Day 4 of the 30 Day COVID-19 Dinner Challenge: Lemon Scallops

June 14, 2020 – If you enjoy seafood it’s a great choice for a low-calorie protein. It depends on how it is prepared though. I say this with caution because deep frying and smothering it in a heavy sauce will kill the low-calorie gain. Delicious as that would be we avoid those choices. Our mission is to create meals that are lush in flavor, rich in nutrients, and provide just the right amount of calories for each of our needs.

On day four I chose a lemon scallop recipe. Lemon meals remind me of my dad. He loved cooking and loved lemon. I have three siblings. Each of us has memories of our dad making lemon chicken. He was diabetic. He had a sweet tooth. He figured out how to make foods that satisfied his love of sweet, sometimes savory, food.

In retirement, my mom and dad moved to Florida. He had a Myers Lemon tree planted. He was pretty excited about it. It was a delight of his for years. He was a Depression-era boy. Born in 1930, like millions of others during that time, into a poverty-stricken home. He was the youngest of eight children. Though he did not talk too much about his childhood, there are a few stories he shared that are ingrained in me. He told this one a few times – when it rained hard his shoes floated in his bedroom. Their house was surrounded by water but not in a good way, not in a living in a beautiful lake house kind of way. That boy with the shoes afloat, he couldn’t fathom that someday he would have his own, large, fragrant, and delicious lemon tree of his very own. It is with the spirit of my dad that I share the recipe for day four.

Damn Delicious Lemon Scallops recipe can also be found here, but it’s also posted below:

Damn Delicious – that alone drew me in when I was searching for a scallop recipe. Who doesn’t want damn delicious on their plate after a long day?


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter – did not have, used salted butter, it was fine
  • 1-pound scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste – used sea salt in place of Kosher salt

For the lemon butter sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – did not have, used salted butter, it was fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced – did not have, used minced garlic in a jar, worked well
  • Juice of 1 lemon – did not have, used 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bottle
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste – used sea salt in place of Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves – did not have, used fresh basil, lots of it, chopped, and it was a bonus, it added a lovely flavor.


One of the stipulations we have with our 30-day dinner challenge is to use what we have on hand. Since the pandemic, we no longer run out to the store when we need something. We make do. You will see the adjustments in red.

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. I had large scallops so I cut them in half. They cook faster when cut in half plus it just looks like more on your plate. Definitely remove that muscle. It’s icky.
  3. Season scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm. I used a large skillet and was able to cook them all in one shot. I could have had the butter hotter before I put the scallops in. It would have been easier to cook them so they would have that nice golden look.
  4. To make the lemon butter sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skilletĀ and chop up fresh basil leaves if that sounds good to you. I was so glad I did. I put in tons of basil and did not regret it. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. I made Gluten-Free penne pasta as a side dish. When it was cooked, I drained them and added it to the lemon butter sauce. Broccoli was also a side dish.
  5. Serve scallops immediately with lemon butter sauce, garnished with parsley, if desired. I put the scallops on top of the lemon butter sauce penne pasta mix.

We got a big bang for our calorie buck with this meal: 428 calories per person. It satisfied all the requirements: good flavor, not too much quantity for the diabetic but enough for Tom’s ALS needs, gluten-free for me, as well as within my calorie count for the day.

The three of us give this one all the thumbs up. Repeatable? Unequivocally, YES. We just need to wait twenty-six more days…sigh

Until the next time!