This post is a collaboration with the National Mango Board. We truly love mangos and cooking as a family, so this is a perfect match up for Dash of Evans. As always, all recipes and opinions are my own.
Mangos are a delicious treat year round…plus full of healthy vitamins and more. Check out two fab new ways to enjoy: Blackened Shrimp Skewers and Frozen pops!
In our home, we are a one meal family. I don’t shy away from spice and I aim to raise adventurous eaters. This is not saying my kids love every meal I make….I totally have picky eaters at any point in time, but we try not to dwell on it. As long as they try a bite or two, we’re happy. Mangos are always something I know everyone will love.
Growing up, I always loved to try new foods, especially when we would travel around the country and world. At home in Michigan, though, fruit like mangos weren’t common in our diet. I remember the first time I tried mango was on a cruise with Ricky. Beforehand, I jokingly told him that I was going to eat as much tropical fruit from the buffet as I could–fresh, local produce is always my favorite part of travel. I filled up my plate with pineapple and they told me I had to try the fresh mango slices. I instantly fell in love! From that point on, it became a common part of our diet.
Finding fresh mango in the Midwest a decade ago was quite hard. I was lucky to have a great grocery store in Madison, Woodman’s, who offered a large variety of different fruits and vegetables. Learning how to properly cut it was another feat–believe me, I got it wrong quite a few times. If you’re not sure how to choose a mango, the National Mango Board has a great guide for you. It’s a lot like an avocado!
With my girls, mango was introduced when I started making baby food–I loved that it had vitamin C and a fun texture. It was great to mix in as they got older with oatmeal and yogurt. Did you know that mango has only 100 calories per cup?! I love that it’s super easy to find delicious mango year round now!
For a sweet treat to cleanse our palate after the spice of the shrimp, the girls helped me make Mango Coconut Pops the day before. This is a fun after-school activity for the kiddos, plus it shows them how to make a healthy snack. Tip: save the rest of the coconut milk for the pilaf!
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup fresh mango chunks
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
In a blender, add all ingredients, except strawberries. Mix until smooth. Pour into half of a frozen pop mold. Add strawberries to remaining mixture and blend. Top off the molds. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
I love this skewer recipe to kick off warmer weather…or to serve at a dinner party with friends. Let’s face it: here in Michigan we’re ready for some sunshine and grilling! This is totally a crowd pleaser, but without tons of effort. Score!
I don’t make my own spice mixes all of the time, but blackening spice is one that’s great to have on hand in the summer. It adds a kick of flavor to chicken, seafood and even steaks! Store bought varieties can have so much sodium and extra crazy ingredients–this mix uses ones you probably already have on hand! Once you mix this up, store it in a small jar and it’s great for about a month. (Heads up: a great gift idea too!)
Pilaf is another commonly store bought item that is simple to make at home! Did you know pilaf is just white rice and orzo? Once you make your own, you’ll never go back to the box! To pair with the spice of the blackened shrimp skewers, I used sweet mango and coconut in the pilaf. TO DIE FOR.
Blackened Shrimp Skewers with Coconut Mango Pilaf Recipe
For the Coconut Mango Pilaf
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup orzo (found in the pasta aisle)
- 1/2 cup white rice
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped mango
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup coconut milk (canned, found in the ethnic aisle)
For the blackening spice
- 1.5 Tablespoons paprika
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds peeled , de-veined shrimp
- 1 red or orange pepper
- 1 mango , cut into large chunks
- Optional garnish: cilantro , toasted coconut
In a small jar, combine blackening spice ingredients. Stir and shake. Set aside.
Using a medium sauce pan, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add rice and orzo. Slightly toast for 2-3 minutes. Add mango, chicken stock and coconut milk. Stir.
Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse shrimp and dry with paper towel. Cut pepper into larger chunks.
Sprinkle blackening spice onto shrimp and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add to skewers. There should be about 5 per skewer. If you're using wooden, be sure to soak for at least 30 min.
On separate skewers, add mango and pepper chunks.
Add to grill, cooking until charred. Shrimp shouldn't take long at all, look for it to slightly curl.
Once rice is done, pour onto a plate. Add skewers on top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro or toasted coconut.
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