Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ellie Krieger's Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mint: Green, Healthy & Delicious

I meant to have this post up for our Green Eating theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs before St. Patrick's Day, instead of late the evening of, but the best laid plans and all that... Oh well, it's not Irish and the theme nods to green-hued ingredients and healthy, green eating--of which there is plenty here, so it's all good.  

It's a crazy week again with competing work projects and I have had no urge to cook or even eat as absolutely no food sounds appealing. I started a new-to-me medicine on Tuesday, the Rx container boldly stamped with "May cause nausea dizziness" on the top. It does, thank you very much. So I'm left with an unsettled stomach, hungry but nothing sounding remotely good besides maybe Lay's Original Potato Chips, of which there are none in my house. As I lay awake, exhausted but feeling yucky and tense at 2:00 AM  for the second night (a combination of loud wind gust noises and, oh yeah..., another side effect I found for the drug at 2:30 AM--nervousness and trouble sleeping...), I even debated throwing on jeans and driving the half-mile to 7-Eleven in the middle of the night for a bag of Lay's just to settle my stomach. (You'll be happy to know I decided not to risk it.) ;-)

Anyway, I ramble about this stuff not for any pity--I am fine, just working with the doctor to get free from the effects of crud that morphs from a sinus infection-to bronchitis-to a cold-back to a sinus infection-repeat, since late December and it keeps popping up like an ugly Whack-a-Mole game. No, I tell you this tale because this simple little Ellie Krieger recipe with just 5 ingredients (not counting the salt and pepper and romaine hearts to serve) managed to break through my all food is yucky-ness and was absolutely perfect and delicious! The combination of the cooling mint, tangy lemon, crisp cucumber, and sweet shrimp was wonderful. It also smelled incredible, was quick and low effort to make, it's appealing to look at on the plate, and eating it makes me think of a relaxing sunny day at a fancy spa. 

I made a few small, mostly proportional, changes to the recipe--using a quarter of the shrimp quantity and the large wild shrimp I had in my freezer instead of medium shrimp, keeping all of the cucumber, and making all of the pesto but using half to dress the salad. (The other half will go on some zucchini noodles tomorrow I think.) My changes are noted in red below.

Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mint
Slightly Adapted from 'The Food You Crave' by Ellie Krieger &
(Serves 6 as Starter)

2 lbs medium shrimp, cleaned (I used 1/2 lb large wild shrimp)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 English cucumber, seeded & diced (about 1 1/2 cups) (I didn't seed cucumber)
1 lemon, zested (whoops--forgot to zest!)
salt and pepper to taste
(I used 1 romaine heart, leaves divided to make lettuce cup/wraps)
(I saved the baby mint leaves to garnish)

Cook shrimp in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and cool in refrigerator. (I did this the night before.)

Put mint and lemon juice in food processor and pulse to coarsely chop the mint. Drizzle olive oil into processor while pureeing until mint is finely chopped. (I used my blender--it's on the counter--and left my mint and pesto a little bit chunky.)

In a serving bowl, toss shrimp, cucumber, pesto, zest, salt and pepper to combine. Serve on your favorite lettuce or greens or in lettuce cups if desired.

Pesto will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Notes/Results: As stated above, this was an awesome Ellie recipe--a great blending of flavors and freshness--neither the lemon or pesto overpower when combined with the shrimp. I think extra dressing is a must and would recommend you one-and-a-half the dressing quantity. I left the tails on my shrimp because it looks prettier in pictures but would probably take them off if serving to anyone else. I just licked my finger as I pulled them off before putting them on my lettuce cups, which is one of the joys of eating alone. ;-) Because of the few ingredients here, make them high-quality ones--good shrimp and olive oil and fresh, home-grown or locally-grown mint and cucumber if you can get it. You won't be sorry. This salad would be great at a luncheon, but is easy enough to be tossed together and eaten on the couch during Grey's Anatomy (face mask optional for that spa-like vibe). I will definitely make this again. 

You can check out the Ellie Krieger Green Eating dishes everyone made by checking out the picture links on this week's IHCC post.  

I am linking this yummy salad up to Souper Sundays!

It's back! Souper Sundays is back! If you are a long-time reader of Kahakai Kitchen and missed Souper (Soup, Salad and Sammie) Sundays, it is recently back (after a 9-month hiatus) as a weekly picture linkup. Each week I will be posting a new soup and inviting anyone with a soup, salad or sandwich-type dish to link up to the post. If you used to participate, or if you are new to it, I'd love to see the soups (and sandwiches and salads!) you have been making.

Get the details and join in this week's post here: (Links are open each week thru midnight Saturdays and a new link opens up each Sunday!)

***Book Giveaway!!!***

Hey, (if you are in the US or Canada) and enjoy great books I am giving away a copy of an excellent novel, North of Here by Laurel Saville. You can see my TLC Book Tour review and a recipe for Blackberry Chia Seed Jam inspired by the book, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on the review post here.  (Isn't the cover gorgeous?!)



  1. what a nice fresh and tasty dish , I never tried but I'll take inspiration. Really good ! Have a nice weekend!

  2. I hope you get to feeling better, that sucks - the side effects of the meds. Being a big fan of shrimp I can tell you this is a salad I would devour!

  3. So much green! Hopefully it will bring some belated luck of the Irish to your stomach woes :( I need to get a spiralizer so I can make zoodles... dressed with pesto sounds perfect.

  4. Oh Deb, I'm so sorry that you've been poorly - that really does sound yucky! I have to say I'm in awe of your strength of character though - I probably would have gone out in the middle of the night to get the potato chips (I've certainly been know to go out at 2.00am to get a chocolate bar)!! All of that aside, this salad looks wonderful - all the flavours I love and I would have totally left the tails on the shrimp. Hope the meds do their job quickly xo

  5. Sorry to hear you're having a rough time with your meds. I sure hope they work and are worth the trouble! I had a similar few days for the opposite reason. I ran out of my meds,had a busy week and kept forgetting to get them refilled, and as a result couldn't sleep for several nights. Then when I did fall asleep I kept having awful nightmares.

    I think you should keep a little stash of lay's chips for times like that! So glad this beautiful salad was just the right thing for you. It looks incredible and so full of flavor. I would definitely put it in the category of dishes best enjoyed alone. Sometimes it is impossible to be ladylike when a dish is this good!

    Oh,and by the way...I really did laugh out loud at your whack-a-mole reference! If we don't keeping laughing then we'll cry.

  6. Un lujo de ensalada me gusta mucho con camarones,abrazos

  7. Oh dear Deb, wishing you speedy recovery! I'm not sure why but your whack-a-mole reference reminds me of a nursery rhyme, "Pop! goes the weasel!" Hahaha!

    Those shrimps look super delicious! I have a few big fat prawns in my freezer, I guess I need to do something to them. :)

  8. Love the bright green color. Hope you're feeling better.

  9. Hope you get to feeling better!


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