Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
My boys spoiled me with homemade meals, sleeping in, and general sweetness this Valentine’s Day weekend, but Mother nature had different plans and gifted us with 4+ inches of snow! For once it didn’t bring wind or too frigid of temperatures along with it, so we took Lincoln over to my parent’s house yesterday to sled, jump in snow piles, and help shovel. Got to start ’em young (especially when they seem to enjoy it so much!) ;)
To warm up against the snow that continues to fall during the season that shall not be named, our weekly menus have included a ton of hearty soups and stews, casseroles (I cannot stop making this one!) and crock pot meals lately, but I recently decided to bust out of our rut and make one of the most nutritious and fresh meals we’ve had in awhile to celebrate Heart Health Month in partnership with Fisher Nuts. Believe me when I say that you need to a Grapefruit + Avocado Bowl in your life ASAP for a whole bunch of reasons!
Not to get all serious on you, but a couple years ago I learned that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Does that surprise you as much as it surprised me? I thought surely that couldn’t be right – that cancer or some other horrible incurable disease would claim the top spot – but no, heart disease. I think the one silver lining about this fact is that it’s possible to eat your way to a healthy heart.
A diet focused on omega-3-rich fish, berries, dark green, red and orange vegetables, fresh fruits, low-fat dairy, and nuts like the MUST TRY umami walnuts I included in these bowls, can help you achieve and maintain a healthy heart, weight, and cholesterol level. I have naturally high levels of cholesterol because of my genes (thanks, genes!) but I’m confident that by focusing on the foods I just listed I’ll stay off cholesterol-lowering medications, and their gnarly side effects, hopefully forever!
But back to these bowls, because there is a LOT going on here that you need to know about! First of all – leafy greens. Cram as many as you can into a bowl then top with a boost of vitamin C from juicy grapefruit slices, creamy avocado (which are high in fat, but GOOD, bad-cholesterol-lowering fat,) crunchy cucumbers, shrimp marinated in the same lemon + mint dressing that’s drizzled over the bowls at the end, and umami walnuts. I’m going nuts (heh) for these umami walnuts!
If you’ve never heard the term “umami” it describes a flavor that’s savory but not salty. Think parmesan cheese, or uncured salami. Aka, all the noms. I’m going to make you read on to find out what gives these walnuts an extra umami-oomf, because nuts are kind of umami-tasting anyway, but just know that you’re going to want to have buckets of umami walnuts laying around the house after you taste them!
Flavor-wise, Grapefruit + Avocado Bowls are one my favorite recipes using Fisher Nuts to come out of my kitchen, but they’re also one of the freshest and most beautiful too. Between the sweet-tart grapefruit, savory shrimp, cool cucumbers and avocado, and pops of umami walnuts, these bowls taste just as good as they look, and it’s so nice to take a break from the heavy foods that have been dominating our dinner table. While the snow may continue to fall outside, we can eat like we’re somewhere warm inside!
Like I mentioned, this recipe is sponsored by Fisher Nuts, whom I’ve been working with over the past several years developing recipes using their high quality nuts with zero preservatives. Check out all my recipes here!
Start the Grapefruit + Avocado Bowls by making the umami walnut topping, aka the scene stealer of these bowls. Add 1/2 cup Fisher Naturals Walnut Halves & Pieces into a bowl with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast then mix with your fingertips to combine.
In case you didn’t catch that, nutritional yeast is the secret umami ingredient! If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast before you might be a little…skeptical…right now, but I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds.
Nutritional yeast, or “nooch” as it’s sometimes called, is inactive yeast that has a slightly cheesy flavor and is full of B vitamins, plus it’s gluten, salt, and sugar-free, and vegan! Nooch adds a “cheesy” umami flavor to dishes without having to actually use cheese and, in addition to giving these walnuts a phenomenal umami flavor, it is utterly addicting when sprinkled onto freshly popped popcorn. Ben will now only eat “noochcorn” at home – there is no other topping for us!
Look for bottles of nutritional yeast in the health food section of your grocery store near the herbs and spices, or order it online. The price can vary from $7-10, but the bottle lasts forever. I think our last one lasted us a year.
