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!

Oven Roasted Broccoli and Spicy Shrimp

So, I haven’t posted in a while… we very spontaneously went out of town to visit my husband’s grandfather. We have been asking him if we could visit him for a while and he would always come up with a reason we couldn’t visit: hurricane season, ebola… etc. You get the gist. Well, my hubby was talking to him and he said we could come and visit, but only of we came before June 1st (hurricane season)! So… we packed up and drove 8 hours and spent the weekend with him! He is 95, and we felt like… you never know how many more visits we will be able to make, so we went down to visit him! I did cook quite a bit while I was down there, but did not document any of it… but these are a couple of dishes I made before and after the trip!

Oven Roasted Broccoli and Spicy Shrimp

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Ingredients:

1/2 lb peeled and deveined wild Caught Shrimp (I used TJ Argentinian Red Shrimp)
2 TB unsalted butter
1-2 cups frozen (or fresh) broccoli
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (Emeril’s Bayou Blast is great!)
1 TB lemon juice drizzled over top
Parmesan cheese if desired

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet (that has a raised lip… like a cookie sheet) with tin foil and either grease with a bit of butter or cooking spray. Put raw shrimp and broccoli in a bowl and toss with the ingredients until well coated. Spread so there is a single layer out on the baking sheet. Place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes until shrimp is cooked thru and no longer translucent, but also not over cooked. Remove and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over top and serve immediately.

Enjoy! This one is a quick and easy filling dinner. Serve it over rice, as is, or with a bit of fruit! This one was delicious!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Sun-dried Tomato Parmesan Pasta

You know… I was actually really hoping it would snow. It’s weird coming out of my mouth, because I lived in the cold upper mid-west for most of my life, and now in the south I put on a THICK winter coat when it goes below 50 degrees… cuz that’s seriously chilly. But, when it snows, my husband gets to work from home, and then I get to see him more AND he gets to actually eat dinner with us! But, sadly, the snow and ice missed us, and he actually had to drive the 45 minutes to work… boo. Oh well, I’m glad he has a GREAT job that he loves to go to! But… for the sake of my little girl, who, as all other girls her age, is OBSESSED with Frozen STILL and really wants to see snow so that she can go outside and pretend she’s Elsa. So, I’m hoping for 1 short day of snow. Then I’ll be good. 🙂

So last night I had the girls over to watch the bachelor, and my friend brought over her kit to help me put on my jamberry wraps that I couldn’t figure out how to put on with my strangely overpowered hairdryer… with her little heater thing, it worked WAY better! HA! And we had a great girls night doing our nails and watching the strangeness that is the Bachelor. It’s like a car accident… you just can’t help but watch!

So, before the girls came over I had to quick make dinner and I had been wanting to try my own version of a sun-dried tomato pasta dish for a while since I saw this one on pinterest… so, I figured… chicken and pasta is quick, I’ll do that! I did have to eat it out with the girls, but it got done in time!!! 🙂

This one a real winner… so so good.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes in oil in a jar
  • 4 large chicken tenderloins
  • 2 TB (about 1/4 of a small onion) onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz shell pasta (or whatever pasta you have)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or dried, if that’s what you have)
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • dash hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water (or more)
  • salt, to taste

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Instructions

  1. Note: if using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sauteing as described below:
  2. In a large pan, on med-high heat, sautee garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) and diced onion in 1 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar – see note above) and 1 TB fresh olive oil for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. (Don’t burn the garlic or it changes the flavor of the whole dish!) Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil and onions, and add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika and italian seasoning (for color) and cook on high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and cut into 2 in pieces and place back into skillet.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
  4. Place the sun-dried tomatoes back into the skillet with chicken. Add half and half and parmesan cheese to the skillet, too, and bring to a gentle boil. (Don’t put on high heat or it will curdle the half and half.) Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick – don’t worry – you’ll be adding some cooked pasta water soon. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and the hot sauce and cayenne. Stir to combine.
  5. Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once – you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the pasta with salt and more basil, to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.
  6. Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

And… VOILA!

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Dig in, and make your tummy happy!!!!

Ok, and for the quote of the day, it’s a funny play on what I’ve been working on. Especially since I LOVE the Duggars, I love how in their home, they don’t yell and scream at each other. It’s just not how they speak to each other. Since my husband and I have gotten married I’ve had to tame how I speak to him when I’m upset, and I’ve done SOO much better making sure I’m respectful with how I handle it…

With my children it’s an hourly battle. I literally at times have to step out of the room, count to ten, and then go back in. Otherwise it would at times come out as a full on scream. So… I’m gonna keep this in the back of my mind… read and enjoy. 🙂

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Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

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These Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches just hit the spot! They were delicious!! My husband… he told me he’d order these at a restaurant and go back again specifically for these!! Now, I think he’s a bit biased… but they were good!!

Ingredients: for 2 sandwiches… for more, multiply accordingly

4 chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup coconut milk (or any other milk… even buttermilk)
3 TB parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 TB water
2 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
10 small leaves of fresh basil
1/2 cup jarred spaghetti sauce or marinara
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
2 Ciabatta Rolls
1 TB pesto (I keep a jar in my fridge at all times… pre-made… we go thru a lot!)

