Dinner in minutes

Crusty scallops bed down on spinach



Peanut-Coconut Crusted Scallops

3 tablespoons dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts

1/4 cup desiccated coconut flakes

3/4 pound scallops

2 teaspoons canola oil

3 cups washed, ready-to-eat spinach

2 tablespoons “lite” coconut milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Chop peanuts and coconut flakes in a food processor and place on a plate. Roll scallops in the mixture, making sure all sides are covered. Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet. Add scallops and sauté 1 1/2 minutes; turn and sauté 1 1/2 minutes. The scallops will be seared and continue to cook in their own heat off the stove. Place them on a plate and add the spinach to the pan. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. Divide spinach between 2 dinner plates and place scallops on top. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 338 calories (44 percent from fat), 16.6 g fat (4.7 g saturated, 6.4 g monounsaturated), 54 mg cholesterol, 33.6 g protein, 14.7 g carbohydrates, 3.2 g fiber, 347 mg sodium.

Side dish

Coconut-Carrot Rice

1 cup shredded carrots

1 package microwaveable rice (1 1/2 cups cooked rice needed)

1/2 cup “lite” coconut milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place carrots in a bowl. Cook rice according to package instructions. Measure 1 1/2 cups cooked rice and add to the bowl with the carrots. (Reserve any remaining rice for another meal.) Add the coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 225 calories (15 percent from fat), 3.8 g fat (2.0 g saturated, 0.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 4.6 g protein, 44.5 g carbohydrates, 2.2 g fiber, 55 mg sodium.


Chopped peanuts and flaked coconut form a savory-sweet crust for fresh scallops. Sauté the scallops and serve them on a bed of sautéed spinach flavored with coconut milk. Rice microwaved for a minute, tossed with shredded carrots and also flavored with coconut milk makes a quick side dish. The carrots get slightly cooked in the heat of the cooked rice.

The secret to making sweet, juicy scallops is to sear them for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. They will be translucent in the center and continue to cook off the heat.

Coconut milk is made by mixing shredded coconut with boiling water, letting it steep and then straining it. “Lite” coconut milk is available, and it works well in this recipe.

Fred Tasker’s wine tip: I’d try a bone-dry, crisp, light-as-air French muscadet white wine.

Helpful Hints

• Chop the peanuts and coconut flakes together in a food processor.

• The scallops and spinach are made in the same skillet.

• White or brown microwaveable rice can be used.

• Shredded or matchstick carrots can be found in the produce section of the market.


• Prepare all of the ingredients.

• Make the rice and set aside to absorb the coconut milk.

• Make the scallops and spinach

This meal contains 563 calories per serving with 33 percent of calories from fat.

Shopping list

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

•  To buy: 1 small package dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts; 1 package desiccated coconut flakes; 3/4 pound scallops; 1 can “lite” coconut milk; 1 small package washed, ready-to-eat spinach; 1 package shredded carrots; 1 package microwaveable rice.

•  Staples: Canola oil, salt, black peppercorns.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer.

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