Grapefruit and Avocado Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Shrimp / by Chelsea Zwieg

One of the best things about January (and by 'one of' I mean the only good thing about it, because January is the actual worst) is that citrus is everywhere. It always seems weird to me that citrus fruits hit their juicy, tropical tasting peak right as the world turns into a frozen tundra of grey slush and bitter windchills. But I'm kind of in love with it because it makes me feel like I'm living that tropical-sand-in-my-toes-sun-on-my-skin life even though I'm really in snow boots with icicles on my eyelashes. It's also great because hello, vitamin C. I made it through all of 2016 without getting sick once (!!!) and 2017 seems like a great time to keep that trend up because, really, ain't nobody got time for that. And I can think of no better way to eat a mountain of citrus than this salad. 

I feel like I talk about grain salads a lot, so I won't get into how great they are. Or how versatile. Or how delicious. Oops, there I go again. But this one in particular is all sorts of wonderful. It's got lime-cilantro quinoa, lots of avocado, grapefruit and feta cheese. If you're like me and need to watch several youtube videos to figure out how to segment a grapefruit, don't feel bad. New year, new skills. Except, oops, I'm still really bad at it. But it's all good because, ugly or not, it all gets mixed with a honey lime vinaigrette and is the most delicious citrus explosion of a salad.

And let's just talk about that honey lime shrimp. YES. For real, the best shrimp I have ever had. It gets marinated in a honey lime mixture but it also gets extra honey and lime juice at the end which caramelizes on the outside into a sticky, sweet, limey sauce and ohmygoodness I can't get enough. So to summarize, winter needs citrus and you need this salad. Over and over and over again.  

Grapefruit and Avocado Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Shrimp

Serves 4 

| Ingredients

For the Honey Lime Shrimp:

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp.  fresh lime juice 
  • 3 tbsp. honey 

For the salad: 

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 large grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

For the dressing: 

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard 
  • salt and pepper

| Instructions |  

  • Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk the oil, 1/2 cup lime juice and 2 tbsp. honey (reserve the remaining lime juice and honey or cooking). Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Cover and marinate 30-45 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Add the avocado and grapefruit and stir to combine. 
  • To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Once the shrimp is ready, heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook 1-2 minutes on each side, until they are no longer opaque, but not quite cooked through. Add the reserved honey and lime juice to the skillet and continue to cook over high heat, stirring constantly. The shrimp will become sticky and begin to caramelize in the honey. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through and a deep golden brown with just a few char marks (any longer and the honey will taste burnt). 
  • Add the feta cheese to the salad along with the dressing, to taste. Top with shrimp and serve.