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First Posted: 7/1/2013

I have a slight obsession with mangos.

It used to be just the mango flavor in smoothies and juices and such, until I got my hands on an actual mango for the first time a couple weeks ago. Yes, I’m 27 and, yes, that is sad.

Pair that with the fact that I’ve adopted a new healthy eating style thanks to a little ass-kicking program called CrossFit and I was all over this shrimp with avocado-mango salsa recipe.

First and foremost, I’m going to let you in on the secret to cutting a mango. I went through about three of those bad boys before I finally cubed one successfully and, let me tell you – it was not pretty.

Make sure it’s ripe, OK? Because the first time I didn’t, as I never do with avocados either, and it was hard as a rock. Don’t worry about the color; worry about how it feels in your hands. Can you squeeze it and it gives slightly? That’s a ripe mango, same principle as an avocado. They get softer as they ripen.

Mangos are funky because they have a flat oblong pit smack in the middle of them, but you just need to know how to cut around it. Stand the mango on its end, stem side down, and cut from top to bottom, a little to the left or right of center. Do the same on the other side of the mango so that you have three pieces: two that are good for cubing and one that’s the awful pit.

Take the good halves and make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in them. At this point, you should be able to pluck those little cubes right off the skin, or use a small paring knife to dislodge them.

Got it? Good. Now you can make some delicious shrimp and salsa.

This is best done on the grill, so heat it up. Fold four 18-inch long pieces of foil in half, then unfold them and coat the inside with cooking spray. Place spinach in the center of one half of each piece of foil. I went a little light on it because I’m still not so down with leafy greens, and it still tasted great.

Combine couscous with water and divide that evenly among the foil packs, placing the mixture on top of the spinach. In a separate bowl, combine shrimp, cilantro, oil and salt, then divide that mixture evenly among the foil, placing it next to the couscous.

Fold the foil closed and crimp the edges to seal it, then place it on the grill. Shut the lid and cook about 10 minutes, until the packs are puffed.

While you’re waiting, combine cilantro with salt, mango, avocado, tomato, onion, lime juice, and jalapeño in a bowl. And please, be very careful with that jalapeño. I rubbed my eyes when I thought I had washed my hands thoroughly and I ended up losing two contacts.

Once the packs are done cooking, open them and garnish with the salsa before serving.

Aren’t you glad you learned how to cube that mango now?


Courtesy of

Serves: 4


* Vegetable oil cooking spray

* 8 cups baby spinach

* 1 cup couscous

* 1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

* 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

* 1 large mango, peeled and diced

* 1 medium avocado, diced

* 1 medium tomato, diced

* 1/4 cup chopped red onion

* 1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped

* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


* Heat grill. Fold four 18-inch-long pieces of foil in half; unfold and coat inside with cooking spray.

* Place 2 cups spinach in center of 1 half of each piece of foil.

* Combine couscous with 1/4 cup water and divide evenly among packets, placing on top of spinach. Combine shrimp, 1/4 cup cilantro, oil, and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl. Divide shrimp evenly among packets, placing next to couscous.

* Fold foil to close and crimp edges to seal and place on grill. Close lid and cook until packets are fully puffed, 10 minutes.

* Combine remaining 1/4 cup cilantro with remaining 1/4 tsp salt, mango, avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeño, and lime juice in a bowl. Carefully cut foil to open, stir contents and garnish with salsa before serving.