Lately I have been going hard on the winter comfort foods. Rich, calorie-laden, feel-good meals that stick to your ribs. Sometimes your body just needs that in the dead of winter.
For some reason, I broke my streak today when I woke up just fantasizing about warm summer nights on the back deck, beer in hand . . . and of course, my mind then went straight to food. I started to think about what I would eat if it was summer and I could grill outside on a warm evening. Grilled Mexican street corn, yeah . . .
So, I brainstormed about what I could do to satisfy my cravings and I decided to create a bowl that features Mexican street corn with shrimp on quinoa. I was craving healthy, green things, so I added kale, avocado, cilantro. And of course, cotija cheese had to happen. And guess what? This bowl was both healthy and amazing. Now, if only summer would hurry up and get here everything would be perfect.
½ c. uncooked quinoa
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 shallot, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ bunch lacinato kale
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. sour cream or Mexican crema
Juice from one lemon
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
½ c. cotija cheese, for topping
1 avocado, cubed, for topping
Chopped cilantro, for topping
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. In a small bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix the dressing together thoroughly.
In a large skillet, quickly wilt the kale in a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the kale, cover to keep warm and set aside.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Add the corn, shallot, jalapeno, and garlic and cook until the corn is slightly charred. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until shrimp is cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Add the dressing, stir and remove from heat. Do not allow this mixture to burn.
To assemble the bowls, place half of the quinoa in each bowl. Then add half of the kale and corn/shrimp mixture on top. Top with cotija cheese, avocado, and cilantro. Season with red pepper flakes and salt.