A simple summer recipe for people with Parkinson’s disease

Recipes & nutrition

Author: Sarah McGrathPublished: 16 June 2022

Parkinson's LifePrep: Parkinson's LifeCook: Parkinson's LifeServes:

US chef and author Zarela Martínez shares one of her favourite recipes for the summer – a revitalising shrimp salad, prepared with raw onion and avocado

When US-based chef and author Zarela Martínez appeared on the Parkinson’s Life podcast back in September, she told us that her Parkinson’s diagnosis meant she had adopted a flexible approach to cooking and eating: “My favourite dish is what I feel like eating that day!”

Here, she shares a summer recipe for shrimp salad that’s a perfect meal option for warmer weather.

The recipe “hails from Veracruz and is quick, easy, light and versatile”, says Zarela. “In dishes like this, garnished with raw onion, I really value the freshness of Mexican onions. You can use bulb or spring onion—red onions make a good substitute, especially the kind that are new-looking and shiny, without papery skins.”

Close up of Zarela Martinez's shrimp salad

Image credit: Sophia Villarreal.


6 cups of fish stock or water

1 small white onion, unpeeled

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

3 bay leaves

10–12 black peppercorns

1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

1 pound medium shrimp sold as 16–20 count in the shell

Juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 fresh white bulb onion (see above) or 1 medium–small red onion, sliced into thin half-moons

3 jalapeño chiles, seeded if desired (to mitigate the heat – I don’t bother) and finely julienned

1 ripe Mexican-type avocado, finely diced

10 sprigs of coriander leaves only


  • Place the fish stock or water, white onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium-sized saucepan or small stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes to infuse with the flavours.
  • Add the shrimp and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink.
  • Quickly cool by moving the shrimp into a colander set under cold running water. Drain thoroughly. (You can strain and reserve the broth for later use.)
  • Peel and cut the shrimp lengthwise into halves.
  • In a small bowl, combine the lime juice and olive oil with a generous grinding of black pepper and about ½ a teaspoon more salt.
  • Place the shrimp in a large bowl with the bulb onion, chiles, avocado and coriander.
  • Pour the lime juice dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to distribute evenly. Taste to season and add a little more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve at once.

For more information on eating well with Parkinson’s disease, please visit Parkinson’s Europe website.

Read more:

Chris Cosentino: a winter warmer recipe for Parkinson’s disease

Podcast: How to eat well with Parkinson’s disease

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