Seafood Pesto Pasta

Tonight, Brent and I enjoyed a new experiment. We’re calling it seafood pesto pasta. Last week, I made a pesto from scratch for a roasted chicken; we also had some scallops and shrimp in the freezer. So this weekend we bought a spaghetti squash and tonight we threw it all together.


Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 8-10 scallops (uncooked)
  • 3 cups of small shrimp (already cooked)
  • 1/3 cup of pesto (homemade, if possible)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bake the spaghetti squash for 60 to 90 minutes, until tender (ours needed just 75 minutes).
  3. Let the spaghetti squash cool for 10 to 20 minutes.
  4. Cut the squash in half, length-wise. 
  5. Scoop out and discard the seeds; then, package one half for use at another time. (Unless your squash is super small. We only needed half because ours was pretty big.)
  6. Shred flesh of the remaining half of the squash into a bowl.
  7. Melt the ghee over medium high heat in a pan.
  8. Sauté the garlic in the ghee for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. 
  9. Sauté the shrimp in the garlic and ghee for about 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through.
  10. Remove the shrimp from the pan and place in a bowl to the side. 
  11. Sauté the scallops in the garlic and ghee for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  12. Remove the scallops from the pan and place in the bowl with the shrimp. 
  13. Toss the shrimp, scallops and shredded spaghetti squash with the pesto in a large bowl. 
  14. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe is great to do together. While I handled cutting and shredding the spaghetti squash, Brent took care of the shrimp and scallops. 
It didn’t take quite like I expected. The spaghetti squash was stronger in flavor than I expected, but it was still really good. Traditional pasta provides a bland, starchy canvass for pesto and any protein you add to it. Rather than the heaviness you find with pasta, the whole dish was light and yet still filling. 
We hope you find this as fun and delicious as we did.

Butternut Squash and White Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Two weeks ago, we made that awesome Paleo Butternut Squash from Health-Bent.com with our own homemade sausage. (I can’t emphasize enough how delicious it was. It was so delicious!)

Now, not knowing what a “small butternut squash” really meant, we purchased a butternut squash that turned out to be much larger than necessary for that recipe. What did we do all the leftovers? Well, for nearly two weeks, it’s been sitting in a plastic container in our fridge. Finally, this morning I said for perhaps the 10th time in the past two weeks, “we need to find a way to use that butternut squash.” And Brent’s response was perfect: what about a hash?
Brilliant. 🙂
We also had plenty of leftover shredded white sweet potato, onions, and bell peppers. So, here’s is my latest variation on breakfast hash. 
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 3 cups Butternut Squash, diced
  • 4 cups shredded white sweet potato (diced would be great too, ours just happened to be shredded from our experimental lasagna)
  • 1 large red bell pepper (approx. 1-1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup onion (I used one and a half small yellow onions)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
  1. Heat the Ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the onion and butternut squash for about 2-3 minutes, until the onion is nearly translucent.
  3. Add the shredded white sweet potato and continue sautéing for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the red bell pepper and continue sautéing and stirring for another 2-3 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked through (it should change color from bright, starchy white to a dull ivory, almost like onion just before turning translucent).
  5. If you want to add a little seasoning, like salt and/or pepper, sprinkle a pinch over the dish during the last minute or two of cooking.
  6. Serve hot or cold.
Here are a few pictures of the process:
I think this new breakfast hash was really successful! I made a lot of it so we could portion it out for breakfast for at least a few days this week. We’ve been eating so many scrambled eggs and egg muffins this month, Brent and I are looking forward to this change of pace. 
You could easily use regular sweet potato, shredded or diced, and of course toss in green or yellow or orange bell peppers if you like/have them laying around. 
Lately, our grocery store has had very few regular sweet potatoes in stock and [oddly] has had lots of white sweet potatoes at the same price per pound of the few regular ones on the shelf. So, we’ve bought more white than regularly the past couple of weeks. However, there’s no flavor difference that I can tell. But I will say, I think the white sweet potato prevents the whole dish from getting too orange. I would have loved to toss in a green bell pepper for more color vibrance, but we simply didn’t have one on hand. 
One final note: We love for our food to have a little heat, but I am well aware of my own lack of understanding in applying spices. If I’m not following a recipe, and Brent is too busy to lend a hand, I won’t experiment with that domain. This butternut squash and white sweet potato breakfast hash is naturally sweet and could easily support a little kick–so jazz it up for yourself.
And let us know what you think! What spices would you add? 

Stewed Beef and Homemade Broth

This was an experiment of mine, which was a little terrifying at first but turned out well in the end.  My attempts at saving money this month have been pretty great (a more flushed out post is to come once we’ve completed this Whole30), and I tried to go a step further by using beef neck bones.  

Here’s what I had to work with:
  • 6 beef neck bones (approx. 3 lbs)
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/3 large red onion
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 4 cups water
I added the celery, onion, and garlic to the slow cooker first, placed in the neck bones seasoned with the herbs above, and then filled the crock with water.  I then covered and turned the slow cooker to low.  At first, the smell was very sweet, and I was terrified I had just wasted all these ingredients, so I left it to cook overnight.
I planned on turning it off at 2:30 today (started at 6:00 the night before, for a total of 21 and one half hours) but we took longer running errands than expected.  It finally got turned off at 4:00, and thank goodness I waited as long as I did.  For a total of 22 hours, the meat is tender and juicy, and the broth is quite flavorful.  Heather and I agree that it will probably need some salt once we use it for cooking, but for now we have most of it in the freezer.
The meat will serve over lettuce or as a snack with scrambled eggs.  When all is said and done, this was not a bad way to spend a day and 8 dollars.  

Salmon Loaf

A few weeks ago we made these awesome Basil Salmon Burgers from Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet Cookbook, but we had so much basil-salmon mix that we chose to freeze some of it for a later date.

 
This weekend, I was feeling a bit creative and realized we could use the mix to make a salmon loaf. Why not, right? Toss in a little almond flour, some egg… shouldn’t be too hard.
I was so proud of myself–I thought I was being really quite clever and unique. Only later I called my mom to tell her about it, and she said “Oh! I have a great salmon loaf recipe from Grandma.” It deflated my spirits a tiny bit, but no matter. I was still excited to try it.
 
It really was quite easy!
 
I mixed together approx. 3 cups of the basil-salmon mixture, 1 egg and 1/4 cup of almond flour.
 

Then Brent suggested topping it with some of the shredded white sweet potato we had left over from other recipes, for the sake of texture.

 

I baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes.

 

It came out beautifully. It was not quite as salty as the basil-salmon burgers, and the crunch from the shredded sweet potato was really a nice touch.
 

Oh, and I forgot to mention: we didn’t bother greesing the pan. Salmon is such a fatty fish; if you’re starting with a salmon filet like we did (instead of from the can like my grandmother used to do), there should be plenty of natural oils to keep it from sticking.

Happy cooking!

Mardi Gras Cabbage Slaw

In order to celebrate the holiday (without the beer, beads, and other indulgences) I decided to bring some color and flare to an old faithful of mine.  I added a bit more than what is shown, and I’ll explain below:

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 1/3 medium red onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

 Using our wonderful mandolin (that cut the living *#&$ out of my finger this weekend… which was totally my fault, but damn, it is sharp) I was able to quickly slice these down, and then add a 3-count of olive oil and rice vinegar.

To my chagrin, this actually turned out super colorful.  All the purple, red, and yellow reminded me of the Mardi Gras celebrations my coworkers were having all day.  So there you have it–Mardi Gras Cabbage Slaw.

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