Don't shy away from shrimp

In this week's 'The Kit­chen Diva', colum­nist An­gela Shelf Medear­is shares a re­cipe for shrimp scampi with to­ma­toes and spin­ach.

Mixed sea­food on a white plate on a res­taur­ant table.

If you’ve taken shrimp off the menu be­cause you have fears about high amounts of cho­les­ter­ol, there is good news. You don’t have to give up shrimp!

Re­search shows and di­eti­tians con­cur that the high per­cent­age of “good fats” in shrimp re­duces the im­pact of cho­les­ter­ol. So, en­joy shrimp as part of a bal­anced and de­li­cious diet.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a great source of high-qual­ity pro­tein, shrimp is rich in health-en­han­cing nu­tri­ents. It also is low in fat and cal­or­ies. Here are just a few reas­ons to place shrimp on your menu:

Vit­am­in D: Four ounces of shrimp provide al­most half the daily re­quire­ment of vit­am­in D, also known as the sun­shine vit­am­in. Vit­am­in D helps build strong bones, main­tain a healthy im­mune sys­tem and also may lower the risk of con­di­tions such as Type 2 dia­betes, high blood pres­sure and colon can­cer.

Sel­en­i­um: A serving of shrimp can provide 65 per­cent of the daily sel­en­i­um re­quire­ment. This power­ful an­ti­ox­id­ant has been linked to a lower risk of cer­tain can­cers and also pro­motes healthy func­tion of the thyroid gland.

Vit­am­in B-12: Four ounces of shrimp provide a third of the daily re­quire­ment for vit­am­in B-12. It has many func­tions, in­clud­ing form­a­tion of red blood cells and main­ten­ance of a healthy nervous sys­tem.

Trypto­phan: One serving of shrimp provides 100 per­cent of the re­com­men­ded daily in­take of this es­sen­tial amino acid. Trypto­phan plays a role in ap­pet­ite con­trol and sleep, and im­proves mood.

This Shrimp Scampi with To­ma­toes and Spin­ach is a “Diva-style” ver­sion of the tra­di­tion­al dish. It’s a one-pan meal that can be pre­pared in less than 30 minutes.


Frozen shrimp is the per­fect “go to” item for a quick and nu­tri­tious meal and works well in this re­cipe.

1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, fresh or frozen and thawed, shelled and de-veined

2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil

1 tea­spoon salt

1 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per

1/8 tea­spoon cay­enne pep­per

2 ta­ble­spoons un­salted but­ter

2 tea­spoons minced gar­lic

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced to­ma­toes with juice

1 cup chick­en broth

2 ta­ble­spoons freshly squeezed lem­on juice

1/4 tea­spoon grated lem­on zest

1 bag (about 6-10 ounces) fresh baby spin­ach

2 tea­spoons finely chopped flat-leaf pars­ley or basil leaves

1/2 (8 ounces) of a 16-ounce pack­age lin­guine pasta, cooked and drained (about 4 cups)

1/2 cup grated Parmes­an cheese

1. Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat dry com­pletely with a pa­per tow­el. Toss the shrimp with the olive oil and 1/2 tea­spoon salt, pep­per and cay­enne pep­per. Ar­range shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.

2. Heat a large skil­let over me­di­um heat. Add but­ter to the skil­let. When foam­ing sub­sides, raise heat to high; care­fully in­vert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall in­to the pan in an even lay­er, all at once.

3. Cook the shrimp, without mov­ing them, for 1 minute. Add gar­lic, turn the shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Trans­fer shrimp mix­ture to a bowl and set aside.

4. Re­turn skil­let to the heat and add to­ma­toes, chick­en broth and re­main­ing 1/2 tea­spoon of salt and black pep­per to the pan to make a sauce. Turn heat to high and bring sauce to a boil, scrap­ing up any browned bits from the bot­tom of the pan with a wooden spoon, un­til slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add in the spin­ach, lem­on juice and zest, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or un­til spin­ach wilts slightly. Add the shrimp, pars­ley or basil, and the pasta to the skil­let, and toss to coat. Por­tion onto plates and top with a sprinkle of Parmes­an cheese. Serve im­me­di­ately.

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