This meal is WEIGH too good to be true
As previously mentioned, I’m on a mission to lose 1/3rd of my former self. And, I’m already 1/4th of the way there!! I’m exercising at least 5/7th’s of each week and eating 3/5th’s of the calories I burn each day. Now, if all these fractions hurt your brain as much as they do mine, you’ll understand why counting calories, weighing food, and trying to specifically calculate how much to eat each day makes me just want to curl into a ball and roll under my bed to hide until Thanksgiving. Luckily, I’ve been using a combination of a cool app (on the computer AND my phone) called myfitnesspal and the healthy recipes from The Pampered Chef to make sure I meet all my daily and weekly goals. Although I need to lose weight, I’m not willing to sacrifice my life for it. I love food, and I love eating full meals that have plenty of flavor and variety. What good is being thin and “healthy” if you are suffering each day?? There’s always a way to make better choices but still get to eat the things you love!
One of the meals I made recently was absolutely delicious!! I love seafood. In a shell, from a shell, creatures that know creatures that are related to creatures that once lived in or swam near a shell… all of it! I found the perfect meal for lunch or a light dinner in the old It’s Good For You cookbook: Pan-Seared Scallops and Spinach. It was filling enough for me to steer clear of after-meal snacking, but wasn’t so heavy that it left me in a food coma. I’ve never cooked scallops before (and I’ve heard it’s easy to overcook them), but this recipe was so simple that I whipped it out in less than half an hour start to finish, and they were almost restaurant quality. A little uneven on the browning because I didn’t start with a hot enough pan, but cooked perfectly in the middle if I do say so myself! Since I was quite out of my element with the scallops, and I absolutely love sauteed spinach, I left the entire recipe alone and followed it step by step. Shocker, right? 😉 The only time I pulled a Heather wasn’t even really my fault. I don’t actually have the larger Stainless Skillet so I used my 10′ Skillet, and the spinach didn’t really fit at first. I knew it would shrink as it wilted, though, so it was simply a matter of avoiding any overly fervent stirring until it fit inside better after a few moments. Not really a big deal, and no leaves were harmed in the making of the side dish.
Well, since the entire serving was only 160 calories, this was literally too good to be true for my weight loss plans (except it IS true!!). Whether you actually want to lose weight or merely start eating better-for-you meals, this is definitely a must-try if you like the simple clean flavor of a great scallop. So here’s to my continued success at finding the healthier me that got stuffed into this fat suit, and hopefully I can help you reach your personal goals while still enjoying delicious food by sharing dishes like these with you as well!
Pan-Seared Scallops and Spinach
1 pound sea scallops (about 20-24)
Dash of salt
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 package (10 ounces) fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground black pepper
1 tablespoon 70% vegetable oil spread
1. Remove muscle from side of each scallop, if necessary. Wash scallops under cold running water; pat dry using paper towel. Lightly season scallops with a dash of salt.
2. Dice bell pepper using Chef’s Knife. Finely chop shallots using Food Chopper. Zest lemon using Lemon Zester/Scorer to measure 1 teaspoon zest. Juice lemon using Juicer to measure 1 tablespoon juice.
3. Heat 12-in. Covered Skillet over high heat 5 minutes. Add olive oil, bell pepper and shallots; cook and stir 1 minute. Add spinach, lemon zest, juice, salt and black pepper to skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until spinach starts to wilt; remove spinach to serving platter using Nylon Slotted Spoon. Pour off any remaining liquid from skillet and discard.
4. Return skillet to heat. Heat over high heat 2-3 minutes or until hot. Lightly spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add scallops and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown, turning once using Bamboo Tongs. Add vegetable oil spread to skillet, tossing scallops to coat. Place scallops over spinach. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 160 (28% from fat), Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 35mg, Carbohydrate 8g, Protein 21g, Sodium 420mg, Fiber 2g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 1/2 low-fat meat, 1 1/2 vegetable (0 carb)
A sea scallop is actually a small round muscle about 1 1/2 inches in diameter that is protected by two beautiful fan-shaped shells. Raw scallops should be creamy white or slightly pink in color and have a distinct sweet odor when fresh.
Sea scallops have a small muscle on the side, which should be removed because it can toughen when cooked. Use the Paring Knife to detach the muscle if it has not already been removed at the time of purchase.
Be careful not to overcook scallops or they will become tough and chewy. They are deliciously tender when quickly sauteed, grilled or broiled.
Shallots are small onions with thin, brown, papery skin. Thinly sliced green onions can be substituted for the chopped shallots, if desired.
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