Featured Recipe: 15-Minute Cucumber-and-Orange Shrimp Ceviche

The following recipe is just for readers of this newsletter, “In Step with Jonny” — it’s an advance preview of our forthcoming book, “The Healthiest 15-Minute Meals on Earth” by myself and my co-author, chef extraordinaire Jeannette Bessinger. Enjoy!

15-Minute Cucumber-and-Orange Shrimp Ceviche

The definition of ceviche, in case you’re wondering, is “a citrus-marinated seafood”. The acid in the citrus actually “cooks” the seafood. If you think that sounds fresh, light, and healthy, you’re right. Ceviche was believed to have originated in Polynesia, but its true birthplace remains a subject of controversy. Many countries claim to have invented the idea of light seafood seasoned with limes or lemons, and no wonder — it tastes great. This version is made with precooked shrimp so it’s not technically traditional ceviche — but on the plus side it only takes 15 minutes to get it to the table. That’s a compromise we’re willing to make, and you will be, too, once you serve it. The cucumber and orange are a brilliant touch. They fit in perfectly adding extra juiciness and crunchiness to an already light dish packed with nutrition. And for almost zero calories — okay, 19 in a cucumber, I mean really! — they’ve still got a fair amount of nutrition: half the potassium of a banana, 22 mg of calcium, 19 mg of magnesium, and 1 mg of fiber. Overall this high-protein, low-calorie dish is a winner in every way — Dr. Jonny

1 pound peeled, deveined, cooked small shrimp

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice

¼ teaspoon salt

1 small jalapeno, seeded

¼ small red onion

1 small cucumber, peeled and chunked

1 naval orange, peeled and diced

1 large, ripe heirloom tomato, diced (if you have time, seed and dice two medium tomatoes for a tidier presentation)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and thickly sliced (8 slices)

16 endive spears (or use 8 lettuce leaves)

Put the shrimp into a medium glass container and add lime juice and salt, tossing to coat. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the vegetables.

Put the jalapeno and onion in the food processor and pulse a few times to chop.

Add cucumber and pulse a few times to chop, turning contents between pulses to chop evenly. You should have what looks like a chunky relish. Add the cucumber mix to a medium bowl and stir in orange, tomato, and cilantro. Pour the veggie mix over the shrimp and mix gently to combine. Arrange four endive leaves and two avocado slices on each of four plates. Scoop about ¼ cup of the mix into each endive leaf and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

From Chef Jeannette

To Complete the Meal: Serve it with a modest portion of baked corn tortilla chips.

If You Can Prepare the Night Before: You can make a more traditional ceviche. Use raw shrimp, scallops, or a pound of thin white fish filets (such as tilapia or flounder — should be wild caught and very fresh!) and finely dice it. Add the lime juice and salt, stir well to combine, and store it in glass in the refrigerator overnight. As noted above, long-term marinating in fresh citrus juice “cooks” the fish without heat so it can be eaten. This is a super-fresh and healthy way to prepare shrimp or tilapia!