Cajun Shrimp Spaghetti Squash

The most difficult part of making this dish was cutting the squash in half.  Wow!

After getting that squash cut in half and removed the seeds and strings, I drizzled avocado oil over the meat of the squash.  You can use olive oil if you want, avocado is my new favorite.  Salt and pepper well.

You could use other spices here too.  I definitely could have driven the Cajun spice home and dusted the uncooked squash with it but salt and pepper were just fine.

I placed each half meat side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and popped them in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Just before I pulled the squash out of the oven I coated about a dozen large shrimp (deveined and shells and tail removed) in Cajun seasoning and sautéed them in a little butter and oil until done, only takes a few minutes.

Using a fork, scrape the inside of the roasted squash and pull the spaghetti strands out of the shell and put on a plate.  After you have it all scraped out, place the spaghetti strands back into the shell and top with the cooked shrimp and drizzle some of the oil/butter.  Top with your favorite cheese, I used grated parm.

You can put the noodles in a pasta dish but sometimes I like to put the noodles back into the shell and serve it that way.

I like to think this dish is healthy, wouldn’t you agree? Very little butter, avocado is a good oil, and squash instead of pasta.  Yep, healthy!

Cajun Shrimp Spaghetti Squash

1 cooked and prepared spaghetti squash, with the noodle put back in the shells

1 dozen large shrimp, deveined with shells and tail removed

1 T Cajun seasonings, or to taste

Avocado oil and butter

Grated Parm cheese for topping

  1. Just before the spaghetti squash is finished roasting, make the shrimp.
  2. In a bowl toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning.  Depending on how much spice you like, start wit one tablespoon and go from there.
  3. Place shrimp in a hot pan coated with oil and butter, sauté until cooked.  Only a few minutes.
  4. Divide the shrimp over each shell, drizzling some of the oil/butter over the shrimp.
  5. Top with grated parm cheese and serve.
  6. You could also pop them back in the oven to melt the cheese if you want.  Just keep an eye on it. Set as
Advertisements

Salmon and Sun-Dried Tomato Spaghetti Squash

This sauce is amazing! And the salmon and sun-dried tomatoes go perfectly with the spaghetti squash. But there is nothing light and healthy, other than the squash and salmon….. that is covered in cream and cheese…

Ok, I’ll do some recipes that are healthier, I promise! But until then, enjoy this one  🙂

Just a quick little post today, and excuse the pic’s, the lighting in my kitchen is not the greatest right now.  I painted and cannot find a ceiling light that I like.  So….

Here are the ingredients:

1 salmon filet

¾ cup ½ and ½ or light cream

¼ cup cream cheese

Small Shallot, diced

¼ cup sun-dried tomato, chopped

1 T tomato paste

10 basil leaves, torn or chiffonade

Salt and Pepper

Avocado oil and butter for sautéing

Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1 roasted and prepared spaghetti squash

Start with sautéing the salmon filet in avocado (or olive) oil and butter over low heat, salt and pepper the salmon. Remove from the pan when cooked and set aside. Flake the salmon into small pieces,

Toss in a diced shallot in the pan, cook for a minute or two and then add chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the pan.

Keeping the heat low, add the half and half or cream and the cream cheese to the shallots and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper. When the cheese is melted, add the salmon and basil.

Spoon over a prepared spaghetti squash and top with grated parm.

Zucchini Ravioli

Anyone that is close to me is aware of my love of pasta. But this dish may have just replaced my love of stuffed shells and ravioli!

It’s not a dish that whips up super-fast, it takes some time! And there are a few steps.

In a bowl I mixed ricotta cheese, grated parm, shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 egg and torn basil, as well as salt and pepper. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

I sliced off the ends of 3 zucchini and then used a cheese slicer to start slicing long strips of the zucchini.

I few hints that I picked up when slicing the zucchini is that you need it to rest securely on the cutting board. After taking the ends off, make one or two slices down the zucchini and then use that as the bottom. You can then slice safely on the top.

When you get to the point of not being able to slice much more but you think you can get a few more slices, just stop. Toss it in a bowl and use it for a different recipe, maybe grill the leftover pieces. It’s not worth struggling to get another slice or two.

Keep in mind the size of the zucchini. Size does matter!!! The thicker or fatter the zucchini the better, meaning if you buy the skinny zucchini you will not have much to use for the ravioli. You can still use them you just will have smaller ravioli.

And finally, do not buy the zucchini if it is curved, you will not get good slices.

So, back to making these delicious little pockets of heaven!

Pour some marinara in baking dish. On a work surface like a cutting board, lay 2 strips of the sliced zucchini, overlapping then about halfway over themselves. Then in the opposite direction, lay 2 more slices. You should end up with a large plus sign.

Place a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the center of the zucchini strips and then fold over each side to make a square… a zucchini ravioli square! I use the zucchini on the bottom to make the first fold.

Place the zucchini ravioli in the baking pan with the seams in the marinara sauce.   Depending on the size of the zucchini and the thickness to which you slice them, you may need several zucchini to fill the pan you are using.

I had 3 medium zucchini and I ended up with a total of 12 raviolis.

After you have them finished and they are in the baking pan, cover with the rest of your marinara sauce and top with either more parm and/or mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.

I tested them by poking them with a fork, the zucchini should be tender allowing the fork to gently glide through the ravioli.

A loaf of crusty, hot bread and a glass of wine and you’ve got a nice little treat for dinner. I love this recipe!!

Zucchini Ravioli

3 zucchini, sliced long way

15 oz Ricotta cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1-1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

1 egg

Marinara sauce, I used a 45 oz jar

Basil, about 6 leaves torn

Mix the ricotta, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of the parmesan in a bowl along with the egg.  Mix in the basil.  Set aside.

