Baked Lemon Shrimp Over Kale and Spaghetti Squash

So, there were tornado warnings in my area today… what am I supposed to do with that? I’m from Minnesota, where there honestly are tornado warnings… ALMOST every summer… I think… The thing that’s different is that in Minnesota, we had basements. Some basements are FULLY underground cement basements with little to no windows. Those felt safe when something like a tornado warning came up. Here, um…. downstairs bathroom? I was all like: “Ok kids, get in the bathtub… I am now going to cover you like you’re in a FORT with the couch cushions!”. Yeah. I’m weird. They loved it though! Hahaha! After the warning had lifted and we could come out of the bathroom, they begged to stay in the “FORT”. So, happily to say, nothing happened and all was good! 🙂

After the drama, I needed to get dinner together! I was craving pasta, so what’s a good alternative?! SPAGHETTI SQUASH! Why not throw in some shrimp and kale to make it extra delicious?!

So, this could be called shrimp scampi, it could be shrimp over lemon spaghetti squash… all sorts of things… So I just went with a descriptive title. Then you know what you’re getting!

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Medium spaghetti squash
  • 1½ lbs shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails still on (Trust me, get it peeled and deveined… it took my husband an HOUR to clean, peel and de-vein these stupid shrimp!)
MARINADE FOR THE SHRIMP:
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TB grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 TB shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS:
First, you MUST get the squash going in the oven!
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place face down in a small glass baking dish. Bake 30-40 min or until the tops of the squash indent when you press on them. Remove from the oven, immediately remove the squash from the pan and separate out the squash with a fork and place in a bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup of the SHREDDED parmesan cheese. (If this is done before the shrimp, cover the bowl with tin foil.)
Make the marinade:
  1. Place the shrimp in a large bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the melted butter, lemon zest and juice, garlic, onion, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and let sit for 20 min if possible. I personally did not have time, and put it straight into the oven! 🙂
  3. Bake the shrimp at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes (or until cooked through an no longer translucent)
MAKE
  1. Quick saute the kale (if you choose to add it) in 2 TB butter and some chopped onions… only takes about 5-8 minutes. Make sure you wash it first, and chop it into bite size pieces and REMOVE the center “vein” of the stems. Add the kale to the bowl with the spaghetti squash/cheese mixture.
  2.  Remove the shrimp from the oven and put the shrimp on top of the spaghetti squash/kale mixture and sprinkle with grated parmesan and black pepper and serve IMMEDIATELY!

And….:

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This seriously has SO MUCH FLAVOR!!!!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!

I am actually looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow!! YUM!

And now, for the SONG OF THE DAY! 🙂

It’s a song by Nicole Nordeman that always does a great job of reminding me what my Savior did for me!

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Coconut Curry Over Whole Grain Quinoa

Curry…. I honestly never thought I liked curry. It’s not always the prettiest dish honestly. I also always thought that it had to be spicy… I never knew that it could be quite mild! This is now my 3rd posted curry recipe on my blog! I have found that I just love it! (Mainly when I can control the spiciness that is!) I even will put turmeric in my veggies for lunch sometimes… it adds that pretty yellow color and just the right amount of taste!

This dish cooked up quite quickly! Like usual, I used my rice cooker to make my quinoa… so if you don’t have one yet… you know you want one! 🙂

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This will make 4 medium sized servings

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup chopped onion
3 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large yukon gold potato peeled and cubed into bite size pieces
2 medium zucchini squash, diced
1 small yellow summer squash
Small handful of green beans chopped into bite size pieces
1 15oz can of unsweetened premium coconut milk (NOT Light!!!)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 large bunch of kale (or spinach) rinsed and chopped (remove center vein from the kale)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 TB butter

Quinoa:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 TB olive oil
dash of salt

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Start by starting the quinoa. RINSE your quinoa in a metal mesh colander, or SOMEHOW. But definitely rinse it. Then, either measure and place into a rice cooker and press “cook”, or follow directions on the package and cook in a small sauce pan with a lid.

Then, cook your chicken. I used 3 chicken tenderloins so that the dish would vegetable heavy with a hint of chicken… not the other way around! I placed butter in the bottom of the skillet, and turned it onto medium to melt the butter. Then, I put my chicken tenderloins into the skillet onto the melted butter. I added the 1/2 of the onion and 1 tsp of the curry powder and salt and pepper. While it’s cooking, I took the spatula and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. (I cook my chicken from frozen, so if you cook from raw, feel free to cut into bit sized pieces first.) Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken from the skillet and place in a bowl and set aside. Add the olive oil into the still warm skillet still at medium heat. Add the potatoes and carrots first with the chicken broth. Add the rest of the curry powder, paprika, minced garlic and turmeric. Once they have cooked for 5-7 minutes and veggies start to soften (as well as the chicken broth cooking down and reducing a bit) add the zucchini, summer squash, green beans. Shake the can of coconut milk well to mix. Open the can and stir coconut milk in slowly to the vegetable mixture. I only ended up using 3/4 of the can of coconut milk, but you may want to use all of it. Just depends on how you like it. Add the chicken back into the mixture and stir to incorporate it. Let it simmer a couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before you are ready to serve it, add the rinsed and chopped kale. Stir, combine, and SERVE over the cooked quinoa. DELICIOUS!!!