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Directions:

Slice the 2 rolls in half and lightly butter and sprinkle with garlic powder. Put in oven @ 350 for 5 min just to toast. Take out, and put pesto lightly on 1 side.

Thaw chicken if it isn’t already, and soak in the milk. While soaking, put 3 TB olive oil into a skillet and heat on med to med low heat until just rippling. Then put the flour in 1 bowl, with the salt and pepper. Put the 1 egg in another bowl w/the water and wisk. Add the panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a 3rd bowl and mix together. In a “assembly line” style, take the chicken, dip in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then the panko bread crumb mixture and directly into the skillet. Pan fry on either side for 3-4 min per side. Then, place onto the bottom half of the roll, and top with 1 TB of the marinara, then the slices of mozzarella, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 min until the cheese is well melted. Take out, top with sauce and basil, and the other side of the roll. ENJOY!!!!!

 

The croissant was a store bought roll that I topped with honey butter at my husband’s request. We also had chips and guacamole with our sandwich. A bit of a hodge-podge dinner, but satisfied cravings!!!!

 

Skillet Lasagna

This is an easy one! I love this recipe because I used a jar of organic spicy tomato basil sauce from Trader Joes (I’ve also really loved it with Spicy Tomato Pesto sauce from Classico… a bit of a kick! 🙂  ) So, pre-made sauce just makes it quick and easy!!!

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion (chopped)
1 cloves garlic (minced)
1 jar Spaghetti sauce
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups Fusili pasta ( Or broken up lasagna noodles… any larger pasta is really good)
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese (I prefer large curd)
1/4 cup fat-free grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese for garnish

You could also add zucchini for a little extra veggies!

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I didn’t take a picture when I made it completely by accident, but I originally took the recipe from http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=20856 which I have adapted to the above. But the picture shows the yumminess! 🙂

Directions:

While the hamburger is cooking, make sure you have the pasta cooking. It will take the approximately same amount of time.I

In a large skillet, brown beef with onions and garlic. Drain.
Add jar of spaghetti sauce, salt and a tsp of sugar to cut the acidity.
Stir in cooked pasta.
Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Combine cottage and Parmesan cheeses and a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle in basil to taste.
Drop cheese mixture by rounded tablespoons onto pasta mixture.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and serve.

Creamy Dill White-fish

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Adapted from this recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2673535

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 20
Number of Servings: 6

Ingredients

1.5 cup 2% low-fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried (or fresh) dill
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
6 (3-ounce) fresh tilapia fillets (I actually used Dover Sole. I prefer wild caught fish, and tilapia only had farm raised available.)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 TB grated parmesan cheese
Combine the cottage cheese with parsley, dill, garlic, salt, parmesan cheese and pepper in a small bowl. Arrange tilapia fillets on a foil covered sheet pan. Evenly spread the cottage cheese mixture over each filet. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of panko breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, at the end, broil on LOW for 3-5 minutes until crispy.

Serving Size: 6 servings; 1 piece of fish per serving

Light Chicken Parmesan with Wilted Spinach

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Original Recipe Credit: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=10972
All things that I changed, I have added in parenthesis or with an asterisk

12 ounces white meat chicken (one double breast) (I used 6 frozen, boneless skinless chicken tenderloins)
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs (I used plain panko crumbs)
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tbsp onions, dried (I used onion powder)
Crushed red peppers if desired (I omitted these entirely… I’m not into spicy in my Italian food..)
1 -2 tbsp olive oil
Approximately 1 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce (as much as you’d prefer)
Mozzarella cheese (grated)

I soaked my chicken tenderloins in coconut milk for 30 minutes in the refrigerator in a baggie while I was cutting the strawberries, prepping the breading and taking the stems off of the spinach.

Mix panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and a little bit of oregano in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large skillet, but 2 TB of olive oil, and heat on med to med-high heat. When hot, a drop of water will sizzle.Take the chicken out of the bag of coconut milk (you can also use buttermilk) and dip into the breading mix. Coat well on both sides. Place onto hot skillet. Try to fit all 6 tenderloins into pan. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until brown. I used tongs to flip. 

While the chicken is cooking, prep a cookie sheet with tin foil (or not, if you don’t mind scrubbing baked cheese off of a cookie sheet). Place all 6 pieces of chicken onto baking sheet. Top with marinara/spaghetti sauce. Then top with mozzarella and a little bit of parmesan cheese.Put into oven on Broil (LOW) for 5 minutes.

While the chicken is broiling to melt the cheese, and finish the cooking of the chicken, place the spinach in a small skillet with 1 – 2 TB of olive oil and salt. Toss for about 2 minutes until wilted, but still bright green.Remove the chicken and make sure FULLY cooked. If needed, cut one in half. Make sure that there is NO pink left.

 ENJOY!

My FAVORITE homemade Salad Dressing Vinaigrette!

The juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
Equal parts olive oil (or a lighter oil) to lemon juice
2 TB fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
1 TB honey
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard

Blend together. I have a Pampered Chef salad dressing mixer that I use. You can also wisk it and store it in an old jam jar or mason jar. You can store it for 10-14 days in your refrigerator.