Low Carb Shrimp & Grits (THM S)

Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite summertime throw-together meals. It comes together quickly, uses simple ingredients, and has all the scrumptiousness of something that takes all day to cook.

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For this meal, start with simmering the vegetable mixture. It takes a few minutes for the flavors to develop and reduce slightly.

Next, start crisping the bacon – trust me, you don’t want to skip it. That crispy bacon topping is EVER-Y-THANG.

Steam the cauli grits next.

And finish by sautéing the shrimp in the same pan where you cooked the bacon. The bacon drippings help get a nice, fried char on the shrimp.

Finish up the cauli grits, and you’re done!

Plate it by heaping a big pile of grits into a bowl, followed by the pepper and tomato mixture, then a few shrimp, and throw on some crispy bacon.

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The grits provide a creamy pillow for the veggies, then the shrimp and bacon provide a crispy, slightly smoky bite.

I make this often during the summer months because it’s easy and kids and adults alike will gulp it down.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Shrimp and Grits (THM S)

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
  • 6 strips bacon, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can diced seasoned fire roasted tomatoes (the ones seasoned with garlic and onion)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • Creamy Cauli Grits

Directions

  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat with the onions, peppers, garlic, and celery. Sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the bay leaf, Worcestershire, tomatoes, and hot sauce (if using). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Mixture should be softened, and slightly thick.
  3. Begin the steaming the cauli rice.
  4. Crisp the bacon in a separate, large skillet. Remove to a paper towel once crisp.
  5. Toss the shrimp in a medium-sized bowl with about a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning.
  6. Fry the shrimp in the same pan where you cooked the bacon. Cook for about 1 minute on each side, depending on size and thickness. Remove to a plate.
  7. Finish the cauli grits and serve!

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Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

Summer is just around the corner, which means two things: 1) less cooking time (because your house it too hot already) and 2) lots of fresh, vibrant flavors. Enter, this beautiful quinoa salad.

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I did roast the shrimp in the oven, but you could also grill them for an even quicker meal.

To roast the shrimp, and stay in E mode, start by preheating your oven to 400. Place the shrimp onto a large baking sheet lined with foil, spray lightly with coconut oil spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Roast the shrimp at 400 for about 6 minutes – it may be more or less depending on the size and thickness of your shrimp. When they’re done, they will be firm to the touch, pink and opaque on the outside.

All that’s left is to assemble the salad!

Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl, and add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, red onion, lemon juice, and feta.

For the cucumber, make sure that you take the time (2 seconds, really) to cut out the seeds of the cucumber – yes, even if it’s “seedless”. The seeds have more moisture and will cut the shelf life of your salad significantly. You don’t want the whole batch going bad over some cucumbers! That would just be silly.

To cut the seeds out of your cucumber, slice the cuke lengthwise into quarters and cut into it on an angle so the whole “log” of seeds comes out in one cut.

Give the salad a big toss, taste for seasoning, then add your shrimp and serve.

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The great thing about this salad is that it’s wonderful at room temp or cold from the fridge. In fact, as it sits in the fridge the flavor gets even better.

The lemon juice adds a fantastic  acidity to the salad, while the herbs add tons of fresh, green flavor. This salad just screams summer to me, and it couldn’t be easier to make!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • about 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 c finely diced red onion
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 4 scallions, whites and green parts, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Spread shrimp onto a large baking sheet, spritz with coconut oil spray, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then roast at 400 for about 6 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with all other ingredients. Give it a big toss, taste for seasoning, and serve.

One Pot New Orleans-Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I’m a spicy gal and although I wasn’t born in Louisiana, creole cuisine of New Orleans speaks to me on a spiritual level.

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Gumbo is one of my favorite, warming meals because it’s spicy, hearty, and still packs a veggie punch. Also, this is one of those meals that you can cook (a bunch of) one night, and when you’re eating its leftovers a few nights later the flavor is even deeper – it only gets better with time! However, my favorite part of this meal is definitely that it only takes one (big) pot. Because I still hate doing dishes ^_^.

Start by heating a large Dutch oven over medium low heat, and add the sliced smoked sausage. I used andouille, which is a creole spicy sausage. If you’re not into the spice, any smoked sausage will do. Since it’s already cooked, you just want to sauté it enough to get some color and crispness on the outside.

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Take the sausage out, add some coconut oil if needed, and begin sautéing the cubed chicken. It doesn’t have to cook all the way through since it will simmer in the gumbo later. Just make sure it has some good color on it, and season with salt and pepper or a touch of Cajun seasoning.

