Caribbean Style Rice and Beans with Garlicky Shrimp; Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

By Ira

This is an easy weeknight meal that you can put together very quickly, and it’s delicious.

Caribbean Rice and Beans with Garlicky Shrimp

Serves 4 – Adapted from Whole Foods magazine

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 13.5 ounce can light coconut milk
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced (separated 4 and 2)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • salt

In a medium bowl, add the shrimp, 2 minced cloves garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir and set aside (you can do this up to 1 hr ahead).

In a saucepan, add the rice, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 3/4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add the shrimp (you don’t need to add oil to the pan because the shrimp is coated in oil already).

Once shrimp is cooked through, remove to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

In the same skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then the onion, and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Then add the minced garlic, allspice, cinnamon, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the beans, remaining coconut milk, and 1/2 cup water.

Bring to simmer, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 7 minutes.

Serve by adding the rice on a plate,

then topping it with the bean mixture, then 4 shrimp.

While the onions and the beans are cooking, you can get started on the avocado and grapefruit salad.

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

This is a very refreshing salad. You can double the recipe if serving more than 2.

Serves 2 – Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network

  • 1 avocado, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch thickness
  • 1 red grapefruit
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt to taste

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Add the avocado and toss so that it doesn’t brown.

Cut the peel and white pith off the grapefruit using a sharp knife, then cut between the membranes to get the grapefruit segments. Do this over a bowl so you can catch the juice of the grapefruit.

On a plate, add the grapefruit in the middle, then add the avocado around it. Drizzle it with the dressing and the captured grapefruit juice.

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