This time of year in the Eastern Washington we can get a bit stir crazy.  Too much snow and not enough sun.  I'm popping vitamin D supplements left and right.  Trying to get my endorphins pumping by hitting the gym regularly.  It can be so difficult to not get sucked into the rotation of chili for dinner one night and roasted chicken the next.  Let me just tell you, I have been there too many times to count my friends. 

But I'm so sick of winter eating!  It may be gloomy outside but MY plate doesn't need to be!

Shrimp Arugula Salad

This Chili-Lime Shrimp Salad on a bed of spicy arugula is just what is needed to kick your butt into springtime gear. I have been craving fresh greens and berries for a couple weeks now.  The weather has been inching slowly above freezing which means SPRING IS COMING! And what better way to welcome spring inside than with this refreshing salad.  

Peppery arugula is combined with zesty shrimpy fresh berries and toasted cashews and it's all dressed with a simple and bright splash of lime juice.  

Plus, just 15 minutes and 10 basic ingredients to prepare -my idea of salad perfection!  (Hopefully you're like me and always have frozen shrimp in the freezer.)

This would make the perfect light and healthy dish to help you fill up on plants and erase that valentines day chocolate indulgence guilt.  We've all been there.  Salad to the rescue!

Arugula Salad with Shrimp

I am already dreaming of what to plant in my garden this spring.  Arugula is definitely a must have in my book! It grows best in cool weather so planting it early is the key to success.  All the snow piled high on top of my garden just needs to melt first.  Arugula tends to be an acquired taste because it has a peppery linger.  It's no surprise to you that leafy greens have health benefits but this green contains high levels of folic acid and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A.  It is also packed with phytochemical, which are beneficial in preventing cancer.  Because of its high levels of folic acid I would highly recommend this green to expecting mothers.  

gourmet salad

Now that your tummy is full of delightful goodies let's chat about life for a minute. 

Life.  Le sigh.

This time of year the hustle is strong.  Everyone is settling into their new years goals and getting this rolling in 2017.  I however just feel the pull to slow down and reflect on 2016.  Slow down and relax?  The concept is so foreign but so necessary.

To be grateful.  But what about when life it hard, or things don't go as planned, or something happens and your sense of reality shifts?  What then? 

2016 was perhaps my most personally challenging year yet, one wherein things didn't go 'as planned' for me.  I was left feeling very sad and angry and frustrated, and just generally not like myself (which is such bizarre feeling).  It made me realize I'm not as resilient, independent or in in control as I thought I was.  Which I guess in hindsight is a good thing.  

The details aren't important.  The important part is, I think it's OK to be sad, or angry, or disappointed, or tired, or whatever it is you're feeling right now that is anything other joy.  It doesn't mean we aren't thankful.  It just means you're giving yourself permission to feel your feelings (which is perfectly healthy).  And its OK if what comes out isn't all roses and sunshine.  

My encouragement to you, cry it out if you need to.  No one is looking anyway.  And if they are know that you are safe.  It is OK to be vulnerable, that's the only way to be known.  And while you're at it, eat some of that valentine's chocolate and hug your mom.  I've found these to be equally sufficient remedies. 

Lime Salad Dressing


OK, back to the salad because, delicious. 

I hope you love this recipe.  It's:







& Perfect for welcoming Spring in!

If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you've tried it) and don't forget to take a picture and tag it #simplifiedkitchen on instagram.  I'd love to see what you come up with.  Oh and share it with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook!! Cheers (& hugs), friends!

Chili Lime Shrimp Arugula Salad