Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quick And Easy Shrimp And Artichoke Salad With Black Olives, Avocado And Fresh Basil

A Quick and Easy Seafood Salad
I made this salad for the seafood lovers at our annual family summer solstice party. It's quick and easy and the shrimp, marinated artichoke hearts, avocado and olives blend together perfectly. It is tossed in the marinade of the artichoke hearts and mixed together with fresh basil. What can be more simple?

Shrimp - Low in Saturated Fat
Shrimp are a good source of protein while being low in calories and saturated fat. They are also an excellent source of the important trace mineral selenium. Since raw food vegan diets are missing vitamins D and B12 as well as the important EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids, shrimp are a good occasional diversion in order to obtain these critical nutrients. They are also a good source of iron, phosphorus, niacin and zinc.
Seafood also is a good source of iodine which the body needs for the production of thyroid hormone. Because the consumption of iodized salt is down, there has been a dramatic decline in iodine consumption over the past few decades. Besides thyroid problems, iodine deficiency can lead to birth defects.


Shrimp and Artichoke Salad
[serves 6, as a side dish]
1 pound frozen (or fresh) peeled and cleaned raw shrimp
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
several pinches of salt and black or cayenne pepper
One 15 oz can pitted black olives, drained (net weight 6 oz)
One 15 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 medium avocado (ripe but firm), cut into chunks
2 packed tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced, plus some for garnish
3 to 4 tablespoons of marinade from the artichoke hearts

Defrost the shrimp according to package instructions. Rinse shrimp and drain well. Remove tails if they are still on the shrimp. In a small fry pan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic for a minute or two. Add shrimp to the pan and top with several pinches of salt and pepper. Cook until pink, stirring frequently. This will only take 3 to 5 minutes. Do not over cook. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.
Drain artichoke hearts saving the marinade. If the artichoke hearts are large, slice them in half. Place sliced artichoke hearts in a bowl, add the drained black olives, shrimp, avocado, fresh basil and 3 to 4 tablespoons of reserved marinade. Gently toss until combined. Adjust seasoning for salt. Top with more fresh basil and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Per serving: 180 calories, 11.3 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 12.7 g protein, 9.3 g protein, 4.2 g fiber and 322 mg omega 3 fatty acid.

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