March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
In Mexico, thinly-sliced jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-mah) sprinkled with fresh lime juice and salt, makes a quick, crisp, finger-food snack, and a great inspiration for this refreshing main dish salad. Marinated with south-of-the-border flavors, jicama, cucumber and bell pepper, tossed with shrimp — a seafood favorite from the Gulf coast — transforms into a colorful, nutrient-rich main dish salad.
1 small jicama (about ¾ pound), peeled, cut in 2-inch matchsticks
1 small unwaxed cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, thinly sliced
½ medium red bell pepper, seeds removed, cut in 2-inch matchsticks
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
1½ pound large or jumbo shrimp, steamed, peeled (deveined, if desired)
8 cups shredded leaf lettuce
Lime wedges, for garnish
Juice from 2 limes
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lime peel, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
¼ cup canola oil
- Combine the jicama, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and cilantro or parsley in a medium bowl; gently mix. Add the shrimp.
- To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, honey, lime peel, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt in a small bowl; mix together. Add the oil; whisk well to blend the ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetable-shrimp mixture; toss gently to coat the ingredients.
- Cover. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to marinate and blend the flavors.
- Arrange the salad over lettuce. Garnish with lime wedges.
Calories: 260; Calories from fat: 100; Total fat: 11g; Saturated fat: 1g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 170mg; Sodium: 200mg; Total carbohydrate: 16g; Dietary fiber: 5g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 25g