paleo jerk chicken and shrimp tacos

paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
hands and greens
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
jerk chicken and shrimp tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos

I believe patience is something possessed by other people. Somehow this particular trait missed me from the start. I even decided to make an entrance into the world early. Virgo wouldn’t have suited me, so I resolved that Leo would be a more appropriate sign. Therefore a month early it was. My mother tells me I wanted to escape much earlier which destined her to about 6 months of bed rest to ensure I’d cook all the way (no pun intended). Thank you, mom.

And while I’m terribly bad at waiting for things, the thrill is almost always in the anticipation, isn’t it? I made these jerk shrimp and chicken tacos last month for a dinner we hosted. It was my first time experimenting with jerk seasoning and I decided, if I was doing this, I was doing this all the way. I wanted flavor explosions. Not necessarily spice, but depth. And depth is what I got. The chicken and shrimp were marinated for over 8 hours and the flavors married beautifully, creating some kind of magic.

I can’t take the credit for the seasoning as I did purchase an already made one. Sure, I probably could have made my own but by some divine intervention, I found this one which had no heat but all the flavor. While I love some heat, this mixture turned out an impressive marinade and jerk mayo to pour over the tacos. Adults and children were equally satisfied. If you want something a little more spicy, a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper will provide ample amounts if that’s what you’re after.

While there is some patience required for the chicken and shrimp to marinate, the grilling is merely a few minutes. And while I was already working on this patience thing, I decided to make my own tortillas as well with cassava flour. If corn doesn’t bother you, go for the already made ones but if you’re strictly paleo, I’ve included the recipe for them. Kind of a two in one if you will. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos

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paleo jerk chicken and shrimp tacos

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • marinating time: 6-8 hours

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 6 servings


For jerk chicken and shrimp

  • 5 tsp spicely organics jerk seasoning mix divided

  • 1 tsp salt divided

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided

  • 1.5 lbs thinly cut chicken

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1/2 cup mayo

  • optional toppings: sliced cabbage

  • optional toppings: radish

  • optional toppings: greens

  • optional toppings: avocado

For cassava tortillas


  • large mixing bowl

  • 2 containers with lids or ziplock bags

  • small mixing bowl

  • small skillet

  • grill or grill pan

  • wax paper

  • rolling pin


For chicken and shrimp:

In bag or air-tight container combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tsp spice mix, 1/2 tsp salt and chicken and mix well. Repeat process for shrimp. Massage oil and spice mix well into chicken and shrimp. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for 6-8 hours.

Preheat grill on medium low and grill shrimp and chicken for 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through.

Cut chicken into long strips and serve along with shrimp and your favorite toppings.

If you’re making your own tortillas, follow the instructions below:

For cassava tortillas:

Combine all ingredients under cassava flour tortillas and mix by well by hand.

Roll out dough into long tube and cut into 10 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and coat with a sprinkling of cassava flour and even add some to the wax paper to prevent from sticking. Place each ball between pieces of wax paper and roll out until you have the desired thickness.

Preheat a dry (preferably cast iron) skillet on medium heat. Gently remove wax paper from tortilla add to pan and cook until it starts to bubble - about 2-3 minutes for each. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.

If you’re looking to spice up your dinner, try these jerk chicken and shrimp tacos! They’re sure to add a burst of flavor to your dinner. If you’re strictly paleo, you can also find a speedy recipe for making your own cassava tortillas! Click to read on! #cassavatortillas, #shrimptacos, #chickentacos, #jerkchickentacos, #jerkshrimptacos, #jerkseasoning, #jamaicanjerk, #calmeats, #paleotacos, #whole30tacos, #whole30, #paleo, #cassavareceipes


fennel avocado citrus and shrimp salad

fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
old forks
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad

Confession. I didn't try shrimp until my early 20s - in fact, I didn't eat seafood at all until then. I know, I must have been out of my mind. The thing is, we didn't have much seafood growing up. I shouldn't even use the word much - we didn't have any

In order to purchase even meat, often times my parents and grandparents had to wait hours in line at some shoddy warehouse in order to get it. I recall losing my very first tooth while keeping my grandfather company trying to purchase chicken. A wobbly tooth, a bite of an apple, gone. But yes, that's how things were done if you wanted the luxury of eating meat. I don't often think about that part of my life when going to the supermarket and picking up chicken thighs. But I digress...

So seafood. It intimidated me and was unfamiliar so I kept my distance. My mother, who still to this day refuses to touch it, never cooked any. After all, we ate how we learned to in Romania and Germany. And the diet I adopted in my teens once we moved here included ample amount of pizza, cereal, whatever my mom cooked, more junk and then then I eventually turned to a quasi-vegan lifestyle. In a nutshell, a disaster but never included any seafood. 

But things changed drastically once I started college. In addition to my meeting new people I was also introduced to new food and started eating differently. No, wings from Domino's at 1am were not one of them, but there was shrimp. The first time I tried it was when friends put together a dinner. Out of respect, I decided to try one. Embarrassingly enough I had to ask for instructions. The rest is history. 

