Chicken Bacon Broccoli Ranch Casserole (Paleo!)

Good afternoon, y’all! it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood. The weather might get warmer (not holding my breath), the sun is shining, I am trying to shed some winter fluff and I have picked up running much more regularly. All the good things! I told my younger brother that we’re running the Kennett Run, so there’s a goal to work towards. I’ve been in the gym at least 6 days a week, but let me tell you… these ol’ bones take a beating. I jumped back into it like I was 18 years old again, and that was DEFINITELY! not the right way to do it. I suspected a plantar fasciitis flare up (or a peroneal tendon issue), so I let up for a few days and soaked my foot in Epsom salt. It did the trick, but now I’m nursing some sore quads. Does anyone have any good recommendations on running shoes for folks with extremely high arches? 🙂 🙂

I’ve made a ton of food over the last few weeks, but I’ve just been so busy with everything that I either hadn’t documented it once I cooked it, or people ate it before I got a chance to.

One thing I’m super pumped about is this tasty casserole. I came across a recipe for a buffalo chicken casserole I really liked, but I wanted to put a different twist on it with some other flavors. the good thing about this one is that it’s low in carbs, high in protein and just overall filling and delicious. Just to warn you, it’s definitely a weekend project that reheats well during the week… I’d advise to make this when you’ve got some time to play in the kitchen 🙂

 

Chicken Bacon Broccoli Ranch Casserole (Paleo!)

prep time: ~ 2 hours for all cooking involved

cook time: 35 min

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 
  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 package paleo-friendly bacon (typically 8-10 oz, or a generous half pound)
  • 1 large head of broccoli, stems trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup paleo-friendly mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Grey Poupon dijon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley

 

Directions

  1. As this takes the longest, preheat your oven to 400 F. Cut your spaghetti squash in half and place face-down on a lined baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 50-60 minutes. Once cooked, carefully scrape the seeds out with a spoon and discard. With remaining flesh, gently scrape out with a fork into a large mixing bowl and discard the leftover skin.
  1. Now onto your chicken. Cook your chicken in an instant pot per instructions —  with enough chicken broth to cover the meat for 30 min. If using a traditional oven, (while simultaneously cooking your squash), place chicken a Pyrex dish and cover with broth. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until fork tender and cooked thoroughly. With both methods, remove from heat  after cooking, shred finely, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then cover and set aside until ready to use.
  1. While chicken is baking, cook your bacon  by your preferred method (I like to bake on a baking sheet at 375 degrees F until crisp) until the bacon is thoroughly browned, but not burnt.  Remove from heat once cooked, roughly chop (once cooled!!), and set aside.  
  1. Since I like to live dangerously and multi-task, at this point I start cooking my broccoli, until just slightly tender. In a large skillet, add your preferred cooking oil and broccoli over medium heat. Once brought to temperature, add 1/8 cup of water to the pan and cover with a lid. The broccoli should only slightly cook, until bright green — about 2 minutes. Once finished, remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together your spices, dijon and mayo. adjust flavors as needed — I like a bit of a punch of dill and garlic to really bring out the ranch flavor. Remember, be generous with your salt, as the chicken has a lot of protein to break down, and the squash has a lot of fiber – salt is our friend!
  1. Once taste is up to par, add your two eggs, continuing to whisk until thoroughly mixed.
  1. In your large bowl with spaghetti squash, add your chicken and bacon, and mix together. Add your sauce, continuing to mix thoroughly. Add to a greased Pyrex dish and spread evenly.
  1. Hopefully your oven is still hot! Set temp/pre-heat to 350 degrees F. Bake your casserole until your egg has set and the top starts to brown, about 35 minutes.

Serve, and enjoy!

 

-S

Bacon-Wrapped Pepper Bites with Guacamole (Paleo!)

I need to step my game up. I feel like every time I make a post, it has to do with either the full moon or new moon…. which means I am not posting all that much. I don’t know why I’m so busy, but I do know that it’s from running around like crazy. 

