I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me happier than those first few warm days of spring — the days that bring hope and happiness after a long cold winter. It’s time to stretch your legs outside on a long-awaited run down the open road, find your groove in the yard cleaning out the months of debris that has blown in and become trapped under layers of snow or playing with your kids or pets, just enjoying life outside. After a long, glorious day, a meal fresh from the grill is the most satisfying and enjoyable way to fuel your body. Fresh and light grilled food with a crisp salad or grilled veggies add to the health of the day’s activity.

I can’t think of anything more grill-icious than grilled shrimp. It’s delicious straight off the grill and leftovers make an amazing snack right from the fridge. I’m always rummaging for something to snack on, and if there is shrimp and fruit in the fridge, I’m as happy as can be.

Begin with some great frozen shrimp. The bigger the better, since shrimp tends to be easier to thread on a skewer be sure to thaw the shrimp first.

While the shrimp is thawing, prepare the marinade blending the olive oil, garlic and crushed red peppers in a food processor or blender then adding the remaining ingredients: lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss the thawed shrimp with the marinade and let sit for 30 minutes. Light the grill and let it heat while the shrimp marinades.

While you wait for the grill to heat, prepare the Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing by combining avocado, garlic, cilantro, Greek yogurt, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Add water until you reach desired consistency. Cut up a package of low-sodium bacon and fry in a pan until crispy. Wedge a head of lettuce and top the wedges with drizzles of dressing and sprinkle with bacon crumbles.

When the grill is hot, place the shrimp skewers on the grates for 5-7 minutes, flipping once. Brush lightly with melted butter and remove from heat. Serve with wedge salads.

Satisfying and delicious, grilled shrimp can be a go to quick meal for any evening. Enjoy!

Grilled Scampi

2 pounds uncooked, thawed large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried), plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Put the shrimp in a large bowl.
2. Combine the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small food processor and process until the garlic is somewhat paste-like. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, tarragon and parsley. Pour this mixture over the shrimp and let them marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Light a grill to high heat.
4. Strain the shrimp from the marinade and season them with salt and black pepper, to taste. Thread the shrimp on skewers and grill over direct, medium heat for 5-7 minutes, turning the shrimp halfway through the process. The outside of the shrimp should turn a nice pink color when it is cooked while the meat inside should be white and opaque and slightly charred on the outside. Brush the shrimp with a bit of melted butter and transfer to a plate.

Wedge Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce
1 package crumbled low-sodium bacon
Healthy Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing (recipe below)

1. Cut one package of low-sodium bacon into pieces and fry until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and drain on paper towel.
2. Quarter one head of iceberg lettuce and place on four plates.
3. Drizzle each quarter with Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing and sprinkle with bacon crumbles.

Healthy Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

1 avocado
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
2. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with about water until it reaches a desired consistency.
3. Keep in an