Today I eat seafood more than any other food. Shrimp, salmon, sardines, scallops, tuna - I love it all! And particularly like the versatility of shrimp as it takes minutes to cook and is fairly inexpensive. 

Probably one of my favorite ways of eating shrimp is with avocado and citrus. For this salad, I used orange, avocado and fennel. If you're not a big fan of licorice, roasting it for a few minutes will cut down on the sometimes overpowering taste. I happen to love fennel and like it raw or roasted. For this dish, roasting it for 10 minutes provides a nice balance to the other ingredients. It's quick to make and is the ideal lunch if you're looking for something refreshing and light. 

fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad

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fennel avocado citrus and shrimp salad

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings



  • 1 fennel bulb

  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 2 oranges, segmented

  • 1 avocado, cut into slices

  • 8-10 jumbo shrimp

  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper

  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • grill pan or frying pan

  • mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In small mixing bowl, combine shrimp, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cut fennel in half and peel outside layer. Cut into thin slices and spread evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour over 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to combine. Roast for 10 minutes stirring once half way. 

Next, with a pairing knife, cut peel off the orange and segment all the orange slices. Reserve the remaining orange and squeeze 1 tbsp orange juice into large bowl. Add the rest of dressing ingredients and whisk well.

Add segmented orange, avocado and roasted fennel and combine with dressing. 

Next grill shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side until fully cooked.

Add a good handful of salad to and top with shrimp. Enjoy! 

If you’re looking for a healthy and easy shrimp salad, try this fennel, avocado and citrus salad topped with grilled shrimp. It’s a burst of flavor in every single bite. This shrimp salad is also paleo and whole 30 approved. #shrimpsalad #shrimp #seafood #citrussalad #citrus #avocado #paleosalad #whole30sdalad #calmeats #whole30recipes #paleorecipes #seafoodrecipes #easyseafoodrecipes #simpleseafoodrecipes #quickrecipes



honey lime grilled shrimp with pineapple

honey lime grilled shrimp with pineapple
cutting board lime slices and cilantro
hone lime grilled shrimp with pineapple

Windows open, birds chirping. A cool breeze ever so slightly tickles my arm. It's early but bright. The symphony of my feathered companions and occasional hum of distant traffic cut through the silence of the morning.

June mornings are to be cherished. While the July and August heat is still at bay, I take full advantage of fresh air, intoxicatingly sweet bird songs and wallow in the feeling of early summer. There's a sense of possibility and lightness. Perhaps it's the connection to childhood when school would end and a liberating feeling would take over. Anything was possible. 

I try to carry this lightness through the season and it often spills over into the way I cook. As much as I love being in the kitchen, during summer I'd rather cook outside. I crave food that's uncomplicated, fresh, flavorful and easy to prepare. Naturally shrimp fits in this category.

Why shrimp?

Shrimp is versatile and holds up really well on the grill. The secret though is marinate, marinate, marinate! Shrimp itself is somewhat flavorful if properly seasoned but by adding a honey lime marinade to it, just takes it to another level. And sure, you can cook it in a frying pan and won't be disappointed but there's something about the flavor of the grill that's unmatched. Try to limit marinating time to only about 15 minutes because the shrimp will pick up just enough flavor! If you go too long, you’ll end up with overly salty shrimp.

The best way to grill shrimp.

Unless you're lucky enough to find jumbo shrimp, I generally try and go for large ones and just add them on skewers. You can use the wooden kind, but I've actually invested in metal ones that can be reused. Less waste is always a plus. 

The best match for shrimp

To go along with the shrimp, I've decided to throw some pineapple on the grill and add another level of sweetness. Sprinkling the pineapple with salt right after it has finished grilling will tie the whole dish together by balancing the sweetness of the pineapple.

You can serve these honey lime grilled shrimp over rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice or pick any other side you prefer. I find those to be the best matches for shrimp though.

Don’t forget the lime and cilantro

Since you do end up losing some of the flavor of cilantro and lime in the grilling process, I like giving the shrimp a squeeze of fresh lime and add additional fresh chopped cilantro - not just for presentation but for adding some extra freshness after the shrimp are grilled.

hone lime grilled shrimp with pineapple
hone lime grilled shrimp with pineapple
hone lime grilled shrimp with pineapple
hone lime grilled shrimp with pineapple

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honey lime grilled shrimp with pineapple

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • marinating time: 15 minutes

  • grilling time: 12 minutes

  • yields: 4 servings


  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled (tail on or off)

  • zest of 1 lime

  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 tsp honey (skip for Whole 30)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil + 1 extra tbsp

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 pineapple, peeled cored and sliced


  • grill

  • skewers

  • container for marinating


Combine all ingredients except for 1 tbsp olive oil and pineapple in either a container or Ziploc bag and combine well. Let marinate for 15 minutes. 

Preheat grill to medium-low. Peel and core pineapple and cut into slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and grill for 6 minutes per side. Sprinkle pineapple with salt if desired. Add shrimp to skewers and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. 

You can serve over rice or cauliflower rice. 

