Spicy California Shrimp Stack with Quinoa

Spicy California Shrimp Stack with Quinoa

The other day when I was checking out my Pinterest feed, I came across a pin by Skinnytaste for “Spicy California Shrimp Stack.” I decided to try it out for Sunday dinner, since I already had the all the ingredients in my refrigerator and pantry. As usual, I made some changes to the original recipe by using the whole grain, quinoa, instead of brown rice. I also substituted green onions for chives. I found out by cooking the quinoa a little bit longer with additional water, it made the quinoa “stickier.” Not only did the quinoa worked great, but it was a healthier choice. I liked using ramekins, instead of a measuring cup, because I could make several at one time, making it easier to plate.

My Spicy California Shrimp Stack with Quinoa was a big hit with my husband! He said that it is just as good as the one we order at the Yardhouse restaurant. So if you are looking for a dish that is pretty easy to make, fantastic to eat and has the “wow” factor, you need to prepare this!


Spicy California Shrimp Stack with Quinoa


  • ½ cup organic quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water, plus 2 tablespoons water for later
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed; cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped green onions
  • ½ cup mashed avocado (1 medium-large)
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons organic mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce


  1. Bring 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Add quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until water is gone. Add 2 tablespoons water and stir. Cook until all water is gone. Stir in rice vinegar. Spread quinoa on a plate to cool.
  2. Using a small bowl. mix together the cucumber and green onions.
  3. In another small bowl, thoroughly blend the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce.
  4. Using a 3½-inch ramekin, layer ¼ cup cucumber, then 2 tablespoons avocado, ¼ of the shrimp and enough quinoa to full the remainder of the ramekin.
  5. Place a plate upside down on top of the ramekin. Lightly tap the bottom and sides of the ramekin. Carefully lift off the ramekin. This can be tricky and if you are having problems, insert a small knife along the edge to help “release” the stack.
  6. Put the Sriracha mayonnaise and soy sauce in separate small squeeze bottles and drizzle on top of the stack. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat 3 more times. 4 servings.

Spicy California Shrimp Stack with Quinoa


Shrimp Salad with Chili-Tomato Vinaigrette

Shrimp Salad with Chili-Tomato Vinaigrette

This shrimp salad is easy to prepare and deliciously healthy to eat! My family prefers the shrimp sautéed with garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper; but you can buy already cooked shrimp. The tomatoes are roasted with garlic, which intensifies the flavor. Finally, the arugula and corn along with the shrimp and roasted tomatoes are combined with a red wine vinaigrette flavored with a spicy jalapeño pepper. This wonderful recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Cooking Fresh, 2015. It was modified to suit my family’s palate and cooking style. A perfect salad for those who are watching their calories, but don’t want to compromise on taste!
Shrimp Salad with Chili-Tomato Vinaigrette
Shrimp Salad with Chili-Tomato Vinaigrette


  • 1 pound sugar plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 pound cooked large shrimp
  • 2 cups frozen organic sweet corn (thawed) or fresh corn
  • 5 ounces (5 cups) baby arugula


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss 2 cups tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes flesh side up on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place sheet on the middle rack and roast for 20 minutes, until skin begins to brown.
  3. Using a small bowl, whisk together red vinegar, jalapeño and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cut remaining tomatoes in half to make quarters.
  5. Using the same large bowl, toss arugula, corn and quartered tomatoes with dressing. Add roasted tomatoes and shrimp, combine thoroughly. Serves 4.

Shrimp Salad with Chili-Tomato Vinaigrette

Chili Shrimp with Radish and Jicama Salad


Believe it or not, today, I purchased my first jicama. I eat it all the time in salads that I buy at Trader Joe’s for lunches at work. Well, as many of you may already know, the hardest part of preparing this vegetable is peeling the darn thing! Thank goodness my vegetable peeler did most of the hard work. This delicious salad has the wonderful crunchiness from the radish and the jicama, the sweetness from the golden raisins, and “zip” the from the red onion and the cilantro. Oh, we cannot forget the tasty spicy shrimp! This terrific recipe is by Kate Merker, Real Simple, April 2009. It makes a simple, great summertime meal!

