Appetizers

Pineapple Shrimp Salsa

pineapple shrimp salsa in a white bowl with chips

 

The weather in Ohio gets a little bit warmer (and when I say warmer, I actually just mean the sun came out), and my mind immediately goes to…SALSA.  Fresh raw veggies, light flavor, and a healthy, munchy snack!  Which makes me proud to announce…its time for us to say bye to seasonal depression, and hello to good-vibe salsa season!

The best thing about making salsa, is that you can make it different every single time.  For me, it depends entirely on whats in my fridge.  While rummaging through my inventory this time, I had a couple of thoughts…

  1. I have a heck of a lot of colorful bell peppers
  2. I have a beautiful whole, ripe pineapple 
  3. I have some shrimp in the freezer

Alas, my inspiration for this PINEAPPLE SHRIMP SALSA!

 

colorful pineapple shrimp salsa in a white bowl

 

This recipe turned out so-so delicious…and also super colorful (which I’m always a huge fan of)!  What I love about this salsa though, is that you can eat it with chips, OR use as a topping on baked chicken, or fish!

I ended up bringing this salsa to my friends house the other night, when she hosted us for a fish taco dinner!  I’m telling you…the sun comes out once in Ohio and everyone defaults to Mexican cuisine lol

How to make this recipe?

The most time-efficient way to make this recipe is to cook your shrimp first, so you can chop veggies during the cook time.  Cook the shrimp on stovetop over medium heat, with oil, and garlic.  Once the shrimp is finished cooking, remove from heat, mix in lemon juice, and let cool.

Take all of your chopped ingredients (peppers, onion, cilantro, pineapple, shrimp) and add to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and then mix into salsa before serving.

 

pineapple shrimp salsa in white bowl with chips surrounding bowl

 

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room…how the heck do I cut up a whole pineapple?

First things first, don’t let it scare you!  There is truly nothing more delicious, then a fresh whole pineapple!  I think it tastes SO much better, than precut pineapple you’d find in the grocery store.  So lets take it step by step…

  1. Using a large, serrated knife, chop the top off the pineapple.
  2. Stand it up straight (exposed flesh facing up) and begin to cut the skin off.  Start your knife at the top end, where there is open flesh.  Cut a thin layer all the way down, to remove the tough exterior skin.  Repeat this until all exterior skin is removed.
  3. Similar to an apple, pineapples have a tough core.  You’ll want quarter the pineapple (from top to bottom), by slicing off a large chunk on all four sides around the core.  
    1. Sometimes you can see where the core is, or you’ll know because it will be harder to run your knife down the length of the pineapple.  Ripe pineapple flesh is very easy to cut through.
  4. Take your four large chunks of pineapple meat (they will be different sizes) and cut into smaller chunks for serving.  Or for the purpose of this recipe, cut small pieces that are similar sized to your chopped peppers.  

How can I tell if a pineapple is ripe?

There are two indicators of a ripe pineapple.  First, look out for yellow skin.  A yellowish colored skin indicates ripeness, vs green indicates it isn’t ready yet (similar to bananas).  

Second, it smells sweet.  Seriously!  If you smell your pineapple skin and it smells sweet, it means its ready to eat!  How cool is that?!

I know cutting up a whole pineapple can be intimidating, but it is hands down worth it!  It’s so juicy and flavorful, you’ll likely never go back to pre-cut pineapple.  I like to store mine in the fridge and eat throughout the week, or add to salsas or smoothies!

 

pineapple shrimp salsa in white bowl with chips in background

 

Pineapple Shrimp Salsa

Healthy and flavorful salsa made with ripe pineapple, lemon garlic shrimp, and bright, chopped veggies! Garnish with cilantro and serve with chips, or use as topping to your favorite fish or chicken!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: healthy, pineapple, salsa, shrimp
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • 1 cup shrimp chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • In a small to medium saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil and minced garlic to medium heat.  Sauté for 2-3 min, then add shrimp.  
  • Cook shrimp until pink all the way through, approx 7-9 min. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and mix around.
  • While shrimp cools, chop bell peppers, pineapple, onion, and cilantro.  Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  • Prepare dressing by adding all dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl, and whisking together until combined.
  • When shrimp have cooled, chop into small pieces and add to large mixing bowl with veggies.
  • Drizzle on dressing, mix together, and serve.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Meat

