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(BPT) - It seems like everyone today is looking for ways to eat healthier and seeking out more “adventurous” foods. Some people try extreme diets, consuming only raw or paleo-based foods. Others seek out new varieties of kale or cabbage. And still others simply want to go beyond the ordinary.
Put all this together and it’s clear we’ve become more than just a meat-and-potatoes nation.
As a result of this culinary shift, seafood has experienced a resurgence. Not only is seafood an unbeatable source of lean protein and essential amino acids, but adding it to your dishes also can revitalize old mealtime favorites and create entirely new experiences.
Because October is National Seafood Month, here are five easy ways to use seafood to make your meals more nutritious and exciting.
Revamp your weeknight menu
Once a regional favorite confined to the southern United States, shrimp and grits have become a nationwide sensation. Though many folks have tasted and loved shrimp and grits while dining out, some may shy away from making them at home. Fortunately, they’re easy to prepare — all you really need is some frozen shrimp and a package of grits. Toss the shrimp in a frying pan with a little oil, then sauté with lemon juice, parsley, scallions and garlic. Once your grits are prepared, don’t forget to stir in some cheddar cheese and butter before adding in your shrimp mixture.
Bring some coastal flavor to your pasta dishes
When it comes to pasta, few would question the wide-ranging appeal of spaghetti and meatballs. But sometimes you need a pasta experience that’s a little bolder and more exciting. Shrimp scampi is one such dish, and the trusted shrimp and seafood experts at SeaPak have made its preparation super easy with their own perfectly seasoned Shrimp Scampi. All you need to do is sauté or bake the shrimp, toss them with some butter and Parmesan, and then combine them with your favorite pasta. With that, you’ll suddenly be in the coastal dining swing of things.
When you need to cook to impress
Seared tuna is the steak of the seafood world. It’s delightfully mouthwatering and makes for an impressive dinner presentation. Perhaps best of all, you don’t have to be a world-class chef to make this world-class dish. Just pick up a tuna steak from your grocer and then marinate it for 20 minutes in teriyaki sauce or your favorite seafood marinade. While you’re doing this, put a frying pan over high heat for several minutes, until it's sufficiently hot. (Be careful!) Then, sear the tuna steak for approximately 90 seconds on each side before serving it on a bed of greens.
Rethink your game-day snacks
Sometimes, it seems there’s no end to the creative snack ideas that are hatched when friends get together to watch the game. That said, it’s important to not overlook seafood when shopping for your fan-friendly snacketizers. You can start simple with a platter of crispy SeaPak Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp. Serve them with a delicious dipping sauce, such as this easy Shrimp Con Queso recipe, or go with your trusty tartar sauce. Either way, just be prepared when the crowd comes around for seconds and thirds.
A simple, gourmet stir-fry
Let’s face it: There are days when you want to cook a meal that is equally nutritious and delicious, but you just don’t have the time to achieve that balance. Fortunately, with some rice, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, some stir-fry seasoning and a package of frozen shrimp — ingredients you likely already have on hand in your freezer and pantry — you can whip up a tasty seafood stir-fry in under 30 minutes.