Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

by brookefiore

Yesterday I learned a valuable lesson about meal planning. 



For about the last week and a half, I’ve found myself a bit discontented. I’ve tried my usual tactics of going for longer than usual walks, cleaning, organizing, cooking, talking with friends, venting to co-workers, deep breaths, blogging, going to sleep earlier, something along the lines of meditation just to name a few attempts. Thinking about the future had me frustrated, thinking about the past had me confused and thinking about the present seemed implausible due to the flurry of thoughts residing between my ears.


One particular day I was so wrought with frustration I attempted to silence my emotions with a few spoonfuls of raw cookie dough. As you can imagine, this is a big no-no in my book for a variety of reasons including food safety and the fact that is goes against my whole “practice what you preach” philosophy. On the bright side, I did not get food poisoning and also quite fortunately, I suffered the consequential stomach ache that had me vowing to never attempt to resolve my problems with raw cookie dough again…ever.


I walked around for days carrying discontent within me as undetectable as a neon sign propped up on my shoulders. My family knew it, my coworkers knew it, and I’m pretty sure the cashier at CVS even knew it.

As far as I am concerned, I fell particularly short yesterday as I neglected to plan for dinner. I left grocery shopping for the last minute and all I really wanted to do was throw in the towel and order out. And while there is nothing wrong with take out, I felt that this was some kind of metaphorical surrender to a week and a half of unhappiness. I felt the need to put a nice meal on the table.


I didn’t have time for a “go out and find my sanity” kind of walk – the kind that has me wandering down unbeaten paths and stopping to inspect small creatures on logs and stones. Instead I squeezed in a quick paced, move a bit closer to still get a whiff of the lilac as I marched by type of walk to figure out what I would even be purchasing at the grocery store. Once back at the driveway with mental grocery list in mind, it was transferred to paper and off to the store I went. Sticking to the list was as important as ever for I was already breaking a personal rule of “never go to the grocery store when you are hungry.”

I whizzed through the aisles, looking back at Arrik with the shopping cart, this is why plans are important  I said with a half grimace and a small smile. I knew he already knew this and he knew I already knew this but yet I had let a bit of life’s clutter get in the way and I was reminded of how the procrastinators of the world must feel. A place I don’t wish to visit again anytime soon.

The result of this nearly unplanned dinner was a spicy shrimp lettuce wrap. These wraps were extra special because the lettuce used was freshly snipped from a towering lettuce plant that has been flourishing in the aeroponic garden for several weeks now. The leaves were delicate, almost like tissue paper, but most unlike tissue paper they did not disguise a gift, they were in fact the prettiest, most delicious contribution to the entire meal. Within these oversized leaves lay a powerful punch of chipotle pepper coleslaw and pan seared shrimp.


I’m so very grateful to have emerged from my discontented week. I am thankful that these weeks are infrequent but still offer some of the most useful life lessons and I am thankful for good food, good friends, good moods and {hopefully} good weather to come!

Spicy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Serves 2-3


1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined and cleaned

2-3 large leaves of lettuce – variety of your choosing

1 bag of coleslaw greens or shred/cut your own cabbage and carrots – about 2-3 cups

2 TBSP mayo

Juice of 1 lime

From 1 can of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce – dice 4 chipotle peppers and use a spoonful of adobo sauce.

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil


For Coleslaw: In a medium bowl, add coleslaw greens, mayo, lime juice, chipotles and adobo sauce. Mix until combined, cover and refrigerate until ready for serving.

For Shrimp: Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. While skillet is heating, toss cleaned and peeled shrimp in a medium bowl with chili powder and smoked paprika. Place in hot skillet and cook until opaque throughout, about 5 minutes.

Lay 2 or 3 lettuce leaves flat on a plate. Spoon out coleslaw and top with shrimp. Season with salt and pepper to taste.