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5.16.2013

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Quinoa Salad

Every year, by mid-August like clockwork, I get hit with a teensy wave of nausea when I think about eating one more hamburger or hot dog.  Does this happen to anyone else?


You know, it's that "if-one-more-person-serves-me-a-Bubba-Burger-on-an-undersized-potato-roll-I-may-need-to-reconsider-my-friendship-with-this-individual" kind of feeling.  I sincerely hope you're not the one handing out the Oscar Meyers on Labor Day when I get there.  Dramatic?  Yes, totally.  I apologize.

But let me convince you that I'm so not a barbecue snob!  I swear on George Foreman.  There's nothing more satisfying to me than an all-American cheeseburger, potato salad, corn on the cob, and a juicy slice of watermelon on a summer afternoon.  Trust that I can make multiple hot dogs disappear from your spread without (too much) guilt.  Trust that this sounds really delicious to me right now.

And I totally get it.  Hamburgers and hot dogs are easy, they're inexpensive, and they make everyone from the neighbors to the dog happy.  Why mess with a good thing?

If you're anything like me, and if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I don't cook or eat red meat all that often.  So by the time August rolls around, my red meat consumption situation borders on lethal, and I'm more than ready for a change of barbecue pace.  This is where my need to control everything delicious recipes for grilled alternatives can save the day!  And also save your friendship with someone like me, apparently.  Again, I apologize.

When I came across this recipe for spicy grilled shrimp over delicious and hearty quinoa, I nearly lost my mind.  Talk about kicking your barbecue up a notch.  And, you guys, you know how I feel about quinoa.  The health factor and versatility of this cute, little grain make me swoon, so combining it with delicious things like seasoned shrimp, avocado, chickpeas, and tomatoes makes my heart swell up a few sizes.


Depending on the occasion and your guest list, this barbecue recipe could be a total crowd-pleaser.  I say...take a chance!  This Memorial Day, I plan on it.  I also plan on feeling so good about serving a healthy and different barbecue menu that I'll have no problem calling dibs on two S'mores AND the corner piece of cake with the most icing.  Yes!  Let's do this.
For more tasty recipes and Type A musings on life, visit me at www.TypeAKitchen.com or follow me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TypeAKitchen.



Spicy Grilled Shrimp
with
Quinoa Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 tbs fresh lime juice, divided
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin, divided
Salt/pepper
1-2 dashes Tabasco
4 cloves garlic, chopped and divided
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed and patted dry if frozen
1/2 c onion, chopped
3/4 c uncooked quinoa
1 c water
1 tsp honey
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
15-oz can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 c reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped

Preparation:
Preheat the grill or a stovetop grill pan to high heat.  If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes prior to grilling.

Combine 2 tbs lime juice, 1 tbs olive oil, chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, salt/pepper, Tabasco, and 1/2 half of the chopped garlic in a zip-top bag.  Add the shrimp, and toss well.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the remaining garlic and the quinoa, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the water, and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork, and let cool.

Combine the remaining lime juice, remaining 2 tbs of olive oil, remaining 1/2 tsp cumin, honey, and salt/pepper to taste in a large bowl.  Stir well with a whisk.  Add the quinoa mixture, tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado, and feta cheese.  Toss gently, and set aside.

Remove shrimp from the bag, and discard the marinade.  Sprinkle the shrimp with salt/pepper, and thread the shrimp evenly onto each of 8 skewers.  Place the skewers on your grill or grill pan coated with cooking spray, and grill for 2 minutes per side or until done.

Serve the shrimp skewers over the quinoa, and garnish with fresh cilantro as desired.

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