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Whenever I’m in a conversation, food always comes up. Usually, it starts with what’s been growing in the garden or a friend telling me about a great meal they had at a local restaurant. Do you ever have these same conversations? Since food is such a universal common factor we all share, I feel like it’s just bound to come up. Being ever curious, I often steer the conversation in the food direction and ask what they eat on a nightly basis. Are there meals they always go back to or dishes they often make? I love delving into how other people live, especially when food is involved.
I’ve realized that not everyone loves this subject. Many of my friends will casually say they don’t really like to cook at home or there’s never time. Ok, I get it. We’re all busy: working late, taking kids to activities, working in the yard, etc. There’s always an ever-growing list of items to do and hardly ever enough time. If you’re like some friends of mine who are newly single, cooking doesn’t seem to be worth it anymore. They claim that creating a mess for one person is too much.
I want us to get back to seeing the importance of a home-cooked meal. You don’t have to slave away and make a heavy meat and potato dish. Sometimes – and I’d even venture to say that most times – my meal is nothing more than homemade hummus and salad. I’ll just get up on my soapbox here for a minute: home cooking is healthy! 90 percent of the salt most people consume is from processed or fast foods. And this just doesn’t happen as much when a homemade meal is prepared. Cooking at home also generally lowers total calorie consumption. In my book, that’s a win-win.
I go for a quick and simple meal without a lot of ingredients using what’s in season. Shrimp is a summertime staple since it cooks quickly and is always delicious whether it’s freshly caught. Paired with a marinade that doubles as a vinaigrette on a corn and black bean salad, this will make you want to cook!
I love my summertime salad recipes:
- Grilled flank steak with beets salad
- Asparagus, radish and sugar pea salad
- Curry, broccoli and cauliflower salad
Watch how to make this tequila lime shrimp salad:
Grilled Tequila Lime Shrimp with Black Bean Corn Salad
- 6 tbsp lime juice
- 6 tbsp clear tequila
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 lb shrimp peeled with tail on, thawed, and patted dry (if frozen)
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups frozen corn or freshly cooked corn and cut off the cob
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- 12 oz cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 diced avocado
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- 4 oz crumbled feta
- In a 2 cup measuring glass, combine the lime juice, tequila, salt, sriracha, cumin, and olive oil. Whisk to combine and pour half the marinade into a bowl.
- Add shrimp to the bowl, working marinade around. Place in refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat grill and soak 6 skewers in water for 30 minutes.
- Once marinated, place each shrimp on 2 skewers to keep is flat while grilling.
- Grill shrimp over direct heat, 3-4 minutes per side until the meat turns opaque. Remove from grill and rest while making the salad.
- To make the salad dressing, combine reserved marinade with white wine vinegar and minced garlic. Set aside.
- To make the salad, combine the corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and basil. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine.
- Top the salad with shrimp and feta.
- This salad is delicious with hot or room temperature shrimp. It’s also great the next day with the shrimp stirred into the salad.