Melon and shrimp: a heavenly marriage for flavour and health

We all want to eat a little bit healthier and get our bodies into shape in more ways than one. Here’s an easy lunch that could help that process along. It  brings together two especially nutritious foods that the world ranks as high in flavour as well as low in calories.

Of all the melon varieties, honeydew melons it seems to me have the most mouth-watering taste. These melons occur in numerous varieties, such as the Crenshaw, Casaba (from Kasaba, a town in Turkey), Persian and Winter.  Cut honeydew melons with seeds make an excellent snack. In addition, honeydew melons can be dried and kept like raisins while the seeds can be roasted. Marco Polo may have been the first explorer out of the West to come across modern Persians drying honeydew melons to enhance their aroma and flavour! Honeydew melons can also be made into lip-smacking kebabs!

These juicy melons are rich in vitamin C, potassium, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6, and thus help to overcome high blood pressure, skin disorders and other related problems of the circulatory system. The melons are at their nutritive best when ripe.

Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the world, next to fish. The firm, translucent flesh of raw shrimp is low in calories and saturated fat, making it a healthy alternative to red meat. The nutritional qualities of shrimp are excellent. It is high in protein and selenium. It is also a very good source of vitamin D and vitamin B12 (important to brain function and the nervous system, as well as in the formation of blood) and a good source of iron, phosphorus, omega 3 fatty acids, niacin, zinc, copper and magnesium.

Besides being quick to prepare, this sumptuous lunch looks as good as it tastes. If you want to impress your friends, and offer a healthful meal, this combo is for you.

Shrimp salad with melon balls
Ingredients
• 2 melons
• 1 head of lettuce
• 2 tomatoes
• 1 sprig of green onions
• 2 lemons
• 1 cucumber
• A few sprigs of parsley
• 2 beets thinly sliced

Sauce Marie Rose
• 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
• 1½ tbsp. tomato ketchup
• 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• A pinch of salt and pepper

Cut the melon in half and remove all the seeds. With a ball-maker, scoop into the melon and create melon balls, cutting as close to the skin as possible.

Wash the shrimp in cold water, and dry. Shred the lettuce, slice the tomato and cucumber and chop the green onions. Now to put it all together:

Place several melon balls in the base of the carved-out melon; then add some shredded lettuce followed by a layer of shrimp. The cucumber and tomato can be positioned around what is now a melon cup and a little sauce should be drizzled on the shrimp. The final decoration is a little parsley for contrast.  Serve, and watch your guests enjoy.

Originally published on Lifestyles 55

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