I figured that I need to make a nice seafood dinner before the cold weather gets here and the price of fresh seafood skyrockets in my area!! Crab and pasta is a classic, delicious combination – although it is used served in a heavy and rich cream sauce. I decided to keep the “classic combo”, but lighten it up a little by giving it an Asian-inspired flavor. If you aren’t crazy about the idea of having the lettuce in this dish, by all means serve the crab and pasta hot (instead of room temperature) with the dressing called for, and just add a small salad on the side to make it a complete meal.

8 ounces whole wheat vermicelli (or other thin pasta)

1 tablespoon sesame or peanut oil

1 red (or green) pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into “matchsticks”

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

3 green onions (scallions), sliced thin

6 ounces fresh (or, in a pinch, frozen and thawed) crabmeat

1 small head of romaine lettuce or other leafy green, torn into small, bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup shredded low fat mozzarella or parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting the salt called for; once the pasta is done cooking, drain it well and transfer it to a large serving bowl (you actually want it room temperature, not overly warm.)

While the pasta is cooking, generously spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat for 1 minute; add the peppers and garlic and stir fry until just limp (about 3-4 minutes). Add the green onions and stir fry for another 30 seconds.

Combine the pepper and onion mixture, the crabmeat, and the torn lettuce in the large serving bowl with the cooked pasta. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Pour the “dressing” over the pasta mixture and gently toss to coat well.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 279 calories, 7 g total fat, less than 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 36 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, o g added sugar, 14 g protein, 299 mg sodium (varies depending on brand of soy sauce used), 34 mg cholesterol.

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