Shrimp and Mushroom “Pasta”

Tonight E.J. and I teamed up for an easy weeknight dinner where we wanted to use some fresh shrimp I got on sale and try a new paleo flatbread I found from Simple Mills.  It turned out really well and we thought we should share.

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • spray coconut or olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

Shrimp & Mushrooms

  • 3/4 stick butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Bouquet Garni spice blend (or other favorites like rosemary, oregano, etc)
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 lb shrimp

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise in half and remove the seeds. Place both halves, cut side up, on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Spray inside of squash with oil and sprinkle salt & pepper to taste.  Drizzle with lemon juice.  Roast in oven for 40 minutes.When squash is done, set it on the counter to cool.

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat.  Add garlic, salt, pepper, and spices.  Add mushrooms and cook until soft.  Then add shrimp and cook until pink.

Using a fork (or two), scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash to make long strands.  Plate a serving of squash topped with shrimp and mushrooms.

Enjoy with a nice paleo flatbread 🙂

More Winning Recipes

In addition to the big meals this past couple weeks, there have been some other big win recipes I’ve tried:

  • Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus – Dairy optional, but I put a little bit of goat cheese in mine instead of the Neufchatel.  Super tasty and fancy to serve to guests
  • Honey Dijon Lemon Chicken – Instead of the crock pot, I actually did this is the Instant Pot.  After stuffing the chicken and sprinkling with salt & pepper, I added some coconut oil to the Instant Pot and set it on saute.  I placed the chicken breast side down and let it brown the breast before flipping it over, pouring on the dijon sauce, and setting it on Manual for 25 minutes.  The result was a super moist, fall-off-the bone chicken with some lovely delicate flavors.
  • Instant Pot Tikka Masala – If you love the creamy rich flavors of Indian food, you’ll love this Instant Pot recipe. Super moist and delicious.
  • Spicy Oven Roasted Broccoli – a great blend of Indian-inspired spices and lovely roasted texture
  • Indian-spiced Cauli-rice – Very pleasant alternative to standard cauli-rice

I’m really starting to embrace my Instant Pot when it comes to Sunday meal prep.  It’s nice  to let the Crock-Pot and Instant Pot do a lot of the heavy lifting while I work the stove and/or oven.  Hooray for doing 3 things at once!

Hungarian Paleo

This weekend was Father’s day weekend, and in addition to celebrating E.J. and the awesome dad that he is, we have visitors staying with us from Sweden & The Netherlands, so I decided to partner with our daughter, Gelli, to do a full Hungarian dinner to showcase some of our family traditions.

This is the first time I have actually attempted to make Hungarian food because E.J. is such a great cook, especially when it comes to his family’s recipes. But Gelli has absorbed a lot of the techniques over the years, so I figured she could help me out in some of the more complicated areas.  The real kicker was that I was determined to make the whole thing Paleo compliant and I also had to make sure it was nut-free, because one of our guests has severe nut allergies…. Challenge Accepted.

The menu consisted of:palacsinta

  • Gooseliver pate on toast
  • Escargot
  • Cucumber salad
  • Chicken Paprikás with Nokedli
  • Palacsinta (Hungarian Crepes)

The only total failure of the project was my attempt at a Paleo baguette loaf using cassava flour – although the dough smelled nice and yeasty, it was way to thick and never managed to get fluffy at all and ended up as a solid rock-like substance with a gooey center… which landed with a thud into my trash can.

So to fulfill the requirement for Paleo bread, I ended up just leaving it to the professionals at Fox Hill Kitchens and used some of their bagels I had frozen.  The Gooseliver and Escargot were naturally compliant – I sauteed the snails in butter with garlic and salt.  The cucumber salad is typically made with white vinegar, sugar, and salt, so I added a little honey to the dressing in place of the granulated sugar and it turned out great.

The Chicken Paprikas is actually Paleo to begin with – sauteed onion, pepper, and tomato with salt and paprika, chicken stock & chicken breasts simmered on the stove until done.  The only non-compliant addition was some fully natural sour cream added to the stock to form the sauce.  I served it on the side so it could be added with discretion.

The Nokedli (Hungarian spaetzle-like noodles) actually worked better than I had anticipated.  We used the cassava flour spaetzle recipe on this beef stroganoff from Girl Meets Grassfed and Gelli pressed the noodles through the form into the boiling water using the same method as traditional noodles.

Finally, we crowned the whole meal with grain-free crepes filled with a honey-sweetened strawberry compote and topped with melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips and coconut oil. Gelli is the palacsinta queen, and although the dough didn’t really behave like regular crepes, she did a great job!

All in all, I’m happy with the results, and E.J. was happy to be able to enjoy Hungarian food within the parameters of our diet.

 

Evil Applesauce Cake

Ok, maybe it’s not fair to say it’s evil – in fact, it’s one of the moistest, most awesomest Paleo desserts I’ve had to date, but I’m having to officially take this off of the “make again” list.