Once the walnuts are evenly coated in the oil and nutritional yeast, spread them onto a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet then bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown, and then set aside to cool.
Next get the Lemon Mint Dressing that also doubles as a shrimp marinade whipped up. Hello, easy! Add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon packed fresh mint leaves (whole, not chopped,) 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 smashed garlic clove, salt, pepper, and a pinch of red chili pepper flakes into a food processor or blender then prcoess until smooth. I’m telling you – the mint + lemon combination will make you forget ALL about the 6+ inches of snow out your window. So bright and refreshing.
Add 3 Tablespoons of the dressing (reserve the rest to dress the bowls,) to 1/2lb jumbo shrimp (16/20 count) that have been peeled, deveined, and placed inside a plastic bag. Season with more salt and pepper then squish to combine and place in the refrigerator to marinate while you prep the rest of the ingredients for the bowls.
That includes segmenting 1 grapefruit. I tell you what, the instant I cut into a grapefruit I am transported to my Grandparent’s home as a child. My Grandma and Grandpa had 1/2 a grapefruit sprinkled with sugar every single morning for breakfast, and I always tried to be like them and eat one too. At the time that required roughly 3 Tablespoons of sugar to choke down the tart fruit, but still, the smell of a grapefruit will always remind me of sitting at their dining room table having breakfast together. Sniff!
To segment a grapefruit, use a sharp knife to slice the top and bottom off, then follow the curve of the grapefruit to remove the peel and pith. How GORGEOUS is this color, by the way? I want to paint every room in my house grapefruit pink – so cheery!
Next, use the same sharp knife to carefully slice between the membranes to separate the slices. They’ll slide right out and you’ll be left with beautiful, clean slices. I believe this was a Texas grapefruit and it was as sweet as an orange. Definitely a great time of year to be enjoying these babies!
Next slice 1 cucumber in half length-wise, use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds, then cut into thin slices. You could definitely peel the cucumber first if you don’t care for it.
Finally chop 1 avocado into chunks, and either open up an 8oz bag mixed greens or chop 8oz of your favorite lettuce. I used a mixture of baby arugula and romaine that I sliced really thin. Totally your call though – use whatever you like.
Last step is to sear the shrimp that have been marinating in the refrigerator. Saute in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes a side or until cooked through. I sometimes find with jumbo shrimp that the tail end will cook through before the top, so I’ll flip them on their backs for 30 seconds or so to help cook all the way through.
Aassembly time! Divide the lettuce between bowls then top with the umami walnuts, cooked shrimp, grapefruit, avocado, cucumber, and a drizzle of that delicious dressing, and then dig in!
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Grapefruit + Avocado Bowls
Grapefruit + Avocado Bowls are fresh and healthy, with a delicious and addicting, easy walnut topping!
- 1/2lb jumbo shrimp (16/20 count,) peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup Fisher Naturals Walnuts Halves & Pieces
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 8oz mixed greens
- 1 grapefruit, segmented
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded then chopped
- For the Dressing/Marinade
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- salt and pepper
- pinch red chili pepper flakes
- Add ingredients for marinade/dressing into a food processor or blender then process until smooth. Taste then add more salt and pepper if necessary. Place shrimp in a ziplock bag then season with salt and pepper, and then add 3 Tablespoons of the marinade (save the rest to dress the bowls.) Squish to coat then place in the refrigerator to marinate while you prep the rest of the ingredients in the dish.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees then line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Toss walnuts with extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt in a bowl then mix to coat with your fingertips and pour onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until walnuts are golden brown. Set walnuts aside - can be done a day ahead of time.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then spray with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray. Add shrimp then cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until cooked through - may need to do this in two batches.
- Divide lettuce, cooked shrimp, umami walnuts, grapefruit, avocado, and cucumber between bowls then top with reserved dressing.
Inspired by SweetGreen
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
I know you’re going to adore the colors, fresh flavors, and nutrition of these Grapefruit + Avocado Bowls. Give the heavy soups and casserole in your current rotation a break this month for this breath of fresh air! Enjoy!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher. The opinions and text are all mine.