Warm Shrimp Salad

My children and I went to visit my sister in North Carolina ( I call it “the countryside”) this past weekend.  She lives in a small town where grocery stores are miles away from her home and the availability of certain vegetables as well as seafood are scarce and over priced.  This is why she grows her own “international” vegetable garden.  In her garden,  you’ll find Chinese long eggplant, Kabucha pumpkin, okra, jalapenos, mint, green beans, different tomatoes, bitter melons, cucumber, and green sweet chilies, bell peppers, and Thai basil.  I had the privileged of using some of her vine-ripe tomatoes, which tasted really sweet.  I was pleased I brought my own spices, some shrimp, avocado and cilantro or I would have searched everywhere for them.  I needed them for the dish I had in mind.  Here’s another way of creating a healthy meal using the same spices in my previous posts.


Prepare the ingredients.


*Note:  Depending on the heat of your stove, cooking time may require adjustments.


  • 9 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined leaving the tail on or off; your choice
  • a handful of spinach
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 of large red onion, sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Weber’s Roasted Garlic and Herbs seasoning
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bib lettuce leaves
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cooking Methods:

Generously, sprinkle the shrimp with roasted garlic and herbs seasoning.  Set aside.  Combine the avocado, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Set aside.  Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with olive oil when hot.  Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until opaque.*


Turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes or until opaque. *


Sear the side of the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes. *


Remove shrimp from pan and immediately add into the bowl of avocado mixture.


Mix to incorporate.  Let them get to know each other.


Place spinach at the bottom of the plate.  Put the bib lettuce on the side.  Arrange shrimp salad on top of the spinach.   You can serve the shrimp  by leaving the tail off, or…


… leaving the tail on- it’s your choice; either way, it’s delicious!  You can drizzle it with your favorite olive oil dressing or just as is.   I chose to not add any dressing on mine for less calorie intake.  This dish was tasty enough without it.   Mm-mm… good!  Bon appetit!


Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Note:  If this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

I was thinking about a pasta salad I created a long time ago when I used to cater. It was one of the best sellers and a hit at parties.  I called it Mediterranean Pasta Salad.  It was healthy and refreshing.  Everyone wanted the recipe, but I only gave it to one of my friends.  After a while,  I’ve seen a similar dish sold by a large merchant in the area.  However, my friend told me that she preferred my recipe because it was refreshing and well seasoned.  The original Italian dressing I used before was not available, so I picked whatever they have on the shelf.  It’s made with extra virgin olive oil.  You can make a homemade dressing and add cucumbers or other raw vegetables of your choice if you prefer.  If some people find the process of making this salad a bit complicated, I suggest you gather all the ingredients before making it to prevent overcooked ingredients.


Here’s what you’ll need to make this refreshing salad.


  • 10 cups water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 cups uncooked Penne Rigate pasta noodles
  • 1/2 of roasted chicken breast, sliced in bite pieces or 1 dozen of medium shrimps
  • 10 stalks of asparagus, cut slanted about an inch
  • 1/4 of large onion, cut lengthwise
  •  12 pieces fresh Mozarella Ciliegine (fresh mini Mozarella balls)
  • 1 medium red bell peppers, cubed
  • 1 medium orange bell peppers, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow bell peppers, cubed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 pieces pepperoncini
  • Goya (or a brand of your choice) quartered and marinated artichoke hearts; drained (6 oz.)
  • Pitted Kalamata olives
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 bottle of your favorite Italian dressing (9-14 oz.)


  • Bring 6 cups of water in a pot to a boil.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.  Drain completely and place in a large bowl.
  • In a separate pot, bring two cups of water with juice of 1 lemon and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil.  Add the shrimp and cook until opaque about 2 minutes.  Drain immediately and completely.  Add in the bowl with pasta.
  • In a separate pot, bring water and 1/4 salt to a boil.  Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute.  Remove immediately and add in the bowl with the shrimp and pasta.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt).


Toss to coat or use two ladles and mix until well combined. Cover with Saran wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Marinate for at least  two hours.


Mix again to make sure the dressing is well incorporated before serving.  Serve in a large salad bowl.


or individual size salad plate.  Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.DSC_0261

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