We are so excited to introduce you to Brittany Vukets – our first official Food Contributor for ilikeherstylevancouver.com! Brittany is our expert in Holistic Nutrition. She’s also a yoga instructor, personal trainer, and lover of nature, gardening and (of course) fresh food!
Brittany believes that some of the best things in life are homemade. She loves food and finds great joy in creating tasty meals for her family and those she cares about.
Ceviche is a light, simple dish that can be served as an appetizer or side salad. It is prepared by marinating raw seafood in acidic fruit juice and salt, with no cooking required. It originated with the Incas of South America as a way to preserve fish and was then adopted and spread by Spanish conquistadors. Ceviche is versatile and many different regions have different variations, though some of the best and most delicious main ingredients to use are prawns, scallops and rich fish like salmon and ahi tuna.
The prawns used here started out completely raw and were a translucent gray color but after some time in lime juice, a natural source of citric acid, they have become pink, opaque and firm, just as they would be if exposed to heat. The citric acid denatures the proteins in the seafood, leading to a “cooked” effect without heating, making it a perfect low-maintenance dish to prepare for a multi-course meal or when it is too hot to cook. One caveat is that the acidity does not kill of bacteria like heat does so only fresh and high quality seafood should be used. Ceviche is often combined with the vegetables used in tomato salsa and guacamole and served with tortilla chips. To keep it light and extra healthy I like to use leafy green boats instead of chips, or to use half and half. Belgian endive leaves are sturdy and provide some good crunch, almost as good as tortillas, but butter, iceberg or romaine lettuces would all work as would collard greens or savoy cabbage. The ceviche can be served already spooned out onto the greens or tortillas or it can be left in a bowl with the dipping tools served alongside.
- ½ lb raw prawns, peeled
- 2 heads of endive (sometimes specified as belgium endive) or other leafy green
- 2 avocadoes, diced
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped finely
- ½ cup corn
- 1 jalapeño, chopped very finely (remove the seeds to make it mild or leave them in for more heat)
- ¼ red onion, chopped very finely
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Cut each prawn into small pieces, so that there are around seven or eight pieces from each prawn then place in a shallow bowl and cover with the lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes, until the prawns have all turned pink.
- Meanwhile, combine all the other ingredients, except the avocado and endive, in a medium sized bowl. Once the prawns are done add them in, along with the lime juice and now the avocados can be cut and added in (the lime juice will keep them from browning). Add in a pinch or two of sea salt and a few cracks of fresh ground pepper and spoon the ceviche mixture into the endive leaves. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.
BRITTANY VUKETS, B.A., RYT 200, ACSM CPT AND NUTRITIONIST-IN-TRAINING