If you’re looking for a paleo dessert you can wow your non-paleo friends with, here’s the recipe:  Paleo Applesauce Cake

Here’s why I’m not making it again:

This cake is officially Paleo and it follows all of the guidelines defined in the rules, but it makes my blood sugar go through the roof. I made this cake last Sunday as part of my weekly ritual of experimentation, and the immediate result was absolutely beautiful.  It’s golden brown and pretty with the apple slices sticking up through the top.  It slices like a crumbly, wheat bread-like consistency and melts in your mouth with every honey-laden bite.  But that’s the problem – I think there’s just too much sweet here.  It’s not that it really tastes over the top sweet, but within 10-15 mins of eating a small portion, I started feeling jittery, and then later bloated.  It was even worse when I ate it with breakfast rather than dinner, and E.J. reported a similar reaction.

One of the strange byproducts of going Paleo is that you start to recognize the effects of high-sugar food & drink and they’re not very pleasant.  It’s like taking a cough syrup, or pseudoephedrine, or some other medication that makes your pulse race and your muscles twitchy…. I just hate that feeling.

I guess it’s just one more way my body is telling me what I already know.  Sugar is the devil!!

 

 

Quiche & Cabbage & Mousse, Oh My!

This weekend, E.J. and I went up to Dallas for their big comic & sci/fi convention “Fan Expo”, and while we were up there, we visited Mudhen Meat and Greens for a lovely early evening paleo dinner.  If you ever find yourself near the Dallas Convention Center, Mudhen is a 5 minute drive, and bonus, there are a bunch of farmer’s markets right there around it, so hooray for fresh seasonal produce!!  We enjoyed a lovely honey-sweetened avocado chocolate mousse for dessert which inspired one of this Sunday’s endeavors.

Sunday cookday was another full day in the kitchen, but I got to make some new things and use some new tools, so that always makes it better.  First, I started with a double-batch of our favorite Paleo Chili, and then broke out our new Instant Pot (Thanks, E.J.!) and pressure cooked some of the fresh beets we picked up at the farmer’s market.  All I did was remove the tops and ran the Instant Pot on manual for 30 minutes, letting it decompress naturally for about 15 minutes.  After that, I donned my gloves and gently peeled them and sliced them, and then marinated them a la this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo.  These turned out fantastic and I packaged them up in meal boxes with some of the other dishes of the day.

cabbagerollsWhile the beets were cooking, E.J. worked on frying up our weekly breakfast bacon, so I moved over to the blender and made a double batch of this Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse from Fit Foodie Finds and added about 6 pitted medjool dates to the blender which gave the mousse a little more depth and a nice consistency.  E.J. added some fresh strawberries on top, which smelled too good to pass up when we were walking by in the grocery store earlier in the morning.  I often follow my nose when it comes to buying fresh fruit.  If I can smell it as I walk by (peaches, strawberries, etc), then I have to get some.
Next I made these fantastic Cabbage Rolls from Stupid Easy Paleo.  I added some sea salt and balsamic vinegar to the tomato sauce just to give it a little more zing, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.  We had a couple of these for dinner last night and they were wonderful.  quiche

Finally, I rounded out our weekly meals with a couple
of quiches – first this Chorizo and Spinach Quiche from Everyday Maven which baked up beautifully (I can’t wait to try this one for lunch today) and this favorite – Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Bacon Quiche from Paleo Leap.  Typically, I serve up a quarter of a quiche in lunch containers along with avocado, or some other healthy addition.

I’m looking forward to all of my meals this week, and that’s a great way to start a Monday!

 

 

Paleo f(x) & Memorial Day Meal

Tonight it took me until after 8:30 to get home from work due to more massive flooding on the north side of Houston.  I don’t mind flooding when I’m cozy and comfy at home, but there should be a rule against flooding at rush hour when I just want to get home.

Sigh, at least my car made it one piece – there were plenty of others I saw along the way that weren’t so lucky.

Anyway, this past Memorial Day weekend was awesome, as expected.  Not only did we get to go to Paleo f(x) and try all kinds of new paleo friendly foods, but we had another successful get-together with friends who enjoyed some new  recipes I tried out on them.

We grilled sugar & nitrate free sausage from Bellville Meat Market and served it with this Sweet Potato Salad with Avocado Pesto from FoodFaithFitness and Watermelon Salad with Basil Ginger Dressing from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.  Both of these recipes were a little outside of my comfort zone when imagining the ingredients together, but the resulting dishes were very tasty.

I also tried a recipe from this month’s Paleo magazine called Bacon Peach Crunch which involved a bed of bacon with peaches and honey covered in walnuts… definitely interesting, but I think if I make it again, I’ll use unsmoked bacon as it recommends.

As for Paleo f(x), here are some of the awesome foods we tried and purchased because of how awesome they are:

Check them out, and if you’re interested, I have some coupon codes for discounts off of many of the items.

Stay dry, everyone!!