 

So one thing I’m going to start doing more of this year is Reiki. I’m definitely going to do a whole post on the practice, benefits and effects of it, but for now, my priority is to get a plan together for continuing to practice. Stay tuned for more of that if that interests you.

 

Onto more of the GOOD STUFF…. I have a lot of recipes I’ve been saving and just haven’t gotten around to posting because I like to put up what I think people are most interested in seeing. There are definitely times where a recipe jumps out at me and I have to make it and post it, and let me tell you… this is definitely one of those times. These things came out just as good as I hoped they would, which is excellent — I love bacon. If you have a party coming up, these are perfect for the guacamole lovers in your life. I’m not even kidding when I say you should probably make a double batch though, because you won’t want to give any away.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Pepper Bites with Guacamole (Paleo!)

prep time: 20 min

cook time: 20 min

 Ingredients

  • 1 lb nitrate-free bacon, kept chilled until use (I recommend Butcher Box, or Wellshire!)
  • 1 large bag of mini sweet peppers – yields about 18-24 peppers
  • handful of toothpicks, soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 roma or vine tomato, finely chopped (this part is important!)
  • 2 heaping tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1/2 lime (or more, to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Ziploc bag or pastry bag, for filling peppers

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with foil.
  1. Cut the top off of each pepper, discarding the stem, seeds and ribs from the inside. Make sure the pepper is cut so that it can stand on its own when placed on the baking sheet.
  1. Starting from the uncut side, carefully wrap each pepper with bacon completely. Depending on the size of the pepper, you may want to start with a half-slice of bacon. If you happen to do multiple layers, it’s alright too – the bacon will still crisp because it isn’t lying flat on the baking sheet. 
  1. Once wrapped, secure the bacon to the pepper by poking the toothpick across the pepper, near the flat side. This will keep the bacon from unwrapping as it cooks.
  1. Place your bacon wrapped peppers in the oven, spaced apart evenly, and bake until the bacon is thoroughly browned, about 20-25 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, as your peppers cook, prep your guacamole. In a medium sized mixing bowl, gently mash your avocado thoroughly, ensuring there are minimal chunks left. You don’t want to beat it too hard though, as it will start to become runny.
  1. Next, add your onion, tomato, cilantro, lime and seasoning. Mix thoroughly, adjusting salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Once peppers are done, remove from heat and set aside, leaving toothpicks in place until partially cooled. Once cooled, add your guacamole mixture to your bag. If using a Ziploc bag, place guac into the bag before cutting a small part (about 1/2 in across) of the corner off your bag. If you don’t cut enough, you can always cut more off.
  1. Squeeze your guacamole into your peppers until just filled. Arrange on a plate, and enjoy!

 

-S

Pizza Soup (PALEO!)

Hi world! I’m back after a much needed hiatus. I had these lofty and grand plans to cook a ton of stuff around the holidays and share it all with you… but then I got sick, then had to get back into the swing of things at work… I was tired… uninspired… you know how it goes. Plus, it’s been COLD. Here in the northeast, there’s been “snow” looming in the distance. I don’t actually know if it’s coming, but everyone’s been talking about it and now we just wait. I have no idea, but I have fuzzy socks on and a chenille scarf wrapped around me that I can’t part with. I fell asleep wearing it last night. I am ready for the snow!

What’s interesting these days with all of you!? Well, with me – a whole lot and only a little. This spring should bring a lot of really cool changes, but I can only share them with you once I have more details J In the meantime, I’ve been working off my Christmas fluff (deeeefffffinitely put on a few pounds from all the beer and pizza), working on strength training and cardio. I got an Apple Watch for Christmas, and closing my fitness things is honestly the realest motivation I have had in a long time. That, and dry January, which I’ve already failed. Oh well, there’s next year.

