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Poached Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Grapefruit

Do you think of Sunday as the beginning of the week or end? I have always view it as the end of a week. Last day to get homework done. Last day to rest before work starts. Last day to repent for all the gastronomical sins of the week past.

I've noticed my copy of The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2007 is starting to show signs of use - water spots, spills and crimps, when I flipped through it looking for anything to cook. Guess that's a good gauge if a cookbook is worth it's cost.

Salad. Somehow that word gives me a negative connotation. It makes me feel like eating one is equivalent to depriving myself of an otherwise wonderful meal experience (opportunity cost, if you will) or inflicting a punishment upon myself for having indulged in sinful food (think of the scene from The Da Vinci Code about the crazy monk). It is just my brain wiring. It cannot be undone.

No matter how big a portion a salad turns out to be or how much protein is in it, it will not do as a main course for me. But then again, I'm someone who eats 6-inch Subway sandwiches as snack. Salad is strictly a side kick. I want the Batman, not just Robin.

Poaching is such a fuss free way of cooking. If you know how to turn on the stove and boil some water, you are on the roll. No tedious cleaning up of oil splatters. What's not to love? Perhaps how bland the food turns out? But that's what healthy is all about isn't it? Low on everything, including taste obviously.

So while poaching the shrimps in bay leaves and peppercorns, my mind was looking for a possible Batman. Definitely Val Kilmer. Erm ... I mean something as visually attractive. Then I remembered this lovely little rounds from What's Gaby Cooking. So sans those bright red bell peppers, I ended up with mini spinach and mushrooms frittatas. Perfect for breakfast on the go (darn, I forgot to swipe one from the fridge this morning) and also a good way to sneak some vegetables into little princess.

Did I forget to mention that I have never learnt to love grapefruit on this blog? It is something of a misnomer. Nothing remotely resembling the grape. I can't think of anything more hellish for me than to go on a grapefruit diet. I'm happy with the rest of the citrus family, thank you. Someone send this country bumkin some meyer lemons or key lime or yuzu, please? They only exists on the internet here.

To temper with the bitterness of the grapefruit, I added some big naval oranges. I don't think I have ever made a better decision. The sweet orange segments countered the saltiness and bitterness of the whole salad perfectly. And I have come to the conclusion that fruit based salads are a boon. No need to bother with fruits after meals. 2-in-1.


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