New Year’s Eve Tradition: Seafood Extravaganza


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The 6 pounds of shrimp!

Our New Year’s Eve dinner side dishes.

One of the great traditions we have in our family is every New Year’s Eve, we get together with friends and enjoy a seafood feast. Part of the fun is getting together with friends and preparing the food together. Of course, the food is always good too.

Since we live in landlocked New Mexico, we get our seafood frozen from Costco, but it is still good. We have king crab legs and shrimp, since everyone likes them and they are easy to cook. Along with the seafood, we have a vegetable dish and salad each year along with homemade potato skins (sliced baked potatoes with cheddar and bacon crumbles). I often bring or make dessert, but we didn’t even eat it this year. I’m probably skipping it next year! (By the way, I brought gourmet cupcakes from Cake Fetish.)

This year we had Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic, Gorgonzola and Herbs from Giadia De Laurentiis as our vegetables, and Ellie Krieger’s Orange, Radish and Mint Salad. Lots of color – orange and reds with the tomatoes, oranges and the cooked seafood!

The great thing about crab and shrimp is that it is low-calorie and low-fat compared to other meat we could, and likely would, choose.

According to CalorieKing.com: four ounces of snow crab = 130 calories, less than 2 grams of fat (less than 0.5 grams saturated), no carbs, and almost 30 grams of protein. And, four ounces of shrimp = 110 calories, about 1 gram of fat (less than 0.5 grams saturated), no carbs, and nearly 24 grams of protein. Shrimp also has over 200 mg potassium and about 45 mg calcium.

Compare these two shellfish with a beef top sirloin (a lean cut of beef): four ounces is 240 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 saturated, no carbs, and 22 grams of protein. Or with a pork loin, which is also a lean cut: 133 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (about 1 gram saturated), no carbs and 25 grams of protein.

Also, think about all the work that is takes to get 4 ounces of crab meat! It is difficult to overeat it, but we sure try.

Something that many people bring up with shrimp is the cholesterol content: over 200 mg in the four-ounce serving. The recommendation is less than 300 mg per day. Considering that shrimp is low in fat, and especially saturate fat, this isn’t what effects blood cholesterol in most people, so we tend not to worry about it when eaten occasionally. Unfortunately the melted butter that people often have with their seafood has saturated fat, so stick to cocktail sauce!

We look forward to next year’s New Year’s Eve get together with friendship, seafood, and some new recipes to try. Happy New Year friends and a healthy 2011!

Do you have a New Year’s Eve tradition?

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