This post is more of a drop-in…. when I have some more time this weekend, I will definitely be jumping into some fun spiritual stuff, at least before January is OVER. Better late than never.  With the looming snow storm coming up, I want you all to enjoy something warm, healthy, and delicious, with minimal guilt.

Soup!

My inspiration was simple. I’ve been eating so much pizza these days, I wanted to dial it back. After giving up pizza for Lent one year, many years ago, I swore I could never go without it again. After much compromise and upset, I decided to nix the bread and make it into a soup, because… life without pizza is no life at all. This is a paleo friendly soup (unless you add some cheese), and is absolutely delicious. I like to use Applegate Naturals turkey pepperoni, and Garrett Valley pork bacon when making this soup. If you aren’t on any restrictive dietary plans, I bet dipping a breadstick in this would be just glorious. For those of us that are on the healthy train, this soup alone will do ya just fine… I promise 🙂

If you don’t already, follow me on instagram @thedivinekitchen. I need more folks to hold me to posting my daily dinners, recipes, etc. Come join the party!

Pizza Soup (PALEO!)

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 30 min

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz can of tomato sauce (not marinara, just plain)
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tube of pork or turkey sausage
  • 4 oz (~20-25 slices) of paleo friendly (uncured) turkey pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • 3-4 slices of cooked paleo friendly (uncured) bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 heaping tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 pinch of chili powder
  • 1 pinch of cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large skillet or frying pan, over medium heat with a tsp of your preferred cooking oil, sauté your pepper and onion until translucent and starting to brown – about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In the same skillet, also over medium heat, sauté your sausage until thoroughly cooked/browned, breaking up any larger chunks. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pot or small stockpot, add your tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Turn to medium high heat. Next, add your pepper and onion, sausage, pepperoni, bacon (if using), spices, and chicken broth. Gently mix thoroughly – heat until mixture starts to bubble gently, stirring to prevent burning at the bottom of the pan. Once brought to temperature, cover with a lid, turn to low heat, and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
  4. The soup should thin out – it should not resemble the thickness of sauce. If too thick, add additional chicken broth, 1/4 cup at a time, and continue to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. If preferred, serve with a pinch of shredded cheese (not Paleo, fyi :)). Enjoy!

-S

Pomegranate Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin (Paleo!)

The weather is starting to cool down 🙂 🙂 Which means… I get to wear all my sweaters that I love so much! Sigh. I just get so excited.

I can’t remember if I ever mentioned my favorite show that a friend turned me onto… it’s called Humans. It’s a UK-broadcasted show available on  Amazon Prime… and I binge watched the first two seasons in about 2 weeks. (Binge watching TV for me is watching more than 20-30 minutes at a time… I really hate watching TV). It’s so good. Without spoiling the premise of the show, it’s a little Will Smith in I, Robot meets Modern Family… with less of the dumb humor. Definitely worth the watch.

To be honest… I don’t have much material to work with here. Nothing new  going on, just wanted to tell you guys I love Autumn, and that new show I found. Here’s some pork tenderloin, because I think we need to show the other white meat some love. Happy almost-Fall!

Pomegranate Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin (Paleo!)

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 to 1.5 lb) pork tenderloin
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard (I am very particular about my djion…)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup of chicken broth
  • A pinch of chili pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 heaping tsp of tapioca flour
  • Optional: pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together your pomegranate juice, orange juice, Dijon, honey, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. Adjust flavors to preference, if needed.
  2. Next, trim any “silver” skin or unwanted fat from your pork. Place in a bag or bowl, and marinate for at least 2-4 hours in the fridge, or as long as overnight. When ready to cook, select the Sauté button to heat the Instant Pot. When “Hot” is displayed, add a tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Add the pork and sear on all sides, approximately 4 minutes per side. Once completely seared, press Cancel and remove pork from the Instant Pot. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Next, place the Instant Pot trivet into the pot, followed by your pork tenderloin. If it doesn’t fit lengthwise, you can cut it in half. Pour the marinade over the  pork, ensuring it’s thoroughly coated. It’s okay if it isn’t submerged.
  5. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn the valve so it’s sealed. Select the Manual setting, high pressure (this is the default setting), and set timer to 7 minutes for fresh pork (10 minutes for semi-frozen, or 13 minutes for frozen).
  6. Once the timer is done, turn the Instant Pot off and let pressure release naturally for 8-10 minutes. Open the lid and remove the trivet with the pork on it and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you make the glaze.

