I’m not sure why, but I can never follow a recipe. Either I don’t have all the ingredients and I’m too lazy to get them, or I think “Hmm, I could make this better..” Whatever it is, recipes serve as an inspiration, not a diagram for me and I’m okay with that.
One of my favorite places for recipe inspiration is AllRecipes.com . My favorite feature is the “ingredients” section where you can type in what you have (and what you don’t have) and it suggests recipes for you. LOVE IT! It has saved my tired recipe brain many a time.
The other night I wanted something different and simple and I came across this recipe: Lime-Shrimp Avocado Pasta Salad and I thought it looked delicious. I started by halving the recipe and then just using whatever amounts of other ingredients I had on hand.
The recipe is simple: lime, shrimp, pasta, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and spinach (my addition). Then top with a mustard vinaigrette. Easy peasy.
Here’s what I did. I took my frozen shrimp (medium, raw, tail off, peeled & deveined) threw them in a bowl (still frozen) added about 2 tsp Olive Oil…
..and about 1 Tbs Lime Juice. I mixed them around a bit and let them sit while I chopped the other ingredients:
Meanwhile, I chopped up 1 avocado, half a pint of cherry tomatoes, two green onions, 4 springs of cilantro (all I had left) and I took two handfuls of spinach, lined them up and sliced them into matchsticks.
Mm, I love how fresh and delicious that all looks! Now is when you would put your pasta on to cook. I used spaghetti but you could use penne or any kind you like.
Once the shrimp had thawed, I drained the excess liquid and tossed them into a hot frying pan with about 2 tsp of olive oil (add more if needed). I gave a quick dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika (I didn’t measure I just did a quick sprinkle across all of them like you would with salt). I fried them until they had little golden brown bits and were opaque, about 3 mins.
Dressing: I sadly did not have the Worcestershire sauce the original recipe requires (I blame our recent move) so I just did 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, 1 Tbsp lime juice, salt, pepper, and a dash of Rice Wine Vinegar:
Once all the pieces were prepared I assembled them all in a giant bowl to mix, and poured on the dressing just before serving. The noodles were still hot so they absorbed the dressing:
I did a quick toss and served it up to my very hungry hubby!
It was a quick, easy and oh so very delicious weeknight meal. Next time I would try adding the Worcestershire sauce to the dressing, or try adding balsamic vinegar. Give both versions a try and let me know what you think!
1 lbs shrimp
1/2 box Spaghetti
1 Avocado, diced
1/2 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Green onions, diced
1 Handful spinach, sliced into matchsticks
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Lime juice, divided
4 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Rice Wine Vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or Balsamic Vinegar (All Optional)
1. Marinate frozen shrimp with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp lime juice for 30 mins, set aside. Chop cherry tomatoes, green onion, spinach, avocado and cilantro and set aside.
2. Cook spaghetti according to box instructions (usually 6 to 8 mins). Meanwhile heat skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Drain marinated shrimp of excess liquid and toss in frying pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Cook until shrimp has little brown bits and is opaque about 3-5 mins depending on the size of your shrimp.
3. In a small bowl mix 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp mustard powder and a dash of rice wine vinegar (or Worcestershire sauce), whisk. Adjust to taste.
4. Drain the pasta and put in a large bowl, add in avocado, tomatoes, spinach, green onion, cilantro and shrimp. Add dressing, mix and serve.
Original Inspiration: Lime-Shrimp Avocado Pasta Salad