Monday, January 01, 2007

South Beach Phase One Recipes:
Warm Scallop Caesar Salad

It's the first day of a brand-new year, the time when we get to start over and change everything about our lives that we'd like to improve. If you're one of the people who's planning to start a healthier way of eating in the new year, you're in good company; literally millions of people will start a diet in the month of January. Even though I'm pretty committed to the South Beach Diet all year, I've indulged a little during the holidays, so I'll be doing phase one myself for a few weeks. This ability to do a quick diet tune-up if you need to is one of the ten reasons I love the South Beach Diet. For all my readers who might be starting South Beach, I'm challenging myself to feature only phase one recipes for a month. And even if you're completely uninterested in the low-glycemic way of eating, I think you'll be amazed to see all the delicious-looking food you can eat on this diet.

This Warm Scallop Caesar Salad certainly didn't taste like diet food. Scallops are one of my very favorite types of seafood, and once you master the trick of cooking them (cook quickly and for a very short time) they're a fast, tasty treat. I live where fresh scallops are prohitively expensive, so these are frozen ones from my beloved Costco, thawed in the refrigerator for a day before I cooked them. I also used purchased Cardini's Caesar dressing here, which means this recipe has less than five ingredients and can be classified as one of my Easy South Beach Recipes. It just doesn't get any better than this for delicious and easy.

Warm Scallop Caesar Salad
(2 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

8 large sea scallops
about 4 cups washed romaine lettuce
1-2 tsp. olive oil (depends on your pan)
1-2 T water (for larger pan use 2 T)
3 T Caesar Salad Dressing
(I used Cardini's Caesar, my favorite)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Use a heavy pan which heats evenly. Pans that aren't non-stick will give the best browning, and be sure to choose a pan where scallops can be cooked in a single layer. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat about 30 seconds, then add scallops and cook quickly, probably not more than 2 minutes per side. Don't have the heat too high or the scallops will release moisture and won't brown properly. (Scallops are better slightly underdone than overdone, so don't overcook! There is a good discussion of how to cook scallops here.)

While scallops cook, assemble lettuce on two serving plates. Place four scallops on top of lettuce on each plate. Turn pan to high and put water in, then scrape the bottom of the pan to get any browned bits, keeping heat high to let some of the water evaporate. After about 1 minute, turn off heat. Stir in salad dressing and lemon juice and let it get slightly warm in the hot pan, then pour over salad and serve. Top with fresh ground black pepper if desired.

South Beach Suggestions:
For phase one of the South Beach Diet, I would eat this as a main dish salad. Heartier appetities could add something like Goulash Soup with Red Peppers and Cabbage or Chicken Soup with Garbanzos and Oregano. For phase two or three, add your favorite 100% whole wheat bread.

Here's another yummy recipe using Costco scallops. I think this could still be eaten for phase one even though there's the tiniest bit of flour. You could skip the flour if you wanted.

More phase one recipes from Kalyn:
Wake Up Your Mouth Thai Cucumber Salad
American Greek Salad
Curried Chicken on the Grill with Cilantro Chutney
Hamburger Kebabs
Roasted Broccoli with Garliccounter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. I've seen the frozen scallops at Costco, but I've never been adventerous to try them. I'll have to give them a try.

  2. Fiber, of course fresh seafood is always better, but the frozen scallops at Costco are first rate. Thawing in the fridge (as opposed to using hot water) is important. I have a FoodSaver, so when I bring the back home I re-seal them in packages of four or eight which probably helps keep the quality good.

  3. Oops, that was supposed to say "when I bring the bag home".

  4. I think we should all go an hang out at Kalyn's house for the month, with all this heavenly, healthful food she's cooking up. The scallops look gorgeous!

  5. You do amaze me with such beautiful "diet" food. I love scallops! This is wonderful.

  6. Such a light and lovely way to start the new year. Thanks, Kalyn -- you are an inspiration!

  7. Mmm. That looks really good Kalyn! And I have to say, even though I'm not one to follow a "diet" per se, you really have me thinking on South Beach. I may just have to pick up the book this week and check it out.

  8. Yikes, I just noticed that in the instructions for the recipe I meant to type "pans that aren't non-stick will give the best browning" and instead I typed "non-stick pans will give the best browning." I hope no one who's a great cook thought I was losing my mind.

    Elise, please come. You can sleep in my office.

    Tanna and Lydia, you're both so sweet. Thanks.

    Erika, I was never one to follow a "diet" before this one either, in fact every diet I tried I didn't stick with. If you are thinking of trying it, reading the book first is the right way to go.

  9. Well, after spending time on your site perusing recipes Kalyn, I went ahead and ordered the book. If nothing else, I hope it can help me eat a little more smartly.

  10. Happy New Year Kalyn

  11. I've got the book and I've got your blog--I'm ready to go!

  12. Love the look of your salad! Beautiful!

  13. I love salads and this one looks and sounds dee-lee-cious! I'm with Elise. I'm all for the idea of hanging out at Kalyn's for the month. May I bring my dogs? ;-))))


  14. Oh, yum! What a way to start the new year. I adore scallops, and Caeser salad -- so what's not to like?!

  15. Erika and Homesick Texan, go for it! Keep me posted on how you're doing.

    Sandeepa, thanks for the nice wishes.

    White_Poplar and Lisa, thanks. It was so tasty. I'm crazy about scallops. My sister hates them and I can't understand it.

    Paz, please come! We can have so much fun. (I'm not sure about the dogs though. My house is pretty small, and with all these other guests . . .)

  16. Hi Kalyn, Happy New year. I've been looking forward to you posting a month of recipes such as Phase 1 from SB. They're all going into my cookbook. Hopefully by the end of the month I'll have lost the few pounds I packed on since Thanksgiving!

  17. I'm new to South Beach :) Actually today is day 1.
    i happened here by accident and i'm so glad i have.
    what do scallops taste like? i've never had one? i know this looks delicious and i'd eat it with shrimp mmmmmm
    how about Greek and lebanese food? can this be eaten on phase one?

  18. Tami, good luck on South Beach. I recommend reading the original South Beach book for ideas as to what can be eaten for different phases. In different cuisines like Greek, there would be some dishes that are good and others that aren't. I'm not sure how to describe the taste of scallops, but I love them! They're not that fishy tasting, kind of reminiscent of shrimp, but different. Shrimp would be great in this too.

  19. I made these and they were such a treat. Even my husband (not dieting and not a seafood lover) really enjoyed it. He wrapped his up in a sun-dried tomato and basil soft tortilla. Adapted it for the kids with leftover chicken instead of scallops. Everybody was happy. Thanks, Kayla.


  20. i just made these scallops to enjoy alone as i have had my fill of lettuce for the day and YUM! I am a senior in college and south beaching and must say that I really impressed my roommate with these delights! I served them with sauteed mushrooms and gingerey asparagus. I didn't have the recipe in front of me so i mixed the caesar and water then made the pan sauce. YUM! I love your blog. it has really helped me with phase one thus far :)

  21. I am starting the new year getting back on track also. I am looking forward to colleting and trying your daily recipes. Trying new recipes keeps things interesting.

    Wishing you a successful and healthy 2012!


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