Coat the bottom of your baking dish with a little marinara sauce and set aside.

Take 2 slices of the sliced zucchini and lay side by side but slightly overlapping. Do the same with 2 more in the opposite direction to make a plus sign. Place a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the center of the plus and then using the bottom slices first, fold into a ravioli.

Place seam side down in the sauce.

When the baking pan is full, cover with the remaining marinara sauce and top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.

Old Bay Vinaigrette

This turned out much better than I had anticipated! It was the star of my grilled shrimp and spinach salad with homemade croutons.

I plan on using this dressing on salmon, and I know this would be yummy if I tossed raw shrimp in the dressing and then grilled them.

Anyway, back to the salad and the dressing.

I could have just used the old bay on my shrimp and used just a basic oil and vinegar dressing but making the dressing with the old bay as the main ingredient just put the entire salad over the top of amazing!

Simple to make too.

½ cup white vinegar

¾ cup oil, I used avocado, it’s my new favorite oil!

2 teaspoons of Old Bay

Light dash of salt and pepper if needed

I put these in a mason jar and shake, and the magic is done.

Enjoy!

Rosemary Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots

How’s that for a long title for a vegetable! HA

When I was little I despised cooked carrots. Now, I love them but having them smothered with a gooey sweet glaze makes them even more lovable!

These are so easy and so delicious that I make them often.

I just take about 3 to 4 carrots and chop off the tips and ends then carefully slice them long way, into about 2-4 slices, depending on the size of the carrot. You will want to try to make them all about the same size so they bake evenly. Place them on your cookie sheet, with sides please.

In a small bowl whisk honey, brown sugar, a splash of olive or avocado oil (my new favorite oil), salt and pepper, and chopped rosemary. Pour about half to three quarters of the mixture over the carrots and coat them well.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Take them out pour the remainder of the mixture over the carrots and toss around a little, pop back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until tender but not smooshy. Is smooshy even a word? Just don’t overcook them, unless you like them that way!

I’ve also added a little balsamic vinegar in place of the brown sugar. And replaced the rosemary with thyme sprigs.

And I have made boozey carrots too, they are delish!!

But these are the best!

Rosemary Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots

2 servings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3-4 carrots

2 tablespoons honey

1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar

Salt & Pepper

1 large sprig of Rosemary, stripped and coarsely chopped

1 tsp olive oil (or avocado oil)

  1. Chop off the tips and ends of the carrots, clean and dry. You can also remove the skin.
  2. Slice each carrot long ways into about 2-4 slices, depending on the size of the carrot. Place carrots on cookie sheet with sides.
  3. In a small bowl mix the remaining ingredients and stir well or lightly whisk until the brown sugar is incorporated into the honey.
  4. Pour about half to three quarters of the honey mixture over the carrots and coat well.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the carrots and coat with the remaining honey mixture and bake again for another 10 minutes or until tender.

Spicy Red Pepper Jelly Shrimp

I love serving red pepper jelly over a block of softened cream cheese for gatherings.  It’s always been a favorite of mine and my guests.

But I also like to use it as a glaze for shrimp, salmon and ham.

I change it up with cayenne pepper, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and fresh herbs, depending on the flavor I want. But the base is always about 2-3 tablespoons of the jelly and 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil.

I served this shrimp over a bed of brown butter and turmeric orzo.  And I added another teaspoon of the jelly as a topping on the shrimp while it was still hot from the oven.

Spicy Red Pepper Jelly Shrimp

Serves 2

Preheat oven to 350

18 large shrimp, deveined, shells and tail removed

3 T red pepper jelly

2 tsp olive oil

2 dashes cayenne pepper

1.  Rinse shrimp and dry, place in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl add the remaining ingredients and blend well.

3. Pour red pepper jelly over shrimp and toss to coat.

4. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.  Halfway through, remove cookie sheet and toss shrimp and put back in the oven to finish cooking.

 

Easy Croutons

If you have never tried making your own croutons, you really need to because they are so easy!

Not only are they super simple to make but they taste better than store bought and you can play around with spices and herbs.

And another great thing about homemade croutons is that they are not as HARD as rocks as store bought!!  Unless you really do like them that way….

You can use whatever type of bread you have on hand or left over.  Even the pre-sliced sandwich bread can work.  It’s a great way to use up left-over bread or bread that is going stale.

Whenever I have leftover bread, I either freeze it for later or I immediately make croutons.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

I like to slice the bread and then cut into cubes and toss them into a bowl. Mine are about ½ inch to ¾ inch squares.

Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper. Toss well.

Here is where you can start to experiment with spices and herbs.  I usually use chopped thyme.

Try rosemary or chives, a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick would be fun.  If you are serving the croutons over a salad as a side with turkey or chicken, try some poultry seasoning as a compliment to tie the meal together.

The recipe listed below is based on leftover bread that I had on hand.  You can adjust the ingredients to what you need.  When coating the bread cubes with olive oil, just coat them, do not saturate them!

I baked mine on a stone baking sheet and it worked fine.  Whatever you bake them on, you will need to remove the cookie sheet every few minutes until they are golden and toasted, about 10 minutes.

Croutons

Makes 3 cups of croutons

Preheat oven to 375

3 cups of bread cubes, cut or torn into about 1/2 to ¾ inch cubes

3-4 T of olive oil, or just enough to lightly coat the bread cubes

Generous amount of Salt and Pepper.

1 T chopped thyme leaves

 

1. Gently toss bread cubes with the oil to evenly coat.  Do not saturate the bread cubes.

2. Add salt, pepper and chopped thyme and gently toss.

3. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer over a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until toasted, removing every few minutes to toss croutons and/or turn the cookie sheet around in the oven.

5. When toasted and golden remove immediately and transfer to a plate to cool.

6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.