Back in nutrition school, I experimented with dozens of different diets while studying over 100 of them (some diets I didn’t try out because I just knew they weren’t for me—for example, anything with processed food was an automatic no go).
After all that exploring, I discovered that what works best for my body was actually a combo of three different diets—the Mediterranean Zone, Paleo, and Body Type.
So since then, I’ve been playing around with recipes and exploring new and delicious ways to keep eating whole, real, fresh food.
This salad is total perfection! It’s super easy to throw together and it can be tweaked to satisfy almost any taste bud.
The secret ingredient that makes this salad truly ah-mazing is Sumac. I love how it combines with fresh lemon juice (and organic extra virgin olive oil if you want to add in some extra healthy fat).
If I’m using nuts, seeds, and avocado in my salads, I oftentimes will skip the extra virgin olive oil. I learned a while back that my body loves some healthy fats, but overdoing it will cause me to gain weight.
The size of two thumbs is about the amount of healthy fat I’ll have at each meal (give or take). Though I used to weigh out and measure all my meals, nowadays I just use my hands and eyeball it. And sometimes I’ll go a little heavy with the protein portion since it fills me up and keeps me fuller longer—especially when I use shrimp. I love shrimp!
You can use whatever protein you want for this salad, but for this one I went to Trader Joe’s and grabbed a bag of their frozen natural shrimp.
Now, you totally gotta try out this salad and let me know whatcha think!
Simple Paleo Sumac Salad With Shrimp
For the Shrimp (but again, any protein you want to use will work just fine with this salad).
What You Need
- 1 18-20count bag of natural frozen shrimp. You could get fresh too, but I’m a total sucker for the bagged natural sweet shrimp you can get at my local Trader Joe’s for around $10.
- Spritz of natural Avocado oil spray
- Sea salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste.
What You Do
If your shrimp are frozen, they need to be thawed. You can do that either over night or you can fill a large bowl with room temp water and soak them for about 30 minutes. I’ll empty the bowl a few times and add more room temp water.
Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
Now put your thawed (or fresh) shrimp in a colander and rinse them really, really well. Then drain and place on a dishtowel and pat them as dry as you can. You don’t want to smash them too hard, but you do want to get as much excess water out of them as possible.
Grab the large bowl you thawed them (which should also be wiped and dried out) and add the shrimp along with your salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Give it a good toss.
Once your skillet is hot, spritz the bottom with your cooking spray. Gently scoop the shrimp out of the bowl and into the pan. Cook a couple minutes on each side and then transfer them to a plate. Each side should have a touch of golden color and there shouldn’t be any extra moisture in the pan. If there is, you simply didn’t dry the shrimp well enough. The same rule applies for cooking the perfect scallops too.
Set the shrimp aside.
For The Salad
* If you cannot get organic, then wash your produce really well with food grade hydrogen peroxide (about 1 tbsp) and water (about a cup) or Apple Cider Vinegar (about 1 tbsp) & water (about a cup) mixture. I even clean my organic produce with acv and water.
What You Need
- 1 bag of organic leafy greens (I used romaine hearts & baby spinach)
- 1 Large organic cucumber, sliced
- 1 large handful of radishes, sliced
- 1 Large handful grape tomatoes, cut in half
What You Do
In a large storage contain, throw all ingredients together. Put on the lid and toss it gently a couple times. Then open it back up and put about 2 handfuls of it on your plate.
To Dress Your Salad
You could either pre-make this and keep it in your fridge, or you can do it how I did this time and just add it on fresh since it only takes a few seconds. Squeeze ½ of a fresh lemon on top of your salad and then sprinkle some sea salt, pepper, sumac (I go a little heavy), and just a touch of nutritional yeast (love the extra flavor this gives).
This time around I didn’t use extra virgin olive oil, but you could totally drizzle some of that on top too.
The reason I held off on the evoo was because I was craving a couple avocado toast bites and hummus to garnish this salad and make it beautiful and even yummier.
For the toast, I used ½ of a sprouted grain bagel (I find these in the freezer section of my local store), sprayed a little avocado oil spray on it and then did a quick broil in my oven to get it crispy.
Then about 1/4 – 1/2 of an avocado got smashed up with a fork and I put that on top of my toast. The rest of the avocado got stored in a glass container with a little lime juice drizzled over it to keep it fresh.
Add salt/pepper and/or garlic powder on top of avocado toast to taste.
Then, since I didn’t feel like making my own hummus, I grabbed my favorite store bought one that’s organic and delicious. About 1-2 tbsp on the side for dipping. No, hummus is not paleo, but it is Mediterranean Zone (an example of how a combo of diets is what works for my body). If you’re strict paleo, skip the the hummus.
Add the shrimp on top and voilà! It’s time to dig in.
My mouth is watering as I write this up! I make enough to eat several meals of it, and you can change up the garnishes to mix it up. Maybe one time you do the avocado and another you go for the hummus…or just go all in like I did on this one.
Another way to mix it up would be to turn this in to a delicious Mediterranean wrap. Either pita-style or paleo wrap style.
I truly hope you love this easy and delicious salad as much as I do. If you try it out, let me know whatcha think in the comments. I’d also love to hear any variations or new ideas too. 🙂
PS: Are you ready to kickstart or revamp your healthy lifestyle goals? I’ve totally got your back! Click here to check out my 30-Day Weight Loss & Fitness Challenge now.