From sauna to salad

We’ve been playing a little game in the apartment, something along the lines of ‘how long can we hold out on an air conditioner before we pass out from heat stroke.’ With the temperature rising to a scorching 91 degrees today, I think the apartment finally scored. I gulped ice water all day, dodged in and out of stores for that satiating albeit momentary blast of air conditioning. I ate a Luna bar for breakfast, utilized the microwave for lunch and schemed a way to make dinner without touching the stove.

Flipping through old issues of Food & Wine, I stumbled across a great salad recipe: crunchy, sweet, spicy and most importantly, cold. As an added plus, the recipe comes from a fitness retreat so it’s yummy and healthy! Thank you Escape to Shape. So I broke out a summer tank and flip flops and ventured off into the awaiting sauna to collect the ingredients.

This salad took all of about five minutes to put together. Chop, chop, a little squeeze of lime, dash some salt and pepper and you’re done. I did break down and use the stove for a hot minute (pun intended). I needed something to accompany the salad and since shrimp cook up pretty quickly, I deviated slightly from my no-stove plan for the day. I have to say, I think this will be a mainstay in my summer cooking repertoire. The prep and cook time is so minimal and the results were pretty fantastic for a healthy summer meal.

Green Mango Salad with Blackened Shrimp

For the salad:

2 large green (unripe) mangoes peeled and cut into 2 by 1/2 inch batons

1/2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 jalapeño seeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Toss mango, onion and jalapeño with lime juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for up to an hour to let flavors meld.

*Be sure to use unripe mangoes for the crunch and tang that makes this salad.

For the shrimp:

2 teaspoons ground paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to your taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

olive oil

Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed frying pan on medium high heat. Mix all the spices together and add olive oil to form a paste. Toss the shrimp with this paste to coat. Place shrimp in pan and sear on the first side until they start turning opaque. Flip and let cook for another minute until fully cooked. Serve this over green mango salad or on their own as an appetizer.

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