Last weekend I stuffed my face with pasta, garlic bread, and cupcakes within a span of three hours. I was between two basketball teams in a small town an hour away from home. With a three hour break in-between games, players and their families settled into a small family-owned pizza and pasta parlor. After asking the waitress what they are known for on the menu I of course knew that I was going to eat the pasta and bread. And it also happened to be the weekend before my daughter’s birthday so I brought home made cupcakes for the team. If there is something I cannot resist, it is a good homemade cupcake from scratch.
What happened the next morning when I woke up was to be expected, after all I’m used to how my body processes food. I was much more tired than usual, my face looked like I had been stung by a hive of bees, and I was bloated all over my body. Now before one of you starts telling me about the evils of gluten I’ll just tell you that I am aware of its impact on “my” body. I know I have a gluten threshold my body can handle before it goes into crazy mode. When I eat a lot of wheat, I always weigh the negative impact I’ll probably suffer against the momentary endorphin driven high I feel. Most of the time the negative aspect of eating a lot of wheat in one day will often keep me from it.
Since last weekend I returned to healthy eating, but that will be tested again this Sunday during the Super Bowl when my beloved Seattle Seahawks (Go Hawks!) take on the Denver Broncos. However, just because it’s Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t mean eating healthy has to be boring. In fact, with a little bit of creativity, you can forgo the vegetable ranch dip platter and instead serve these beautiful and filling shrimp lettuce cups. Inspired by Thai flavors, these veggie cups are are full of bold flavors, textures, and are beautifully filled, making them so attractive it would be hard to resist eating just one. Once you eat one you’ll want to eat another. And after eating 2 or 3, you may find yourself very full and satisfied which means you can enjoy some other football bites without the gluttony. Imagine that.
If you’re looking for a great appetizer or main dish meal to serve with a lot of sass, but happens to be very healthy too, this dish is for you. You won’t be disappointed with this very satisfying dish which is the cleverest way of eating a salad I can think of.
Recipe: Shrimp Lettuce Cups
A healthy Thai inspired lettuce cups featuring shrimp and a red curry slaw.
¼ pound shredded green cabbage
¼ pound shredded red lettuce
1 carrot peeled and shredded
¼ cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons Asian coconut milk
3 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
¼ teaspoon red curry paste
12 butter lettuce leaves, washed and dry
½ pound cooked shrimp, tails removed
2 medium ripe avocados, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped pineapple
4 tablespoons chopped cashews
1 red jalapeno, thinly sliced
Add the cabbage, carrot, and cilantro to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk, pineapple juice, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and curry paste.
Add the slaw dressing to the cabbage and toss until the cabbage shreds are well coated.
Add a large heaping ¼ cup of cabbage slaw in the center of each butter leaf lettuce.
Add 2-3 shrimp over the slaw followed by avocado slices, chopped pineapple, cashews, and slices of jalapeno.
Serve the cups on a large platter with lime wedges. Serve immediately.