Scallops have a sweet, mild flavor that makes them well suited for most any style of cuisine. Another advantage: They cook extremely quickly, especially in the high heat of this simple stir-fry. Jícama, a root vegetable, adds crunch and sweetness. You can find it at many supermarkets as well as Latin American markets.
America’s favorite seafood—we eat more of it than either tuna or salmon—shrimp were once considered a potentially unhealthy food primarily because of their cholesterol content. But that reputation was undeserved: Research suggests that dietary cholesterol does not have a significant effect in most people (saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more). The little fat that shrimp contain is largely unsaturated and includes omega-3 fatty acids. Mixed with a small amount of spicy chorizo sausage, they're the perfect protein centerpiece for this classic Cajun dish.
A shopping tip when buying shrimp: Look for ones that are sustainably produced and responsibly raised, since much of the shrimp sold in the U.S. (especially imported) comes from farms that have a damaging impact on the environment. Consider pairing these broiled shrimp with a salsa or relish, particularly a tart one, to contrast with the salty sweetness of the soy sauce/brown sugar marinade.
Blood oranges, fennel, and Calamata olives are all native to the Mediterranean and work happily together in this shrimp-and-pasta dish. The oranges also boost the nutritional value: One medium orange has about 70 milligrams of vitamin C, nearly enough to meet your basic daily needs. Oranges also contain dozens of phytochemicals, including carotenoids and limonoids.
A remarkably rich source of iron, clams also supply other minerals, including selenium and zinc. In addition, these bivalves are an excellent source of B vitamins in general and an exceptional source of vitamin B12. A half dozen cooked clams have only 72 calories but supply about four times the required daily amount of vitamin B12. Although clams in red sauce are often served with a strand pasta, like spaghetti, couscous provides a better way to get every drop of the delicious sauce.
This East coast clam has a long siphon that projects from a thin, brittle shell. As the name suggests, a steamer clam is usually steamed, but it can also be shucked and then sautéed or deep-fried. If you are buying fresh, live clams, the shells should be tightly closed so that you can’t pull them apart or should close tightly when the shell is tapped. Don’t buy clams with open or cracked shells. Freshly shucked clams should smell perfectly fresh, with no trace of ammonia or “fishy” odor.
When you think “healthy recipe” you don’t usually think “fried”—but these delicate crusty oysters are browned in just 2 teaspoons of olive oil, so they barely fit the definition of “fried.” A serving ends up with 105 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat, and is a good source of selenium, vitamin B12, and zinc.
Though historically associated with cranky dispositions, crabs are nutritional sweethearts: Crabmeat is a good source of low-fat protein, niacin, and zinc, and it also supplies folate, iron, and a large amount of the mineral selenium. Like clams, crabmeat is also a rich source of vitamin B12, with 3 cooked ounces providing more than double the daily requirement. Here the signature flavors of Thai cooking—mint, lime juice, and fresh basil—play well against crab’s richness.
This pasta dish is rich in protein and loaded with vitamin B12. After buying mussels, it is essential to keep them alive, cold, or both until you are ready to cook and serve them. Put live mussels in the refrigerator (at 32° to 35° if possible), covered with wet kitchen towels; use them within four to seven days. Don’t store them in an airtight container or submerge them in fresh water, or they will die. Shucked mussels should be refrigerated in tightly covered containers, immersed in their juice.