I always keep my eyes open because sometimes you can find really great recipes or ideas for new foods in unlikely places, or websites, in this case. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow's newsletter/blog Goop, I only started paying attention to it after I found an interesting detox menu she shared a while back. I'm not really one for deprivation so I never tried it, but some of the flavor profiles for the recipes she gave were interesting so I decided to subscribe.
She recently shared a recipe for baja style shrimp tacos that sounded really yummy, healthy and very easy to make. I've never had any kind of shrimp taco before, but it sounded like the perfect dinner for the warm summer nights we've been having on the East coast. Plus, she shared an alternative option for the kids (bean, rice and guacamole tacos), which is always a big win with me. The only thing I didn't attempt to make from the recipes she shared was the guacamole, and only because I found a Whole Foods guacamole that is pretty damn good for being Whole Foods brand. It's freshly prepared and has lots of flavor, although missing the spicy kick that I usually like my guacamole to have, but to save myself the hassle, it's worth it.
whole foods guacamole - it's really good (and gluten-free!)
The whole dinner could not have been easier to prepare (and is entirely gluten-free), I seriously spent less than a half hour making everything, including chopping time! The Pico de Gallo was a huge winner for me, definitely keeping that one on heavy rotation. The tacos were really good too and relied on the flavors of the toppings to make them shine. I do differ with Gwyneth on the Cholula hot sauce, I like it, but prefer Tapatío.
Pico de Gallo
TIME: 10 minutes
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
- coarse salt
- squeeze of lime
- as many finely chopped red jalapeños as you’d like (optional)
Combine the tomatoes, cilantro and onion together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and lime. Reserve some of this mixture for the kids, and then add as much jalapeño as you like to the remaining mixture for the adults.
The black beans were ok, I wasn't crazy about them, but they were actually pretty good in the tacos, and were really good as part of a bean and guacamole taco, which the kiddo hearted big time. Overall, the whole family really enjoyed the dinner and I would make everything again with the exception of the black beans. I'd probably opt for my lard-filled can of refried's next time.
SERVES: 4 as a side dish
TIME: 20 minutes
- 1 can of black beans
- 4 cilantro stems
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- pinch of salt
Combine everything together in a small pot and simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes (do this while preparing the rest of the meal). Be sure to simmer the beans long enough so that they’re not watery.
Baja Style Shrimp Tacos
TIME: 10 minutes
- 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- the juice of one lime
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 dozen corn tortillas
- pico de gallo (see recipe below)
- lime wedges for serving
- Cholula hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
- crumbled cotija or feta cheese (optional)
Preheat your grill over high heat. Toss the shrimp together with the olive oil, lime juice and salt. Grill until cooked through, about 2 minutes a side. To serve, heat the tortillas in a dry frying pan and wrap them in a tea towel to keep warm. Pile a few shrimp on top of each tortilla and serve with a bit of pico de gallo, fresh lime juice, a few dashes of hot sauce and a little of the crumbled cheese if you’d like.