For the Glaze

  1. In a large skillet, add your remaining liquid from the instant pot, reserving about ¼ cup. Turn heat to medium. Using your reserved ¼ cup of broth, whisk your tapioca flour in until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add your reserved tapioca flour/ broth mix into the pan, continuing to whisk. Be sure to turn the heat down if it thickens/bubbles too quickly, as you don’t want it to  burn. The mixture should slightly thicken after simmering for 2-3 minutes, or a bit longer with lower heat. If desired, add any salt and pepper,  to taste. At this point – I think I added a splash more pomegranate juice for some color. Once at desired thickness, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Slice your tenderloin and serve with glaze as preferred. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and herbs if desired!

**Note: if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, as well as heating a skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Sear Pork tenderloin in the skillet on all sides, 2-3 min per side – place in a baking dish once browned. Pour glaze over, and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees F. Set tenderloin on a dish to rest, and then follow the glaze recipe and serve as preferred.

Enjoy!

-S

Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta with Garlic, Sun-dried Tomato, Toasted Walnuts and Feta (Gluten Free, with Vegan option!)

Hello, foodies. Hope you’re all staying dry out there! I’ve been thinking of those of you down south, the news about the devastating flooding breaks my heart 😦 My grandfather lives in Greenville, SC and he said the rain has been unbelievable. Those of you in coastal towns –  you’re in my thoughts! I’ve been trying to find the best way to offer assistance in the wake of all the flooding – unfortunately, not much can be started until the water recedes. If you’re interested in helping out those in need, always do your homework before donating money (local is better!), and make sure you know some details about where you’re donating. Here are a few ways I’m considering:

Local Food Banks – Harvest Hope Food Bank, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. It’s recommended to contact them to see where their greatest needs are before donating.

Google Donate – if you google “Hurricane Florence donate”, Google has a donation page set up. There are FAQ’s if you’d like to verify its validity, and they will match up to $1MM in donations. Often times, money is the best way to go so it can be used however needed.

Local Humane Societies – North Carolina (Greenville), and South Carolina (Myrtle Beach)

Frank’s Nation – Animal Rescue/Shelter- https://www.gofundme.com/frank039s-nation-vs-hurricane-flo

Verified by GoFundMe, this non-profit has launched a campaign to cover expenses of its volunteers who are searching for dogs in the affected areas. Save the pups left behind! 😦

Hopefully you all find some time or spare money to offer, if you’re able J many people won’t be able to return home until the water recedes, so anything we can do to help, we should!

Side note… I made some delicious stuff in the last few days. Some paleo and gluten free friendly, some “healthy”… and some are NAATTT. I made my family’s famous potato salad, which is filled with sugar, and mayo, and deliciousness… but I also made some light staples, appetizers and some good fall dishes. You’re in for a treat for the next few days, as this weather is going to be cruddy.

Until next time… here’s my delicious zoodles!

Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta with Garlic, Sun-dried Tomato and Toasted Walnuts and Feta (Gluten Free, with Vegan option!)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and thinly sliced (save the oil!)
  • 3-4  green zucchinis, spiralized (or two 1lb packages of pre-sliced zoodles)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3  cups of fresh spinach, loosely chopped
  • Handful of toasted walnuts, seasoned to preference (I like garlic powder, generous salt and pepper! Clink the link for my recipe) If vegan- use plain walnuts
  • Optional: 2/3 cup crumbled feta, plus more to taste (cheese is not paleo compliant, FYI)

