Shrimply Delicious

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Americans consume roughly one billion pounds of shrimp a year. No wonder we love them so much. They are low in calories and a very good source of protein, which helps with appetite control. Shrimp are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 which may support proper nerve function and selenium that may prevent cell damage. The protein-richness of this shellfish is one reason why it is relied on upon in so many different culinary traditions.

In honor of Lent, try using shrimp as an alternate protein source in your favorite dishes. Add shrimp to pasta, throw on a pizza, use in tacos or toss them in a salad. Not only is shrimp easy to incorporate into any dish, but it cooks up fast. When cooking raw shrimp, cook them quickly to preserve their sweet, delicate flavor. Most shrimp cook in as little as three minutes. When they are pink, they are done.

When looking at a bag of shrimp, raw or pre-cooked, have you ever found yourself wondering what does 21-30 count or 41-60 count mean? The count per pound refers to the number of shrimp in one pound and is the most common method used to size shrimp. So, 21-30 means there are roughly 21-30 shrimp in one pound. A three-ounce portion of shrimp provides 84 calories, 18 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat, along with many vitamins and minerals.

With such versatility and rich nutrition, you can feel great when making meals with shrimp this Lenten season. Recipes like those below are sure to be a success.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Vegetables
Serves 4.

All you need:

  • 4 tsp Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

All you do:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth and add to the pan along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.

Nutrition facts per serving: 227 calories, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 173mg cholesterol, 618mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 28g protein.

Daily values: 210% vitamin C, 80% vitamin A, 25% iron.

Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

Shrimp Guacamole Appetizer
Makes 24.

All you need:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 (4.5 oz) package Frontera original guacamole mix
  • 1 (5.25 oz) box Melba whole grain snacks
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound (16-20 count) cooked shrimp, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided

All you do:

  1. Prepare guacamole according to package directions.
  2. Spoon a small amount of guacamole onto each of 24 Melba snack crackers. Top each with a halved-lengthwise shrimp.
  3. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary.

Source: adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine, November 2014

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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