Most people who know me well know that I love The Food Network. Until I had kids, I watched it religiously, everyday, as much as possible. I just love getting new ideas, and well...I like food! Now I am working on having a healthy relationship with it. Anyway, I made a recipe today from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa). I have never attempted a recipe from her because, for whatever reason, she intimidates me. I am so glad I got over my fear!
I had two very ripe avocados waiting to be used, so I racked my brain to come up with a recipe that would use them. I remembered seeing an episode where she made a salad with avocado and (I thought) shrimp. So I looked on www.foodnetwork.com to find it. What I discovered was that it was actually a recipe with lobster - Lobster Cobb Salad - so I adapted it and made it my own! The big "jackpot" for me was that is used three things that I have never tried before (avocado, arugula, and pita bread) - BONUS! Here it is! :) Thanks Ina!
Shrimp Cobb Salad
For the Vinaigrette:
1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 T. good olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
2 ripe Hass avocados
1 lemon, juiced
1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
15 oz. cooked shrimp (her recipe calls for 1 1/2 lb. cooked and diced lobster meat)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (go easy...I thought that was too much salt so I didn't add it all!)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
7 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped (her recipe calls for 1/2 lb. lean bacon)
(I didn't add this b/c I was trying to conserve points, but 3/4 c. crumbled English Stilton, or other crumbly blue cheese - I am sure this would be yummy too)
Whisk together mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper for the vinaigrette in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, and scoop out with a spoon. Cut into a medium-sized dice and then toss with the lemon juice. Cut the shrimp (or lobster) into bite-sized pieces and put them in a bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten (I added about half of the vinaigrette and saved the rest for another salad). Add the avocado, arugula, and bacon (and blue cheese if you add it) and toss again.
This was seriously amazing! I actually ate mine cold in a whole wheat pita pocket and I thought it was perfect. She suggests serving it in a hot dog roll at room temperature. Of course she also gets all fancy in the episode and wraps it up in wax paper and puts it in a picnic basket for a beach-side dinner. Meanwhile...I am trying to scarf down this delicious treasure while my kids throw grilled cheese, carrots, and apple slices on the floor. Close enough, right? ;)
The salad makes 6 good-sized portions (1 c. each) and is 7 points per serving (made my way...not sure how many points if you add the blue cheese...25?). Please try this ASAP. It is perfect for a light, spring-time lunch! Here is a picture:
Also...for those with little ones...or those who want a HEALTHY 1-point snack: Meet Ella's Kitchen! You can check out their products on www.ellaskitchen.com. They have 2 smoothies: the Red One and the Yellow One (see picture below). The Red One is a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, apple, banana, and a squeeze of lemon juice - that's it - nothing else. The Yellow One is a mixture of banana, mango, peach, apple, and a squeeze of lemon juice - that's it - nothing else! They are in cute little portable pouches perfect for lunch boxes or snacks on-the-go. My kids LOVE them...and I do too. My next mission is to try all of the stage 1 baby foods with Ethan. They have crazy mixes like carrots, apples, and parsnips, and broccoli, pears, and peas. Interesting! The best part is that they can be used and then re-capped and put in the fridge OR freezer! :) Here is what they look like (I found mine on diapers.com):