Chopped Shrimp Salad with Thai Garlic Lime Dressing

My new thing for the summer are chopped salads and shrimp (yes, that may be a small warning for what's to come on this blog).

For years I was terrified of making salads- especially chopped salads. I still have no idea why. In the craziness of my head I never believed I could make a salad as good as my favorite restaurant salads. Since we basically never eat out, and when we do my precious salad costs at least $15 (shrimp not included, of course.), I realized I would have to tell my brain to get over itself or I may never get a chopped shrimp salad again.

Well guys, I love my salads so I couldn't let this happen; especially since now, as I get older, I am getting more and more frugal and hate spending money at (most) restaurants (let's not talk about my grocery bill, though). 

So, today I have a recipe for a super EASY chopped shrimp salad with garlic lime dressing. I'm going to be just a little annoying and toot my own horn a little bit because THIS salad was so incredible I would have paid all my dolla dolla bills for it.

Thankfully, I didn't have to.

This salad is packed full of juicy shrimp, creamy avocado and TONS of crunchy veggies. Cabbage, I've learned, is pretty key in many chopped salads, as well as chopped cilantro and green onion. Then there's the dressing; for this salad the dressing is light, but high in flavor. Fresh herbs (cilantro and mint!!), vinegar, lime juice and (my favorite) fish sauce, are all included to make all the flavors pop. As the name implies, chopped salads do require lots and lots of fine chopping. To make your life easier, use your food processor (if you have one) or a cheese grater to help shred veggies like carrots and cabbage.

Completely unrelated to salad, yesterday morning I listened to my 2 1/2 year old talk to his "Grandpapa" on Hangouts. About 10 minutes into their coversation, after Octavian had asked his Grandpa at least 20 times, "Do you have a fan, Gwanpapa? Do you have an aieconditioner? I wanna see it" (you know, the usual), Octavian asked him, "Do you have any plans for today, Gwanpapa?"

Such a simple sentence, but coming from the mouth of a 2-year-old talking to his Grandfather literally stopped me in my tracks. My mouth fell to the floor. I mean, who is this kid? Where in the world did my baby go?

Chopped Shrimp Salad with Thai Garlic Lime Dressing

Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 6 minutes  / Total Time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
Juice from 3 large limes
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 serrano pepper
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1 bunch fresh mint, stems removed
3/4 cup green onions (green and white parts)
2 tablespoons lemongrass paste
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Salad
1 lb. shrimp
1/2 cup cashews
1 small head cabbage (red and green), roughly chopped
1 large handful of fresh spinach, chopped
1 large handful of baby kale, chopped
5 large carrots
12 oz shelled edamame (thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion (white and green parts)
1/3 cup fresh herbs (mint, chives, cilantro), finely chopped
2 avocados, cubed

Instructions

Dressing: 
Place all ingredients except the fresh herbs (cilantro and mint) and green onions in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Add cilantro, mint and green onion and pulse until finely minced, but not pureéd. Taste and make any necessary adjustments (vinegar, lime, honey, fish sauce). Set aside.

Shrimp:
In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp is no longer translucent, approx. 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, allow shrimp to cool just enough to handle and roughly chop into bite size pieces. Set aside.

Veggies/Salad:
Chop all your veggies. The easiest way to do this is by taking full advantage of your food processor. Start with your cashews, then carrots, cabbage and finally, the edamame. Once veggies are chopped, assemble the salad. In a large bowl toss together the chopped spinach and kale, and remaining veggies. Add green onion, fresh herbs and prepared shrimp. Toss. Finally, mix in dressing and mix well.

Enjoy!
 

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

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