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Take the chicken out, then start on the shrimp. I bought easy-peel shrimp from my fish counter at Sprouts, which are already deveined. You can keep the tails, or whole shell, on if you wish. I find it easier to remove the whole shell, tail included, prior to cooking. Add more coconut oil to the pan, if needed before adding the shrimp. Again, season with salt and pepper and sauté away. Cook them about 1 minute on each side, just to get good color. They won’t be fully cooked yet, but once you add them back to the gumbo they’ll finish cooking without becoming overcooked.

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Remove the shrimp. Next comes the vegetables! Don’t worry about the brown bits on the bottom of your Dutch oven – that’s flavor, and the stock we add later will pick it all up.

Chop some mirepoix – celery (leafy green parts included!), onion, green bell pepper, and garlic.

Add a touch more coconut oil, turn the heat down just a touch and add the vegetables. Sauté until onions just start to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes.

And, I’ll go ahead and tell you, I’m a bad Southerner – I greatly dislike okra. Unless it’s pureed, in a cookie, or otherwise hidden beyond recognition I cannot stomach it. HOWEVER. You are welcome to add okra to this lovely gumbo if it is your thing. If you do add it, go ahead and do so at this step.

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De-glaze the pan with one 15-oz can of fire roasted tomatoes. I like the smoky flavor of fire roasted tomatoes, but you’re welcome to use any kind you prefer. Mine also were seasoned with garlic and onion. Add in the chicken (or vegetable/seafood) stock, a bay leaf, sausage, chicken, Worcestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Place the lid on your pot and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

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Once it’s finished simmering, turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover again and let stand for about 5-7 minutes. This will allow the shrimp to continue cooking through slowly.

Serve the gumbo as is or over a big pile of cauliflower rice. For my cauliflower rice, I pulsed half a large head of cauliflower in a food processor until it was in small pearls. Then I served it raw underneath the hot gumbo – easy peasy! I liked it raw because it didn’t become mushy from cooking and retained a nice textural contrast like rice.

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As is, the gumbo is a great S. However, if you want to have the rice and make it an E – that’s completely achievable. You can either choose a smoked turkey/chicken sausage with less fat, or leave it out completely and make this a chicken and shrimp gumbo – your call. Just make sure any time you’re adding coconut oil that you do so with a spray to keep the fat in check.

Either way you make it, this gumbo is a spicy, hearty, and delicious shake-up to your weekly routine. The leftovers just get better with time – this is a meal you can make on Monday and still enjoy on Friday.

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New Orleans Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1-lb andouille sausage, sliced (or any smoked sausage – For E choose a chicken or turkey sawusage, or omit)
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 stalks celery, leafy greens included, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 c cut okra (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes seasoned with garlic and onion
  • 1 1/2 c chicken/vegetable/seafood stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 6-10 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • cauliflower rice (for S) or cooked brown rice (for E), for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and sauté the sliced sausage until browned and crispy. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add coconut oil, if needed, toss the chicken with a touch of Cajun seasoning and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate (with the sausage is fine).
  3. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper, then brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a plate with the chicken and sausage.
  4. Add more coconut oil, if needed, then begin sautéing the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and okra (if using). Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, hot sauce, chicken, and sausage back to the pot. Cover and simmer on medium-low for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover, and let stand for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve over cauliflower rice, brown rice (for an E), or as is.

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Shrimp & Broccoli Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of stringy, cheesy goodness? 20161004062700_img_1738

Just look at it! This was a fairly easy meal to make, with most of the components coming together in under 30 minutes. (Glaring at you, spaghetti squash.)

Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo (THM S)

  • 1lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
  • 1 lb broccoli florets
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1 c shredded asiago (or parmesan)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • S & P to taste

There are a few different methods to cooking spaghetti squash. You can halve it and throw it in a crockpot with some water on high for a few hours, until tender. I usually do it in the oven, at 400, for one hour. I halve and seed it, and place it cut-side down in a deep pan with about an inch of water. I make little cuts in the bottom of the squash to vent it, and that’s it. Cook it however you like!

In a large skillet, melt 1 Tsp of the butter over medium heat. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper, and arrange them in the skillet in one even layer. Cook through on both sides, about 90 seconds. Remove them to a plate.

In the same skillet, heat another 2 Tsp of the butter over medium and add the garlic. Cook for one minute, then add the cream. Once the cream starts to bubble, whisk in the mozzarella. Once that’s melted, whisk in the asiago or parm and whisk until it’s all melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Once the spaghetti squash is cooled enough to handle. Scoop out the squash onto some paper towels, in one even layer. Place more paper towels on tops and press out as much water from the squash as you can. It will take a few rounds, but trust me you don’t want that beautiful alfredo sauce getting runny because of squash water.

Once the the squash is squeezed, add it to a large casserole dish with the last pat of butter and salt and pepper, toss to coat. Add the broccoli, season a little more and toss again. Finally, add the shrimp and sauce and toss to combine. Sprinkle the top with another hefty handful of cheese (mozzarella or asiago, or both!) and place it under a heated broiler until the cheese is hot and bubbly.

