Santa Barbara Inspired Garlic Chili Shrimp

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The Dizzy Cook Garlic Chili Shrimp

Sorry it has taken me so long to write a new post. I am sure my 5 loyal followers really missed me (hi mom!). For my 32 birthday, my husband surprised me with a trip to LA and Santa Barbara. We almost canceled because the 101 had been shut down due to the mudslides and there was no easy way to drive there from LA. We had also heard nightmare stories about the train being canceled or delayed. In the end we sucked it up and made the 5+ hour drive from LA to Santa Barbara by going around the Los Padres National Forest. I’ll admit, the winding roads and getting stuck behind several semi trucks the whole time was not for the faint of heart, but the reward of finally getting to see Santa Barbara was well worth it.

The Dizzy Cook Santa Barbara Beach

One of the days we were there we took a sustainable wine tour around Buellton, Solvang, and Lompoc. I have been on the Heal Your Headache diet a little over a year now and have not had trouble with white wines, but I always stayed far away from red wine the entire time. I guess I was just scared to reintroduce it since it is such a common migraine trigger. About 4 years ago we took a trip with our families to Napa and spent the entire day wine tasting reds and whites, but this was before my chronic migraines were triggered. I was not sure what to expect this time around and I was a little nervous to test the waters. I figured if I got a migraine from the wine tasting, at least I was in a beautiful place to recover. I try not to let my fears of triggering an episode get in the way of trying new experiences. This terrible chronic illness robbed me of a year of my life and I am dead set on enjoying myself now, no matter what!

The Dizzy Cook Sustainable Wines

All the wineries on our tour were organic and biodynamic, meaning they use organic farming methods without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. I was surprised to find out that many large, well-known wineries add so many chemicals to their wine to make it taste the same year after year. When I mentioned my fear of red wine and battle with chronic migraines to the winemakers, all of them were persistent that you can’t blame sulfites for headaches and that the wine actually had less sulfites than a piece of dried fruit. They insist the blame should be put on the chemical additives in poorly made, mass produced wine. Shocking! I shall have a separate post on this at another time, especially since I had a lot of red wine tastings and never once got a migraine.

One of my favorite parts of the wine tour was grabbing lunch at a fun place in Buellton called Industrial Eats. Everything we tried was super fresh and simple, yet so delicious. I loved it so much, we drove 45 minutes to come back the next day. My favorite dish was the white shrimp, pancetta, chili, garlic which contained a few trigger foods like pancetta and lemon. The pancetta went to my very grateful husband and I have reintroduced small amounts of lemon with no issue, but I thought it would be wonderful to try to recreate a migraine friendly version for those on the Heal Your Headache Diet. At the restaurant, they pile everything on top of crusty ciabatta bread, but you can also request spinach if you’re gluten free, or do both like I did! As stated in previous posts, you can find compliant stock here or make this favorite with leeks or shallots instead of onion.

The Dizzy Cook Santa Barbara Garlic Chili Shrimp

Santa Barbara Garlic Chili Shrimp
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Inspired by the recipe from Industrial Eats

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 people
Author: The Dizzy Cook
  • 2 tbsp cooking fat - olive oil or ghee
  • 1 -1/2 lbs white jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 2 small red jalapeno peppers, sliced in thin circles and de-seeded If you can't find red jalapenos try a sprinkle of crushed red pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp good butter, chilled
  • 1/2 cup HYH safe broth/stock I used vegetable
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 loaf HYH safe ciabatta or bread, sliced thick and toasted You can leave this out if you want to make it gluten free
  1. Heat cooking fat over medium heat in cast iron skillet until hot. Add peeled and deveined shrimp and fry about 2-4 minutes until opaque and cooked through. Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside. 

  2. Add sliced garlic and red jalapenos to the same skillet and fry another minute until fragrant. Be careful here, the red pepper can sting the nostrils! Deglaze the pan with broth/stock of your choice and reduce by half. 

  3. In a separate pan, saute spinach leaves with 1 tbsp olive oil until slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in chilled butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add shrimp back to the skillet and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. 

  5. If you're missing the bite that lemon usually has, try adding in some sumac or a splash of white vinegar to the sauce. I thought it tasted fine without. 

Alicia was diagnosed with Chronic Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and has been able to successfully manage her symptoms through medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, and the Heal Your Headache Diet by Dr. David Buchholz from Johns Hopkins. She's the owner of The Dizzy Cook.

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