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Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

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I came upon this recipe by way of my dear friend Brooke, who tore the original out of an issue of Women’s Health on a flight to visit me and meet my then-brand-new baby boy, James. It had been years since Brooke and I had seen each other, but we instantly fell right back into doing what we do best: cooking, eating, and talking about the things we were going to cook.

When we sat down to this, it tasted so good and light and satisfying all at the same time. And the best part was, it met my nutrition requirements. James, who was on a diet of 100% breastmilk at the time, was getting colicky every time I ate corn or dairy, so I had already omitted them from my diet, even though I hadn’t yet discovered what thyroid-healthy eating was.

James grew out of most of his food sensitivities, but now, years after my hypothyroidism diagnosis, followed by a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, I have a set of my own food sensitivities. Once again, this recipe satiates my needs and culinary desires (unless I’m on a strict Paleo or AIP regimen). It’s dairy, corn, and gluten-free, and it also happens to be thyroid-nourishing.


Thyroid-healthy Highlights:

  • Shrimp is one of the best natural food sources of iodine, which the thyroid requires to produce thyroid hormone. It's also high in protein and low in calories making it a good choice for weight loss. 
  • Shrimp is high in several key thyroid supporting nutrients like selenium (48% RDI per serving), B12 (21% RDI), Iron (15% RDI ), zinc, and magnesium. NOTE: To avoid antibiotics used on some shrimp farms, purchase domestic (U.S.) or wild shrimp. 
  • Avocado is rich in healthy fats like oleic acid, which can help reduce cholesterol.
  • Avocado is also one of the few foods that helps the body produce glutathione, a super-antioxidant that can boost immune function, detoxify the liver, and help combat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
  • Brown rice is a gluten-free grain. Also, whole grains like brown rice have a higher protein and fiber content than their refined counterparts, and are a better choice for maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Soy sauce often contains wheat, so if you are avoiding gluten, it is important to purchase tamari (a wheat-free soy sauce) and double-check the label. If you are avoiding all soy, substitute coconut aminos.


Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado

Yield: 6
Author: Ginny Mahar
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 2 MinTotal time: 32 Min
Gluten-free, Dairy-free.


  • 5 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1 lb raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (Mirin)
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup quartered and sliced English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 lemon, quartered, for garnish
For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine (Mirin)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. If you haven't already, cook the brown rice according to package instructions (see notes). Spread the rice on a sheet pan to cool. This dish tastes best if the rice is room temp when mixed, rather than warm.
  2. In a small bowl combine the shrimp, minced ginger, 2 tablespoons Mirin, and 2 tsp. avocado oil. Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. In another small bowl combine dressing ingredients. Whisk until salt and sugar are completely dissolved and set aside.
  4. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and marinade, and saute until shrimp are cooked through and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and set aside to cool.
  5. Slice avocado and squeeze with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine rice, shrimp, cucumber, dressing and green onion. Toss lightly to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide salad among plates, top with avocado slices, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve.


If you haven't already prepared the brown rice, add 1 hour to cook time.

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