This honey lime shrimp and pineapple recipe is one of those dishes you can whip up on any busy weeknights and have plenty of time to actually relax. You can make this on the grill or grill pan. #shrimp, #paleo, #seafood, #weeknightdinner, #weeknight, #pineapple, #quickmeals, #calmeats, #glutenfree, #grilling





shrimp in lemon oil with cauliflower rice and asparagus

shrimp, cauliflower and asparagus in lemon oil
shrimp, cauliflower and asparagus in lemon oil
shrimp, cauliflower and asparagus in lemon oil
shrimp, cauliflower and asparagus in lemon oil

I handed my son a tiny seed. Little fingers covered with dirt, carefully placed it in the groove ever so gently. We repeated the process for a few minutes, until his interest faded and he eagerly moved on to opening the next packet of seeds, curiously exploring its contents.

The sun warm on my skin, hands in dirt, gave me a sense of connection and pause. The process of preparing the soil, slowly breaking up large chunks while observing the life within it is humbling. Growing food used to intimidate me. I'm terrible with houseplants so I was sure this was going to be a flop the first time I tried it. But to my surprise, things grew. 

I only have two raised beds, but they're a decent size and every year I go through the same feeling. Will this work? Will something actually grow? Seeing the first tiny shoots of green fighting their way through the soil is a beautiful sight.

Gardening enthusiasts may say I'm too early but I couldn't wait any longer. The weather finally looks to be on track with spring (this may come back and bite me) so despite my natural tendency, I'll be an optimist. 

Though one vegetable that I'm crazy over but didn't plant is asparagus. Asparagus takes up its own plot year after year and I just don't have the space to dedicate to this lovely vegetable. 

But while I didn't plant it myself, it is asparagus season. If you suddenly notice asparagus prices dropping at your grocery store or farmer's market, that's why. While most of us have access to it year round, I don't believe it ever tastes as delicious as it does when it's in season and hasn't had to travel thousands of miles to reach us. So for today's dish, I wanted to use asparagus.

What you need for shrimp in lemon oil

I've been on a bit of a seafood kick lately, which is often the case in spring and summer. I find it easy to prepare and doesn't take long to cook. Shrimp is a particular favorite. I do have to insert the caveat that farm raised shrimp is probably one of the most unhealthy foods you can eat, so I highly recommend buying only wild caught. 

For this dish, I made a simple lemon oil, cooked the shrimp in shallots and garlic, and served it over top of cauliflower rice and a side of roasted asparagus. The secret to getting perfect asparagus every time, is 8 minutes. 8 minutes for roasting, 8 minutes for grilling. For some reason, this is the magic number for me. The asparagus is cooked perfectly with a bit of crunch.

Where can you get cauliflower rice?

For the cauliflower rice, you have a few options. You can make your own, buy already riced, or as was the case for me this time, go for organic, frozen and cook it in the micro. I'm not anti short-cuts as long as the outcome is the same. So I hope you enjoy this 20 minute, speedy and flavorful dish. 

shrimp, cauliflower and asparagus in lemon oil
shrimp, cauliflower and asparagus in lemon oil
shrimp, cauliflower and asparagus in lemon oil
  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 15 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings


  • 2 small garlic cloves minced

  • 1 large shallot, chopped

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • zest of one lemon

  • juice of half a lemon

  • 7 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 cups cooked cauliflower rice

  • 1 tbsp parsley

  • 1 tbsp basil

  • 1 tsp salt divided

  • 3/4 tsp pepper, divided

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed


  • cast iron pan

  • roasting pan

  • aluminum foil

  • small mixing bowl


Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl, mix lemon zest with 4 tbsp olive oil.

Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and add asparagus, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Coat asparagus and roast for 8 minutes on middle rack, turning once half way.

Preheat cast iron pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil along with chopped shallot and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes stirring regularly. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add shrimp, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon oil, lemon juice, cooked cauliflower rice and combine. Season with additional salt if you wish. Add in basil and parsley.5. Serve with roasted asparagus and additional herbs if you wish.

A perfect spring meal if you’re looking for a quick dinner on the lighter side, here it is! It’s takes just minutes to make, it’s paleo, gluten free and whole 30 approved! Shrimp is tossed with shallots and garlic in lemon oil to create a delicious bright sauce. Check it out for yourself! #calmeats #shrimp #seafood #springfood #asparagus #cauliflowerrice #caulirice #whole30recipes #paleorecipes #glutenfree #dairyfree #grainfree #quickmeals

shrimp in tomato sauce over zoodles

shrimp in tomato sauce over zoodles

I know the name of my blog is calm eats, but lets face it sometimes life is anything but calm (sometimes??) okay most of the time. I try to keep up with organizing and planning as much as I can but some days it's just harder than others to stay on top of my game. Everyone has their moments and there are days when you just can't plan, think, etc. So when this happens, I just look in the fridge and quickly asses what can be made in under 20 minutes to get everyone fed and off to bed. 

This was a simple one I threw together with ingredients I have on hand most of the time. Having a bag of frozen shrimp is always a good idea, especially on those days when I'm less than prepared. I also got what seems like will be the last round of tomatoes for the year from my very generous giant plant. And so here is a quick recipe you'll be able to whip up even when you're strapped for time.  

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