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Do you want to eat your screen right now? It’s OK. It’s every bit as tasty as it looks.

Seafood for a Crowd

I have been wanting to try this amazing seafood gratin recipe out of my Barefoot Contessa cookbook for sometime, but it’s honestly a little rich for my grocery budget.

It stars two of the highest-priced items in the seafood case: halibut and lobster.

Don’t get me wrong, I will splurge and get that stuff sometimes. [More so, I’ll scour the “Manager’s Special” shelves looking for them.] It’s just not something I’ll do all the time.

So, when I saw sprouts was having a major sale on both jumbo shrimp and fresh lobster, I decided to tweak it a little and go for it.

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Now, I really went for it on this recipe. I actually made my own seafood stock. I know. It’s not something you HAVE  to do. Did it enhance the flavor? Yes. Would vegetable stock or bottled clam juice do the same? Sure. It was really easy, honestly, and since you’ll have the shells/tails from the seafood anyway…why not put them to good use?

Cook the lobster by placing it belly-up on a small baking pan. Put a few pats of butter on top and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for about 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Let it cool for at least 8-10 minutes before handling. Cut it right down the center with a sharp knife, and peel the meat away from the shell.

I made the stock by adding my shrimp shells and lobster tail to a few cups of my homemade scrap broth, and simmering over medium-low heat for about an hour. I skimmed out the shells, and voila! You have seafood stock.

You could even mix this up by adding in what you like: halibut, scallops, more lobster.

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Seafood Gratin (THM S)

  • 1 1/3 lbs jumbo easy-peel shrimp
  • 1 fresh lobster tail (raw, shell-on)
  • 1 c seafood stock (or substitutes from above)
  • 1 c half and half
  • 1/2 c plus a few Tablespoons of white wine
  • 3 Tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 strips of bacon, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/4 c fresh parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tsp fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 – 1 c “bread”crumbs (I used crushed Parmesan Whisps (all cheese crackers). You can also use baking blend, pork rinds, or all cheese if you like.)

Preheat the oven to 375.

Prepare the sauce by combining stock, half and half, 1/2 c wine, tomato paste, and saffron in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low and cook for about another 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.

While that’s happening, add a few tablespoons of butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrot and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add 3 Tsp of white wine to de-glaze the pan. Cook until the alcohol reduces off, about another 3 minutes.

In a large cast iron skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and remove it to a paper towel. Cook the shrimp in the bacon fat for about 90 seconds on each side, seasoned with a little salt and pepper. Place the bacon and cooked shrimp together with the cooked lobster.

After the sauce is reduced, whisk in the xanthan gum and continue whisking over low heat until sauce is thickened to desired consistency.  Remove from heat, and combine with cooked vegetables, bacon, and seafood.

Place the mixture into a large casserole or gratin dish. Top with crushed Parmesan Whisps (or other topping of choice), parmesan cheese, tarragon, and parsley. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the top is slightly browned.

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Lovely!

Take Out at Home: Shrimp Lo Mein

Shrimp is such an easy vehicle to work with. Another great benefit is you can generally find it pretty cheap.

In the old days, before THM, I would love to gorge myself on the oily richness of lo mein. Now, I have to find new ways to have the former foods I love.

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Shrimp Lo Mein (THM FP)

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1.5 in piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1 8-10oz package shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 small head napa cabbage, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 handful sesame seeds

Cut the zucchini into thick noodles using a Vegetti, or similar.

Spray a large pan with coconut oil over medium heat, and cook the shrimp until opaque (about 2-3 minutes on each side). Remove from the pan, and set aside. Spray the pan again, and add the cabbage, mushrooms, scallions, garlic, and ginger and saute about 4-5 minutes. Season everything well with salt and pepper. Toss the hot stir fry mixture in a large bowl with the zucchini noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.

This was a super easy weeknight meal with tons of flavor. Plus, this is healthier than take-out and took less time to make than to order. BOOM.

You can customize this recipe and use any protein you like: tofu, chicken, beef, or just make the noodles as a side dish.

Pretty Fast Po Boy

Shrimp is one of my main go-to proteins during the week. It’s easy to make, and takes very little hands-on time.

And, honestly, what’s faster to make than a sandwich?

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Grilled Shrimp Po Boy with Spicy Remoulade (THM E)

  • 1-2lbs peeled and deveined shrimp with tails removed
  • Sprouted sandwich buns or sourdough
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Toppings for sandwich: lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.
  • 3 Tsp low fat mayo
  • 4-5 dashes hot sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Cajun seasoning

Place shrimp in a colander to remove any excess water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Season liberally with Old Bay and a few pinches of salt and toss to coat. Place shrimp on a preheated grill sprayed lightly with coconut oil. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side, until firm and cooked through.

