Few dishes are more appetizing than a filling and colorful salad for a hot summer noon. Cold noodles, rice, tuna or chicken mixed with your favorite vegetables and your meal is ready.
Salads are easy to make, highly nutritious, light enough to enjoy the rest of the day and they are also full of the protein and vitamins your body needs to keep going.
The thing about summer salads is that the protein options for them are far less than, say, the vegetables. But have you ever considered usingshrimp instead of chicken?
Of course, this is not an option for vegan or vegetarian people, although you can always find a grain to replace that, but for the rest of you who aren’t, shrimp in salads is delicious and a great option to replace the most used ingredient in them: chicken.
You will notice that the salads mentioned later in the article are different versions of classic salads typically made with chicken. Now, why would you choose shrimps over it?
For starters, when it comes to cooking, changes are pretty much always good. There is naturally nothing wrong with chicken, but that is usually everyone’s go-to option for summer salads. Shrimp provide a different experience and a nice way to take any dish up a notch, especially when we have guests over.
Now, as for its nutritional facts, shrimps were once believed to contain high levels of cholesterol. Even if that is true, scientists have determined that it is not the kind of cholesterol we all try to avoid.
Shrimps are in the meat group, of course, and that means that, in dishes like salads, they represent the protein share of our diet. Moreover, it is a great food option for people with a B12 vitamin deficiency as it contains a good share of it. Lastly, even if shrimps contain carbs, we can use the cooking methods in our favor. Grilled shrimps will always be far better than shrimps covered in, for example, breadcrumbs or flour.
Shrimp salads you can try
Bangkok salad: this is a rice-based salad which is a staple in Thai cuisine. Bangkok uses shrimp, Jasmine rice and basil leaves. It is perfect as a main dish and you will love this easy rice and shrimp recipe.
Shrimp Cobb salad: want to give traditional Cobb salad a twist? Try changing chicken for shrimp as suggested here. You will need shallots, mustard, mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs, bacon and blue cheese. It can be done in less than half an hour, it is super colorful and, of course, quite filling.
Blackened shrimp salad: if you are after a flavor-packed, colorful and healthy salad, try this one too. Use some blackening seasoning in the shrimps (it could be Cajun seasoning too). Mix it with black beans, avocado, mixed greens and tomatoes. Add some corn and your favorite dressing and enjoy!
Grilled shrimp salad: if you enjoy grilled meat mixed with vegetables, this is the salad for you. Mix shrimps with spinach, tomatoes, mango and avocado. Use taco seasoning to add tons of flavor to it. Dress it with some lime juice, honey and, of course, some fine olive oil.
Of course, salads are not the only dish in which you can replace chicken for shrimp. If you haven’t already, try making a traditional risotto with shrimps in it. That’s a whole new experience! In this sense, notice how traditional and everyday dishes can be turned into whole new meals with just a small change in the list of ingredients.
Health benefits of shrimp
Considering shrimps provide our bodies with a good share of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins, it is a natural heart health promoter. Our brain can also benefit from shrimps since the choline in it can help our cognitive functions.
Seafood is almost a no-go for pregnant women. However, if you really like seafood, shrimp is one of the only options in this group you can have while pregnant (always check with your doctor first.) Why is this? Because it contains no mercury so, compared to other seafood options, shrimp are safer.
Lastly, shrimp is a good option for those trying to keep their weight loss. Protein food is our main source of satiety, so having shrimps of similar foods will keep you satiated longer, helping you keep up with all the hard work losing weight represents.