Chili Lime Salad with Strawberries and Quinoa

OMG. This salad that I made last week was possibly the tastiest salad I have ever made. It was beyond! I was attempting to recreate a salad I had several years ago at a favorite Mexican restaurant but I swear, mine was even better! It uses fruits and veggies that are in season right now, making it full of different fantastic complementary flavors– tart and sweet and nutty and creamy. All the yums!

Strawberries are great cancer fighters and pepitas are high in magnesium and zinc which help your thyroid and help with sleep. Avocados are high in fiber, potassium and provide cancer fighting healthy fats, and the greens of course are detoxifying and full of powerful nutrients.

One last thing—whenever you make shrimp, it is important to choose wild caught. Read more about why in my blog post where you will find the recipe for the Chili Lime Shrimp that are in this salad recipe.

So without further ado, here is The Salad of the Summer. I could eat this every night.

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad with Strawberries and Quinoa

1 lb wild caught shrimp, prepared using my Chili Lime Shrimp recipe (you’ll also need a lime and chili powder and garlic for the recipe)
½ cup or so cooked, lightly toasted quinoa
8 or 9 organic strawberries, sliced
5 or 6 cups of organic mixed salad greens
1 large ripe organic avocado, diced
¼ cup toasted and salted pepitas (AKA pumpkin seeds available at Trader Joe’s and many other stores)

For the dressing:
Zest and juice of one medium lime or 2 small ones
½ tsp raw honey
Big pinch of chili powder
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
Big pinch of salt
Put all in a smallish medium bowl and pour
3 Tbsp or so of EVOO in a stream while whisking all ingredients together. Adjust honey if necessary to balance the flavors.

I usually make a few cups of quinoa each week to have on hand (we put it under our eggs in the morning and/or use it instead of rice at dinner) so if you don’t have some already made, get a cup or so cooking per package instructions on the stove. The trick to perfect quinoa is a method I stumbled onto when I didn’t want to forget and burn it (which I have done!). You let it simmer after it has boiled for a few minutes with the lid on and then turn it off and let it steam the rest of the way to fully cooked. Don’t peek and let out all the steam. This method takes longer but it also turns out light and fluffy instead of stuck together and soggy. Not sure why but it works. So get it going and then move the pot to a back burner while you make the rest of this dish.

While the quinoa is steaming on a back burner, cook the shrimp per the recipe here.

When the shrimp is done, turn off the heat and check on your quinoa. If it’s cooked through (the little tail on the seed is up), spread about a cup of it onto a rimmed baking sheet and put it in a warm oven for a few minutes to dry it out.

While the quinoa is drying out, slice your strawberries and dice your avocado. This is a good time to make the salad dressing as well.

Arrange your salad greens in wide shallow bowls or plates for however many people you are feeding. This recipe makes 2 large salads, 3 medium salads or 4 small salads.

Divide the dressing among the greens on each serving and toss to evenly coat the greens (or put all the greens in a bowl and pour dressing on greens and toss to coat but this creates another bowl to wash, which I try to avoid 😉.)

Your quinoa should be lightly toasted by now and can be sprinkled on the tossed greens. Next, divide the shrimp evenly between your servings and place the strawberries and avocado chunks evenly around. Lastly, sprinkle each serving with pepitas.

Serve and enjoy!

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