Ok, I admit it. I am a health freak. Yes, I watch what I eat, and yes, I could probably tell you how many calories are in that thing you are about to consume…go ahead — try me. I wasn’t always this way…as a childhood tomboy and a high school jock — I ate like a machine. I had no idea what a calorie was, nor did I care. Curly fries, nachos, Dairy Queen Blizzards — you name it, I ate it. I never worried about it going straight to my thighs, or if my butt looked big in my jeans…it didn’t. I was a tall, skinny rail. I looked at food as fuel for my next workout, and I ate whenever I was hungry — no guilt — no calorie counts — no worries. Fast forward 15 years and things have changed — a lot! My dynamite metabolism has slowed to a snail’s pace, and now I put on weight while just looking at food. Blame it on age, lifestyle changes, or just plain old genetics. Whatever it is, I have been forced to clean up my act as well as my diet. Don’t get me wrong, this is not the worst thing in the world. A clean diet gives me extra energy, less stomach woes, and clear skin (at least sometimes…hey  — it’s a diet, not a miracle drug!) I just have to be a bit more organized and plan ahead. If I am going to have a big dinner, I don’t eat a huge lunch. Basic common sense and a bit of will power…do I want to eat the whole pint of ice cream? Yes, of course, but I have learned (or convinced myself) to be satisfied with smaller portions. I have also learned to choose my foods wisely. I am always looking for the meal that will give me the most bang for my buck. Protein and lots of veggies usually do the trick. I want to eat a meal, feel satisfied, and not be starving in 3 minutes. That brings me to this delightful recipe below. My husband is huge fan of scallops and I have experimented with countless recipes. This one ticks all the boxes…high in protein, low in calories, and has just enough sweetness to satisfy my sugar demons.  Plus, it is ridiculously easy to make…just don’t tell my husband that. He thinks I slave away in the kitchen making his favorite meal…what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Seared Scallops with Grapefruit Sauce *Serves 2* Ingredients

  • 1 small pink grapefruit
  • 8 ounces dry sea scallops
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth, or dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Preparation 1.) Cut the grapefruit in half, then use knife to carve out each section. Hold the halves over a bowl and dislodge the pieces, allowing the individual sections to fall into the bowl, collecting the juice as well. Once all the pieces have been collected in the bowl, squeeze booth grapefruit halves, collecting any remaining juice. Drain the juice into a measuring cup to make ¼ cup. Finely mince shallot and set aside.


Grapefruit segments, juice and minced shallots

2. Sprinkle both sides of scallops with salt and pepper. **Now, here is a little tip I picked up. In addition to the salt and pepper, sprinkle each scallop with just a touch of sugar. It may sound weird, but trust me — it works every time. The sugar caramelizes in the pan giving each scallop a hint of sweetness. 3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. 4. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened for about 1 minute. Add the reserved grapefruit juice and wine and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add honey, the grapefruit sections and mint. Return the scallops to the pan and reheat gently, turning to coat with the sauce.


yummy grapefruit…

I served this up with some sautéed kale, red pepper and onion, paired with a nice, crisp glass of sauvignon blanc (or 2). Shows that even health freaks can have a tasty if not extravagant meal for under 500 calories.

Per serving: 258 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 37 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 20g protein; 1 g fiber; 257 mg sodium; 589 mg potassium. Recipe courtesy of Eating Well  — Erika

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