Place the bun halves onto the grill to lightly toast them.

For the remoulade, combine mayo, hot sauce, lemon juice, and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl.

Spread about 1 tsp of the sauce onto one half of your bun and add the cooked shrimp and any toppings you like.

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If you want more than one sandwich, keep the sides nonstarchy. If you only want one, you can serve with sweet potato fries.

NOM.

 

One Pan Wonder

I have to be brutally honest – I am not a sausage person. It’s always presented a textural issue for me as being unpleasant.

HOWEVER.

Sausage with other things…not so strange.

This was my first attempt at gumbo, and it certainly was not a bad one. I’m not sure why I was hesitant to try it, maybe it seemed to labor-intensive, but this quickie version is certain to satisfy.

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One-Pan Gumbo (THM S)

  • 1 package fully cooked andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cubed
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp (I used some  leftover from the grill the night before; they added a wonderful “smoke” flavor)
  • 1 can seasoned diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • hot sauce
  • salt and pepper

Start by browning the sausage in a large, deep skillet with a pat of butter. When the sausage has good color, remove it into a bowl. Add 1 Tsp butter or coconut oil and cook the chicken through. Once it’s cooked, remove it into a bowl (the same one with the sausage is fine).

Add more butter or coconut oil if needed, and begin to cook the celery, bell pepper, and onion with salt, pepper, and the bay leaf.

Once the veggies have become tender, add the tomatoes and cooked meats (not shrimp yet) back into the pan. Add hot sauce, Old Bay, and salt and pepper if needed. Simmer everything together for about 5 minutes, then add the shrimp and cook another 1-2 minutes.

You can serve this over cauliflower rice to give it more of a gumbo feel. I loved it just piled up in a big bowl.

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Creamy Shrimp Fra Diavolo

You can probably gather by the name, “Diavolo,” that this meal has a bit of a kick. However, the spice level can be customized to your tastes.

Traditionally, this sauce is a spicy red sauce, and this time I gave it a little extra wink by adding in some cream.

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You can even take a shortcut by using your favorite (no sugar added) jarred marinara and adding red pepper flakes to it, which is what I did. Usually, I love making my own marinara but there are times that I don’t have the time for it.

If you do have time to make your own marinara, go for it!

Creamy Shrimp Fra Diavolo (THM S)

  • 1lb large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 1/3 c heavy cream or half and half
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan, add garlic, salt and pepper, and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. When the butter is melted, add the shrimp and saute on medium heat until cooked through (about 2-3 minutes, depending on size of shrimp). Set the shrimp aside, leaving as much butter in the pan as possible.

To the same pan, add the zucchini noodles with salt, pepper, and another small pinch of red pepper flakes and saute on low heat until desired tenderness. I like mine al dente, so I only saute to heat them through  (about 3 minutes). Set the zoodles aside.

Add the marinara sauce to the same pan with the cream and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. Heat through on low for about 4 minutes, stirring  constantly. When the sauce is heated, add the zoodles back to the pan with a sprinkle of cheese and toss to combine. Add the zoodles to a bowl, top with shrimp and a little more cheese.

Even with the 3 pinches of red pepper flakes, this dish was not very spicy. My kids were fine with the spice level, and to me I only tasted a little tickle of the red pepper. It was perfect though! I think the first time I made this dish, I was more aggressive with the spice as if I was trying to burn my lips off my face. Less is more!

Pretty Tacos

Tacos aren’t usually what you would call a “pretty” food.

And. generally, they get scarfed before anyone has a chance to try and photograph it.

These tacos could be made with any firm fish – cod, tuna, shrimp, etc. I like to shake up what type of fish I use based on what’s on sale that week at the store.

Fish is a fabulous go-to for summertime meals because it cooks quickly, and it’s on sale a ton during the warm months.

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Blackened Shrimp Tacos (THM E)

  • 1 lb medium-large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Salt-free blackening seasoning (I like the one from Old Bay)
  • Cilantro lime slaw (rollover recipe from enchilada night)
  • Purple corn tortillas (these were so awesome for presentation purposes, and they were tasty. I found them at Sprouts, but you can use regular corn tortillas if you like.)
  • Sprinkle of cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • salt and pepper

Pat the shrimp dry, dust with blackening seasoning, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spritz a medium skillet with coconut oil, and saute the shrimp on medium-high heat until cooked through. TIP: try to keep the shrimp in one, even layer so that they cook evenly and all get a good sear.

Warm the corn tortillas in the oven or a quick blitz in the microwave. Arrange a few shrimp, top with slaw, and garnish.

Yes, it’s really that easy! When the slaw was already made, this meal only took as long as the shrimp took to cook. WIN!