National Nutrition Month Shrimp Skewer & Tomato Soup Recipes
By Katherine Gomez, RDN, CDE, Associate Director, Nutrition
March is National Nutrition Month, and it’s a great time to focus on the importance of good nutrition and its impact on your health. At ProSciento, our Research Nutrition team is responsible for providing nutritionally balanced meals for our participants’ well-being and enjoyment while also maintaining the integrity of each research study.
Our Research Nutrition team works hard to put together the best meals possible for you! Some studies have specific food requirements, but our meals are always meant to be nutritious while also appealing to a wide range of cultural and taste preferences.
The theme for the 50th Anniversary of National Nutrition Month is “Fuel for the Future,” encouraging us to eat with sustainability in mind to nourish ourselves during every phase of life and protect the environment.
An essential piece of sustainability is reducing food waste, which is good for the environment as well as our pocketbooks. Feeding America’s data indicates that nearly 40% of all food in America is wasted.
Planning weekly dinner meals and shopping only for what you plan to cook is an effective way to reduce food waste. Keeping and cooking from a well-stocked pantry and freezer can help reduce food waste by extending the shelf life of your groceries.
Mediterranean Garlic Shrimp Skewers
This dish is a family favorite that is perfect any time of year, but especially great when grilled outdoors. When buying shrimp, look for sustainably sourced ones. Large frozen shrimp work well and can be kept in the freezer for a quick dinner. Serve the shrimp with pantry staples like brown rice or quinoa, and a green salad topped with red cabbage, carrots, and cherry tomatoes.
For the Marinade
- 1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup packed chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the Shrimp
- 2 lb. large shrimp peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoon of the marinade in a separate bowl for later.
- Pat the shrimp dry and season with kosher salt. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and pour the marinade all over. Toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes (do not go longer).
- Thread the shrimp on skewers, about 4 large shrimp per skewer. (If using bamboo skewers, they need to be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes first).
- To grill on an outdoor gas grill. Preheat a gas grill to high. Then, reduce heat to low (temperature should be somewhere between 275 to 325ºF). Carefully grease the cooking grates. Once the grill reaches the recommended temperature, add the shrimp skewers, and close the lid. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until no longer translucent.
- To grill on an indoor griddle or cast-iron grill. Heat a dry griddle over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp skewers and cook on one side about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the grilled shrimp skewers to a platter and spoon the remaining marinade your reserved earlier over the grilled shrimp skewers. Add a splash of lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from The Mediterranean Dish.
This is a delicious spicy soup recipe made with whole canned tomatoes. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile and nutritious. However, depending on the time of year, they can be costly and are likely imported over long distances. Good quality canned tomatoes, specifically whole peeled tomatoes, are a great pantry staple. Canned foods can reduce food waste because they won’t go bad quickly and are unlikely to end up in a landfill. Many brands are available; do a quick search to see which are best based on taste, texture, and acidity.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes – if you don’t want it too spicy start with a pinch to ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 6 ounces Parmesan rind – if you don’t have Parmesan cheese rind, a ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese can be mixed in at the end before serving
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Stir in the onions and sauté until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the whole tomatoes and their juices, 1 cup water and the Parmesan rind, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and the mixture has thickened, about 30 minutes. (If you find during your stirring that the Parmesan rind is stuck to the bottom or sides of the pot, pry it off with a wooden spoon.) If you don’t have Parmesan cheese rind, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese can be mixed in the next step. If needed, a ½ teaspoon sugar can be added to cut the acidity.
- Remove the rind from the soup and let cool slightly. Stir in grated parmesan, if using.
- Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. (Alternatively, ladle the soup into a blender, and blend until smooth.) Season to taste with salt, pepper and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Serve with fresh toasted whole wheat bread and a green salad.
Recipe adapted from The New York Times.