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Tuscan Shrimp, Full of Flavor!

Tuscan Shrimp, Full of Flavor!
Tuscan Shrimp and Veggies over Spaghetti Squash

Tuscan Shrimp and Veggies over Spaghetti Squash

Back in the pasta days, it was the norm for me to whip up a pan-full of something yummy every so often to dish out over the top of linguine or penne, but even then, it was all about the concoction on top, and the pasta was very much secondary. Luckily for us, this translates well to gluten free eating and using a base of spaghetti squash. This is one of those Tossed-Together dishes, where I was cooking on the fly, and really didn’t measure anything at all, but I have tried to recap as accurately as I can.. though there is plenty of room for improvisation here.

Tuscan Shrimp and Veggies

Tuscan Shrimp and Veggies

Shrimp with loads of healthy veggies over a bed of spaghetti squash… what’s not to like?? Well, according to my son, the shrimp and spaghetti squash, ha, so I made two different versions of this dish πŸ˜‰ I have to say that the flavors were absolutely stunning together, and it was one of those meals that kept giving us flashbacks later, wishing like crazy that we had some leftovers! I guess I’ll just have to make it again, SOON.

Tuscan Shrimp and Veggies over Spaghetti Squash

Cook your spaghetti squash ahead of time, I did mine the day before.
I used a good amount of coconut oil (maybe 3 Tb) to saute the following veggies until tender:

  • Sauteing brussles sprouts and vidalias

    Sauteing brussels sprouts and vidalias

    1/2 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered. I add these first because they take longer to cook

  • 1 slivered vidalia onion, added next
  • 1/4C soft sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 of a large yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

When the veggies are tender, remove to a dish and set aside. Saute the following over medium heat, stirring occasionally:

  • 1lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

When the shrimp are nearly done, about 5 minutes, add:

  • handful of fresh herbs, chopped. I used mostly fresh basil, with some oregano and savory added in
  • 1/4 C pinenuts
  • 1-2 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Heat through and then add the veggies back in. Add more coconut oil or butter as needed during cooking to keep from sticking. Serve immediately over a bed of spaghetti squash.

Veggies (no shrimp) over seasoned beans for the kidlet

Vegetarian version: Veggies (no shrimp) over seasoned beans for the teen

We are big fans of veggies at our house, and this dish was a major hit. It would be fantastic even without the succulent shrimp (vegetarian) or wonderful using chicken breast as well. The meatiness of the shrimp and brussels sprouts were well matched, and the sundried tomato and balsamic added a little zing. The sesame seeds were pretty in black, but the white ones would work just as well. My son is not a fan of food that swims, so his was shrimpless and served over a small serving of northern beans that I heated in butter and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

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Garlic Tomato Scrambled Eggs with Garden Herbs (Low carb, Gluten free)

Garlic Tomato Scrambled Eggs with Garden Herbs

 

GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE!!! Just a quick breakfast post for Tuesday morning…

I still struggle with eating a morning meal most days, and I know it’s important. It’s funny, I only realized I was gluten intolerant this year, but my go-to has always been an “Eggy” breakfast. I didn’t know why, but I always felt terrible if I ate waffles, pancakes, doughnuts, or cereal, so I didn’t… but those are generally the most convenient, so I had a bad habit of skipping it entirely.

Today I wanted eggs, but was craving more flavor:

  1. Saute 1 clove garlic, finely diced, in 1 tsp butter until tender (or browned if you like the taste)
  2. Add 1/2 tomato, finely diced, saute a minute more
  3. Add 2 organic eggs scrambled with 1 TB heavy cream
  4. Scramble eggs until nearly cooked
  5. Add 1 oz shredded white sharp cheddar, toss to melt
  6. Plate the eggs and top with your choice of fresh garden herbs
    Today I used fresh chives and oregano.

Really quick, delicious, low carb and gluten free. The garlic and tomato really add depth of flavor, and choosing sharp cheddar adds a nice zing to the balance. Fresh herbs are great with eggs, and having a few in the garden or pots will definitely add a nice dimension to your cooking. The earliest herbs in my garden are chives, oregano, sage and thyme since they are perennials and come back every year. It always takes some patience waiting for the tender annual basil to get big enough that it won’t die from me stripping off the leaves too soon, πŸ˜‰ but basil is a fabulous complement to eggs, tomato and garlic as well.

 

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Roasted Garlic Dip (If you haven’t roasted garlic before, you MUST!)

I’m not usually one to insist that someone do something or try something… but I CAN get a bit enthusiastic about things that are really, really wonderful! Roasted garlic fits the bill perfectly. The process of roasting changes the flavors, brings out the sweetness while subduing the hotness, and yields simple and complex flavor (and smell) that makes my mouth water!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is insanely simple to do… just cut off the top of a garlic bulb, drizzle in cococut oil (or any healthy oil you prefer), sprinkle with a little kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and roast for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Easy peasy… and elegant… gourmet… delicious… indulgent… you get the idea! After roasting and cooling, the garlic is very soft, and needs to be pressed from the skins of the individual cloves. It can be great just like this, spread on low carb cheese crackers, veggies, on pizza crust, mixed into tomato herb pasta sauce, smeared on ribs or chicken for grilling, mixed into cream cheese for a simple roasted garlic dip, or any other number of wonderful uses.

 

Here, I used it to make a warm cheesy dip that we devoured on raw celery and carrots, as well as a few gluten free crackers. I hope you enjoy the recipe, but even more, I enthusiastically recommend that you roast some garlic soon! This is also a great base for adding spinach and artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.

 

 

 

Warm, Cheesy, Roasted Garlic Dip

  • 16 oz cream cheese at room temp
  • 1C mixed Italian cheeses, shredded (or mozzarella, etc)
  • 1T blue cheese (because I had a little left I wanted to use up)
  • 1/3C heavy cream
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1Tb hot sauce
  • 2 bulbs roasted garlic flesh
  • 1/4-1/2 C more Italian cheese to top

Using a food processor, zip the fresh garlic, then add cream cheese, blue cheese, 1C of Italian cheese and heavy cream, and process until smooth. Add hot sauce and roasted garlic, process. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper if desired. Spoon into baking dish and cover with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and browned. (Leave a little extra room in the dish, as you can see, mine bubbled over! Glad I had a baking sheet under it!) Serve with fresh raw veggies or low carb cheese crackers.

Using a baking sheet under the dish was a “great” idea πŸ˜‰

 

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