I rarely make the same recipe twice. I just can’t seem to leave well-enough alone. Maybe that is what I like so much about Melissa Joulwan and her Well Fed cookbook. Every recipe has a “You Know How You Could Do That?” section with ideas for tweaking the recipe. That is exactly how I tend to operate – every recipe can always be done differently depending on what you have on hand.
During the time I was raising my kids, when they would ask the age-old question, “What’s for dinner, Mom?” they knew the most likely response would be, “Pantry Surprise #285” or some other random number. Never being one for pre-planning my meals (not necessarily a great trait), I usually made dinner from whatever I found in the refrigerator and the pantry. I rarely follow recipes exactly – at least not more than once. Instead I use them for inspiration.
So yesterday, when I had to come up with contribution for a pot-luck supper, I put that creativity to work. I knew three things: it had to be Whole30 compliant because that’s what I’m doing right now and it might be the only thing I could eat, it had to have kale in it because I love kale, and it had to have Maine shrimp in it (the sweet, little shrimp that is so delicious) because I had some in my freezer. Avocado and pomegranate seeds were also begging to be included – because I am currently dealing with an addiction to these healthy wonders.
I did use a couple of recipes from Well Fed for inspiration for my marinade/dressing and for the toasted coconut with which I topped the salad. Links for these recipes are at the bottom of the page – they also are Whole30 compliant.
Tropical Kale Salad with Shrimp
- 1 bunch of fresh kale (enough for at least 8 cups of sliced kale)
- 1 lb shrimp meat (I used small Maine shrimp, but you can use any size)
- ¼ red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 avocado
- ½ large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Seeds from about 1/3 of a pomegranate
- Caramelized Coconut Chips seasoned with ginger (see NOTE)
- Lime marinade
- Tropical Dressing
- Marinate the shrimp meat in the Lime Marinade (recipe below) for 30 minutes (do not over marinate as the vinegar actually begins to “cook” the shrimp). Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 tsp of coconut oil in the skillet. Using a slotted spoon remove the shrimp from the marinade and add to the skillet, cooking for a few minutes (will vary depending on the size of the shrimp) until completely opaque. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
- Tear kale from the center stem and slice the leaves into ½ inch strips. Toss with just enough of the Lime Dressing to coat all the leaves well.
- Slice onion and pepper and peel and cut avocado into bite-sized chunks. Add to the shrimp and drizzle with a little of the remaining Lime Dressing. Toss with the kale.
- Sprinkle liberally with pomegranate seeds (you can never have too many of these) and the Caramelized Coconut Chips.
NOTE: The recipe for Caramelized Coconut Chips can be found here. Just substitute 1/4 tsp of ground ginger for the cinnamon. Sprinkle some on the salad and save the rest for snacking!
- ½ cup rice vinegar (make sure it’s sugar-free)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 lime, grated for zest (about 1 tsp) and then juiced (1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you’re not avoiding soy)
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Mix all the ingredients well using either a whisk or by shaking in a jar.
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (unsweetened)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Mix all ingredients except the olive oil. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes to blend flavors.
- Completely blend in the olive oil using a wire whisk or by thorough shaking in a jar. You may not need all of this, so save leftovers for a salad tomorrow.
More Whole30 recipes you might like:
- Sunshine Kale Salad
- Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Casserole
- Power Vegetable Salad
- Orange Walnut Salad with Ginger Dressing
- Ginger-Lime Grilled Shrimp (that inspired my marinade and dressing)
- Caramelized Coconut Chips (I’ve linked this 3 times because you just have to try these!)