Citrus Shrimp and White Bean Salad

6 Tbsp. lime vinaigrette*
3/4 lb. small or med. shrimp, peeled and deveined
15 oz. canned white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley

4 cups arugula, lettuce, or salad mix
1 orange bell pepper, thinly diced

Heat 2 Tbsp. lime dressing over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté until they start to turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Add beans and parsley and heat through. Divide greens and pepper among four plates for a side dish, or two for a main course. Top with shrimp mixture and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Adapted from meganwarerd.com

*Any kind of vinaigrette-style dressing will work, but Newman’s Own Light Lime Dressing is suggested. You can also make your own by mixing 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, 3 Tbsp lime or lemon juice, and black pepper and salt to taste.

Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Arugula

native to: Mediterranean region
in season here: spring
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Arugula, also called salad rocket, rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, or roquette, is another member of that nutritious Brassica family, related to mustard greens, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It likes cool weather and can be ready for harvest within 40 days of planting, making it one of the first spring crops to show up in farmers’ markets. Although it’s the leaves that are usually eaten, the flowers, pods, and seeds are also edible. It should be noted, however, that once flowers appear, the leaves will be tough and bitter. Some sources recommend serving arugula with something sour, such as lemon or vinegar, to minimize its bitterness. The oil of arugula seeds, called taramira oil, is used in northern Indian cuisine.

Arugula has been recognized as an aphrodisiac since at least the first century C.E., and eating it regularly does in fact increase sexual energy and enhance athletic performance. Like many leafy greens, it has cleansing properties that support the liver and counteract the effects of heavy metals (as in mercury, not Metallica). It lowers the risk of cancer, improves bone health and eyesight, and is good for the skin and brain. It is good for the metabolism, improves mineral absorption, and boosts the immune system. There’s lots of folic acid, vitamins A, C, and K, carotenoids, potassium, manganese, iron, calcium, and phytochemicals in there, and arugula is low in oxalates so even those troubled by kidney stones can eat it. Since chlorophyll has been shown to block the carcinogenic effects of grilling foods at a high temperature, arugula makes a great addition to barbecue fare, either in a salad or as an alternative to plain lettuce on burgers.

Read more:
label-style nutrition information for raw arugula
Organic Facts
Medical News Today
Calorie Bee

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Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.

Fire Roasted Corn and Arugula Pasta with Cream Sauce

3/4 cup milk
3 oz. cream cheese, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
7 oz. penne pasta, cooked and drained, warm
1 1/4 cup frozen fire-roasted corn, thawed, or substitute regular frozen corn
3-4 loose cups torn fresh arugula

garnish:
red pepper flakes to taste
shredded Parmesan cheese to taste

Combine milk, cream cheese, garlic powder, oregano and pepper, until cream cheese is thoroughly mixed in. Add pasta and corn; heat through. Add arugula and stir until wilted. Serve with crushed red pepper and freshly shredded cheese.

Adapted from Megan Ware, RD

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Versión en español: this post is also available in Spanish.
Esperanta traduko: this post is also available in Esperanto, because Dana is a language geek.