Friday Flowers: Hibiscus and Pineapple-Quinoa Berry Salad With Shrimp

by valentina on August 12, 2011

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Hibiscus flowers will always remind me of my beautiful and relaxing honeymoon. The biggest decision on the blissful island of Huahini in French Polynesia, was whether to lay on the deck of our bungalow in the ocean, or on the warm sand with ocean waves splashing over me.  Rough, I know.

Hibiscus flowers remind me of our honeymoon not just because they’re tropical — but because our resort was covered with these magnificent, vibrant flowers.  They were all over the grounds, sitting next to cute little umbrellas in our delicious fruity cocktails, on our breakfast plates, surrounding freshly caught fish at the dinner buffet, and one could often be found behind my ear. ;-)

So when I walk by this gorgeous hibiscus tree down my street, I’m happy in love, a bit more relaxed, and hungry for fruit and seafood!

This light, refreshing salad is delightfully pretty and packed with flavor!  A perfect summer dinner for a relaxing weekend.

Recipe
Serves 6
Total Prep And Cooking Time: 30 minutes (plus a bit of cooling time)

Olive oil for the pan
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in 100% pineapple juice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
Zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
2 cups loosely packed mixed baby greens
About 1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup roughly chopped mixture of fresh mint, cilantro and basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large sauté pan.  Heat the pan with the oil over high heat.  Season both sides of the shrimp with salt and pepper, and once the pan is hot, add them to the pan.  You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t, your pan’s not hot enough.  Wait until the pan is very hot and listen for the sizzle! Sauté the shrimp just until cooked through, about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.

Drain the pineapple chunks over a medium-sized saucepan.  Make sure to get all of the juice from the can — it should measure exactly 1 cup.  Set the pineapple chunks aside for later.

Add 1 cup of water and the soy sauce to the saucepan, along with the quinoa.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.

Place the quinoa in a large serving or mixing bowl and let it cool completely.  Add the lime zest and juice, onions, greens, pineapple chunks, raspberries, shrimp, and herbs.  Mix it gently to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes:

You’re likely wondering why I don’t use fresh pineapple in the recipe that brings my mind to the tropics.  The reason is that I love having the readily available pineapple juice to cook the quinoa in.  It adds more sweetness and flavor to the finished dish.

I can’t leave you without mentioning what a healthy ingredient quinoa is! Quinoa is a complete protein that is full of fiber and antioxidants.  It’s also gluten-free, and when comparing it to wheat, barley or corn, quinoa is higher in calcium and other nutrients.

Print recipe.

More of my flowers with recipes:
Nastursiums and Grapefruit-Avocado Salad Recipe
Bougeanvilla and Mediterranean Marinated Flank Steak Recipe
Orange Roses and Grilled Cheese With Gruyère and Bacon-Onion Compote
Matilija Poppies and Buckwheat Banana Pancake Recipe {Gluten-Free}
Jacaranda Flowers and My Mom’s Meyer Lemonade Recipe
Pink Roses and Brownies

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

coby July 17, 2013 at 2:07 am

delicious!!! made it this evening with red quinoa and fresh pineapple no juice. whole family LOVED it! thanks Valentina <3

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valentina July 17, 2013 at 5:22 am

Coby, so happy you tried this — and even happier that everyone loved it! Red quinoa is gorgeous. :-)

Reply

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