Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

by Ginny on April 5, 2012

Post image for Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

Um…hi. And happy Spring.

It’s been a little while. In terms of this little guy, it’s been a lifetime:

We have been learning so much. Like how to eat:

And how to sleep:

I have been flush with freelance and copywriting work. I even squeezed in a cooking class. But this beloved piece of my work puzzle has been neglected and for that I am sorry. So many balls to juggle these days, and some must simply be set aside while I tend to higher priorities. Like this:

And this:

Lately, my life and work have been coming back into focus as James has started napping more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Tonight, he batted my hand away as I tried to soothe him to sleep, and with a look, basically told me to stop singing so he could put himself to bed. Okay then. His fierce independence reminds me of someone else I know.

In the midst of the last months, a dear friend came to stay with us, and to finally fill the space over our mantle with one of her paintings. We gave her this photo for inspiration, taken from the deck of our last apartment in Alaska:

I told her I liked the duality of it’s composition. The light and the dark together, creating beauty in that sacred place between day and night.

This is her interpretation:

Oh how my heart goes pitter-pat every time I take it in. Brooke doesn’t name her pieces, so we did. To be more accurate, Noah did.

He called it. . .


Brooke left this beautiful piece of herself here, and reminded me of all the pieces of myself that are still here, floating around amidst the blocks and board books and boppys. She 911’d my postpartum wardrobe, caught me up on all the Hollywood gossip, taught me how to use my iPhone, and brought some fresh recipes for us to cook together. This one is a keeper, and amazingly met my nutrition requirements. I’ve been corn and dairy-free for over four months now on account of my little one’s sensitivities, and am now on the verge of omitting oats. Not fun, but SO worth it. Doc says he’ll grow out of these sensitivities. I hope she’s right. That’s another story, but let’s focus on this hearty, healthy salad. A bullseye for your April menu. Fresh. Flavorful. Filling. It spans the gap between winter’s braises and summer’s leafy greens, but I can tell you we’ll be eating this year round. Enjoy!


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Recipe : Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

This delicious and satisfying recipe is also healthy and allergy friendly. Adapted from the Jan/Feb issue of Women’s Health.


  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (Mirin) or sake
  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup quartered and sliced English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 lemon, quartered for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine (Mirin) or sake
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. Spread the rice on a sheet pan to cool. This dish tastes best if the rice is room temp when mixed, rather than warm.

In a small bowl combine the shrimp, minced ginger, and 2 tablespoons Mirin. Toss to coat and set aside.

In another small bowl combine dressing ingredients. Whisk until salt and sugar are completely dissolved and set aside.

In a large pot bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add shrimp and marinade and boil until shrimp are cooked through and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool.

Slice avocado and squeeze with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine rice, shrimp, cucumber, dressing and green onion. Toss lightly to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide the salad among plates, top with avocado slices, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve.

Optional Add-ins: Fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, shelled edamame, chopped pickled ginger.

Serves 2 – 4


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Phillips April 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Hi Ginny!

It’s good to see you again. What a beautiful boy you have!

This salad looks wonderful. I have a question, though — it seems odd to marinate the shrimp and then boil it — I would think the marinade would sort of wash off…what are your thoughts on that?



Ginny April 6, 2012 at 11:03 am

Hi Susan,

Now that you mention it, that is kind of an odd way to handle the marinated shrimp, and if the recipe were mine I’m not sure I would have designed it that way. It was probably done in the name of lowering the calorie count, but if you would like to grill, roast, or saute the marinated shrimp, there’s no reason you shouldn’t. Let me know how it works if you try it. That said, I’ve had good results this way, even though the shrimp don’t marinate very long. The flavor is light and gingery.

Good luck and thanks for a good question!



Pam King April 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Hi Ginny:
I can’t believe how big he is getting! He is so precious – I can imagine
How much fun you and Noah are having with him. Thank you for writing the Sunday Dinner Revival as I truly look forward to them and I will be trying this one soon. Happy Easter- James (?) will soon be hunting for his own eggs.
Love and Hugs,


Ginny April 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

Thanks Pam! I always love seeing you on here. Btw, I think I owe you an embarrassingly late thank you for the adorable blue velour sweat suit you sent for James. He is wearing it a lot these days and it’s such a good color on him. So, thank you : ) And Happy Easter to you too!




Pat Zanger April 6, 2012 at 1:52 am

Very nice to have this back, even nicer to read the catch up and nicest to see sweet baby James!
In Miami, visiting Deb & Ed. Made a beeline for Robert’s is Here — where the avocados are the size of small footballs and so ripe, the skin falls off the fruit as you slice ’em. (Forwarding Deb this recipe.)
Brooke’s painting is also inspirational since I seem to be splitting between very representational figures and pure color “impressions”.
Much love to you three,


Ginny April 6, 2012 at 11:08 am

Hi Pat! Have such a nice time in Miami, and please give our love to the whole gang. We have a great photo all framed and ready to send to your mom, of her, James, and Noah. Nice to see you! Any chance you’ll be making it up to Wyoming this trip?

Much Love,


Sara Ohlin April 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

Sweet, sweet baby! He is precious! I’m amazed at all you are juggling!! And so glad to see you back here. Can’t wait to try the yummy recipe!


Sara Ohlin April 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

And the painting is GORGEOUS!!!!


Ginny April 6, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hi Sara! Thank you! It’s so nice to see you. I’ve been thinking of you and your “Sprouts” so much this spring, wondering how the heck you managed to keep your little ones from eating dirt, pulling up plants, getting bug bitten, and so on, while gardening with them. I now truly understand what an amazing feat that is!! Hope you all are doing just great.

Hugs to you!



Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious April 27, 2012 at 6:31 am

Those eyes! Those cheeks! Those pudgy feet! That spiky hair! Oh my!

Eat him up!


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