paradise wrapped

I’m beginning to think I have Island Fever.

Lately I’ve been exhibiting symptoms—tropical visions, lack of concentration, drinking everything out of a coconut, and listening to Cheeseburger In Paradise on repeat—I think it’s serious. It’s only getting worse, and now I’m getting hungry. To satisfy my Polynesian pipe-dream, I opted to make a dinner reminiscent of the Islands. It will be fresh, it will be flavorful, but this one will be lighter than a burger with lettuce & tomato. When I think of Island ingredients, I’m drawn to seafood, and an array of fruits. Why not combine both? So, we’re citrus-marinating some shrimp, pairing with coconut rice, finishing with a vibrant black bean & citrus salsa, and binding together in a lettuce wrapper. This is so simple (and I never object to that). More importantly it’s really good, and though light, our taste buds won’t be complaining! So we have—Citrus Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, with Coconut Rice, and a Citrus Black Bean Salsa. Let’s marinate!


Citrus Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Lighten up a flavorful lettuce wrap featuring citrus marinated shrimp, coconut rice, and a citrus black bean salsa.
Recipe by:
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
Shrimp Wraps & Marinade:
  • ½ lb jumbo shrimp (~11 shrimp), fresh (peeled & deveined)
  • 4 leaves butter lettuce, larger-sized (rinsed & dried)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2T fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp lime zest
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1T fresh ruby red grapefruit juice (from i grapefruit, will use more below for salsa)
  • 1T white wine
  • pinch paprika
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
Citrus & Bean Salsa:
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
  • ⅓ cup small yellow grape or pear tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1T sweet white onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2T fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp lime zest
  • 3T jicama, chopped finely (raw, peel first)
  • 1T fresh ruby red grapefruit, chopped (peeled 1st)
  • 1T fresh ruby red grapefruit juice (from fruit you’re already going to chop)
  • 1 tsp jalapeño, chopped finely (remove seeds & membrane 1st)
  • 1 tsp Cholula hot sauce (or similar sauce)1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp grated ginger root (peeled first)
  • pinch of sea salt (to taste)
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional)
Coconut Rice:
  • ¾ cup Jasmine rice
  • 1.25 cups light coconut milk (from can)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp butter
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp lime zest (for topping)
What to do:
Make Citrus Black Bean Salsa:
  1. In a mixing bowl combine all of the salsa ingredients, stirring well.
  2. Let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve (best to let flavors meld for ~ 1+).
Make Rice:
  1. If using a rice cooker, add ¾ cup dry rice, coconut milk, water, butter & salt, mix and cook until rice cooker indicates rice is done, then fluff with for and keep arm until shrimp is done.
  2. If using stove-top method cook 1 cup dry rice according to package directions, but substitute the above ratio of water and coconut milk and cook until rice is done, remove from heat, fluff with fork and set aside.
Marinate Shrimp:
  1. In a mixing bowl combine shrimp marinade ingredients: lime juice, zest, garlic, EVOO, grapefruit juice, wine, paprika, salt & pepper, whisking well.
  2. Add raw shrimp and toss to coat, cover & set aside to marinate for ~15 mins (too long & the acid will begin to cook shrimp).
  3. In a skillet on stove preheat pan (low), cook shrimp (with some marinade to coat pan) until shrimps are pink/cooked through (I flip them on both sides) takes ~10 mins (when cooked, set aside until ready to serve).
Assemble Wraps:
  1. Take a large lettuce leaf (our wrap), top with ~2-oz warm coconut rice & couple spoonfuls of citrus black bean salsa.
  2. Next top with ~3 of the cooked shrimp (or what will fit depending on size).
  3. Add a slice of fresh avocado to top.
  4. Optional topping—add more hot sauce, chopped cilantro, and squeeze of lime.
The citrus black bean salsa is best made ahead and chilled. The rice and shrimp can also be coked ahead of time, but the shrimp cook very fast! Avoid marinating the shrimp too long prior t cooking, as the acids in the various citrus we use to marinate, will actually cook the shrimp somewhat. You can cook the coconut rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.
Serving size: 3 servings (with ½ lb Jumbo shrimp)

Here, healthy and delicious coexist. Shrimp may seem indulgent, but did you know they’re packed full of nutrients? Here’s the short version: 4-oz of fresh (cooked) shrimp offer us: anti-inlammatory carotenoid astaxanthin, 102% DV of selenium, 78% DV vitamin B12, 52% DV protein, 52% DV phosphorus, 32% DV copper—don’t forget the copper—not to mention a slew of others!

citrus shrimp wrap - 41Shrimp’s semi-bad rap sheet is probably due to its cholesterol content—220 mg cholesterol/4-oz serving. However, for that same portion, we get some omega-3’s—that 4-oz delivers approximately 325 – 375 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (comprised of 50% EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and 50% DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). Both have been studied, and proven important for nervous system & cardio health. The jury is out! If you’re trying to lower cholesterol, shrimp in large quantities is probably not the best choice, but a reasonably-sized portion provides many benefits! Not to mention, they’re downright delicious, grilled, fried, or in a dinnervine shrimp taco. I digress. . . .

There’s not much going on flavor-wise for regular white rice. That’s why I adore coconut rice. All you need is a can of light coconut milk (and the rice of course)—that’s it! If you have a rice cooker, it’s even easier. The milk lends a very subtle coconut flavor, though it’s not sweet. By adding grapefruit, limes, ginger, and jalapeño to our salsa, we have the right amount of acid for this dish to pop.

I’ve sure enjoyed my mini, dinner vacation—despite being stuck at home—and now it’s time for a Mai-Tai, to properly end the occasion.citrus shrimp wrap - 24

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Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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