Directions

  1. Using a spiralizer, cut your zoodles according to the tool’s instructions. Place on a paper towel to remove some of the moisture. Pro-Tip – I like to do this ahead of time to allow them to dry a bit, as zucchinis are made up of a lot of water. If using pre-cut – leave the package open for a few hours in the fridge prior to using.
  2. Once ready to cook, heat about 1-2 tbsp  oil in large pan over medium high heat. Add zucchini noodles and saute for 5-7 minutes, allowing some of the water to cook out. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Once tender, remove from heat and set aside on a plate.
  3. Add another tbsp. of your reserved sundried tomato oil to the pan and turn the heat back down to medium – add your onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add your garlic and allow to brown (but not burn), for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once your onion and  garlic are cooked, add your sundried tomato and spinach to the pan, stirring. Next, add your wine and turn the heat to medium high in order to burn out the alcohol. Stir to combine, until spinach begins to wilt. Salt and pepper to taste, if needed.  Lastly, add your zoodles back to the pan, stirring to coat in the tomatoes and spinach.

Upon serving, garnish with walnuts and feta, if using.

Enjoy!

-S

Paleo Sausage Gravy Over Biscuits… and it’s DELICIOUS

Victories come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you get the job, sometimes you almost miss a step on a staircase but don’t and catch yourself. Sometimes, you thought you forgot your phone charger at home but find it in your workbag. And then… sometimes you make sausage gravy over biscuits and it’s gluten free, dairy free, and DOESN’T SUCK.

This is a great time to be alive. Honestly.  I can’t even explain the joy I get from making this, because now I can share it with people who’ve never enjoyed the salty tasty goodness of sausage gravy.  You can bet your bottom I’ll be making this again.

This weekend is my hometown’s big annual event, the Mushroom Festival. Thousands of people gather to see artisans, crafts, food, antique cars and demonstrations about how mushrooms are grown and distributed. It’s a really fun time, and the whole town shuts down so that everyone can enjoy it. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you should definitely check it out – more into at www.mushroomfestival.org.

Since this is just one big post about me talking about what I DO like, I realized I haven’t complained about the heat yet. It’s still really hot, guys. Fortunately, it’ll be in the high 60’s this weekend, so… I suspect I may be wearing a flannel to the mushroom festival….. 🙂

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits (PALEO!)

Prep Time: 40 min

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yields about 8-10 biscuits

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 2/3 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½  tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp) of cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk, fully mixed/shaken
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 2 Eggs

For the gravy:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 heaping tbsp. tapioca or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • sprinkle of chili powder, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. First, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with your preferred oil/cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together your coconut milk and lemon juice. Stir in your eggs and continue to whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a separate larger mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix in your butter cubes with your hands, and press the mixture together until it starts to get a sandy, coarse meal-y texture. Continue this until butter is no longer in large chunks.
  4. Fold in your buttermilk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir until fully mixed. Allow it to sit so that the flours can absorb the moisture, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. With your hands, take a rough handful of the biscuit mix and place on the baking sheet. So  that it resembles a flakier biscuit shape, I pinch and poke the top with my hands so it isn’t a perfectly round shape. Continue to form biscuits, placing 1-2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, while your biscuits are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add your onion and sausage. Continue to saute until browned, breaking up large bits of sausage. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  8. Using the remaining fat in the pan, turn the heat down to medium low and add your arrowroot/tapioca flour and whisk to combine. Once it thickens, add your coconut milk (remember to shake the can well to ensure it’s mixed!) and  continue to whisk. Add your herbs and salt and pepper, to taste. Add your sausage back in and continue to stir occasionally, allowing the gravy to thicken.
  9. Pour over your biscuits…. Or just eat it out of the pan. Or smother it on your face. I love gravy, do what you want.

Enjoy!

-S

Shrimp Ceviche with Mango Avocado and Lime (Paleo!)

September 6th, and HOTTER THAN HADES! Good thing I’m not allowed to wear shorts to work, because I love a good ol’ fashioned heat stroke. Just kidding… no one loves that.

