(Family Features) The easiest way to get the family together for a meal is with a delicious, homemade dish with tasty ingredients, such as protein-packed shrimp.
There are many scrumptious reasons for including shrimp into your family's diet. In fact, the American Heart Association and other experts recommend eating seafood at least twice a week, and the FDA just announced this year that pregnant women should consume between 8-12 ounces of seafood a week. It's easy to work towards this dietary goal by introducing Gulf shrimp into your diet. This versatile protein is easy to prepare; has a wonderfully salty and fresh flavor from the nutrient-rich environment in which it is caught; and is also widely available fresh and frozen at your local grocery.
Flavorful Gulf shrimp contains high-quality protein and a variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamins B-6 and B-12. Plus, it's a natural source of vitamin D, low in saturated fat and offers healthy omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Add flair and flavor to your family's meal routine (and keep the kids happy) with these easy meal ideas that incorporate Gulf shrimp:
* Breakfast: Dice it up and add to omelets with fresh vegetables, such as sautéed spinach and tomatoes.
* Lunch: Perk up your midday meal by adding it to salads and tortilla soups.
* Appetizer or snack: Serve with simple cocktail sauce for a no-fuss crowd pleaser, or a light stick-with-you snack.
* Dinner: Mix it into spaghetti sauce and serve on a bed of whole wheat pasta.
For more great Gulf shrimp recipe ideas, visit www.eatgulfseafood.com.
Quick-and-Easy Cheesy Gulf Shrimp Nachos
Recipe provided to the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition by Chef Justin Timineri of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Total time: 10 minutes
1/4 pound tortilla chips
1 low-sodium black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheese
1/2 pounds small fresh or frozen Gulf shrimp (or large shrimp cut into bite-sized pieces), boiled and peeled
1 large tomato, finely diced
1/4 cup scallions, diced
Low-fat or fat-free sour cream (optional)
Fresh guacamole (optional)
Preheat oven to broil. In large, oven-proof platter, place tortilla chips in single layer. Sprinkle black beans and half of cheese on top of chips, then evenly distribute shrimp on top. Add diced tomato as next layer, then cover with remaining cheese.
Cook under broiler for roughly 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Garnish nachos with sliced scallions, and top with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
Source: Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition