Tag Archives: whole30 compliant

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Lemon Butter Shrimp

I’ve talked before about my love of pasta. Honestly who doesn’t love a big bowl of al dente hopes and dreams carb-y deliciousness slathered in creamy sauce? Don’t lie, you know your mouth is watering 😉

Back in 2015, my husband David and I had only been married about a year, living in a little one bedroom apartment on-base, and I was really starting to experiment in the kitchen. I was feeding us all sorts of delicious, albeit not great for us, foods – pasta most of all! When January 2016 rolled around, our New Year’s resolution was to save for a trip to Italy in 2017. I was going to learn how to make homemade pasta from some Italian grannies, David was going to see all the fantastic art, and we were going to eat and drink our way through the country. Come May 2016, we had saved about $1,300…but then my Aunt Flo didn’t show up for her monthly visit, and I saw two pink lines that completely shifted our future plans. In January 2017 we welcomed our Zemirah Capri (you can read her birth story here), whose middle name was inspired by our plans to visit Capri, Italy, and the rest is *happy* history! We still plan on visiting Italy one day – after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day – so I’m sure it will stick around 😉

Fast forward another year and I discovered how much steering clear of dairy really helped my IBS symptoms (you can read our journey with healthy-ish eating here), and we both discovered limiting gluten helped with decreasing bloat and feeling better all around! We are not 100% dairy free or gluten free, but I can tell you that a big bowl of the *real deal* fettucine alfredo would not do us any favors. And since it is now officially fall and all the lovely gourds are in season, I thought I would make over this classic comfort food to be easy for our digestive systems while still tasting amazing! I truly hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, and can indulge in your comfort food cravings without regret!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Lemon Butter Shrimp


Ingredients

    For the spaghetti squash:
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Two medium sized spaghetti squashes, to produce about 7-8 cups of shredded spaghetti squash (roasting instructions below)
  • 1/3 cup of avocado oil based mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 10 oz of light coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • Cayenne to taste, optional
  • For the shrimp:
  • 1 lb of peeled and de-veined shrimp (if using frozen, thaw them first)
  • 3 tbsp of butter or ghee
  • One large lemon (or two small), sliced
  • Dried parsley
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp (you can pierce the squash and microwave for about 5-6 minutes to soften up if you are having a hard time cutting it)
  3. Drizzle each half with olive oil, and season to your taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
  4. Roast on a baking sheet, cut side up, for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the skin is easily pierced with a fork, and the flesh can easily be scraped out.
  5. Shred the squash and set aside.
  6. Make the sauce by combining mayo, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, lemon juice, and seasonings in a large pot.
  7. Bring sauce to a soft boil, stirring often. If the sauce looks too thick, add more coconut milk. If it looks to runny, add more mayo.
  8. Once sauce has come together, reduce heat to low and add squash, using tongs to toss and combine.
  9. Cover and keep heat on low while you cook the shrimp.
  10. In a large pan, melt your butter over medium-low heat.
  11. Once melted, add the shrimp – making sure all shrimp are touching the pan and not overcrowded.
  12. Season as desired with kosher salt and dried parsley.
  13. Lightly squeeze lemon slices, then add those to the pan as well.
  14. Cook shrimp for about 2-3 minutes per side, until pink.
  15. Serve immediately and garnish with lemon slices and parsley, if desired.
  16. Keep leftovers covered in the fridge. The shrimp will keep for about 3-4 days and the squash for a week.

For another noodle “pasta” recipe, check out my Zoodles with Meat Sauce, but if you’re wanting some actual gluten free noodles, check out my Spaghetti Bake with Balsamic Glaze or Baked Ziti with Sausage – personally, I love them all. But then again, I could swim in a pile of noodles, whether they are spiralized veggies or made from chick peas.

This spaghetti squash recipe is so easy, healthy, and astoundingly delicious! I am sure it will be a fall favorite for my family, and I hope it will be for yours, too. Eat some healthier comfort food, really savor it…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

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Who out there doesn’t love tacos? I don’t mean the greasy yet crunchy tacos with questionable meat sold by what I think is a clown…? Although those tacos are tasty, and have their place in college at 2 AM, they do not compare to soft tacos full of tender, shredded chicken topped with guacamole and a squeeze of fresh lime. Yum!

I’ve talked before about my affinity for slow cookers – flavorful yet simple meals ready for you when you walk in the door. Can’t be beat, right? Wrong! Let’s combine slow cooker simplicity with the deliciousness of tacos!!!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of boneless, skinless dark meat chicken
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Juice of two limes
  • Optional toppings:

Directions:

  • Place chicken and garlic in your slow cooker (I have this small one – it’s on sale right now!)
  • Cover with seasonings
  • Squeeze lime juice over chicken (I suggest using a manual juicer to get all the juice and none of the pulp or seeds)
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5
  • Shred chicken
  • Serve on tortillas or lettuce wraps with plenty of toppings, and don’t forget the side of guac and plantain chips!
  • Leftover meat will keep covered in the fridge for up to a week – it goes great on a taco salad.

I hope this taco recipe can “spice” up your weekend! For more spicy meals, check out my One Pan Chicken and Shrimp FajitasTaco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch, or Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos. And if you like slow cooker meals, you may also like my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale SoupSlow Cooker Pork Roast with Veggies, or Slow Cooker Meatballs – can you tell I use my slow cooker often?! I hope these tasty tacos can help simplify your life, and bring peace knowing that you are feeding your family well. Nothing beats taco night! Go ahead and get another scoop of guacamole…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Just in time for Easter: deviled eggs. But with a twist! Made even more “devilish” (why are they actually called “deviled”???) with pickled jalapenos and cayenne pepper. Use some of my homemade aioli or store bought avocado oil mayonnaise for healthier mayo options. The ingredients in those dips are simply vinegar (or lemon juice), egg, and a healthy oil – nothing to be afraid of! The only thing you should be afraid of is how devilish these are *insert evil laugh*!!! No, but really, these are pretty spicy and my two-year-old couldn’t handle them, so scale back if you wish, but they are the perfect spicy appetizer to bring to the Easter potluck!

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 deviled egg halves. 

Ingredients:

  • Perfect Boiled Eggs, peeled
  • 3 tsp mayo (healthy options linked above)
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (I made them with about a 1/2 tsp and found them too salty, but my husband didn’t think so; adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 8-10 pickled jalapeno slices, diced
  • Optional toppings:
    • sliced fresh jalapeno
    • sliced pickled jalapeno
    • a sprinkling of paprika
    • chopped cilantro

Directions:

  • With a sharp knife, cut boiled eggs in half length-wise
  • Scoop out yolks and place in a small mixing bowl
  • Add remaining ingredients (besides toppings) to the bowl
  • Mix/mash until combined
  • Evenly scoop filling back into egg whites
  • Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until ready to serve
  • Top with desired toppings just before serving
  • Keep leftover eggs covered in the fridge for 3-5 days

For other Easter/spring time meal ideas, check out my Mustard Potato SaladCrispy Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Potatoes for sides dishes, and my Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy or Celebration Steaks with Pan Sauce for main dishes. For spring-y desserts, check out my No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust or No Bake Chocolate Date Cake. I know you’ll find something you and your family will love! Bring these Spicy Deviled Eggs to the Easter potluck, spice it up…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the link, it is of no extra cost to you – just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

 

Celebration Steaks with Pan Sauce

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small pantry fund for me!

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Celebrate Good Times! Come on!

If you’re like me, you just sang/read that title while having flashbacks to roller blade dancing with all your friends under the disco ball, most likely at the skating rink for a friend’s birthday party. Obviously, a small child celebrating a birthday shouldn’t be cooking over an open flame, but apparently once you’re an adult, celebration means cooking an expensive and delicious cut of meat and having a glass of wine. I’m okay with that 😉

I’m calling these “Celebration Steaks” because I first cooked these while on a second honeymoon, of sorts, with my husband. He had just gotten back from a six month deployment two weeks prior, and I surprised him with a trip to a little cabin in the woods while my parents kept Zemirah. It was my first time away from her overnight, and, while I missed her, honestly, it was great! No mom shaming here! It was a wonderful trip with my darling husband whom I had missed so terribly.

It was glorious being able to sleep all night without a care in the world, but it was also nice to just enjoy cooking *calmly* for my husband instead of a hungry baby clamoring at my heels and tugging on my clothes. We danced in the kitchen, drank wine, and I just enjoyed the process of making these delicious steaks. We didn’t have to worry about eating dinner early because there were neither bedtimes nor the threat of an early morning alarm, so we just leisurely enjoyed our delicious meal.

Since then, I’ve made these pan steaks to celebrate Father’s Day and our anniversary; each time with a different cut of beef, but each time it was equally delicious! I think I’ve used rib eyes twice and filet mignon once. This last time I made them, it was really just for a photo op, so I bought a cheap cut of beef at the store (I think it was a round steak?), and, though leaner, still had so much amazing flavor.

No matter what cut of beef you choose, the flavor will be scrumptious, but do take note of the thickness of your steak. The times I am giving are for a steak cooked medium; if you want more rare: do not put them in the oven, sear them only, and if you want more well done, keep them in the oven longer. I would suggest using a meat thermometer to make sure you achieve your desired temperature. Rare to well done, however you like your steak, I hope these can help you celebrate those good times with the ones you love.

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Celebration Steaks with Pan Sauce

Serves 2 or 3.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of steak (as mentioned above, any cut will do!)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (for a better crust)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup of ghee
  • For the sauce:
    • 2 tsp of red wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp of coconut aminos
    • 1 tsp of raw honey

Directions:

  • Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat and preheat oven to 400 F
  • Dry steaks with a paper towel and rub with salt and pepper
  • Once skillet is hot (flick some water to make sure, it will sizzle when it’s ready), add ghee, garlic, and herbs
  • Add steaks to pan
  • Sear for 2-3 minutes, basting with the ghee mixture twice
  • Flip and sear for another two minutes, basting twice with ghee mixture
  • For a medium steak, pop in the preheated oven for 2 minutes (longer for more well done)
  • Remove from pan and let the steaks rest for 6-8 minutes, uncovered
  • While meat is resting, add the red wine vinegar, coconut aminos, and honey to the pan
  • Let simmer on medium-low heat while meat rests, the sauce should reduce down a little bit
  • Serve steaks warm covered with sauce, and don’t neglect the garlic cloves, they are delicious eaten right along with the steak!

If you make some Celebration Steaks for your family, I would love to hear what you thought; you can tag me on Instagram (mrsmollymills). If you are wanting to make the perfect simple yet romantic meal, I would *highly* suggest serving these steaks with my Crispy Brussels Sprouts and some Roasted Potatoes or Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes; they all go together well! If you wanted to get fancy and make a three course meal, my Creamy Tomato Basil Soup makes a great appetizer, and my No Bake Chocolate Date Cake is a pretty classy treat 😉 No matter what you serve your steaks with, I know you’ll enjoy them! Celebrate with your family…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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