With the holidays fast approaching and adding more activities to the usual busy week, these days we are all about easy meals. It doesn’t get much easier than incorporating a leftover protein into a salad, which can become a satisfying meal all on its own. This recipe is one of our favorite weeknight salads. We usually make it with leftover shrimp, but Dan’s spicy garlic shrimp that he made earlier in the week was so good that we didn’t have any leftovers. So, we improvised and bought some pre-cooked shrimp from Whole Foods. Not nearly as good as Dan’s, but still made a pretty delicious (and really easy) salad.
For our salads, we usually use red and/or green leaf lettuce and sometimes add a little spinach. We really like our salad spinner — it’s easy to just rinse the lettuce, tear it into bite-sized pieces while putting it in the spinner, then spin it dry and it’s ready to go.
One reason this salad is so easy and good is because you can put in whatever ingredients you like. We happen to like diced red onion in ours.
Then some chopped tomato.
I like black olives in my salad, but Dan does not, so I set these aside to put on mine at the end.
We had some leftover bacon from one of our recent home-cooked breakfasts, so we chopped it up and added it to the salad.
Pre-cooked shrimp is so easy. We chose these marinated flavors, but plain shrimp cocktail would work too. These still had the tails on, so we just chopped the tails off and discarded them when we cut the shrimp into bite-sized pieces.
Add the shrimp to the salad.
We also added some fresh avocado. An easy way to cut the avocado is to slice it in half and cut a grid into the avocado flesh on each half. Then use a big spoon to scoop out the pieces into the salad.
We also added some blue cheese crumbles. Since blue cheese is pretty strong, I sprinkled the crumbles on with a fork, instead of dumping a bunch of big pieces all over the salad. (But, if you’re a big fan of blue cheese – go for it!)
Our salad, ready to be dressed.
Dan whipped up a quick salad dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, dried oregano and salt & pepper. Sorry no measurements — Dan says to just keep mixing and adding ingredients and tasting until the dressing tastes the way you like it! (Frustrating, I know!)
Lightly dress the salad and toss. A good way to ensure that the salad ingredients get evenly coated with the dressing is to use tongs. Start with just a little dressing, toss, then add more as needed.
Easy shrimp salad! Seriously, it took longer to put together this post than it did to buy the shrimp, make the salad, eat it AND do the dishes.