Yesterday was such a great day, not only because it was Valentine’s Day, but because my husband worked from home. I got things done around the house, Alex took boys for a run completely “killing” them, then he took Adam for immunizations and me and Kyle went grocery shopping for our celebratory easy shrimp tacos with slaw.
Kids had no school and I took iPads away again, so they were looking for things to do. I have a 10 year old whose dream is to become a hockey player and a chef. The first one I leave without a comment, but second dream I can totally help with.
Everyone around here LOVES tacos (=> ground chicken tacos, Buffalo chicken tacos, kale tacos or grilled fish tacos with mango salsa), which I don’t make often enough, because there is never leftovers. But we were celebrating, right?! So I made it clear that if you want tacos – help me. And Kyle was right in the kitchen breathing down my neck. I just can’t stop “envy” adults without kids re: pace of life. Do they need to cook shrimp, unpack groceries and serve dinner all at same time before they have to be somewhere? I bet NOT.
Hurry up kids and help in the kitchen before I take you to McDonald’s (their worst nightmare, and yes – I am “evil”).
Peeling shrimp and stirring slaw.
Since I posted my healthy coleslaw recipe, I think I have improved and simplified it even further (for a dairy free version check out my mango slaw). I used 6.5% plain yogurt instead of 2% one and found no mayo was needed, not even a tablespoon. I don’t remember last time I bought 0% or 2% yogurt, so “yay” to more widely available real food.
The trick to a crunchy light slaw, which I completely forgot about this time (cooking with kids beats taking professional pictures of what kids have cooked re: stress levels), is to let cabbage sit with salt for 10 minutes to break down its tissues, then squeeze the juices, and after that dress it up.
I used organic Food for Life sprouted corn tortillas from my recent health food store visit. See, what I mean about stocking up on “rare” items?! Having whole food quality tortillas in the freezer makes tacos possible any time.
I have to say these corn tortillas are pretty hard when cold. Best way to make them pliable I found is to warm them up in a skillet and keep under damp warm towel. But I am a rookie taco maker and if you have your trusted method – go for it. I do not have a microwave but I have heard about that method.
Kyle couldn’t wait to cook shrimp, for some reason. I literally almost dropped the camera when I saw him vigorously stirring it like a bunch of rocks. My dear child, we don’t want to eat shrimp bits. Then he would climb on top of kitchen island and watch cartoons. Um, excuse me, here is shrimp that needs to be cooked.
20 minute easy shrimp tacos with cabbage can become very difficult 40 minute shrimp tacos with shrimp bits. I do let kids cook all the time but I take 15 seconds to quickly swear in my head before I let shrimp become shrimp bits.
A word about my shrimp. I buy it frozen at Costco. No matter how long I let shrimp drain and how hard I squeeze it (you don’t want to squeeze shrimp too hard because re: shrimp bits), it ALWAYS releases more liquid during cooking. So, my method has been to drain, drain, drain while cooking and then season with cajun seasoning and garlic, add butter and panfry until golden. It didn’t end up being rubbery. Might as well be buying cooked shrimp, don’t you think so?!
If you are lucky enough to buy fresh shrimp, I think you can get away without too much liquid. Fresh is always best.
Easy shrimp tacos with red cabbage slaw for Valentine’s dinner were a hit (even with white pepper cajun seasoning mix kids loved)! Then we all took a family trip down to a swimming pool to watch Adam’s swimming lesson. Warmed my heart to see him do better than many other kids already, because if you only spent as much time as me showing thumbs up and smiling until your face hurts in this damn stinking with chlorine pool, you would feel like me – happy from other children’s weaknesses bahaha.
Then we came home and had a dessert: tea, dark chocolate bar, Fererro Rocher candies (kids’ favourite) and a cantaloupe. I gave Alex a small present – a wooden frame that reads “I don’t need an Internet, I have a wife” for his desk in the office. True that. I would much rather have my husband helping me with kids at home though. Sigh. One day.
I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!
Easy Shrimp Tacos with Slaw
- 2 lbs raw shrimp, deveined & tails off*
- 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 8 corn tortillas (I use organic Food for Life or Que Pasa)
- 6-7 cups red cabbage, thinly shredded
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (full fat)**
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar
- In a large mixing bowl, add cabbage and salt. Using tongs or hands mix for about 2-3 minutes and let sit for 10 minutes. Cabbage will release its juices as salt starts to break down its tissues. In the meanwhile, get other ingredients ready.
- Squeeze cabbage gently and drain any juices from the bottom of the bowl. You want lighter not soggy slaw. Add yogurt, mustard, honey/maple syrup and vinegar; toss gently to mix. Set aside.
- Prepare a large plate with warm damp kitchen towel. Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and cook each corn tortilla until soft (for about 10 seconds) on each side, pressing with a spatula. Transfer to a plate and cover with damp towel. This will make tortillas pliable and keep them warm. Alternative method you are usually using will work too.
- Turn the heat under the skillet as high as possible and add shrimp. Cook until pink for a few minutes, stirring occasionally and draining any water (I use frozen shrimp from Costco and it always releases a ton of water no matter how well I squeeze it). Add butter, cajun spice and garlic; cook until any liquid evaporates (if any) and shrimp is lightly golden.
- Assemble 8 generously filled or 10 smaller tacos and serve immediately.
*If using frozen shrimp, make sure it is thawed and very well drained. Squeeze gently to remove extra water. **Do not use 0-3% yogurt because slaw will lack flavour, rather fat content 5-10% is ideal.