Lemony Shrimp Salad with Avocado & Cilantro Dressing

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.”

― Marty Rubin

This year the stretch between the winter holidays and spring break felt painfully long. At the beginning of February I had to grit my teeth and drive to work – in the dark, over slush or snow covered roads. However, by mid-February, I started to feel lighter. Or at least I was able to see a glimpse of light on the horizon as we gain daylight each day. I love watching the days grow longer and starting my garden seeds inside. Needless to say, I am thankful winter is over. 

The recipe that I am sharing with you this month pays homage to warmer and brighter days. It is the perfect dish to serve al fresco poolside. Or as an accompaniment to your favorite grilled dish. It refreshingly speaks of picnics and gatherings and it begs to be followed by a juicy slice of watermelon. Or in the meantime, it is the perfect salad to eat now and pretend that the day is ripe and delicious as the end of June. 

Like all salads this recipe is versatile and you can toss in what you have on hand. If it was summer I would grill up some corn and zucchini to add to the mix (Zoodles, or spiralized zucchini, would be a great choice). 

I used cabbage to add some crunch, but you could also add spinach, baby greens, or kale. If you are not a fan of Cilantro, fresh dill would be a great choice. You could also swap out the lemon juice for lime. The key is fresh and healthy ingredients. 

LEMONY SHRIMP SALAD WITH AVOCADO & CILANTRO DRESSING

*1 pound bag of shrimp (I had a bag of pre-cooked deveined shrimp in the freezer which made quick work of the salad)
*¼ cup of finely chopped red onion
*2 jalapenos deseeded and finely chopped (add amount to your desired level of heat)
*¼ cup of finely chopped bell pepper (I used a variety of colored mini-peppers)
*1 bunch of chopped cilantro (I used ½ for the salad and ½ for the dressing)
*4 cups of shredded cabbage

DRESSING

*Juice and zest of 3 lemons
*2 cloves of garlic 
*¼ cup olive oil
*1 avocado
*½ of the bunch of cilantro
*1 Tablespoon dijon mustard

*Few splashes of raw apple cider vinegar to taste (I like my dressing tart so I added close to a ¼ cup)
*Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the shrimp, onion, jalapeno, bell pepper, cilantro, and cabbage together. Using a blender mix up the salad dressing, add dressing to the shrimp and vegetables, and toss well. I recommend preparing the salad ahead of time so the cabbage softens and all the flavors marinate.

I hope this salad helps bring your mind and body to a warmer place. Sometimes when I am craving warmer weather, or a break in routine, a healthy meal that hints of summer does the trick. 

As spring progresses, I have faith that a temporary change in scenery will help inspire some new recipes to share with you. Remember to take care of yourself – and each other! We have all experienced challenging times the last few years and may the future forecast be much more temperate. 


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