Chili Shrimp with Radish and Jicama


  • 1 small jicama (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch match sticks
  • 8 radishes, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • ¼ to ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chilies or chili powder


  1. Using a large bowl, combine the jicama, radishes, onion, cilantro, raisins, lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp, chili powder, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the shrimp 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until shrimp is opaque.
  4. Serve the shrimp with the salad, either on the side or on top. Serves 4.

Chili Shrimp with Radish & Jicama

Mom’s Shrimp Wontons


There are only two things that I deep fat fry at home, my mom’s wontons and latkes. Her wontons are wonderful! They are the most requested dish from family members during the holidays or for special occasions! Even though they are fried, I try to use the best ingredients available. The wonton wrappers contain no MSG or GMO ingredients. The veggies and canola oil are organic. The frozen shrimp has the Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” rating and contains no preservatives.

Serving portion is usually 6 to 7 wontons per person, so the amount of ingredients you will need depends upon how many people you are having at your meal.

  • Medium frozen shrimp, thawed
  • Organic baby carrots, quartered into small sticks
  • Organic green beans, cut into 3″ long pieces
  • Wonton wrapper (one package contains about 48 wrapper)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Sea salt
  • Organic canola oil
  • Low-sodium soy sauce

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I find it helpful to use a cutting board to assemble the wontons. Use a damp paper towel to cover and prevent the wonton wrappers from drying out.

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Place green bean, carrot and shrimp on wonton. “Fold” the top part of wrapper down, then dip a finger in the egg white and “brush” across the bottom half.

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Bring the bottom half of the wrapper up and press firmly, so that the end is sticking to the rest of the wonton. Place wontons on a plate or platter and cover with a damp paper towel until you are ready to fry.

Heat oil over high temperature in a wok or a pan with some depth. I like to test the oil temperature by frying a small piece of wrapper. Fry until golden brown. Using tongs gently shake off excess oil from the cooked wonton, then put on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb oil. Lightly salt and serve with soy sauce.

Which Shrimp Should I Buy?


This morning when I was researching which shrimp should I buy, I came across this article on the internet by Paul Greenberg, “How to Choose Sustainable Shrimp, The Not-So-Simple Life of a Shrimp,” Prevention.com, published July 2012 and updated July 2014. The article is well-written and full of information. When buying shrimp or any other fish, the most important considerations are health, taste, and sustainability.

The following are “Best Choice” by Seafood Watch, the country’s most well-known sustainable seafood ratings program:

  • Prawn, Freshwater−Giant River Prawn, Malaysian Prawn−U.S./Farmed
  • Prawn, Spot−Prawn, Spot Shrimp, Amaebi−British Columbia/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp−Pacific White Shrimp, West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi−U.S./Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems or Inland Ponds
  • Shrimp, Pink−Bay Shrimp, Cocktail Shrimp, Ocean Shrimp, Salad Shrimp, Ebi−Oregon/Wild-caught

The following are “Good Alternative” by Seafood Watch:

  • Prawn, Spot−Prawn, Spot Shrimp, Amaebi−U.S. Pacific/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp−Brown Shrimp, Pink Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, White Shrimp, Ebi−U.S. Gulf of Mexico, U.S. South Atlantic/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp−Pacific White Shrimp, West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi−U.S./Farmed in Open Systems
  • Shrimp−Pacific White Shrimp, West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi−Thailand/Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems
  • Shrimp, Northern−Bay Shrimp, Cocktail Shrimp, Salad Shrimp, Ebi−U.S., Canadian Atlantic/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp, Rock−Rock Shrimp−U.S./Wild-caught

So where should I buy my fish? According to Greenpeace’s “2013 Seaford Retailers Scorecard,” the top six retailers are the following:

  1. Whole Foods
  2. Safeway
  3. Trader Joe’s
  4. Wegmans
  5. Harris Teeter
  6. Target

For the complete list, click on the link below:




I downloaded this handy app from the Seafood Watch organization. It has very helpful and informative guides, “Sustainable Seafood Guides,” “Sushi Guide,” and “Super Green List.” You can get this app at http://www.seafoodwatch.org.