking from my mother and grandmothers. My Midwestern roots are definitely reflected in my cooking style and the recipes that I choose as I am very “meat and potatoes” centric and heavy handed with the butter sometimes. More later, but for now Happy Nomming!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coconut Curried Shrimp Salad

So I've been on a 'Whole Foods' Cleanse the past two weeks. Not to be confused with the grocery store chain, Whole Foods.  Week 1 consisted of nothing but fruits, veggies and the occasional handful of nuts.  I'm here to tell  you that you have no idea how important meat is until you try and give it up. While my co-cleansers were craving wine and sweets, all I wanted for was a filet, some beef tartare or a slab of bacon.  

Week 2, we got to add back fish and lentils. (Yes, lentils.) So having never prepared fish outside of the occasional shrimp kabob, I've started experimenting with different flavors. So far I've taught myself how to bake a perfect tilapia filet (I can thank my cast iron skillet for that) and then got all crazy on some shrimp.  Oddly enough, I don't suck at it! 

Next week, I get my grains back! Bring on the oats & rice!

1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tablespoon mild curry paste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened shaved coconut
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
6 ounces washed baby spinach
2 clementines (or 1 small can of mandarin oranges drained)

For dressing whisk together the following and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble salad for serving:
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from half of a lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and curry paste in skillet. Saute shrimp until pink. Turning once (approximately 2-3 minutes per side). Remove from pan. Cool and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours or until chilled.

Toast almonds and coconut in a saucepan over low-medium heat until golden brown. Toss with ginger.

Combine spinach with toasted almond/coconut mixture and toss with dressing.  Top with clementines and shrimp.  Serve chilled.

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