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TIP OF THE DAY: Healthier Shrimp Salad

Grilled shrimp with a green salad. Photo
courtesy Haru Restaurant | New York City.

 

Shrimp salad loaded with mayonnaise: not good for you. Grilled shrimp with a vinaigrette-dressed salad or the grilled shrimp salad recipe below: A better idea. Other low-calorie shrimp dishes include ceviche; the classic shrimp cocktail or its update, the shrimp Martini (recipe below); or a lightly-dressed shrimp Caesar salad. Think Eat This, Not That.

Americans eat four pounds of shrimp a year—and it might be much higher if the tasty little swimmers were more affordable!

Shrimp may be small in size, but they’re huge in taste and health appeal. This little crustacean ranks as the #1 selling seafood in America. High in protein, low in carbohydrates and an abundant source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, shrimp are a good-for-you food. We obtained these shrimp health notes from SeaPak, a producer of frozen shrimp products.

 
According to the George Mateljan Foundation, a non-profit organization that utilizes unbiased scientific information to promote health, shrimp is one of the healthiest and most nutrient-rich foods in the world.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SHRIMP

Nutrition.
A four-ounce serving of shrimp provides a whopping 23.7 grams of protein, which is 47% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA); nearly 40% of the RDA of vitamin D; and nearly 30% of the RDA of vitamin B12. Shrimp is also very high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid, and selenium, which induces the repair process in damaged cells and inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells.

Omega-3s. Studies show that shrimp and other seafoods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can improve cardio-vascular health and lower the incidence of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends that people include these protective oils in their diets by eating at least two servings of seafood per week.

Cholesterol-Friendly.
Shrimp doesn’t deserve its old bad rap for high cholesterol. A study at Rockefeller University Hospital, co-sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health, confirmed in 1996 that the cholesterol content of shrimp should not be a concern. The research results revealed that a shrimp diet raises levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and decreases levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol (lowering LDL in the bloodstream significantly reduces susceptibility to heart disease).

 

SHRIMP MARTINI RECIPE

Ingredients For 4 Servings

This recipe is served in oversized Martini glasses (about 10 ounces), but you can substitute another dish or goblet.

  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  •  
    For The Salsa

  • 1 ripe mango (small), diced
  • 1 ripe papaya (small), diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes (small), diced
  • ½ red onion (small), diced
  • 1 red bell pepper (small), diced
  • 1 green bell pepper (small), diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1½ -tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Garnishes

  • 4 pitted green olives
  • 4 slices lime
  •  

    A shrimp cocktail has a cocktail sauce garnish. But fill the same glass with anything else, and you’ve got a Shrimp Martini. This photo shows diced avocado substituting for the diced bell peppers in the recipe. Photo courtesy California Raisins.

     
    Preparation

    1. POACH shrimp in 2 quarts salted water until cooked through (3 minutes). Remove and chill in ice water.

    2. MIX all salsa ingredients; season with salt and pepper.

    3. DIVIDE salsa evenly among the glasses. Arrange 4 shrimp per glass. Garnish each with olive and lime slice. Place 1 glass on each plate and serve with a ramekin of cocktail sauce.
     
    Source: Ocean Garden Products, Inc. and Chef Lou Imbesi, Catelli Ristorante, Voorhees, NJ, via EatShrimp.com.

    GRILLED SHRIMP SALAD RECIPE

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 6 jumbo shrimp
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • 2 slices red onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • 10 fresh parsley leaves
  • Chili flakes
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT the peppers in thin slices, grill shrimp 4 to 5 minutes.

    2. MIX with remaining ingredients in a stainless bowl. Season with salt.

    3. DIVIDE into two portions; garnish with onion slice and serve.

    Source: Ocean Garden Products and Chef Marino Tavares, Ferreira Café Restaurant, Montreal, Quebec, via EatShrimp.com.

      




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