Turmeric – for color, flavor and health!

Adding new flavors and seasonings to our foods can pull us out of a flavor rut, jolt tired taste buds and offer healthful benefits.

Turmeric, a spice found often in Middle Eastern dishes, brightens with both color and flavor.  Its yellow color comes from the component in the spice called curcumin, a polyphenol, or type of antioxidant – and one that is being studied for its possible anticancer properties and anti-inflammatory effects. Research is also exploring the role curcumin may play in inhibition of tumor cell growth.

Turmeric is available at most grocery stores and can be used in many entrees and side dishes for a unique flavor with orange and ginger hints. Try this recipe for a change of pace, and hold the cayenne if you don’t like it spicy!  Try serving it with a side of whole grain rice or a green salad.

Shrimp with Mango & Basil

From Eating Well:  February/March 2005, The Eating Well Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006)

Makes: 4 servings, 1 cup each
Active Time: 15 minutes (if using peeled shrimp)
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large ripe, firm mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see Tip)
  • 1 bunch scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped


  1. Toss shrimp with salt, cayenne to taste and turmeric in a medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; place the shrimp in a single layer and cook until the undersides turn salmon-pink, about 1 minute. Flip them over and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add mango, scallion greens and basil and cook, stirring, until the shrimp is just cooked and starts to barely curl, 1 to 2 minutes.


Per serving: 183 calories; 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat); 168 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 20 g protein; 3 g fiber; 352 mg sodium; 478 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (57% daily value), Vitamin A (30% daily value), Iron (20% daily value).