This Cajun Cobb Salad With Shrimp Has a Spicy Kick
2024/01/31

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Alex Snodgrass is a big believer in gathering family around the dinner table. "The bulk of my childhood memories are set in the kitchen with my mom, dad, sister, and brother around the table enjoying my mom's delicious meals," she says. Still, cooking a every night of the week can become a chore for anyone. "Even if you love cooking as much as I do," she admits, "it can feel like you are in a constant cycle of cooking, scrubbing pots and pans, and filling the dishwasher, only to get up and do it all over again."

Alex can't become your in-house dish washer, but she can help you prepare easy meals that'll have your family running toward the dinner table. If wholesome

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, fast , and delicious and pique your interest, a flip through the pages of her new book, will have you scribbling down a grocery list with speed and vigor.

Alex's blog started as a joint venture with her fitness-focused sister, but a few years in, food stole the show. Now, a decade later, bestselling author has three cookbooks under her belt and an Instagram following of more than 800,000 followers on Instagram.

Alex's first book, titled , lays the foundation with a multitude of her top hits, while the second book, , delves deeper into cozy family meals. , however, "hyper focuses on the easiest of techniques," Alex explains. "I definitely lean more in the skillet dinners, one-pot meals, and sheet pan meals."

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is bursting with recipes that are familiar enough that your whole family will enjoy them, but interesting enough that you'll want to try a new one every night of the week. She couples time-saving techniques with a smart use of convenient products. Speaking of convenience items, Alex is a big fan of sauce. She even has her own dressings company, ! But anyone can reach for pantry staples "like a bottle of BBQ sauce, pesto, or a jar of gochujang to add big flavor to last-minute meals," she says.

Just take a look at the expansive salad section—it's devoid of any "rabbit food" and instead loaded with salads you'd actually crave. The Cajun shrimp salad recipe shared below is topped with spicy shrimp, crisp bacon, and sliced avocado. Plus, Alex says, "the Cajun-inspired ranch dressing is killer."

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1 tsp.

garlic powder

1 tsp.

onion powder

1 tsp.

paprika

1 tsp.

dried oregano

1 tsp.

dried thyme

1/2 tsp.

cayenne pepper

1/2 c.

mayonnaise

1/2 tsp.

kosher salt

1/2 tsp.

freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c.

unsweetened full-fat coconut milk

1 tbsp.

fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

1 tbsp.

red wine vinegar

2 tbsp.

finely chopped fresh chives

8 c.

thinly sliced romaine lettuce (about 2 medium heads)

1 1/2 c.

halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 c.

halved and thinly sliced shallot (about 1 large shallot)

3

hard-boiled eggs, quartered

4

slices no-sugar-added bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped

1

avocado, thinly sliced

1 lb.

peeled, deveined, and tail-off shrimp (31/40 count)

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1 tsp.

kosher salt

1/2 tsp.

freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp.

freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

Step  1 Make the Cajun seasoning mix: In a small bowl, combine the seasoning ingredients. Set aside. Step  2 Make the Cajun ranch dressing: In a blender or using an immersion blender in a wide-mouth jar, combine the mayo, salt, black pepper, coconut milk, lemon juice, vinegar, and 2 1/4 teaspoons of the Cajun seasoning mix. Blend until smooth. Stir in the chives and refrigerate until ready to serve. This keeps in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. Step  3 Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the romaine, cherry tomatoes, shallot, hard-boiled eggs, chopped bacon, and avocado. Set aside.

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Step  4 Prepare the shrimp: Pat the shrimp very dry with paper towels. Transfer them to a medium bowl and season with the salt, black pepper, and the remaining Cajun seasoning mix. Toss to combine. Step  5 In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, transfer the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and no longer translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the lemon juice to the skillet and toss to combine. Step  6 Add the cooked shrimp to the salad and drizzle with the desired amount of the Cajun ranch dressing. Gently toss to coat.

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From by Alex Snodgrass. Copyright © 2023 by The Defined Dish LLC. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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