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Even the leftovers of this dish was AMAZING! If you like curry, try it! You can even add a bit more spice if you’d like, throw a bit of cayenne powder for a bit more spice! 🙂

And now, for the quote of the day:

Baked Chicken and Gnocchi

Oh Mondays….

Yes, today is Monday. And today, we had homeschool group. My 3 year old son… MILDLY behaved and reminded me of the previous week.

So, last week.. here’s the situation: my son thinks that he can be independent and make his own decisions. As his mother, it is my job to teach him that mommy knows what’s best and if he refuses to do what I say, consequences will follow. The problem? When we are in the car, driving 60+ mph down the freeway, it is VERY hard to discipline a little boy. So, we leave our homeschool group, and he’s tired and hungry. I hand him a baggie of veggie straws (Like… potato straws, but made from veggies… very chip like). 3 seconds later, he LOUDLY proclaims that he’s “ALL DONE!”. I, at that moment in time, cannot reach back and grab the bag from his grimy little hands. I tell him, “hold on to the bag for a minute until mommy can grab the bag”. He then proceeds to start to chuck the veggie straws AT MY HEAD! Yes, yes this is true. I am yelling “No, mommy will take the bag”, as well as telling him consequences that will happen from these bad choices. I start trying to get the bag from him and trying to grab at any part of his body that I can reach, and he stealthily, like a tiny ninja, somehow completely evades my reach! I cannot turn around to see how this is happening, as we are STILL on the freeway. He then starts throwing them all over the car, one at a time and starts yelling “na-na-na boo boo”. Yeah. That happened. By the time we got home 30 minutes later I was fuming and he was asleep. Ugh. I carry him inside, and do NOT put his cars in bed with him like he requested before he fell asleep… (that sure told him!)… and proceed to take my dog out to eat all of the veggie straws from the van floor. Whew! What’s a mom to do? Cry and an call her husband, pray that the next day will be better, and figure out how to properly discipline in the car… working on it… I think I will be a consistent work in progress.

So today… another Monday, another homeschool group day. This evening, I feed my kids their meal (rice and beans with a smoothie… easy.. so very easy) and was going to have that for me and my hubby… then I see the package of gnocchi in my fridge and just HAVE to have it tonight. So, I proceed to start cooking and then go out to my detached garage where I keep all of my meat in our deep freeze. I then find out that for some reason our lock is broken. The key gets STUCK in the door. I literally cannot get into my garage until 1.5 hours later when my husband gets home. So… dinner was late. But whatever, it was good!!!!! Gotta be honest… Mondays are always a bit rough!

So, here’s my craving meal for tonight…. cuz I needed a bit of comfort food!

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Baked Chicken and Gnocci!

And, I gotta say, it’s a comfort food and I will definitely be craving it in the future!

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/baked-gnocchi-with-chicken.html?soc=sharingpinterest

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onions
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened, unflavored)
1 cup low-sodium free range, fat free chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups diced chicken. I used 3 large chicken tenderloins seasoned, cooked and diced (Orig. recipe called for leftover rotisserie chicken)
1 17 .5-ounce package potato gnocchi
1 1/2 cups loosely packed baby kale
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
1/2 tsp cumin
dash cayenne pepper
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
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Directions
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, but do not let burn. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet.

Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat; add the flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Add 2 TB lemon juice and the lemon zest. Whisk in the milk and chicken broth until smooth; simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg, cumin and cayenne.

Add the chicken, onions and garlic back in, and the gnocchi and kale to the sauce and stir until coated and the kale wilts. Sprinkle with the parmesan, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler; broil until lightly browned on top, about 3 more minutes.

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I definitely kept to a smaller portion with this one, because of the yummy creaminess… but it was DELICIOUS! I liked the uniqueness that the cumin and cayenne added, but you do NOT have to add those spices… that’s my addition. This one you can definitely play around with.

Well, my day is done, I have enjoyed an evening of Bachelor watching with my friends, and now I’m gonna kiss my hubby and babies goodnight! Have a good one!

And for the quote of the day:

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