Things are gettin’ real.
It’s officially less than five months until I say I do! Annnndddddd…I picked up my wedding dress this weekend! It was somewhat surreal. You see, contrary to most brides, picking out my wedding dress was not a huge production. I literally went to the bridal salon with my mom, my sister-in-law, and my niece a few months after Chris and I got engaged, with the best intentions of simply trying on a few dresses and getting a feel for what I wanted. But then. Oh but then. I tried on the last dress and absolutely fell in love. I fell so in love that we had my dad drive down to meet us (I had promised him I wouldn’t buy a dress without his review and approval) and we ordered it on the spot that day.
So, this was way back in August, and I have been waiting patiently for it (or sometimes not so patiently) ever since. And Saturday was the big day! The dress came into the shop, my sis drove down from Santa Cruz to meet me, and we made a day of it.
Now, the moral of this story (aside from the fact that I am beyond excited that I now have my wedding dress in my possession) is that it gave me that extra kick in the booty to continue whipping myself into shape and eating clean, not so much to diet, but so that I feel amazing (both inside and out) on the big day. I seriously feel such a difference in my energy levels, my skin, and the way my body feels in general when I am feeding it whole, nutritious foods. Anyone else feel me on this?
Side note –> I caved in and downloaded the Kayla Itsines app a little while ago and have now been doing the program for two weeks. I’m loving it! I’ve made sure to incorporate strength training into my workouts since forever, but in preparation for the wedding I wanted to mix things up a bit and give my body a little change of pace. I’m used to lifting heavier weights at a slower pace, but the Kayla Itsines app has you go through 28-minute high-intensity strength training circuits with mostly your body weight. It may just be wishful thinking but I feel like I’m seeing a difference already. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how I feel once I’m a month (and two months, etc.) out! Has anyone else done Kayla’s BBG programs? Thoughts?
Okay, back to eating clean, because that’s what today’s recipe is all about. Ceviche is one of my absolute favorite “clean eating” recipes. It is so refreshing and light, yet full of flavor from things like citrus, jalapeno, cilantro, tomato, etc. For this version, I decided to make a Shrimp Ceviche, and pump up the flavor (and nutritional benefits!) even more with the addition of some fresh papaya. Did you know that papaya is not only a great source of B & C vitamins, carotene and potassium, but it also does wonders for your digestion? I fell in love with papaya when I lived in Hawaii. Nothing like some sweet, juicy papaya with a squeeze of fresh lime juice after a long day in the sun!
So it is what it is: Shrimp Ceviche with Papaya. This dish is full of so many healthy, yummy foods (not just the papaya!) We throw in the typical lime juice, mix it up with some blood orange juice for a nice blend of citrus (regular oranges work fine if blood oranges don’t happen to be in season), and also throw in some avocado in addition to the typical jalapenos, cilantro and tomato (all so amazingly good for you!) This is truly a “nutritional powerhouse” of a meal. And it’s so tasty! Almost like you’re eating salsa but with some great protein and healthy fats thrown into the mix.
The only (semi-scary) part is getting the raw shrimp “cooked through” with the lime juice. Trust me, I was worried about this too! But I included plenty of acid (from the lime and blood orange juices) in this recipe so you truly do not have to worry about it. Just let the mixture sit a little bit longer than the recommended 30 minutes before eating if you’re not sure. You just want to be sure that the shrimp has taken on a pinkish hue and is turning opaque. The dish really does get better the longer the flavors meld together!
I think Shrimp Ceviche with Papaya is going to be my go-to weeknight dinner, cocktail party or weekend barbecue contribution for the foreseeable future. Waistline friendly and super tasty! Now how can we beat that?
And for more clean eating inspiration, be sure to check out these other healthy recipes!
- Spicy Poke Bowls
- Easy Peasy Lettuce Wraps
- Winter Kale Salad
- Mango Salsa
- Cashew Shrimp
- Warming Minestrone Soup
- 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
- Juice of 6 limes
- Juice of 2 blood oranges
- 1 cup diced papaya about ¼ of a large papaya
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 diced jalapeno seeds removed
- ½ cup diced tomato
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado diced
- Remove tails from shrimp and cut into a small dice. Add to a large non-reactive (i.e. glass or metal) bowl with lime and blood orange juices. Add papaya, cucumber, red onion, jalapeno and tomato.
- Cover bowl with saran wrap and place in refrigerator for at least a half hour, or until shrimp has turned slightly pink and opaque.
- Remove bowl from refrigerator and stir in avocado and cilantro. Serve in martini cups or in a large bowl with a side of tortilla chips. Keep over ice if ceviche will be out of refrigerator for a while (i.e at a party.)
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Depending on the level of sweetness you like in a wine, I’d highly recommend a light, grassy Sauvignon Blanc such as this (for dry wine lovers) or a slightly off-dry Riesling such as this (for sweeter wine lovers.) The grassy, herbaceousness of the Sauvignon Blanc will pair nicely with all of the fresh flavors in the ceviche, while sweet, nectar-quality of the Riesling will help counteract any heat from the jalapeno.
Eat the rainbow.