I figure I should  get some of my recipes up that are the last of summer cooking while the heatwave is still here. I definitely forgot about a few things I made, but it’s just really important that I share them. It’s also really important that I share a show I was recently introduced to, because now I’m hooked and watched it way past my bedtime last night. It’s called Humans, and I watch it on Amazon Prime Video. Without giving too much of the show away, it centers around artificially intelligent “synthetic humans”, whose purpose is to help people do tasks and be of general help. You find out very quickly  that a handful of them are different, in that they’ve been programmed to have feelings. You can imagine that may throw a wrench in things, and you must watch.

Trying to make this short and sweet so we can get right to the food. Go get the last of your freshly caught seafood, because this one is actually really fun and sort of like a science project! Just a PSA about sourcing ingredients for this recipe, it requires shrimp. If you’re like me and want to try and get the most sustainable and toxin-free version of seafood, you may no need to spend the big bucks for wild-caught shrimp. According to an article I came across on Medium.com, (Why Wild-Caught Shrimp Aren’t as Innocent as You Think), Shrimp is one of the most widely consumed seafood categories, which if wild-caught, may impact the ocean’s ecosystem in more ways than we know. Additionally, much of the shrimp in the US is imported and held to a different standard than US food regulations. There’s honestly a lot of grey area (and I don’t really spend a lot of time researching shrimp farms, to be honest…) that I’m not aware of, so I make sure if I make ceviche, I’m buying reputable shrimp. If you have an iron stomach or simply aren’t concerned, buying farm-raised shrimp will do you just fine.

To start, buying frozen isn’t bad – if anything, it gives you some time to decide what you want to do with it. Though I have yet to easily come across truly organic shrimp, there are a few things to look for if you want to make sure your choice in seafood is a smart, sustainable choice. The Marine Stewardship Council or Best Aquaculture Practices often add labels to shrimp so you know what you’re buying. As with any animal, the bigger ones likely have a greater impact than the normal sized ones, so I tend to just get the 21-30 count.

ANOTHER COOL THING! Did you know that the enzymes in citrus can actually “cook” seafood? Both cooking seafood with heat and curing it with citrus juice allows a process called “denaturation” to happen. I won’t bore you with the science… but it has to do with enzymes in the citric acid breaking down molecules within the fish as if it were cooked. Safe to eat, delicious, etc. Makes me think of sitting on the patio at a restaurant in Key West or Costa Rica, eating fresh ceviche with my morning omelette… 🙂

Shrimp Ceviche with Mango Avocado and Lime

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 3-4 hours (marinating time)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw shrimp, rinsed, tails removed
  • ½ medium sized red onion, finely minced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 2 roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced into small cubes
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, stems, ribs and seeds removed
  • Juice of 4 limes, plus more if needed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. On a plastic cutting board (no raw anything on wood, if you can help it!), dice your shrimp and add to a shallow pyrex or baking dish. I cut mine into thirds for bite-size chunks.
  2. Add your shrimp to your dish, spreading in a single layer if possible. You want to keep this shallow so the citrus juice can cover the shrimp entirely. Add your lime and lemon juice, stirring to ensure the shrimp is coated. Cover the shrimp with tomato and red onion, spreading to cover any bare spots. Cover and let sit for at least 3-4 hours in the refrigerator to marinate.
  3. Check back after the time has passed to ensure your shrimp is “cooked”. It should appear pink, and opaque. If you see bits of gray, give it a stir to coat (it’s fine to mix the onion and tomato around now) and let stand for another 30-60 minutes.
  4. Once the shrimp is cured, add your mango, cilantro and avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. I tend to squeeze in a pinch more of lime juice for an added bite, as the shrimp tends to absorb much of the flavor.
  5. Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired. Serve with chips or preferred dipper, such as vegetables. I like Siete’s grain free tortilla chips 🙂

Enjoy!

-S