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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mango Quinoa Salad w/ Shrimp

In the past couple of months, I have done a completely 180 in terms of my kitchen experiences.  It's a good feeling.  I love planning out weekly menus.  I love browsing blogs, cooking magazines and cookbooks for ideas.  I'm constantly inspired.  The grocery store is one of my favorite places to be.  At the moment, I have so many recipes that I want to make that it's slightly overwhelming.  But, I'm not complaining.

Even better, my meals are satisfying.  Eating is enjoyable and I no longer look at it as "fuel" for my training.  I find myself excited to eat my home made granola protein bars instead of saying "Oh I have to eat this pre-purchased protein bar that tastes like dirt."

I did not eat bad prior to this, but I certainly didn't eat good.  I was constantly buying stuff that could be stored in a freezer or in a pantry.  Or, I would spend a lot of $ on buying pre-made food at the grocery store.  And, I always ate the same thing.  Day, after day, after day.  Now, I shop mainly the perimeters of the grocery store.  If I buy pre-made from a store, I try something new.  And, I'm not afraid to try new ingredients.

This recipe was pleasant to shop for, fun to make and even better to eat.  It is packed full of so many nutritious ingredients and I seriously can't stop grabbing spoonfuls!  Quinoa is one of the best grains for your body.  I looked down at my cart after shopping for some of the ingredients and I felt good about myself.  A jicama, some mango, red quinoa... I'm branching out :)

The list of ingredients may seem a bit long, but this salad is completely worth it.  I'll have some leftovers for a few days and it's so good, extremely flavorful and refreshing.  It can be eaten as a meal, as a wrap or as a side.
Mango Quinoa Salad w/ Shrimp
adapted from The Active Foodie
  • 1 c red quinoa
  • Slightly less than 2 cups of either vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tbs mango nectar
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small jicama
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno (I left this out of mine)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mango nectar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoon red chili paste
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Rinse quinoa and add to small saucepan with 1 tbs butter and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until it crackles and becomes aromatic, 4 to 6 minutes. 
  2. Add stock, lime juice and mango nectar and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. 
  3. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Dice onion, jicama, mangoes, bell pepper and jalapeno.  Put in large bowl and add cilantro.
  5. Meanwhile sauté shrimp with garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper.
  6. Cook until light pink and no longer translucent.
  7. Whisk mango nectar, vinegar, oil, ginger, salt and chili in a medium bowl. 
  8. Add vegetables, cooked quinoa and shrimp. 
  9. Toss, serve and enjoy! 
One more thing.  Although I love cooking, I need to learn how to be a clean cook.  I took a photo of my kitchen after preparing this.  I left out the kitchen sink because it was overflowing and embarrassing.  However, from this point on, I vow to clean up after myself as I go.

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