During the week I’m always running around like a crazy woman and come home ravenous. Because of this, I usually gravitate toward easy meals that I can throw together with things I have already prepped. <– Normally I make a big batch of plain quinoa and chop up fresh veggies over the weekend for this purpose.
This shrimp salad totally fits the bill! It’s got quinoa, cooked shrimp, blanched broccoli and roasted asparagus – all of which can be prepared ahead of time and thrown into a bowl come dinner time.
Blanching and roasting are two of my favorite ways to prepare veggies. I really like blanched broccoli because it’s more palatable than raw broccoli, but still crisp and flavorful – not mushy and overcooked. And all roasted veggies are amazing in my book – they add such a robust flavor component to salads. Often times roasting veggies can take around 30-40 minutes but the asparagus in this recipe is broiled so it takes less than 10 minutes! <– This is great for those days when waiting 40 minutes to eat feels impossible.
- 12-14 large shrimp, cooked, shelled and deveined (I used frozen raw shrimp that just needed to be boiled for 5 minutes)
- 2 cups raw broccoli, cut into bite size flowerets
- ½ pound of asparagus + 1 teaspoon olive oil and sea salt & pepper for roasting
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced into bite size pieces
- 1 tomato, sliced into bite size pieces
- ½ avocado, sliced
- ½ cup quinoa, cooked and chilled
- 4 cups spring mix
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil (optional)
- ground pepper
- Blanch the raw broccoli:Bring a pot of water to a boil. In a large bowl, fill with half ice and water. Cut up the broccoli while you wait for the water to boil. Carefully, add in broccoli and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. The broccoli will become tender and bright in color. Scoop out broccoli with a slotted spoon quickly and immediately move into the ice water, keeping it in there for for about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- Roast the asparagus: Set oven to broil. Trim the tough ends of the asparagus and place it on a prepared pan. Sprinkle the asparagus with olive oil and toss around the pan to coat. Sprinkle with a the sea salt and ground pepper. Place in the oven and broil for 4-7 minutes. Don't overcook. Set aside.
- Now, the easy part - start compiling your salad: Add 2 cups of spring mix to each salad plate/bowl and top with the broccoli, asparagus, bell pepper, tomato, avocado, and quinoa. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, if using. Sprinkle with ground pepper and enjoy!
You’ll probably have some broccoli and asparagus left over if you use the amounts suggested in the recipe. Just store them in the fridge for later use.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily tweak it by using your favorite vegetables and protein. I’m sure grilled salmon or tofu would work great instead of the shrimp.
I was being strict with my clean eating goals last week and only used a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper as a topping, but you could certainly use any dressing you like and I’m sure a little cheese would be a nice addition as well.
Normally I buy my balsamic vinegar at Trader Joe’s because it’s tasty and cheap but lately I’ve been using the Terra Verde Balsamic Vinegar that’s pictured below as my dressing for salads.
I bought this bottle at Texas Hill Country Olive Company, one of the places we visited while in Austin a couple weeks ago. I actually fell in love with their pineapple balsamic vinegar, but it was sold out so I went with the traditional. It’s definitely some of the best balsamic I’ve ever had – it’s thicker than most balsamic vinegars and has a rich, sweet flavor. I love this one, but I still keep checking their website hoping the pineapple will be available soon.
Have a lovely Tuesday friends and let me know what you think if you try the salad!
Question of the day – What’s your go-to clean eating meal for weeknights?