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Bay Scallops: The Perfect Summer Meal

The heat of the summer calls for some down and dirty dinnertime meals (and no, we are not talking pizza takeout!), which is why I am proclaiming the bay scallop (well actually scallops, plural, since nobody eats just one) my official, easy to make, healthy food of the season.
Bay scallops are briny, sweet and succulent little nuggets of goodness that take only minutes to prepare. (Sea scallops are the big ones you find at most restaurants.) A quick little sauté in butter (seriously, only 1-2 minutes per side) and dinner is served!
Delicious over a bed of salad greens, a three-ounce portion contains only 90 calories and has no saturated fat, but boasts 17 grams of protein. The bite-sized morsels are half the price of the larger sea scallops, but have the same nutritional content and are basically foolproof to prepare.
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They are also versatile as hell. They taste just as good with a lemon, garlic or white wine sauce as they do tossed together with a simple spicy marinara and then served over a bed of linguine or angel hair pasta.
If you are fortunate enough to live on the coast, you can hunt for your own dinner. Bay scallops live in clam shaped shells and hang out in the sea grass beds in the shallow waters off the Atlantic. Scalloping is said to be a ton of fun; like an underwater Easter egg hunt.
The shucking, however, is labor intensive, as the little bugger will fight to keep its shell closed and the prize inside is surrounded by a lot of gooey muck.
Gross factor aside, bay scallops make a fantastic quick and easy supper for these hot summer months. Actually, make that any time of the year when you can find them!
Have you ever gone scalloping? I have not, but it does sound like wholesome fun in the sun, just as long as somebody else does the shucking! —Karen
 

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