Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Shrimp and Tomatoes

Do you have a go-to healthy meal? The thing you make on Monday after you’ve been stuffing your face with all kinds of good stuff for days on end? I do. It’s almost always salmon. Salmon, something green (usually steamed kale), and another veggie (roasted tomatoes in the summer, baked sweet potato in the winter.) It’s just an easy, satisfying, completely whole food, no-doubt-about-it good for you meal.

After spending four days in Kansas City  last week (for a wedding and visiting Robert’s family and friends), I’d seen my fair share of meat and, well, booze. It was time to clean things up on the food front. I was *this* close to jotting the ingredients for my default super-healthy Monday meal on my shopping list when I spotted a spaghetti squash sitting on the counter. It had been there since August. I knew it was time for the squash to become food instead of countertop decor. A quick Pinterest search landed me on a recipe similar to the one above. I upped the health factor by adding steamed broccoli and roasted tomatoes to round things out. It was light, filling, and easy to make (the squash takes a bit of time to cook — about 45 minutes — but as a whole the meal doesn’t require much labor.) There’s no denying it also makes for a colorful meal (hello antioxidants!)

I hope you don’t mind if I take just a moment here to indulge in a little food rant. A good kind of rant. A kind of rant that you’ll thank me for later. You see, spaghetti squash isn’t a substitute for pasta. It’s just not. In my search, I saw tons of recipes online that sub the squash in for the wheat-based stuff. From experience, I just want you to know that no matter how much you try to convince yourself of it, squash will never be spaghetti. Not even spaghetti squash. I’m just looking out for you because I don’t want you to be disappointed. Yes it’s thin and noodle-like in appearance, but that’s where the similarities end. Spaghetti squash has just the slightest bit of crunch and an earthy squashy flavor. It’s really delicious, I promise, but if you what you really, really, really, really want is spaghetti have spaghetti. And when you want squash, well, eat this!

Moral of the story: if you take spaghetti squash for what it is–and this recipe is a great introduction to cooking with it– I think you’ll be totally delighted.

Spaghetti Squash, Shrimp, and Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4

1 small to medium sized spaghetti squash
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 head broccoli
Olive oil
1 lemon
2 Tbsp Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve the squash lengthwise. Season the cut side with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Add 3/4 cup of water. Cook about 45 minutes until tender when poked with a fork.

After the squash has been cooking for about 20 minutes, place tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 25 minutes.

When the squash has 10 minutes left, place the shrimp on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 10 minutes until pink.

After you remove squash from oven allow it to cool so you can hold it.

Steam the broccoli.

Once the squash is cool, scoop out the seeds and discard. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash into a bowl. Add shrimp, tomatoes, and broccoli to the bowl. Squeeze about 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, season with salt and pepper if needed to taste, add parsley, toss to combine and serve.

Source: Martha Stewart

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