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Family Fun

Shrimp, avocado salad with soda pop dressing

Subtle flavors, minimal sugar and adult tastes, it's the new world of carbonated beverages. While these drinks are lovely to sip, take advantage of the fizzy drinks in cooking too.

For a citrusy vinaigrette, we used a grapefruit soda and mixed it with a touch of mustard, grapefruit juice and seasonings. It was perfect, drizzled over a shrimp and grapefruit salad.

Shrimp, avocado and grapefruit salad with grapefruit soda dressing

Prep: 20 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour
Cook: 3 minutes
Servings: 4 main-course servings

Dressing:
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1/4 cup grapefruit soda
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup canola oil

Salad:
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 package (8 oz) mixed spring greens
2 grapefruit, cut into segments
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced

1. For dressing, combine juice, soda, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until the dressing thickens. Pour 1/2 cup of the dressing over the shrimp; marinate 1 hour. Reserve remaining dressing.

2 Remove shrimp from marinade; discard marinade. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the shrimp, turning once, until pink, about 3 minutes.

3 Mix the greens with some of the reserved dressing in a large bowl. Divide the greens among four plates. Top with shrimp, avocado and grapefruit segments. Drizzle more dressing to taste over the top.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 407 calories, 62% of calories from fat, 28 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 168 mg cholesterol, 39 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 429 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.

Tips for using sodas in cooking

Experiment in small batches when trying new sodas in dressings for salads.

Taste, taste, taste. Taste the soda before you start to make sure you like it. Then start with small amounts for sauces and add more if needed as the cooking progresses.

Because of the sugar in the soda, you may have to cut back on other sugars in some of your old recipes.

Reducing the soda before adding to a recipe will concentrate the flavor and reduce the carbonation.

To beef up a fruit soda, you can add a small amount of the corresponding fresh fruit to your recipe.

Sampling the sodas

Here are just a few of the sodas we found in the market:

Dry Soda Co.: lemongrass, lavender, cucumber, juniper berry, vanilla bean and more. 14-19 grams sugar. Just a hint of flavor; cucumber and vanilla bean are great. Good mixers. drysoda.com

Fresh Ginger: Ginger ale, pomegranate with hibiscus flavor. 37 grams sugar. Ginger ale with light fruit, floral notes and a real hot ginger kick. freshgingerale.com

Gus Dry Meyer Lemon: 100 percent natural; "Grown Up Soda." 22 grams sugar. A light 7-Up-like flavor, but better and not as sweet. drinkgus.com

Izze: Sparkling grapefruit, pomegranate, blackberry, tangerine flavors and more. 29 grams sugar. Blackberry has fresh berry aroma; winelike. Good berry flavor. Pomegranate: tart and refreshing. izze.com

Me sodas (Juice Creations Co.): Flavors named after personalities: Me curious (blueberry lime); Me unavailable (dragonfruitblackberry); Me uninhibited (pink grapefruit); Me vivacious (tangerine pineapple). 17 grams sugar. The dragonfruit blackberry is dry, light, with a Juicy-Fruit-like flavor. findyourme.com Organics Italian Soda: blood orange and other flavors. 29 grams sugar. Bright orange flavor. Medium sweet. safeway.com or amazon.com

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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