01 July 2010

Sprout Sara Sends A Post!

Hello Spice Garden readers! We have a new look – did you notice?! My mom, the gardener here at the Spice Garden, was once dubbed the Nettard because she couldn’t figure out a computer to save her life. Look how she’s grown! I think she deserves a big round of applause, don’t you?!

We’ve officially entered summer, and here in Boston, it’s been brutal. My second floor apartment, with no air conditioning to speak of, has become the African Sahara. Needless to say, the mere thought of turning on the stove to cook up some dinner makes me start sweating bullets!

I don’t know about you, but when it gets hot like this, my appetite likes to take a vacation. It becomes very difficult to stick to my breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner routine. The only things I can even muster the energy to enjoy are cold meals, and because of this, I’ve been on the hunt for new cook-less recipes! I’ve found and created a few that have become staples in my weekly rotation. The latest - which I whipped up last night - is what I’d like to share with you today. There’s nothing incredibly special to it; no tricks in preparing or secret ingredients. The only importance is that you use fresh ingredients. That’s it!

This recipe could probably be considered a seviche (it’s got shrimp, but they're cooked)… or even a salsa. I’m not sure what to call it, as it came on a whim when I was grabbing produce at Whole Foods. Whatever it is, it was good and easy! Here’s some of the cast of characters. (I kept the ones I was using later in the fridge while I was prepping. African Sahara – remember?

A tasty aside... that pink cocktail in there is also a summer favorite of mine. Simple and fresh, combine:

1 part silver tequila

1 part fresh pink grapefruit juice

1 part club soda

Ice. Salt-rimmed glass. Slice of lime. Oh, tequila how I love you.

I digress but trust me - it’s worth it! Back to the dinner part. First, I juiced 2 limes and 2 lemons. I ended up with about ¾ of a cup of juice, which was perfect. I would suggest buying 1-2 extra of each – I often get limes that emit 3 drops of juice, which just plain annoys me. Perhaps I pick my limes like I pick my men – poorly. More digressions!

Throw the juice in a medium bowl and whisk about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the juice. Next, add ¾ of a pound of pre-cooked cocktail shrimp, tails removed and cut into 1-inch pieces. You can cook your own shrimp, but that would negate the whole cook-less meal, so I bought mine at the store. I also added a teaspoon of Kosher salt, and some freshly ground black pepper to the mix.

Next, chop up your veggies. I used 2 vine-ripe tomatoes (seeds removed), 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 1 avocado, 3-4 scallions, and ½ of a large purple onion. Corn would be a great addition to this… so would a jalapeno for a little kick!

What I did to give it some great visual attractiveness was to chop everything up differently. I cut the tomatoes, green pepper, and avocado into ½ inch cubes. The red pepper got cut into tiny slivers, and the scallions got cut on the diagonal. I finely diced the purple onion so that it wasn’t overpowering. Lastly, I chopped up about ½ cup of cilantro. Throw all of the veggies into the shrimp/juice mix and toss together to coat everything in the citrus. And there you have it!

I gobbled mine up with some corn tortilla strips, which was a nice crunchy accompaniment. The leftovers were enjoyed today for lunch, and I must say, those 12-16 hours of marinating really worked wonders!

Feel free to share your cook-less meal in the comment section – or if you have your own blog, send us the link! Enjoy!


  1. We are sweltering here in Atlanta too, Sara, and this sounds perfect. I have some left over grilled corn that I may cut it off the cob and toss in too for tonight's supper.

  2. It's hot here in Belgium as well--high 80's. Ok, I know that's sissy stuff to Southerners, but we don't have AC, and hot is HOT. And when it's HOT, I don't like to cook either. That's why I'm bookmarking this recipe. THANKS!


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