The last time I had a proper drink was February 14, 2013.
I’d already been sick for almost a year at that point, and had pretty much given up alcohol. But we went out to eat at a nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day and I thought, “what the hell I’m having a glass of wine.” ONE glass of wine and the beating my body took for it the next day was enough to permanently keep me away for the past three years.
Aside: I’m not anti-alcohol and there are actually some health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption (if you’re in good health), particularly red wine. I’ve made some alcohol-optional drink recipes for the blog and I’ve definitely incorporated wine into my styling and photos (and hopefully one day back into my real life!)
As I slowly crawled out of the hole I was in with my health I was able to cook with a little bit of alcohol here and there, but for someone who was (in a former life) reallly comfortable with a drink in her hand, giving up booze wasn’t all that easy. Today I’m perfectly content with forgoing the alcohol, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t occasionally miss red wine, mojitos, and margaritas.
I LOVE a good mojito, especially when the weather starts warming up. To me, there’s nothing quite as refreshing and crisp as the combination of lime and mint. Since I’m not quite at the point where I can enjoy a worry-free mojito straight up, I thought I’d recreate those flavors on a plate.
Enter MOJITO SHRIMP– a hugely successful edible experiment.
There is a little bit of rum hiding in there, because I seem to do alright at this point eating foods cooked with a small amount of alcohol. But you can always leave it out if you prefer.
And even though this recipe is pretty simple, it may be one of my favorites that I’ve created for the blog! You just have to mix up a quick marinade and let the shrimp hang out for a few minutes while you prepare everything else–including this super tasty coconut rice which I’m currently obsessing over. It’s just rice, but instead of using water as the cooking liquid it gets simmered away in silky coconut milk.
It’s what fluffy, dinnertime dreams are made of.
The shrimp has the perfect bite from the lime juice + zest + rum, which gets balanced with sweet coconut sugar and honey, and at the last moment it all dances around with some fresh mint leaves. The marinade gets reduced down to a sticky sauce, which gets happily soaked up by all that dreamy, coconut perfumed rice.
Of course, you can’t do dinner (or any meal for that matter) without a veggie friend, and these flavors really just asked for something simple and clean.
I sent a cucumber through the straight blade of the spiralizer to get these delicate ribbons–my favorite way to eat cucumbers. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can just thinly slice or shave with a vegetable peeler.
Nestle in a few orange slices and you’re set.
- 2 lbs wild caught shrimp
- Juice + zest of 4 limes
- 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 oz rum (2 tbs)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbs coconut sugar*
- 2 tbs honey
- Coconut oil
- 1 14 oz can light coconut milk
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 cucumbers, spiralized or shaved
- oranges, peeled and sliced
- Peel and devein shrimp.
- Add lime juice, lime zest, rum, salt, coconut sugar and honey to a bowl. Whisk until coconut sugar begins to dissolve and add shrimp. Marinate for 10 minutes.
- While shrimp marinates, add all ingredients for rice to a pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove rice from heat and keep covered for an additional 10 minutes.
- While rice cooks, bring a frying pan to high heat and add coconut oil. Add shrimp and reserve marinade. Cook shrimp for about one minute per side, until they are opaque and beginning to curl up. Remove shrimp from pan and add marinade, reducing until it thickens. Return shrimp to pan, add chopped mint, and toss to coat.
- Divide rice and shrimp between 4 dishes. Serve with spiralized or shaved cucumber and orange slices. Garnish with additional mint leaves and lime wedge.
If you don't have coconut sugar, just use an additional tbs of honey.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.