Seared scallops are a popular seafood dish. Seared scallops are quick-cooking, sweet, tender, mild, and delectable. Aside from being delicious, sea scallops are actually quite healthy. Sea scallops, a form of mollusk, have many nutritional benefits, including having lean protein, and various vitamins and minerals.
Perhaps these mollusks are considered guilty by association since they often appear in decadent restaurant meals that are overloaded with calories. In fact, like most seafood, scallops are a diet-approved food for many weight loss plans. They make a good addition to a weight-management plan, as they’re low in calories. Using a low-fat method of cooking such as grilling, broiling, steaming or sautéing helps keep the calories down.
One major benefit of sea scallops is the low-fat protein they provide. One 3-ounce serving provides 20 grams of protein and just 95 calories. Choosing lean sources of protein may also help prevent excess caloric intake and an elevated cholesterol level.
Scallops don’t have to be just a restaurant treat when they’re so easy to sear beautifully at home. Unfortunately, many home cooks are simply too scared to attempt cooking this delicate dish. With a little know-how, you can cook restaurant-quality scallops at home. They are a quick and versatile menu item for home cooking as well. Here is a simple, basic and low-calorie recipe for sea scallops.
- 8 sea scallops
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp lemon pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and divided
- 2 tsp lemon juice, divided
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- Prepare the scallops by removing and discarding the hard little muscle that is attached to the side of the scallop. Sometimes that is removed before sale, most of the time not. Rinse the scallops gently under very cold water thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, oregano, thyme and lemon pepper. Roll scallops in flour mixture until lightly coated on all sides. Set the coated scallops aside.
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Arrange scallops in skillet in a single layer and cook, without touching, until deep golden brown underneath, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Using a small metal spatula, swiftly loosen and flip each scallop. After turning scallops, add 1 tablespoon parsley and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
- Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes to sear the second side until the scallop is firm to the touch and well-browned. Avoid turning the scallops over and over as they cook. Just allow each side to brown and caramelize and then remove them from the pan once they are cooked through.
- Remove scallops from pan and set them in a warm spot until ready to serve. Repeat until remaining scallops are cooked, tossing each batch with parsley and lemon juice. Transfer to a large plate and serve immediately.
- With only 120 calories per serving, these sea scallops are healthy and delicious. You can serve them with a bit of lemon as a garnish or with a side dish of rice and steamed or grilled vegetables.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 15 minutes
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- The trick to cooking scallops is to wear them on very high heat. If the heat isn’t high enough, the scallops will take too long to brown, and get overcooked and rubbery.
- This recipe comes together very fast so you must have all of the ingredients measured out in advance before you begin cooking. Also, remember that scallops get rubbery if they are not eaten soon after cooking so do not start this dish until just before you are ready to serve.
Per Serving: Serving size: 3 to 4 scallops, 120 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 630mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 10g protein
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