Spicy Thai Soup with Shrimp and Lamb Meatballs

spicy thai soup with spoon of red curry paste, garlic cloves, and cilantro garnish

This year’s holiday rotation schedule landed David and me in North Carolina with my parents, which more or less turns into a cook-off extravaganza by Marge (my mom).  On her end, this usually requires a week of prep time, two full sized fridges stuffed to the max, and roughly 10 visits to the grocery store for forgotten items.

For her, it’s a way to have the whole family spend time together without the distractions of everyday life. For us, it’s this totally awesome culinary experience right in our own home…so jammies and no makeup are the usual outfits of choice!

three bowls of spicy thai soup topped with cilantro

It’s a food tasting adventure that lasts a week, and tends to include an international dish or two (I mean seriously…my mom knows how to trick us kids into visiting them)!  This year’s global feature was a spicy thai soup with shrimp and lamb meatballs, a bunch of chopped veggies and rice noodles!

And the final verdict?  HANDS DOWN my favorite dish of the week. Something about the combination of red curry paste with coconut milk, and the surf and turf type protein selection in the soup was something to write home about.  Luckily for me I am home, so that leaves me writing to all of you lovely people 🙂

the bowls of spicy thai soup surrounded with cilantro, garlic cloves, red curry paste, and cilantro

She started by making the lamb meatballs separately on stovetop, that way when the soup was finished she could add them in before serving.  These meatballs are packed with so much flavor and just melt in your mouth due to the tenderness of lamb meat.  You’ll know when you get a bite of them!

She then sautéed veggies, some thai spices, and added the broth and coconut milk.  After that, its time to add in your protein and then let simmer in the pot before adding noodles and serving! 

Aside from the taste, one of my favorite things about this soup is the nutritional benefits that can be obtained from coconut milk!  Coconut milk is know to have medium-chain triglycerides, what you’ve probably heard referred to as MCTs, and has been linked to weight loss in research studies.  Additionally, coconut milk contains a lipid called lauric acid, which has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that help support the immune system.

three bowls of spicy thai soup in decorative asain bowls

Whats nice about this soup is that you can easily make a vegetarian option by simply omitting shrimp and lamb meatballs.  Or if you prefer to stick with one protein vs two, its totally customizable.  Either way you prefer, it will taste just as good!

Once everything is whipped up, garnish with some cilantro and serve warm!

Spicy Thai Soup with Shrimp and Lamb Meatballs

Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: coconut milk, gluten free, healthy, lamb meatball, red curry paste, rice noodles, shrimp, spicy, thai soup
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

Lamb Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tbsp chili & garlic sauce A Taste of Thai brand was used in this recipe
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint and basil combined chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • avocado or coconut oil for browning

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 tbsp avocado or coconut oil for sautéing
  • 1 cup mini bell peppers chopped or sliced into rings
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 5-7 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large head bok choy, or 3 baby bok choy chopped
  • 13.5 ounces coconut cream (preferred) or milk (1 can)
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • 6 cups organic chicken bone broth
  • 6-8 ounces vermicelli rice noodles cooked separately according to package
  • cilantro for garnish

Instructions

Lamb Meatballs

  • Add all ingredients (except oil) in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Form small balls to be added to frying pan.  Add oil to a large frying pan on medium-high heat, and when hot, add meatballs.
  • Brown all sides and remove to cool.  Add rest of meatballs and brown the same way.  Set aside to add to the soup.

Soup

  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan.  Once hot, add peppers, onions, and garlic.  Keep stirring and sauté for about 5 min.
  • Add curry and lemongrass pastes and mix in.
  • Add and stir in the chicken broth and coconut cream/milk.
  • Once heated through, after a couple minutes, add in the bok choy.  Let cook for 5 min to soften bok choy.
  • Add both shrimp and lamb meatballs, then simmer for 15 min.
  • Add cooked vermicelli noodles and let simmer for another 5 min.  Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro.