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Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Vegetables

Do your eyes grow big and your taste buds water with delight every time you’re eating shrimp? Yet, you become conscious-stricken thinking about its cholesterol content?
pasta shrimp

Although shrimp are high in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol), they are low in calories and saturated fat. Consuming steamed or grilled shrimp provides the body with essential nutrients such as niacin (vitamin B3) which helps process fats, carbohydrates, protein and turns it into energy. 

Shrimp is a very rich source of iron which is needed for energy and vitality. It is also high in protein which is good for the hair, skin, and nails. It contains high amounts of phosphorus, which when combined with calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. Consuming 8oz. of steamed shrimp provides the body with 48% of the daily value of selenium. 

Selenium is a trace mineral and is incorporated into proteins to make seleno proteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes. A lack of selenium has been linked to the incidences of many types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant and a stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes. Sulforaphane and selenium combined becomes 13 times more potent and is stronger in attacking cancer. 

Sulforaphane-rich foods include broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables. Shrimp also contain zinc which slows down prostate cancer cell growth. The recommended daily value of zinc is 10-15 mg and a small serving will equal to this quantity. Shrimp also contain vitamin B12 which helps in the prevention of pernicious anemia.

Pernicious anemia is a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the body cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that supports the production of red blood cells. It can also contribute to thyroid health through its supply of copper, and a good source of magnesium which assist in preventing the development of type II diabetes.

Shrimp, like most fish is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which is good for fighting depression and improving your mood.


  • 6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
  • 12 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 bunch asparagus trimmed and thinly sliced (can substitute with broccoli)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups nonfat or low-fat greek yogurt or non fat chicken broth
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leafy parsley
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to boil. 

Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions.

Drain well.

Steam or grill shrimp until fully cooked. 

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add asparagus, red bell pepper and peas. 

Add pasta and shrimp to skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes more.

Mash the garlic and salt in a large bowl until it forms a paste. 

Whisk paste in greek yogurt, Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with pine nuts when serving if desired.

Nutrition: (Per Serving)
385 calories 168mg cholesterol
0g added sugars 10g fiber
887mg Potassium 6g Fat (1g saturated fat, 3g monosaturated fat)
53g carbohydrates 34g protein
658mg sodium
Bonus Daily Values:
Vitamin C (130%) Folate (60%)
Calcium and Zinc (28%) Vitamin A (71%)
Iron and Magnesium (35%) Potassium (25%)
Recipe By: Eating Well Magazine May/June 2010

Submitted By: Ebony M. Huguet-Smith