Designed by: Chef Mark Allison, Director of Culinary Nutrition at Dole Food Company.

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Melon and Shrimp

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • 2 teaspoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of
  • 2 limes, juice and zest of
  • 2 Thai red chili peppers, finely diced
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon raw almonds, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 small watermelon or cantaloupe*, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, freshly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, freshly chopped

*Any melon can be substituted.

Preparation

  1. In large bowl, combine the garlic, honey, nam pla, lemon juice, lemon zest, lime juice, lime zest and chili peppers.
  2. Fold in shrimp and almonds. Add the melon and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and mint over each serving.

Nutrition Facts of Featured Ingredients

Shrimp, the most widely consumed seafood worldwide, are renowned for their sweet, mild taste. Some of shrimp’s nutrients include: selenium, vitamin B12, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus and choline. Scientists at the Nutrition Research Institute are studying the importance of choline to a variety of health conditions.

Choline is a water-soluble essential nutrient. Choline makes acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that allows brain cells to develop normally, controls muscles, and protects against age-related memory loss. It allows cells to send chemical messages to each other. Choline helps kidney cells remove waste products from our blood and keeps cell membranes working efficiently.

Choline in Pregnancy. The placenta is designed to deliver choline to babies in large amounts. There is a critical period – through the second trimester of pregnancy – when a little extra choline in a mother’s diet results in a 30% improvement in memory that lasts for the offspring’s entire life. Choline is also transported abundantly through breastfeeding.

Watermelon’s official name is Citrullus lanais of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. It is cousin to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash. It offers high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A, along with the antioxidant lycopene.

Watermelon is rich in citrulline, a basic amino acid and precursor to arginine. Nitric oxide is made from arginine. Citrulline consumption, via watermelon has been shown to have the ability to reduce blood pressure. Citrulline has been shown to decrease blood pressure in adults with hypertension. The results of research at the Plants for Human Health Institute indicate that citrulline from watermelon offers the potential to improve cardiovascular health.

Dietary supplementation with watermelon juice, rich in citrulline, reduced fat mass and improved insulin sensitivity, showing that citrulline found in watermelon can adequately be converted to arginine.