Stuffed Avocado with Garlic Shrimp

Over the past few years, my husband Dan and I have started a tradition of cooking at home together for special occasions instead of dining out.

There are a number of benefits to this: It is often healthier, sometimes cheaper and (usually the clincher for us) we can cook together in our pajamas without getting any weird stares. This Valentine’s Day proved no different for us. Rather than fighting the crowds, we decided to stay at home and cook a slow, luxurious meal while sharing a bottle of champagne and enjoying our latest Netflix binge.

As per usual in the Cwach household, the ideas for our meal started small and steadily grew, with Dan enthusiastically throwing out requests for steak, pan-seared scallops, lobster tartlets, fingerling potatoes and sautéed mushrooms. (Hey, I said usually cheaper and healthier!)

Knowing we had an extensive menu planned later on, I decided to whip up a light and healthy lunch that day using leftover avocados and some frozen shrimp we had on hand. This recipe takes no time at all to put together once the shrimp are thawed, making it easy to prepare over a lunch hour or for a light dinner. We’ve been on a kick of trying to incorporate more avocados into our diet lately – they are full of healthy monounsaturated fat as well as potassium, vitamin E, folate and magnesium– not to mention they’re incredibly rich and delicious.

These stuffed avocados with garlic shrimp are simple to pull together, but here are a few tips to make them even easier. First, when looking for an avocado at the supermarket, consider when you are going to use it. If you are planning on using it in the next day or two, look for one that is ripe now. That means it’s not too firm but it’s also not soft and mushy. The avocado should have a bit of give when you press your finger gently against its skin. If it feels mushy at all, pass on buying it.  If you don’t plan on using the avocado right away, go ahead and buy one that feels firm to the touch and leave it on your counter to ripen. You can also place the avocado in a brown paper sack to speed up the ripening process, or stick it in the fridge to slow it down.

To halve the avocado, simply slice lengthwise and twist both halves to open. To remove the pit, the best option is to use a spoon to scoop the pit out. You can also use strike the pit using a chef’s knife and rotate the pit to remove, but spoons are much safer and eliminate the chance for accidental bloodshed.

We added an extra healthy sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a generous squeeze of lemon juice at the end, which really pulled all of the flavors together. Do not delay in serving— avocados brown quickly, though the lemon juice should help prevent the browning. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and you’ve got a light, healthy entrée or appetizer that is easy to prepare and stunning on a plate.

Stuffed Avocado with Garlic Shrimp
Ingredients
2 whole medium avocados
2 cups medium to large shrimp, uncooked and thawed
5 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Chili powder
Half of a lemon or lime

Directions
Halve the avocado and remove pit from center. Scrape most of the avocado flesh, leaving a very thin layer. Dice avocado flesh and crush slightly, leaving most squares intact (Alternatively, you can mash avocado flesh). Set aside.

In a plan, heat olive oil and add the minced garlic and shrimp. Add a pinch of sea salt and cook shrimp over low heat just until pink. Do not overcook.

Add the shrimp mixture to the avocado pieces. Add chopped parsley or cilantro and chili powder and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into the avocado shells and sprinkle with a healthy dose of freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of sea salt and a good squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Garnish with additional cilantro or parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Source: Modified slightly from http://thesaffrongirl.com/stuffed-avocado-with-garlic-shrimp/

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