Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest Post Spotlight: Shrimp Scampi

This week I am happy to turn the LC floor over to a talented friend.  Jessie from The Happiness in Health.  Jessie is a registered dietitian working on a Masters Degree, she's smart, lovely, and a good cook.  Doesn't seem quite fair, does it?  Also, she's the only person under 100 to use the phrase "By, golly."

For seriously good nutritional education and healthy recipes check out Jessie @ The Happiness in Health.  Her writing style is witty and fun, you will not be bored.


Thanks for having me as a guest poster on your admirable blog, Laz! It truly is an honor to be here!

For those of you who don’t know, I became a registered dietitian last July and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of the nutrition profession. Upon introducing myself to others as a registered dietitian, people will typically ask me some version of the same question. What do you think that question is? Is it:

(a) "By golly, Jessie, how do you stand eating rabbit food all day long?"
(b) "What's a registered dietitian? (Or, even better: "What's a registered dianitian?" )
(c) "Will you avert your gaze from the fried chicken I am cradling in my hand?"
(d) "How should I eat?"

Okay, I need to confess: I've been asked versions of ALL these questions; however, what’s the question I've been asked the most? If you answered (d), a high-five and hearty pat on the back for you!

So, what's my answer? A short version: eat real food. By real food, I mean unprocessed, perishable foods composing a diet that consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and a small amount of healthy fats. Notice I said "perishable" - some packaged foods will have the word "fresh" emblazoned on the front, but you aren't fooled, right? And, notice I said "mostly" - I subscribe to the "always, sometimes" diet.

..."Ah, ha!" you say, "This girl, RD is passing off Michael Pollan's words as her own!" True, Michael Pollan's "Eat Food" mantra brought the current fixation with packaged and processed foods over fresh and unprocessed foods to public prominence. Yet, people have been thinking about - and, even better, unconciously choosing - real foods for time immemorial. We have reached an age where people must turn to experts for guidance on how to eat. Strange, yes? I will do my part, of course, but I mourn the loss of unconsciously healthy food choices.

Luckily, we dietitians have people like Lazaro helping to spread the word! Think of Lazaro as my RD sidekick, if you will (you can give him a mohawk if you wish). His commitment to using fresh, sustainable ingredients in creative ways is part of a trend that I am thrilled to see across the blog world and into the real world. With a little work, I believe we can return to making healthier food choices without a second thought. The choice is OURS.

What can a hungry health- and eco-concious cook do right now? Why, make dishes like "I Choose YOU! Shrimp Scampi", of course!

Unfortunately, most shrimp consumed in the U.S. are imported from other countries where regulations concerning production are poorly controlled. I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat contaminated shrimp if I can help it. I choose U.S.-caught shrimp whenever possible - yes, domestic shrimp often is more expensive than imported shrimp, but I have made a conscious choice to enjoy foods that are better for my health and for the environment. For a good guide on ocean-friendly seafood, check out this link.

Shrimp Scampi
Serves 2

8 oz. shrimp, domestic if possible
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter (omit if desired)
Red pepper flakes
Fresh parsley
Whole wheat pasta or brown rice, cooked

Cook pasta or rice and arrange on warm plates. Defrost shrimp if necessary and make sure shrimp are very dry. Place flour on large plate and mix in smoked paprika if desired (I add the paprika when I want to give the shrimp a little kick). Lightly dredge shrimp in flour and place on another plate.

Place a frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add oil and butter and allow butter to melt. Add shrimp immediately and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning once halfway through. Don't overcook! Remove shrimp to the plates with pasta or rice and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the frying pan if necessary and place over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for no more than 30 seconds. Drizzle garlic/oil mixture over shrimp and pasta/rice, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and torn fresh parsley. Squeeze lemon over all if desired.

Serve immediately and enjoy! I often eat this dish with grilled summer squash or sautéed Swiss chard.

Thanks again for having me as your guest, Lazaro! To all you dear readers: keep it real! Peace.

Please stop by and check out Jessie @ The Happiness in Health.


  1. Jessie! I don't need to tell you how much I adore Jessie. Definitely agree with you, Laz, girl is "smart, lovely, a good cook", and we both know, so much more. I say this w/o a doubt in my mind, the blogosphere is a better place because of bloggers like her.

    Jessie, my dear, I never even knew there was such a thing as a dianition. Haha. But at least I got a high five and a pat on the back ;). Needless to say, I love your dish - healthy, quick, and delicious! I want to try this for sure some time. It's great to see a post from you. I've missed ya, chickie! Thank you again to you and Laz for another wonderful recipe :D

  2. It looks great. I can almost taste it!

  3. Fantastic post. It's so great meeting you, Jessie. I look forward to checking out your site. This Shrimp Scampi looks delish and it is certainly quite healthy. Great job on the photography also. Brava!


  4. A good reminder about shrimp and a great guest post. I never thought to dredge shrimp in flour but i can see the advantages. I'll pop into your site for sure.

  5. Fantastic dish..great talent here;)

  6. I love the conviction behind eating perishable foods and environmentally sustainable foods - the more voices championing this change, the better! Love the post and the recipe...

  7. I do look forward to visiting you. This is what I love about Laz...he knows the best and always happy to introduce. Great dish by the way...it is an old favorite.

  8. So fun to see Jessie here, Laz! Eating real food is great advice, Jessie...something so simple, that sometimes slips peoples' minds. The shrimp scampi looks tasty!

  9. Lovely "meeting" you, Jessie! This dish looks absolutely scrumptious!

  10. Hi Jessie and Laz - the dish looks great, love the smoked paprika aspect, and whole wheat pasta too.

  11. Thanks again for letting me hijack- er, guest post- on your awesome blog, Laz! Your introductions are always stellar - and this one made me blush! Very kind of you :)

  12. Hey Jessie, so excited to see you here and of course I am a big fan of everything you do :) Your shrimp looks fantastic and loved every word of you "Jessie style post", big hugs
    Laz, as usual you feature the best...loved it :)

  13. What beautiful photos Jessie!! I like your lower fat version!

  14. Great guest post! I am a huge fan of shrimp scampi since I was a kid. Thanks for hosting a great guest post, I giggled at the common questions people ask Jessie as a dietitian. Hope you both have a great day! =]

  15. Nice to meet you Jessie! This is a lovely version of scampi, and you are SO right about buying domestically-caught shrimp. I was lucky to discover a place to get Gulf shrimp, the best in the world in my opinion. I am still laughing about that "dianitian" question!!!

  16. I like this recipe a lot, it is one of my favourites now after i`ve tried it this morning and it was very good, thanks for sharing and also thanks for your good explanations.

  17. I like the idea of dredging the shrimp in flour, this is a tasty healthy meal. Great to meet you Jessie, I'll take a look at your site. GG

  18. Only one thing, several years ago my husband, somewhat of an expert in food production and has researched it quite a bit, told me that while about 97% of shrimp are checked and controlled in France, only 3% of shrimp are controlled in the US. True or not? I'm curious because when I visit family in Florida I always eat loads of local shrimp! That said, Shrimp Scampi is an absolute favorite and yours is gorgeous!


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