Thursday, February 26, 2009

Warm Scallop And Asparagus Salad

Scallops are my husband’s favorite seafood and asparagus one of his favorite vegetables, so when I found them BOTH on sale last week, I jumped all over it.

Although scallops have some cholesterol, they are low in calories and fat and make a wonderful food when you are trying to lose weight. Although there have been warnings about mercury, the FDA considers scallops “low mercury” seafood and allows 2 servings or 12 ounces of this popular shell fish per week. Scallops are also a good source of protein and vitamin B12.

Asparagus, a mild diuretic, is also low in calories and is an excellent source of folic acid and vitamins A, C and K.

Here’s a light but very filling salad which is perfect as a main dinner course.


Scallop And Asparagus Salad [makes 2 servings]
8 large scallops, about 10 oz.

8 large or 12 small asparagus spears

½ head of red leaf lettuce, cleaned and torn

½ medium red bell pepper cut into strips

¼ cup of red onion, thinly sliced

½ medium avocado, sliced

1 T of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon*
2 T of extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large fresh white or crimini mushroom

¼ t of dried tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Clean the scallops VERY well by rinsing under a gentle stream of cold water making sure all of the sand is removed. Put the scallops in a bowl and gently mix with ½ T of olive oil, lemon zest, tarragon, and minced garlic. Set aside. Clean the asparagus very well and place in a shallow baking pan, 1 layer deep. Drizzle with ½ T of olive oil, salt and pepper and shake the pan back and forth until coated. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, gently shaking mid way through the cooking to make sure they don’t stick. When cooked, remove the pan from the oven and set aside.

Mix the lettuce, red bell pepper, red onion and mushroom. Make a dressing of the remaining 1T of olive oil, 1 T of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add to the salad and mix gently. Place the salad mixture in two large plates and garnish each of the plates with avocado slices.

In a no-stick skillet, on medium-high heat, cook the scallops 4 minutes per side. The oil in the marinade should be sufficient for cooking. While cooking, sprinkle lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place 4 cooked scallops and half of the asparagus over each plate of salad. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 340 calories, 23.8 g of fat, 2.8 g saturated fat, 45 g cholesterol, 27.3 g protein, 16.3 g carbohydrate, and 3.8 g of fiber.


*Put Zest Into Your Life!
Whenever you use an organic lemon, wash it well and zest it. I use a Microplane zester/grater for the job (as pictured). It’s one of the most useful kitchen gadgets I own and it’s only around $10 to $12. Dry whatever you don’t use of the lemon zest and save for use in soups and baked goods, or sprinkle generously on fish, poultry and vegetables. Research has shown that limonene, found in lemon peel, may decrease cancer risk. You can also do this with oranges or grapefruit.

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