Have you reached the point yet this week that you’ve resolved to actually keep your resolutions? I didn’t go berserk-o on mine. I have many friends who are enjoying a maniacal cleanse of beverages only for 30 days. I’m not that girl. I like to eat. I would rather eat my veggies than drink them. (Although a pre-swimsuit 3 day juice cleanse will be happening somewhere about the time that the last frost happens!)
So for all of you, like me, that have resolved to simply eat cleanly, Paleo, vegan or vegetarian (see alternatives for shrimp below) or even just gluten-free, this is a recipe for you.
You can use almost any firm vegetable that you have available. I created this recipe in the late spring, but this time of year instead of squash (which isn’t locally available or fresh this time of year in the US), you can use kohlrabi, watermelon radishes (or any other radish), fennel, turnips, golden beets, candy cane (or Chioggia) beets, broccoli and caulfiflower stems or even raw butternut squash. I like it colorful, so instead of butternut squash or gold beets I would use some of the other things since carrots already cover the yellow/orange segment of the color wheel in this recipe. Wondering why no regular purple beets? Because your entire dish will be magenta, but if you like that and that’s what you have, then go ahead and use them.
If you are not eating meat right now, use tofu or nuts instead of the shrimp. If you are eating paleo, then use spaghetti squash or skip the pasta altogether and double the salad ingredients.
Do make peanut sauce to serve with this as it does increase the protein and it is simply yummy! (It also seems to up the kid-cred, too!) Peanut sauce is so easy that my boys now make it on their own and have for years. There are more complicated methods, but how I’ve taught my kids is to start with 1/3 cup peanut butter and whisk in a couple of tablespoons of very hot water to thin it out. (We follow the eyeballing rule except for in baking.) The key to good peanut sauce is a balance of sweet, salty and sour so next you will add one tablespoon each of soy or tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), agave or honey, and lime juice or rice wine vinegar. Whisk it well then taste it. Add more of each element until you like the flavor. If you like things spicy, add chile garlic paste or red pepper flakes. That’s it. Sometimes we will make a vat of this around just do encourage the boys to eat veggies.
- 1 yellow squash, shaved, shredded or julienned
- 1 medium cucumber, shaved, shredded or julienned
- 1 carrot, shaved, shredded or julienned
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ head of cabbage, shredded (you can leave this out and use extra shredded veggies)
- a large handful each of basil,cilantro and mint leaves (or any combination of those that you have available), roughly chopped
- 8 oz spaghetti, cooked and rinsed in cold water
- 2 limes, juiced and zested
- 2 tbsp tamari, Bragg's aminos, or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 1" piece of ginger
- 1-2 tsp chile garlic sauce (to taste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lb of medium shrimp (31-40 ct)
- sea salt to taste
- toasted slice almonds and black or toasted white sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- Peanut Sauce, for passing at table
- Combine all the veggies and herbs in a large bowl. Toss with the cooked and cooled spaghetti.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, tamari sauce, sesame oil, agave nectar, and chile garlic sauce if using. Remove ⅓ cup of this mixture and toss with the shrimp. Marinate for 10 minutes only. (Any longer and the shrimp will start cooking in the lime juice.)
- Whisk the ginger and garlic into the remaining dressing and toss with the salad.
- Heat broiler. Drain the shrimp and pat dry with paper towel. On a foil lined cookie sheet, arrange the shrimp in a single layer and sprinkle with sea salt. They will most likely be brown or grey before being cooked, like this:
- Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp curl up and turn pink, like this:
- Turn them over and cook until they brown a bit on the other side (just a minute or two).
- To serve, place a mound of the salad in a shallow bowl and top with shrimp, sliced almonds and sesame seeds. Pass peanut sauce if you're using.